10 Minute Biographies Chapter 10 (Absolute Beginner Book Club)

10 Minute Biographies Chapter Ten: Tomitaro Makino

Start Date: 13th March (JST)

Previous Chapter: Chapter 9
Next Chapter: Chapter 11
Home Thread: Link


We are reading at the pace of one page per day. If a sentence crosses two pages it is read as part of the first page.

Daily reading schedule

Page turns at midnight JST.

Date Page Last Line of Page
Mar 13 137 Chapter title page
Mar 14 138 細長かった……かな。)
Mar 15 139 お母さんが なくなってしまいました。
Mar 16 140 かわりません。学校は、かべに
Mar 17 141 名前を きいたりするのです。
Mar 18 142 ことに おどろきました。 そして、
Mar 19 143 しらべきれていませんでした。
Mar 20 144 図かんを 作るんだ。」と、決心しました。
Mar 21 145 ひょう本に する じゅんびを します。
Mar 22 146 せいかと して すばらしいだけで なく、
Mar 23 147 ところまで、ていねいに かいてあります。
Mar 24 148 「ワルナスビ」……野さいの ナスの 花に
Mar 25 149 『牧野日本植物図鑑』を 作り上げました。
Mar 26 150 End of chapter


These spreadsheets are put together by the bookclub to help other readers. Feel free to contribute but do read the vocab sheet guidance on the first page before adding any words.

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I’m excited for this one! I jumped into this bookclub (my first!) in the Sesshu chapter, but was always a few pages behind. This’ll be my first chapter as an active participant.
よろしくお願いします :relaxed:

title p. 137

Tomitaro Makino
He created the base for Japan’s botanical illustrated books


I do not know how Japanese names work but is this a case of nominative determinism (where your name determines the area you work in) or did he choose the kanji in his name because of his love of (pasture/field which made him a rich/fat/guy). Not that he seemed to end up either rich or fat :slight_smile:

I might be geting the wrong end of the stick here of course

It’s more-or-less the same thing, but I’m going with “botanical field guide” as the translation. It matches the picture given, but I’ll need to read more to find out which is the most accurate. I don’t know anything yet about Makino or what he made!

“元” is more of a toss up. There are so many definitions and most seem to work…


Page 137. I went with

Created foundation of Japan botanical classification.

but of course it is not literal. Glad I used the same kanji for もと.

1 Like

図鑑 definitely seems to be a book of some kind, but I think you have the right idea.

p. 138

“Wow, that’s a cute flower.”
A skinny child is going into the rustling grass.
He pushed his way through the grass, crouched and began to gaze at the flower he aimed for.
(What is its name?)
(Hey, the shape of the leaves is also interesting. I have seen something like that before.)
(I wonder … wasn’t that a bit more long and narrow?)


Posting my attempt before looking at @2000kanji translation.

Page 138

“Wow, pretty flowers!”
Skinny child went into field of rustling grass.
He pushed aside the grass and crouched in front of his goal - a flower that he never saw before. (lit. flower to be seen for the first time)
I wonder, what it’s called.
The shape of it’s leaves is also interesting.
There, it looks like the one I saw before.)
(No, that one was a little bit more long and narrow…hmm.)

This sentence
is not easy for me to put together. I guessed ような is grammar point, and then it followed by のを, so it’s an direct object - of which verb?


Here’s my take. A few parts I wasn’t so sure of, but that’ll happen :sweat_smile:


“Wow, what a cute flower.”
A skinny child enters the dense grass with a rustle.
He pushed his way through the grass, crouched, and saw the motionless flower that was his target for the first time.
What is this one called?
The shape of the leaves are also interesting.
Huh, I’ve seen something similar to this before.
No, that one was much less long and narrow…right?


It took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out what the 似た part was, much less the grammar point lol. If it were in kanji I’d have known right away!
But I’m pretty sure that whole clause is the direct object of 見たことがある.


Ok, I think this maybe be this grammar point: https://bunpro.jp/grammar_points/63
Verb[ ] + こと・が・ある -“have done before”.
I only need to advance 100 more pages of Genki I to reach it. Now I feel better about this sentence. Thanks!

Yep, that’s the one! :+1:

Page 138. In this sentence
there is a word じいっと - motionlessly, fixedly. I think by context it describes a child rather than the flower.


I think you and @sansarret misinterpreted 見始めました. It’s not the noun 見始め but the verb 見る combined with the auxiliary verb 始める. :v:


You are correct, it doesn’t describe the flower (an adjective would be needed for this). It’s an adverb so it describes the way the child is looking.


That’s what I thought too, but I wasn’t sure about how to translate it. Would it be “started to look at”? That’s more like how @2000kanji did it.

I had a 50/50 chance and guessed wrong. Thanks! My new translation is:

He pushed his way through the grass, crouched, and motionlessly started to look at the flower that was his target.


Thanks! So that would be this grammar point: https://bunpro.jp/grammar_points/115
Verb[stem] + はじめる
To start, to begin to.

I got two new (for me) grammar points from this one page (I’m only half thru N5 according to bunpro), and it’s super hard to guess a grammar point when you never studied it before

I’ll add some to grammar spreadsheet, I see it was being abandoned recently, but I feel that grammar is equally hard to identifying vocab.


Just checking you got the meaning of の in this sentence too. This is the の which acts as a pronoun and means “one”. (Chapter 10 grammar point 3 in Genki)

If this sentence was written in a longer form it would be あれ、似たようなのを、前にも見たことがあるぞ (EDIT - あれ、似たようなを、前にも見たことがあるぞ - thanks for spotting my error @NicoleRauch). But because the fact they are referring to a flower is obvious from context, the 花 can be left out and just replaced with the pronoun の.