What was the first Japanese book that you were able to finish?

Well i am already done with level 9 and started radicals 3 days ago. Well it can’t be helped.

Trying logging out of the forums and logging back in.

Yep that fixed it. Thanks

If bilingual books count, then probably Circus Day in Japan :grin:

Then, ignoring graded readers, the first native and fully Japanese thing I read fully was the first volume of the manga Flying Witch. The first proper book I read was The Girl who Leapt Through Time, with the Beginner Book Club.

But if I were looking to recommend a first book to a beginner, I would probably suggest they take part in the upcoming Doggy Detectives book club :wink: or read one of the Kitty Detectives book with the help of the old threads. If they wanted a slightly more ‘proper’ book the easiest I’ve read so far is Zenitendou, again with the Beginner Book Club.


The first book I finished in Japanese was 獣の奏者(1) from the 青い鳥文庫 (so, with almost full furigana). Still, that was probably jumping in the deep end. Graded readers sound like a much more reasonable option in hindsight.


The first book I finished was 銭天堂 (although I read it after the book club)


I randomly picked up a novel that intrigued me once in a Japanese bookstore called 白河夜船 by one 吉本バナナ. After months of carefully picking through vocabulary in my free time, I finished the first short story in the book. Even though the topic was heavy (a young woman who was exhausted with her day to day), it felt nice to read something written by adults for adults, and one word that I learned from it that struck me as being beautiful was 「ぼんやり思う」- to absentmindedly think (of something).

A tip - draw a vertical line next to words you don’t know and define them in the margins. Use one of those tiny lead pencils from Japan to do it.

I’ve only made it 30% of the way through. Saving the rest for a rainy day after I’m done with Wanikani :slight_smile:


Since then, I read the book “Goodbye Tsugumi” by this same author (Yoshimoto Banana). I enjoyed this one a lot and recommend it over the one above, but I think most people like her book “Kitchen” the best.

crystal hunters

1 Like

Depending on how strictly one wants to define “book”, the first I read through start to end and understood what I read was:

Fast-forward 20 years, and maybe I should read it again now that I know grammar =D


Those kids look like they’re in some serious neck pain. shudder

My first book was コンビニ人間。


Finally a Japanese book I can read. The only word I had to look up is ひかる。I’m finly getting to four year old level I think. :slight_smile:

1 Like

First book I read:


I was so proud :heart:

Got it from Akihabara when I visited Tokyo, struggled for a few months with it but it’s the first Japanese book I finished.


Yes! This was the first Japanese book I ever checked out from the library. I’m an aspiring children’s book author so I tend to read a lot of picture books…


Yotsuba, volume one, a couple of years ago now, with the bookclub here on the forums. I’ll always remember reading that last page and the amazing sense of accomplishment at having finished my first Japanese book and my first ever manga. A wonderful memory.


A textbook :sweat_smile: just kidding. The first was probably a One Punch Man volume. Hoping to finish first novel by the end of this month, which is 放課後 by Higashino Keigo.


Pretty sure the very first full “book” I read in Japanese was a volume of Dragon Ball, but for prose…

嵐のピクニック (Picnic in the Storm), by Yukiko Motoya. A fabulous, strange short story collection that’s been only partially translated (missing a few of my favorite entries) as The Lonesome Bodybuilder, so named for one of the stories in it.

For some reason I skipped the learner/light novel phase and just waited until I could read the same kind of post-modern fiction I’d normally read in English. I don’t know if I’d necessarily recommend that, but whatever works.


not to derail your discussion, but how do you get them on your kindle? do you have a seperate one for the japanese store?

1 Like

My first book was also 銭天堂 with the beginners book club, along with a couple others in this thread! It was a really satisfying read, and once you get the flow of the dialogue/writing style the later chapters become even easier to read than the earlier ones. Since each chapter is self contained, that doesn’t cause any weird issues where you understand the back end of the story more than the beginning, which is nice. (That’s how I felt, anyway :sweat_smile:)