Week 4 - Stories of the Japanese Prefectures (Absolute Beginner Book Club)

都道府県のおはなし 低学年 - Stories of the Japanese Prefectures :jp:

Week 4 - Pages 18-21

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Week 5: Link

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I spent all afternoon translating 2/3 of the Chiba pages. Man that was slow going! I decided to copy the text out and then write my translation underneath, and I haven’t actually written in Japanese in about 5 years.

Chiba’s most exciting feature is the airport huh? (I assume that’s not a spoiler because there’s an image of a plane). Chiba is actually really popular with surfers, if you want to hit the surf beaches in Japan, that’s where you go. If you go to Tokyo Game Show or Sumersonic Tokyo you’ll also be going to Chiba, because that’s where the big convention center is in Makuhari. Anyhoo…

There’s a few words I had to look up that were not on the spreadsheet so I added them (I hope I did that right!)

I'm a little unsure about this sentence on 18-19:


Is that きゆう as in 杞憂 ‘needless fear’? I wrote down ‘plane needless fear also can’t stop yet’ lol. I can’t work out how to rearrange that into a proper English sentence, is it hard to tell what some words are when they have kanji but they are written in kana.

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I’ve been to all three places mentioned in this week’s reading. :slightly_smiling_face:

Stuff the Tokyo article doesn’t mention:

  • There is, strictly speaking, no city in Japan named “Tokyo” - it’s a prefecture only. The capital “city” of Tokyo Prefecture, as it were, is Shinjuku Ward.
  • Tokyo Tower was inspired by the Eiffel Tower.
  • The height of the Tokyo Skytree - 634 metres - is goroawase of 武蔵 (むさし), the province that used to exist where Tokyo is now.

Even if Narita Airport is the most interesting thing about Chiba, the article is not so much about Narita Airport as it is about airport runways in general, and flying in a plane. There’s so much more that you can say about Narita. How about the fact that it was constructed after Haneda, because Haneda was starting to reach capacity? Or even if you like runways, how about mentioning that Narita has Japan’s longest? Though possibly best not to mention in a kids book that the local residents were violently opposed to having an airport built in their backyards.

That’s 急に, “suddenly”. And also また, “also”.


Hey everyone, my first time doing a book club and a bit late to the party so starting with week 4 :stuck_out_tongue:

So far just read the Chiba portion and learned a lot about “casseroles” (cough) I mean かっそうろ (runways). I have a feeling I’m never going to forget this word :sweat_smile:. Also, I really love the last sentence of the Chiba portion on page 19. First sentence I knew all the vocab for, and the sentence just feels really poetic.

---- Even if it is raining on the ground, it is sunny above the clouds.

In any case, enough rambling. I had a few questions on the following sentences if anyone has answers (pages 18-19):


My question is on the phrase about the departure in the third phrase. In the second phrase, the “ga” subject is the airplanes. So, does the third phrase mean something like the “departures are used by the government”?


Why do we use the verbs “to rise/increase” and “to run” together instead of just “上げて”?


Can we use the verb “下げる” to lower the speed instead of “落として”?


Is this “the plane takes considerable force FROM the ground?” I feel like the plane is exerting force into the ground cause of gravity, and then the ground imposes an equal and opposite force back. Maybe this is more of a physics question :stuck_out_tongue:


Why not just say いっぱい楽しいです in the second part?


Think you’ve made a small error when transcribing - it’s not 統治役 but 到着 (とうちゃく - small ゃ). Does this help with your understanding?

These are two actions taking place simultaneously, basically - they’re increasing their speed while running along the runway.

Yes (though in this context it’d be 下げて), but 落とす appears to be more common - running both スピードを落とす and スピードを下げる through Google, the former gets 29 million results, while the latter only gets 7 million.

Nah, it exerts force to the ground, though I confess I can’t point at precisely which definition of かかる is at play here.

In this case, こと is “things” rather than functioning as a nominaliser. It’s full of fun things (to do).

