Yotsubato Reading Help

So, I have the book Yotsubato, but, even with it being one of the easiest things to read in Japanese, I still need some help. I am not expecting it to be accessible with the limited grammar and kanji(only level 4) that I know. What level should I get to in Wanikani to have little or no trouble with the vocabulary? Also, I’m assuming that grammar would be a big issue, so what things should I know? If possible, can you give links or page numbers to Tae Kim’s Grammar Guide or the Dictionary of Japanese Grammar? Thank you!

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According to the WaniKani Guide:

Levels 11-20
Begin reading simple Japanese text. It’ll still be difficult to read anything comfortably, but children’s manga should be okay (these are more advanced than children’s books, and actually have some kanji). You can also look through newspapers, books, manga, and blogs, though you’ll mostly be identifying kanji and words that you know, not reading for comprehension. It’s best to reach Level 20 before getting into anything too seriously.

About the Tae Kim stuff, perhaps the whole “Basic Grammar” section would be good, so you know how to deal with the diferent types of adjetives and verbs, some particles, negative and past tenses, etc.


Are you aware that there is a よつばとreading group in this forum?


Your WaniKani level is pretty much irrelevant since the manga has furigana. Grammar and vocab are much more important.

To answer your specific questions…

If you’ve only learned vocabulary from WaniKani you’ll certainly still have to look up a lot (but that’s not a big deal in my opinion).

You should know all of N5 grammar and at least a little N4 grammar (especially the colloquial forms of the “must” and “must not”). It’s important that you at least know basic particles and the main conjugations before you try to read. It would also be really helpful to know about relative clauses.


I’m reading it aswell… Almost at the end of the first chapter and I’ve found I’ve understood all the grammar - I’m pretty deep into N4 stuff now, and have a vocabulary of about 1500.

Don’t let that put you off though. You don’t need to understand everything, it’s okay if you don’t understand why a particle was used that way, or can’t figure out where a word starts or finishes, just skip it and come back a few days later and try again.

I’d recommend reading it without learning all the grammar first - don’t put it aside for a month while you learn as much as you can, try and read along as you learn. It’ll help you put everything into context. Even things as simple as, for example, learning about から, then flicking through the pages and seeing where you can find it and figure out how it has been used. As Rowena said, if there’s something you don’t understand do a quick search in the よつばと reading group thread and see if you can find it there. If not, if you post it here I’m sure people will help you - there’s also the Short Grammar Questions thread you can search or ask in. :smile:

I’d be more than willing to give you a few pointers with understanding etc :blush:


Agreed. I’m a big advocate of reading/listening with the intent of finding the things you do understand, and ignoring the things that are too intimidating. It may seem counterintuitive, but you do make progress that way. Eventually the intimidating things aren’t intimidating anymore. I had to skip entire panels of dialogue when I first read Yotsubato back when. It’s fine. And in Yotsubato specifically, the funniest stuff is the easiest to understand anyway :wink:


Thank you!


I’m pretty certain the best place to post questions about Yotsuba is in the Yotsuba threads. The thread for volume one is here. Pretty much everything has been covered, and there’s a vocab list too, but if a question has not been answered I’m sure the best place to ask it is there.


I have yotsubato. I got volumes 1-3 second hard of ebay, and I still cant read it. Hopefully one day I will be able to… I also brought 君の名は (Your name) that i heard also suppose to be easy for beginnings. I haven’t tried that yet and i dont know if it has furigana.

In yotsubato (few pages i went few), the grammer doesn’t seem bad and i’m sitting low to midway N4 (plus its a manga and it relies a lot on pictures and speech bubbles). Kanji wouldnt be an issue at any level as it does have furigana.

Its the vocab that I think is the most difficult. Also casual/slang-y terms, I remember when i first got it (few months back) and saw すげえ which is a version of すごい, if すごい was used I would have known (as you practically hear this word all the time, especially on shows), but at the time すげえ is was like I do not know…

I’ve put off reading for now, as im already doing alot - grammer, wanikani, kitsun[katakana/vocab/genki], and bunpro. I didn’t want to add more to my plate at current time and hopefully when i do eventually go back I would have picked up alot of it through the studying I am doing,

But if you want to go ahead and incorporate it into your study, there is a reading pack available and i think it would be hugely helpful. Its $10 or free? and is available at Living Japanese . You could make a kitsun/anki course from the spreadsheet and i believe its already available on memrise. They might also be a anki one.

I had no idea it was that detailed. In my searches I haven’t found stuff I didn’t know but maybe that was just a few things that weren’t discussed. That or I can’t search :stuck_out_tongue:

The casual speech is probably the most confusing. I just go by the mindset that if I don’t get something, I look at the word’s ‘root’ and see if that helps any, or I sticky note it and ask somewhere.

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There are currently 791 posts in the Yotsuba vol.1 thread. The good news when it comes to searching is that they run more or less in time with the book. Also, the best way to search is using the search button (don’t forget to tick the box) and search for the page number.


Thank you! I’ll try to use it in future :slight_smile:

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I’ve always found these forums just can’t deal with hiragana or katakana, so definitely second marcusp’s suggestion that searching by page number is best. Though honestly it often messes that up too :sweat_smile:


I’ll echo those who said WK level has nothing to do with it. I started Yotsubato as well and I’ve found it fine. If you have strong passive Japanese skills/cultural knowledge, it’ll be easy. Otherwise, it’ll definitely be a challenge at the lower WK levels. It may be helpful to just reference the Yotsubato threads here as you go through it.


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