Beginner Japanese Book Club // Now Reading: 葬送のフリーレン // Next: ウスズミの果て

I know, I know… it’s not nominations time. But this book is currently discounted on BookWalker (until August 27th) and probably also elsewhere, and so I thought since I will eventually nominate it anyways, I could as well do so already, for those who might be interested in taking advantage of the sale.

小川未明童話集(1)- Ogawa Mimei’s Collection of Children’s Stories, Vol. 1


Ogawa (1882 - 1961) is known in Japan as the founder of modern children’s literature. He often chose everyday scenarios for his children’s stories. Also, his stories often incorporate religious and philosophical symbolism and the cycle of life. The death of creatures is not final, but is instead just the opportunity to appear in a different form.

This book is (as the title suggests) a collection of children’s stories and fairy tales. It contains two of Ogawa’s most famous stories, “The Ox Woman” and “The Red Candle and the Mermaid”. The stories are rather short, it seems; the book contains 17 stories while it has only 136 pages (according to Amazon).
(Maybe we can read them in increasing length, to get a nice ramp-up? :upside_down_face:)



Personal Opinion

I think it would be a nice pick for various reasons:

  • The texts are quite older than what we usually read in the book club (but they are in modern Japanese), so it makes for a nice change.
  • Short stories is also something we don’t see here often.
  • Feels like we might be able to get a glimpse into traditional Japanese life, which might be interesting for some.

Pros and Cons



  • Not full furigana (but a lot of them, so I think it should be fine)
  • Maybe some people think that fairy tales are boring?


First Three Pages of Chapter One

This is the first short story:

Difficulty Poll

How much effort would you need to read this book?

  • 1 - No effort at all
  • 2 - Minimal effort
  • 3 - Moderate effort
  • 4 - Substantial effort
  • 5 - So much effort my head might explode :exploding_head:
  • I don’t know

0 voters