Chiba-prefecture translation

The airport of Japan (might want to translate it as “the entrance to the skies of Japan” here)

The international airport in Narita of the Chiba-prefecture is the airport the coming and going airplanes arrive and depart at. Here there’s a runway, that’s 4000 meters long.
Runways are wide and straight roads. Airplanes can’t just suddenly take off into the sky. By gradually speeding up on the runways, they can take off. Also, planes can’t stop quickly. While going over the runway, they can gradually lose speed. While landing, planes touch the ground with great force. For this reason, runways are made to be incredibly firm.
Traveling in the air on a plane is full of fun things to do. There’s a drink service for juices and the like. At luncthime “in-flight” meals are brought out.
On the plane, not only can you enjoy movies and music, but you can also gaze at the scenery that’s different from the usual. On the ground the rain’s falling, but above the clouds the sky is always clear.

❶ Complete the sentences so they are about the Narita international airport!
❷ What’s the name of the wide and straight road at airports? Write in the 4 characters.
❸ Why are runways made to be firm?
ア While taking off, the heavy airplanes put a lot of force onto the ground.
イ While landing, airplanes touch the ground with a lot of force.

Thoughts about the Chiba reading

I kinda felt like the author just barely couldn’t fit the content onto one page, so they had to go and fill another one. Most of the content on the second page seems a bit disjoint from the actual prefecture itself. Either that or the author loves planes, nothing wrong with that.

Tokyo Metropolis translation

Tokyo Metropolis
The Tokyo Tower and the Tokyo Skytree

Tokyo is the capital city of Japan. It’s the third smallest prefecture after Kagawa-prefecture and Osaka-prefecture, but a lot of people live there, it’s population is the first in Japan.
In Tokyo rising into the sky is the Tokyo Tower. It’s height is 333 meters. From it’s firm antenna to the bottom part curved lines extend. The beautiful tower is painted in an alternating yellowish-reddish color called “international orange” and white. The tower was built as a television and radio tower broadcasting radiowaves.
Well, now that the Tokyo Tower is surrounded by tall buildings, in their shadows’s, the problem of bad reception emerged. Because of this, new radio towers became necessary.
After that was the Tokyo Skytree built. It’s height is 634 meters. It’s base is a triangle, but the more you go up, the cross section turns rapidly circular.
For both the Tokyo tower and the Tokyo Skytree, you can climb up to their observation deck. At night, the two symbols of Tokyo illuminated in various colors make the city at night beautiful.

❶ Which statement is correct about the Tokyo Metropolis? Circle the correct one.
ア It’s smaller than the Kagawa-prefecture
イ It’s bigger than Osaka-prefecture
ウ It’s population is the smallest in Japan
❷ Was the Tokyo Tower or the Tokyo Skytree built first?
❸ Which statements are correct about the Tokyo Skytree? Circle the two correct ones.
ア It’s painted in alternating yellowish-red and white.
イ The base is triangular, but as you go up, the more it turns into a square.
ウ Its height is 634 meters.
エ You can’t climb up into its observation deck.
オ At night it’s illuminated in various colors.

I definitely prefer the “1 page per” approach better, probably because that’s easier to concentrate on, though I do understand how Tokyo would need two pages (not Chiba tho)


Osaka Prefecture. Unlike Tokyo, 大阪府 and 大阪市 are different entities, and just “Osaka” generally implies the latter.

The cross-section turns circular.

It is plural. In fact, it’s “two”. 二つ. :stuck_out_tongue:

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Huh, thanks for the info, that helps a ton

Oh it’s a small ゅ, that makes so much more sense.

I wrote: 'At plane landing time there’s a rather powerful arrival to the ground’. I ran that by a friend who speaks Japanese extremely well and she said yeah that sounds about right. Gorbit99’s translation is a lot more eloquent but I am pleased I got the gist correct. Obviously I am just quoting the literal translation from my notebook and not how I would actually write it in English.

