Stories of the Japanese Prefectures - Prereading (Absolute Beginners Book Club)

Where are the prefectures that everyone lives in?

みなさんが・everyone, が marks that it’s the subject of the phrase
住(す)んでいる・lives/is living (in)
都道府県(とどうふけん)は・prefectures, は marks that it’s the topic of the overall question (the previous words were part of a relative phase)
でしょうか・are (with question marker), sort of a softer wording, typical of what you’d use with kids



Let’s find out. (Mitsukeru is to discover or find out, and the mimashou is “let’s”)


This long sentence starts out with
Those above and below, to the right and to the left of it.
Which prefectures might be (kamo is might, may or possible)
Please check (kakunin is verification).

So this sentence could be translated as

Please also check which prefectures might be above and below, to the right or to the left of it (the one you live in).


I’ve printed and read the two pages, and written down on the sheet what I can decipher so far. From spending the last 20 minutes reading through this thread and writing down the parts I missed, I realise that it would probably be a better use of my time to watch the Cure Dolly video series and just read the 4 pages casually each week :sweat_smile: I’ll still read through the threads each week but I’m not going to make notes/vocab-mine, as I think understanding basic grammar needs to be the main focus for me right now :ok_hand:

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Is 見つけて in the て-form because it’s something we’re “about to do”? Or because the sentence technically acts as a command?

It’s mainly because the てみる grammar point requires it to be in that shape:てみる-te-miru-てみたい-te-mitai-meaning/


I’m no expert, but I think that it’s sort of a command. Also, as NicoleRauch says, the sentence has the “temiru” form in it, which is usually to “try” to do something. The “mashou” is let’s. So I think the more accurate translation is “Let’s try to find out.”

The bottom of the page has the exercises. I’m not sure of this, but here’s my guess at what it says:


What is Japan made up of? atsumatte is gathered, or assembled, so I don’t really understand that part. But as for dekimasu, one of the meanings is made up of. I remember learning something was “made of” wood, and it used dekimasu.

This one has a little circle where I think you’re supposed to fill in the answer. I really can’t literally translate this, but I think it means something like “Let’s choose one of the answers.”

They then have four choices, and the letters above the 4 choices are the first four vowels, written in katakana, so I assume that’s like a, b, c, d. The choices are:

Two big islands
Two little islands
Various shaped islands
47 islands

But aren’t all those correct? Please help.


No, it’s telling you to draw a circle around the correct answer - the verb is 付ける in its “to add” meaning. To type the circle, just type まる and scroll through the options: 〇

(Also, you made a small typo: it’s ひとつ.)


These are cloze passage questions, which means the answer comes directly from the text above. What does the text above say? A tip: it’s in the first paragraph.


Wow, thanks! So the instruction is typed as


Deepl translates this as “tick one of the boxes”.. But of course, that’s not a literal translation.

And also thanks for helping me with the answer, which is


ウ Islands of various shapes. I didn’t realize that the text never said 2 big islands or 2 small ones, and it also never said 47 islands, but 47 prefectures. I really need to read that text more closely (or go back to 2nd grade).


Aye - in Japanese, the 〇 mark is used in exactly the same way the check mark is used in English. In fact, the check mark is used for incorrect answers in Japanese (though they also use an X mark, same as English).

But yeah, in this case, it’s intended to be literal - draw a circle.


that’s the Earth, draw a circle that’s the Earth

Okay, the second question is:



The first part means “of the prefectures”. “uchi” means something like “among”.
“To” refers to prefectures ending with “to”.
So we have “To” ga, tsukumonowa, which would be “attached things” with “to”.
Then ikutsu is how many? and of course, arimasu is “are there”, or “exist”. So a translation could be

How many of the prefectures have “to” attached?

And the answer is 一つ, or one (thing).


Third question:

ア 都
イ 道
ウ 府
エ 県


都道府県のうち - among the prefectures
いちばん - most
数が多い - literally “number is many”; “numerous”
もの - thing
は - topic marking particle
何ですか - which one is it?
一つに - to one thing
◯をつけましょう - let’s add a circle

Among the (different types of) prefectures (都,道,府, and 県), which is the most numerous? Circle one answer.

The answer is of course: 県


Okay, here is question 4.



The first part is “the shapes”
Then we have “woman’s side-face-like-looking ken”
Where is it? (We’d say which or what is it?)

So, that would be something like, Of the shapes, what ken (prefecture ending in ken) looks like the side of (or profile of) a woman’s face?

And you can see the answer by looking at the shapes to the left. It’s

Yamagata(ken). They already have ken, so we just fill in Yamagata, or


Note: In a post above, I called it Yamagachi, because I was thinking of katachi. That was wrong. Sorry! Here, it’s using the first part of “katachi”, namely “kata”, which, with rendaku, becomes “gata”.


Okay, so I just stumbled upon this little prereading earlier today!
Just from this section, it seems like a cute and easy read.

Pretty easy for me so far, as the only thing I had to look up so far was くわがた虫. And not sure how much I agree that Aichi looks like it :joy:

Seems like people are translating the questions too, so I’ll do number 5!



愛知県の形は=As for the shape of Aichi
何のように=in what way
見えますか=can we see it

In general I would say something like:
What can we see in the shape of Aichi Prefecture/What does Aichi prefecture look like?

Answer is くわがた虫(の頭)


My book arrived today! First time ordering something from Japan, I’m so glad it didn’t get lost in transit lmao :sweat_smile: Looking forward to reading with you guys, even if it’s just casually :blush:


Hi there!
I was wondering about the text in the answer page sheet of the book:


Can someone take time to explain the grammar behind the sentences ?

For first pages (初めに)
【アドバイス】 県が四十三で最多です。

Related to question 3

PS: There is a strange symbole ◎ (which is not a circle but a circle within a circle). What is the meaning of this symbol ?

How much detail do you want, exactly?


Answers and Ideas

(i.e. hints to solve the trickier ones)


To the family,

The idea being the kid would solve the problems, and a parent would check their answers. おうち is a polite way to refer to someone else’s family, and 方 (read as かた here), is a more polite way of saying “person” than 人 is.


◎After solving the puzzles, check the answers as soon as possible.


解く = to solve (a problem)
~終わる = as auxiliary verb after the stem form, to finish (verbing)
~たら = when
できるだけ = as much as possible
早めに = rather quickly
答え合わせ = checking answers, verifying answers
して = just する in ~て form
~あげる = as auxiliary verb after the ~て form, to do (verb) as a favour to someone else


◎If they get a question wrong, have them try again.


まちがう = to get wrong
問題 = question
は = topic particle
もう一度 = one more time
やる = to do
~直す = as auxiliary verb after stem form, to redo with the intent of making it better
~させる = causative form, “to make or let someone do”

【アドバイス】 県が四十三で最多です。

Ideas: 県 has the most, with forty-three

(Well, that’s not a hint, that’s the answer…)

Just bullet points, here.


@Belthazar Thanks for your detailed explanations! I really appreciate them!
I’m wondering about 答え合わせ , it’s a noun but can it be broken down further ? 答(こた)え+?
If you would like to translate “I’ll check your answers”, would you say: ”答え合わせをする。”?


Is やリ直させてください a set phrase ? V-masu stem + 直させてください ?
I tried to find some more examples:
後ほど彼女に電話をかけ直させてください。 Let me call her back later.

Oh, please forget it. Let me say again.


Let the advisor rephrase the customer’s response.


If your child comes home from school and his or her shoes are not lined up properly, please have them fixed.

That’s quite a complex sentence (for me), but here the structure seems to be employed by itself and preceded with a whole sentence.


There was a spelling error, let me fix it.

So it would be:
V-masu form + 直させてください
or … wo + 直させてください
or sentence + 直させてください
Is it correct ?

やり直す is a verb meaning: to do over again; to redo; to start over; to remake; to resume; to recommence

やり直させる is the causative form of the verb - causative form means “to make someone do (something)” or “to let someone do (something)”.

やり直させて is the て-form of this.

Often causative in te-form plus ください means “please let me do (something)” -させてください-sasete-kudasai-meaning/

However in context here I think it means “please make them do something”, i.e. it’s asking the parents to please make the children redo their incorrect answer.

Don’t be too disheartened at this passage. It’s aimed at the adults not the children!