Day to day Free bilingual short stories

Japanese publishing house Tree is posting a short story each day by a contemporary Japanese author, in English and Japanese, many related to the current situation.

You can find the japanese versions here: Day to Day(中文)|記事詳細|tree

and the english translations here:


That looks like Chinese. Am I missing something?


Nvm. Found it.

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Ah, I didn’t realise 中文 was chinese language :grimacing:


Post the first one called April 1st on May 1st is a top-tier prank. I was trying to figure out where the last month of stories were


Long ago, maybe due to this thread, I bookmarked these stories and went back to them now and then to see if I could read them. Now it seems I finally can! I just finished reading the first story, which was fun. So I’m reviving this thread to ask a couple of questions.

It was a great exercise to read the first story in Japanese (which took several sittings), and then once I had done my best to understand it, I read the English translation to see where my comprehension was off.

Below are the parts that threw me off. My interpretation and the published translation are blurred so you can have fun, too :wink:

Number 1: translation of 埋まる

Sentence for context:


What threw me off: I translated ()まる as to be crowded, and interpreted the sentence to mean “Every day after school, even though all of his after school activities were crowded (with people), he didn’t complain once since the first grade”. This translation was clearly awkward. In retrospect, I could have considered that it was activities, not people that came before the で particle, and I may have been more likely to use this meaning:
()まる to be filled (schedule) and come up with something closer to the translation "Ever since starting elementary school, Hiroto has had cram school classes or some other kind of after-school activity—music lessons, sports and stuff—every single day after school. But he’s never complained, not once. "

Number 2: understanding ある感情

Sentence for context


What threw me off: I didn’t really get what was going on. In my head this was something like “He had some feelings welling up inside him”. Very underwhelming. What kind of feelings? The translation is: “He has a weird feeling inside him that quickly puffs up bigger and bigger.” Can someone tell me what should have tipped me off that these were weird feelings? Is it the ある in ある感情(かんじょう)?

Number 3: Understanding 活躍する

I’ve come against 活躍(かつやく)する in other reading and it consistently puzzles me, so I found the translation here interesting.

Original sentence for context:


I translated 活躍(かつやく)する as “to actively participate in”. So my understanding of this sentence was along the lines that he would be called to another world and have to be active there like a character in an anime/movie. The translation uses 活躍(かつやく)する in the sense of to actively participate with a successful outcome = to triumph. The translation of the sentence: When they’d go on adventures, to some kind of “Kingdom” or they’re summoned to a different world. Where the hero always triumphs. . . .

Does anyone know, is 活躍(かつやく)する generally used in that sense, that whatever the activity is, the actor has had great success?

Any help is much appreciated!

If anyone wants to read the story in an easier format than the web version, here’s a PDF I made for myself of the text, first the Japanese with any furigana and translations I needed, then the Japanese alongside the English translation.

Fun fact, there are (at least) 12 ways to read the name 大翔 according to, that you can narrow down to 5 for a given name. Here, the English uses Hiroto, so in my furigana for the name I also used ひろと.


I got some help with these questions from a native speaker and found it really insightful. Here’s what I learned:

Number 2:

It turns out this isn’t a 1-1 translation at all. The ある is foreshadowing the next sentence:


The character is getting really surprised by something and letting their imagination go wild. The native speaker pointed out to me:


Number 3:

Native speaker says the following and provides another example:
活躍する means “work well”, like 大谷翔平はエンゼルスで投打に活躍している

@prath tagging you since you read this as well!


these are super helpful, thank youuu :star2: