Teasing Master Takagi-san 😝 ・ Volume 1

the ones in the book :wink: couldn’t resist すみません。

you’ll just come across them as you read … if you have questions post them up even if they seem silly, someone else will have the same question.

as was said…(by a seasoned reader…who is also one of the folks who has also helped me in the past with bookclubs )

sometimes (maybe every sentence) you may feel like you’re banging your head against the wall but that’s what the club is for … everyone helps everyone else.

You can always search the thread (when the club starts), the whole board, as well as bunpro (if you use that resource. Lots of ways to learn…reading Japanese for a native English speaker isn’t easy (but it is easier than listening comprehension)

A good resources that has been posted in the past is:

And when super desperate (practically cheating) / http://www.deepl.com
works super well… Both are free!


Honestly, my best advice (considering reading begins in a few weeks) is to spend 10 to 20 minutes a day watching episodes of Cure Dolly’s Japanese from Scratch course. (Turn on subtitles.)

It’s okay if you don’t understand the material at first. You’re not necessarily expected to right away. Simply getting exposure to concepts will make a big difference in understanding them later. If you make it through the first 24 videos (start today!), you’ll be in a much better position to learn as you go if you stick with the book club.


If you haven’t done so yet I’d try and get your head around the plain form of verbs and adjectives in past and non-past, positive and negative, and the te-form of verbs. These will come up a lot and if you can learn to recognise them it will make your reading a lot easier.

So for example the verb - 泳ぐ - to swim:

the adjective: 高い - tall


And to give an idea on how much there is to know about these, they’re covered across Cure Dolly’s videos numbered four through eight (five videos). That’s about an hour’s worth of watching!


Hello everyone! I’d really like to participate in this, but I’ve just recently started studying grammar and I’ve chosen to use Bunpro.jp instead of Genki. I actually have both Genki I and II, but the last time I tried learning Japanese I found it difficult to get excited about anything because of how rote the studying seemed. I couldn’t motivate myself to finish even the first chapter. By the time May rolls around I should have finished most of the N5 grammar points Bunpro has, do you think that’s an acceptable place to be or will I still be struggling quite a bit to read anything?

Also, I know Genki is sort of the gold standard, but do you think using Bunpro is an acceptable replacement or should I ditch it and just try the textbook route again?

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I don’t think you should ditch it, but supplementing it isn’t a bad idea, there is a lot of nuance and information that gets lost in simply using bunpro. (Not that I not love bunpro, use it myself after all!). You don’t NEED to go the textbook route, you can try to encounter it in the wild by reading a lot and stuff, but I’d give the genki books another chance personally. There’s no need to do all the exercises, but seeing as you own them I’d recommend at least reading through each chapter once and doing some exercises to form your own sentences with the grammar patterns you learn, then just add them to bunpro (there is a genki path, so you can follow that if you want!) to keep it in your memory. If you feel you’re still struggling / failing on certain grammar points then, you can always read the other linked reading on bunpro, or just read more to encounter the grammar points in the wild.

For your level, this manga will be an excellent first choice though, it’s one of the easier ones around, and if you do have any questions, feel free to ask them always :smile_cat:


This will be my first WK bookclub. I have volumes 1-6 now and I’ll probably start studying the vocab soon. I’m really looking forward to actually following one of the bookclubs.


When adding vocab to the list, I noticed a few words that were skipped in chapter one. Is the goal not to add every word the first time it appears? I’m wondering if I should fill in missing words as I see them. I’m also worried I’m going to end up adding words that are just seen as clutter.


I would be happy if every word was in the vocab list. We are all “absolute beginners” after all… :laughing:

(And a huge thanks to those who actually populate the vocab list. Your dedication helps all of us!)


What’s typical…people add words they have to look up…Hence “missing” words. The sheet isn’t necessarily meant to be a vocab list of every word in the book on day 1…By the END of the week then the sheet is filled and folks move onto the next chapter.

The people that read a lot already know more vocab so if you don’t need to spend time looking it up then there’s little need to add it to sheet right? (spending time filling out a spreadsheet takes away the fun of reading…is reading Japanese fun…hmmm)

As long as folks in general pay attention to the instructions and fill out the sheet properly it doesn’t make a lot of difference who adds words.

The most common mistakes that occur (what I’ve seen):

  • Grammar does NOT go into the spreadsheet. (a common question but nope doesn’t belong)… an argument for another thread
  • Use the dictionary form of words (i.e… if 聞いてる in the book/manga… use 聞く in the spreadsheet)
  • Page numbering is typically based on the physical book (sometimes a separate column is added for digital book i.e…% to make it easier on the digital group)
  • Incorrect meanings recorded - happens when someone is unsure and uses a translator (if you aren’t 100% sure - don’t add) Post up a question to the board and then throw it in the sheet when you get an answer. People may mean well, but all it does is confuse new folks trying to understand a very strange sentence (ask me how I know) :wink:

Don’t worry too much though…just do your best and enjoy the book. Really the best thing you can do is use the forums…any question you have someone else WILL have, if not now later months from now as these clubs stay around.


Hahahha I was expecting either “Genki” or “Tae Kim”, but not this, so thanks for the originality =D

Thanks, I almost certainly needed this encouragement :sweat_smile:

And thanks for the links, I had heard of them and filed them away under “use later” and then failed to use them, so the reminder was very useful =D


I’ll give it a try


(Replying inline to avoid spamming posts, thank you everyone for advice, reading it all even if I haven’t replied to it directly - very much appreciate it!)

Awesome! This is the best advice, in part because I’ve already watched her first 12/13 videos - some more than once - although I don’t feel like it has stuck in my head yet >.>
I’ll re-prioritise consuming more, thanks!

Thanks for the concrete examples!
I have started doing this for verbs but not so much with adjectives, and it is still shaky ground for me. I feel I guess/infer what it might meaning rather than actually confidently knowing - I hope that makes sense.

I think I can read most of these, but I couldn’t have produced them myself without help.
For other tricksier verbs I am more likely to be tripped up, particularly around the た/だ forms for some reason (I keep seeing だ as the copula and then confusing myself).

I think I could have mostly guessed these by comparing them to how verbs behave, but much less confident, and no way in hell could I have produced them.

When reading Japanese I can lookup core noun vocab using a dictionary, and if I can identify the core verb I can usually brute force it to dictionary form to look it up if need be, maybe I can find some adjectives/adverbs. But after that is where I tend to get stuck. I’m left with what feels like a soup of small words and/or particles which completely obscure the meaning.


When we start reading next month, chances are you’ll encounter content that’s covered in the videos you’ve seen, and…you won’t recognize them at all. But what happens next is where the magic starts. Either you’ll ask, or some else will ask, for help on breaking down that sentence. “I know all the words, but I can’t figure out what they mean.” Then a reply will be received with some grammar information to help tie the words together, and that’s where you may think, “Wait, this seems familiar.”

Those who’ve seen enough of my posts are probably tired of seeing me write “pattern matching, pattern matching”, but the brain is a pattern matching machine. (Not a very good one, but that’s beside the point.) Through the volume, you’ll encounter the same grammar over and over, and your brain will start to recognize it. Maybe not from reading (as you may not the vocabulary words very well), but rather by seeing it come up again and again in the discussion.

Then, after reading the volume (or even at any time during), if you decided to re-watch a Cure Dolly video on that content, it should seem much more familiar, and maybe even more memorable.

I’m painting a overly optimistic picture, so don’t worry if it doesn’t come to you quite that fast. When I read through volume one of ごちうさ, I looked up every word and every bit of grammar, a process that spanned several months. Next, I read through volume one of しろくま with the book club here, and I felt like I hardly knew anything. I think it wasn’t until later in that year that I started watching Cure Dolly, so I’d already had some (meager) reading experience.

(Sorry if that was way too wordy…)

Learning the different forms of adjectives took me way longer than I’d care to admit. It’s like I had this blind spot where even though I was looking up sample sentences and writing them 20 times each, multiple days per week, if I stopped for a month I’d completely forget everything I knew about the different forms for adjectives.

I have no explanation for why it was so difficult for me, but I will say this: if anything comes as being too difficult to grasp, don’t worry too much about it. You have so much grammar waiting to be learned to let any specific grammar slow you down for too long. If you keep up reading, you will encounter the grammar again and again. So long as you occasionally look them up to ensure you understand it, pattern matching will slowly kick in. (It just takes longer for some of me us than others…)

It might not get easier right away, but over time you’ll start to get a feel for it. だ comes after a noun, and だ is used for the past-tense of verbs that normally end in a " (such as ぐ).

Once you have a good grasp of は and the topic-comment structure used in Japanese, and the logical particles (such as が, を, で, に, and へ), that’ll make it easier to use a little detective work on simple sentences to deduce the meaning.


I’m here to do the same, lurk and follow along! Absolute beginners unite! :grinning:


I’ve been wanikaniing since 2017, I’ve reset twice and have only just made it to almost level 8 (middle aged and very busy, it is what it is), but I’m finding the sample sentences are beginning to coalesce into some sort of sense so I want to try reading a bit at last. I lived in Japan for a few years a while ago and although I didn’t really formally study at the time, I met a some grammar in the wild.

I’m hoping this will be “fun” :wink: and a change it from just kanji every day, but realistically I won’t be able to give it the time and attention it requires, so I’ll no doubt end up popping in and out and picking up what I can. The Cure Dolly videos are a great (if slightly creepy) resource, thanks for the tip!


See, this is really comforting, I feel like this describes exactly how I learn.
I’ll read a point in Genki or watch a Cure Dolly video and be nodding along, maybe even do some exercises, at first feeling pretty confident and comfortable. Then time passes and I’ll see something in the wild and my brain confidently comes up blank. I dig into the point and try to break it down, and eventually discover it is exactly the thing I learned previously. After this process (possibly repeating a few times >.>) I will actually learn a point.

It is helpful to know it isn’t just me!

No, THANK YOU for being so detailed, it is honestly comforting / inspiring =D

Yeeaapp. That is where I’m at now, a few weeks ago I was in confident-town, and it seems I haven’t had enough exposure since then for it to stick. My current hope is that those brain cells are still hanging around just waiting to be re-activated.

In hindsight this is so obvious, but yet it still keeps getting me, hopefully this time it will stick!

Ohh I hadn’t made that connection, thanks for spelling it out.

I love Cure Dolly’s detective work videos.
I think I understand the basic (single-kana) particles okay-ish, but it seems there are a bunch of more complex words that act/behave like particles (not sure on their technical names).
Examples from memory would be things like 〜そう、 〜から、 and 〜なら。
(I am hoping it will just be a matter of exposure / time).

Hmmm I don’t think I’ve heard that phrase before.

Thank you so much for your time :slight_smile:


A lot of these were difficult for me to remember and really understand before I started reading, reading, reading.

Some related reading:


I felt like writing something grammary today, so here’s something that took me a bit of time to grasp properly in my earlier grammar-learning days. I’ve written it in a way that hopefully makes it easier for others to learn than it was for me.

Reasoning with のだ

One of the trickier Japanese grammar structures for English natives to get used to is のだ.

Consider the following observations:

  • The streets are wet.
  • The package that was left on my doorstep is not there.
  • Five new lessons came up for me in WaniKani.

These are incomplete observations. We have observed the effect, but we do not know the cause.

Since the cause is unknown, we are left to reason what the cause is likely to have been.

  • It must have rained. (That’s why the streets are wet.)
  • Kouichi must have swiped another one of my packages. (That’s why the package is missing from my doorstep.)
  • I must have I Guru’d a kanji in my last review session. (That’s why five new lessons came up.)

This type of reasoning (known in English as abductive reasoning) is where you work out the reason (cause) for your observation (result). Note that these reasons may not necessarily be correct. Perhaps a street sweeper washed the streets, maybe I had my package sent to the wrong address, and it could be that the WaniKani staff just shifted some vocabulary to a lower level.

In English, there isn’t anything built in to the grammar to denote this kind of reasoning. In Japanese, there is.

  • “It rainedのだ.”
  • “Kouichi swiped my packageのだ.”
  • “I Guru’d a kanjiのだ.”

