Week 8 - 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 8 - Pages 34-37

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Mie translation

Mie Prefecture

Secret of the pearl

Have you ever seen a pearl - a white and glittering jewel?
Pearls are gemstones taken from oysters.

Pearls are made in nature, but they can also be made by human hands.
At Ago Bay in Mie prefecture, pearl cultivation is thriving.

Pearl cultivation starts from the raising of Akoya pearl oysters.
After the oysters are raised for one or two years, a nucleus which will become the origin of the pearl is put inside the oysters.
After that, the oysters catch food in the open ocean and the pearls are grown.
And finally, beautiful pearls are able to be picked out from the oysters.

Shiga translation

Shiga Prefecture

Tanuki of Shigaraki

Have you ever seen a tanuki ornament at the shopfront of a restaurant?
These are made in Shiga prefecture’s town of Shigaraki.

Tanuki is [can be spelled as] “他ぬき”, which is understood to mean “to overtake another”.
Because of this, those stores place [the ornaments] with the wish of their business prospering more than other stores.

Shigaraki became famous completely for the tanuki ornaments, but originally it was known as the hometown of pottery which was blessed in good earth.
In Shigaraki, tableware familiar to daily life like tea cups are also made.

The second paragraph of the Shiga prefecture passage was pretty challenging. I’d appreciate any corrections to my translation. As for a specific question, is the と in とのねがい the particle? I interpreted it that way and assumed that the whole phrase before it was part of the wish mentioned.

Mie-prefecture translation

The secret of the pearl

Have you ever seen the white, sparkling gem, the pearl? Pearls are gems that come from (lit.: are taken from) oysters.
Pearls can form in nature (lit.: pearls are possible in nature), but they can also be made by humans. Pearl prodiction flourishes in Ago bay of the Mie-prefecture.
Pearl production starts with raising Akoya oysters. After 1 to 2 years of growing the oysters, the nucleus, serving as the origin of the pearl is placed inside them. Afterwads they take in food from the open sea to grow their pearls. Finally the beautiful pearl can be taken out of the oyster.

➊ What is the oyster called, that’s used for pearl production?
➋ How does pearl production start? Circle the correct answer
ア The oysters are grown for 1 to 2 years
イ The nucleus, serving as the origin of the pearl is place inside them
ウ The shellfish take in food from the open sea

Shiga-prefecture translation

The Shigakari tanuki

Have you seen the tanuki ornament in front of food shops and the like? These are made in Shigaraki of the Shiga-prefecture.
Tanuki, written as “他ぬき” translates to “Overtaking others”. It is therefore put up by shops with the wish, that they flourish more than others.
Shigaraki become entirely for its tanuki ornaments, but originally it was known for it’s pottery, being blessed with good earth. Familiar tableware, such as tea bowls are also produced in Shigaraki.

➊ What’s hanged in front of food shops? Fill in the blanks!
➋ What was Shigaraki known for before becoming famous for tanuki ornaments? Fill in the blanks!

I translated it the same tbh

Calling it “the particle” is a bit broad, as と as a particle can be used for quoting, for mentioning someone or something you do something with, or as “if” or “when”. Here I’m pretty sure it means “with this wish”.

Kyoto translation

Kyoto Prefecture

Capital of 1000 years

Let’s try looking at the face of a 10-yen coin.
Depicted on it is Byodoin Phoenix Hall in Kyoto prefecture.
It has this name because it has a shape like the spread out wings of the bird called the legendary phoenix.
In the Heian period, it was built by a person called Fujiwara no Yorimichi.

From the Heian period, which started more than 2200 years ago from now, Kyoto flourished as Japan’s capital for a long period of over 1000 years.
“Miyako” is what the location of the emperor’s residence is called.

Other than Byodoin Phoenix Hall, in Kyoto there are many famous shrines and temples.
Among others, there is Kiyomizu Temple which is known for the phrase “to jump off from the stage at Kiyomizu (to make up one’s mind)”, the Golden Pavilion which shines in gold, and the Silver Pavilion with its calm atmosphere.

In order to see these historical buildings and townscapes, many tourists visit Kyoto not only from within Japan but also from overseas.

Small thing, but does ことする (as in the line 思い切ったことをする) have any special meaning? I’m getting my wires crossed with ことする, which I understand to mean “to decide on” based on this.

Kyoto-prefecture translation

The thousand-year capital

Let’s try looking at the front side of the 10 yen coin! On it is the Byodo-in Phoenix Hall, from the Kyoto-prefecture depicted. It looks like the spread wings of the legendary phoenix bird, that’s why it got its name. A man named Fujiwarano Yorimichi built it in the Heian period.
From the Heian period more than 1200 years ago, for over a thousand years, Kyoto developed as the capital of Japan. Capital means the place where the emperor resided.
Besides the Byodo-in Phoenix Hall, there are many famous temples in Kyoto. Kyomizu temple known for the saying, “Jump from the stage of Kyomizu (Do something brave)” (lol, this was in the second season of Komi-san as well), Kinkaku-ji shining in a golden color, the calm atmosphere of the Ginkaku-ji (not at all confusing, way to name things), and so on. Many tourists, not only from Japan, but from other countries, visit Kyoto just for the sake of seeing these historical buildings and the townscape.

❶ What’s depicted on the front side of the ten yen coin? Circle the correct answer!
ア The Byodo-in Phoenix Hall
イ A phoenix spreading its wings
ウ Fujiwarano Yorimichi
❷ What was the capital of Japan from the Heian period for over one thousand years? Write in the two characters!
❸ Which sentence uses the phrase “Jumping off the stage of Kyomizu” correctly? Circle the correct one!
ア Entering a competition, like jumping off the stage of Kyomizu.
イ Calmly crossing a river, like jumping off the stage of Kyomizu.
❹ What’s the temple called in Kyoto, that shines in golden color?
ア Ginkaku-ji
イ Kinkaku-ji

here koto literally means “thing”, the whole phrase translates to “Doing something brave”

1200, you probably accidentally read it as 2200,


Gorbit99 already answered the question, but I was curious about ことにする (make/decide on a thing) vs just ことをする (doing the thing) and 思い切ったこと (brave/bold/drastic thing). From Bunpro:

The nuance with にする is that the speaker has direct control over the outcome. This is where the strong feeling of ‘choice’ comes from. The noun that comes before にする is the thing that is being decided.

With the expression mentioned in the chapter: きよみずの舞たいから飛び降りる, apparently the feeling is more like “to make a leap into the dark” (with no idea what will happen).


Either I just made a typo or I read the 二 kanji twice for some reason. Oops :upside_down_face:

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