I had to look up quite a few new airport-related words, and I found some of the structure a bit weird, but I think I understood enough to put together the gist of it.

My (very literal) interpretation of the Chiba text

Chiba Ken
Japan’s Sky’s Entrance
Narita International Airport is in Chiba ken,
planes are coming and going between Japan and overseas,
things like departures and arrivals are happening,
it’s the sky’s entrance.
There is 4000 metres length of runway here.
The runway is a wide and straight road.
Planes cannot suddenly take off into the sky.
If they run the runway gaining more and more speed,
they can take off into the sky.
The plane also cannot suddenly stop yet. (?)
While running on the runway, more and more speed will drop.
When the plane lands,
it comes to the ground with considerable force.
For that reason the runway is made very durable.
The plane’s journey in the sky is filled with fun.
There is drinks service with juice, etc.
At meal time the in-flight meal is served.
Inside the plane you can also enjoy movies and music,
and usually you can also look at the outside view.
Even if it is raining on the ground, above the clouds it is sunny you know

In this section 日本と海外を 行き来する飛行機が出奔したり到着したりする I wasn’t sure if the plane belonged to the first suru part or the second suru part, or both? It’s very long sentence for me and I am not used to see a something ga in between two something suru’s. I wrote the two parts separately just to show I understand what each bit was saying, but I guess the entire thing is supposed to be taken as a whole like Planes are departing and arriving for Japan and overseas.

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You’ve possibly misread the また as まだ. :slightly_smiling_face:

日本と海外を 行き来する is a verb-phrase that’s describing 飛行機, which is then the subject of 出奔したり到着したりする. So “Planes, which are coming and going from Japan and overseas, depart and arrive.”


Ah I see… I haven’t seen this before. Cheers.

Chiba translation

Chiba Prefecture

Entranceway to Japan’s skies

Narita International Airport, located in Chiba prefecture, is the entranceway to the sky where airplanes coming and going to Japan and overseas depart and arrive.
Here there is a four thousand meter long runway.

A runway is a wide, straight road.
Airplanes cannot take off into the sky abruptly.
By gradually building up speed on the runway, they can take off into the sky.
Also, airplanes also cannot stop suddenly.
While running down the runway, they gradually lose speed.
When an airplane lands, it exerts a considerable force on the ground.
For that reason, runways are made very sturdy.

A trip through the sky by plane is full of fun things.
There is beverage service with juice, among others.
At meal times, “in-flight meals” are served.

Inside the plane you can also enjoy movies and music, and also look out over different views of the outside.
Even if it’s raining on the ground, it’s sunny above the clouds.

In part of the second-to-last sentence, ふだんとちがう外のけしきをながめることもできます, would it be “you can also look out over usual and different views of the outside” or “usually you can also look out over different views of the outside”? I don’t know why ふだんと threw me off so much.

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Xと違う = different from X, so it’s “views different from the usual”.

(Similarly, Xと同じ = the same as X.)


Doh, mine was the wrong one then. By the end of wasn’t paying as much attention as at the start.

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Week 5 thread is up.

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Question about last phrase from Tokyo Tower passage (page 20): この東京タワーは、テレビやラジオの電波とうとして、放送電波をおくり出すためにけんせつされました:

As for this Tokyo Tower, television and radio (among others) reception …, for the purpose of … broadcast reception, construction was done (was constructed).

  • what’s とうとして ?
  • what’s おくり出す ?

It’s でんぱとう, radio tower

To send out Jotoba word: 送り出す


Thank you. So given として is “in the capacity of, as a”, the whole sentence would be:

As for this Tokyo Tower, as a television and radio radio tower, for the purpose sending out broadcast reception, construction was done.

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I usually translate として as “as” in my head, and I would swap around the sentence order a bit to make it more readable:
“The Tokyo Tower was built as a television and radio tower (radio radio tower, lol) for broadcasting radio waves” or something alonside that