What's the name of this 1990's textbook?

I’ve been wondering for some time now what textbook I used back in high school in the 1990’s. Going through old high school papers today, I found I actually photocopied some pages from the book.

Does anyone recognize these textbook pages?

I didn’t photocopy the cover, and searching online for text from some of the pages (even just section headings) is turning up nothing.


I couldn’t help but snicker at this:

I don’t recognize this book, but I feel like it could very well be older than the 90s. This is giving me strict audio-lingual method-vibes, and not of the good kind.

What I can tell you, is that it is not “Japanese: The Spoken Language”, another roomazi only textbook. Interestingly, your book does seem to use double-o for おう. It also seems to spell ハイド・パーク as “Hyde Park”, which is dubious… at best.

Sorry I couldn’t be of more help. If it’s any consolation, this book does not look like a good time™.


Yeah, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn a school was using older text books. This was the 1995–1996 school year, so I could definitely see it being from even the late 80’s (or earlier).

I’m 50% sure this book is where I learned the concept that が and は are basically the same thing, and even Japanese people don’t know the difference, so it’s best to always use は, just to be safe. (But I don’t have pages on は or が photocopied.)

I’m honestly surprised this one didn’t mess me up for life on ます:


I probably just didn’t bother reading that line back then…

I realize it’s emphasizing the “now”, but it sounds like “masu” is for asking questions!


Never mind the fact that the proper distinction would be between finished and unfinished…


Couldn’t have that. Their brains might overheat.

Or any of the books we looked at for the Durtle Heaven puzzle. :slightly_smiling_face:


I read through the pages and noticed that every reference to a Western location was in Australia, so I’m guessing the book was published there. Not sure how to go about looking up such publishers…

I also noted this graphic:

Might be a clue to the book publisher or title? Unfortunately, I tried a reverse image search and found nothing useful.

It kind of looks like katakana トヨ, but it could be anything really. r-E?


tenor (30)
This book sounds like a hot mess, to be honest…
Unfortunately, I tried Googling around, but I couldn’t find it. Sorry!


Some other pages (not included in the my photographs) have US locations. (But I like the detective work!)

I hadn’t though to try a reverse image search on that logo(?); too bad it didn’t turn up anything!

I also noticed (after posting) that in my last photo, the pages are numbered right to left, whereas the others are left to right. I wonder if that was a second textbook.

I do know we learned katakana fairly early on, and then we learned hiragana after that. Must have been taught those separately from the textbook. (Clearly Hasegawa-sensei was something of a rebel.)

It’s probably not that bad for its time. (But maybe I’m being too generous.) You have to have a few things in your talent stack to write an English high school text book that teaches Japanese pre-Internet, after all.

I just hope schools are using better books now. Even books like Genki have their flaws and are showing their age.


We used that book in college. It was a pretty bad book. A decent chunk of my class had truly awful pronunciation due to the “different” / Japanese-style romaji in it. The teacher tried her best to correct them but it never stuck thanks to the romaji.


I’m glad I wasn’t the only one stuck with using it! I’m sorry you were stuck with using it as well.

I got into watching some things in Japanese around this time (there was a little Japanese shop with Japanese Pokemon episodes on VHS for rent, only a one hour walk away!), so I lucked out that knowing Japanese vowel pronunciation was never an issue for me. I don’t speak Japanese, though, so I’m not trained in properly pronouncing it, just in recognizing when it’s pronounced properly.

I’m guessing you don’t know what the name of the book was? Do you recall anything about the cover? My school required students put book covers over the books the covers safe(r), so I wouldn’t even recognize the book if I saw it.

No clue, sorry. Was it included with the book mentioned? The only thing that I recall the book came with was a writing workbook book with a similiar name and a super 80s deck tape for audio practice.

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I’m quite certain we didn’t have any audio tapes used in class, and that we didn’t have any kind of workbook. Then again, all of our papers we did work on (aside from a blank notebook we wrote in every day) were photocopies (common practice at grade schools), so I wouldn’t know if any of the work papers handed out were photocopied from an accompanying workbook.

Now, I’m mostly wondering if that means my high school used a college-level textbook, or if a college used a high school-level text book :wink:

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For most other books, I’m not sure I’d accept this explanation (sounds like a cop-out, really). No writing system, native or romanized, can serve as a substitute for repeated exposure to the speech of a native speaker (or recordings thereof). For example, neither standard kana nor Hepburn romazi will indicate clearly the sounds that happen when you say 日本を or 日本へ or even 本屋 (nasalization).

For the book discussed in this thread, however, I’m willing to concede it would probably hamper your ability to pronounce things, especially if you weren’t using the tapes as much as necessary.


I went to a state university that took anyone with a pulse and it showed, so I would say perhaps it was a HS book, but at the same time I knew a respectable 20,000+ undergrad student university that used to use the book as well, so I’m assuming it was a college book.

The workbook was mostly how the book introduced kana and kanji since the main book pretended it didn’t exist. It looked similar to the main book just had a different color cover iirc.

The audio tape sucked and I didn’t do use it at all. It came with a video that was synced in a computer lab and the clothes styles and haircuts were so old it was kinda funny.

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It was just a cheap university who took mostly anyone who applied so professor had to teach to the lowest common denominator. Also this was around '01 when the internet wasn’t like it was today and anime popularity was a lot lower as well as was mostly limited to dubs or expensive dvds so most of the class probably was not exposed to Japanese other than when the professor spoke. I should also mention the people who struggled with it were not into games/anime/manga so I imagine this was their first and only exposure to the language. I only escaped it because I was a massive nerd who had been buying fansub VHS tapes for years at that point :joy:


I don’t know, but I found you a list of possibilities…

??? What is so dubious about Hyde Park? There is a famous one in London, and the name is popular elsewhere as well.


Think the issue is that it’s implying the katakana is pronounced “Hyde Park” rather than “Haido Paaku”.


Yep, that’s it!

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Maybe I can narrow it down to the ones that list cassette tapes. Hm, still a few. Picking out one of them, I can’t find any images online of even one page =(

But this list is great to have (thanks!), in case I may be able to figure someone out from it. I just wish I knew the cover, so I could look up covers of items on this list for one I’d recognize.


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