This reasoning is intended to explain the cause for what we’ve observed. Thus, you’ll see this grammar referred to as “the explanatory の”.

Note that のだ may appear as んだ or simply の. When following a noun+だ, the だ becomes な. This results in noun+なのだ and noun+なんだ, as well as noun+なの. This may also appear as なんだ, or simple as なの (at the end of a sentence).

Structurally, what’s happening is the sentence is being turned into a noun phrase with の, then だ is added to turn it into a noun sentence: “It is (that) [phrase].” A close approximation in English is to say “It’s because [phrase]”:

  • “The streets are wet. It’s because it must have rained.”
  • “The package that was left on my doorstep is not there. It’s because Kouichi must have swiped it. (Again…)”
  • “Five new lessons came up in WaniKani. It’s because I must have guru’d a kanji.”

It’s also used when you have the complete observation (you know the cause/reason), and you are informing someone who has an incomplete observation:

  • “(The streets are wet) [because] there was a flood.”
  • “(Your package is missing) [because] a bobcat took it.”

The explanatory の can also be asked as a question: “Is it that [phrase]?” “Is it because [phrase]?”

からかい上手の高木さん Example


Takagi says “Lend me your eraser. I forgot mineの.”

From the classmate’s perspective, he observes that Takagi is asking to borrow his eraser, but he doesn’t know why she’s asking. So from his perspective, his observation is incomplete. He knows the result (she’s asking to borrow his eraser), but he doesn’t know the cause (why she’s asking).

Thus, rather than simply saying “I forgot mine”, Takagi includes a の at the end: “It’s because I forgot mine.” This gives the reason she’s asking. If she simply said 「()しゴミ()して」 and left it at that (without giving the reason), the boy could respond by asking, 「(わす)れちゃったの?」 “Is it because you forgot yours?”

しろくまカフェ bis Example

Panda goes to visit Polar Bear, only to find Polar Bear holding a snowboard. This creates an incomplete observation. Panda observes Polar Bear holding a snowboard, but the cause (the reason why) he’s holding the snowboard is unknown.


Panda suggests a reason: “Are you going out somewhereの?” “Is it that you’re doing out somewhere?”

Here, Panda uses の to ask for confirmation of whether his reasoning is correct.

チーズスイートホーム Example

When a young boy finds an exhausted kitten in the park, his mother brings the kitten back to their apartment. Later, they find the kitten sleeping in the entryway.


The boy asks, “Why is the kitty sleeping in the entrywayの?” He observes the kitten sleeping there, but the observation is incomplete because he doesn’t know the reason why. Thus he asks. “Why is it that the kitten is sleeping in the entryway?” “Because why is the kitten sleeping in the entryway?”

The mother replies, “Probably, because it’s a comfortable spot for the catの.” The mother has the same incomplete observation, so she suggests a reason. “Probably, it is that it’s a comfortable spot for the cat.” “Probably it’s because it’s a comfortable spot for the cat.”

よつばと! Example

Yotsuba’s father bought a couple of pastries for an afternoon snack. Yotsuba sneaks and eats hers early, then eats her father’s éclair as well. Realizing she did wrong, she runs next door for help.


After hearing the story, the neighbor asks, “Why did you eat your father’s, tooの?” Her incomplete observation is Yotsuba’s testimony to having eaten the éclair. She lacks the reason why Yotsuba did it. Thus she asks, “Why is it that you ate your father’s too?” “Because why did you eat your father’s too?”

ふらいんぐうぃっち Example

After getting off the intercity bus, Makoto is greeted by her cousin Kei.

Makoto’s incomplete observation is that her cousin is at the bus stop. The part she is unaware of is why he is there. She comes up with the most obvious reasons, and asks it: “Did you come to pick me upのです?” “Is it that you came to pick me up?” “Is it because you came to pick me up?”

Note that there was never an exchange where Makoto asks why Kei is there. Asking if it’s the case that he’s picking her up implies that she’s inquiring as to the reason why he’s there.


I got my copy in today, I got a little carried away and read the first chapter already though :grin: