When you first learn Japanese, choosing the right book is very difficult. You need to read books that are simple and easy to understand. Today, we’ll give you 10 Simple Japanese books for beginners.
In this article, we will cover a range of books from recommended essential textbooks to popular Japanese books.
Textbooks for learning Japanese language
We have shortlisted some popular textbooks for scholars who are learning Japanese for the first time. Here are our pick for Japanese books for beginners.
1.Japanese – English Character Dictionary
Author: Andrew N Nelson
This book has been the standard Kanji in the language industry for years. The Nelson dictionary contains enough characters for the beginner’s knowledge needs. What’s more, this book can be looked up by radical, pronunciation, stroke count, etc. This textbook is ideal for:
- Improving Japanese vocabulary
- Looking up or searching a word through a variety of appendices and indexes
2. Japanese from Zero
Authors: George Trombley and Yukari Takenaka
This book is relatively new in the market but is approachable and easy to use. It is a textbook series with additional workbooks, which you can buy separately as a learning aid. This book is ideal for:
- Learning through a lesson-based structure covering grammar, vocabulary, writing, pronunciations, step by step.
- Beginners and intermediate language learners
- Practicing language as a companion book
3. Japanese Verbs & Essential of Grammar
Author: Rita L Lampkin
The best about this book is the logical organization of chapters for easy reference. The book also has a section with cultural information, which makes this book more interesting. This book is ideal for:
- Gaining a quick hand on important grammatical concepts
- Ready reference
Children’s books in Japanese language
Children stories are simple to understand. In fact, classic children’s books are a great medium to enter a culture. Moreover, the illustrations and language in children’s books are least complicated and they incorporate redundant use of important words so that it fits in a child’s vocabulary.
In this section, we bring to you the popular Japanese children’s book to learn Japanese
4. Arashi no Yoru ni (あらしのよるに)
Author: Yūichi Kimura
The title of the book translates into One stormy night. It is a story of a goat named Mei, who wanders into a barn one night, seeking shelter from a storm. It meets another refugee in the barn and the story rolls around their friendship, love, and a feeling of companionship for each other. This book was first published in 1994 and a worth read to notice how Japanese value the emotions.
5. Brave Story (ブレイブ・ストーリー)
Author: Miyuki Miyabe
The book is about the life of a little boy whose father abandoned him and mother was hospitalized after a suicide attempt. The author portrays the boy as a brave who thrives to change his life and eventually finds a magical world of vision. The story was originally serialized in Japanese newspapers.
6. Do You Know New (新しいことを知っていますか？)
Authors: Mari Takabayashi and Jean Marzollo
This book contains lovely illustrations and gentle poems that echos people’s first attempt at the language.
Japanese Books from Popular Culture
7. Crayon Shin-chan (クレヨンしんちゃん)
Author: Yoshito Usui
Almost every one of us is aware of the naughty Shin-chan character. Crayon Shin-chan is an illustrative book that portrays the importance of family by everyday cute adventures of this Japanese Kid. It is a Japanese manga series starring a 5 years old trouble making a boy. Manga is a style of Japanese comic books and graphic novels, typically aimed at adults as well as children. It is definitely one of the must-reads Japanese books for beginners.
8. Kiki’s Delivery Service (魔女の宅急便)
Author: Eiko Kadono
This book is about a resourceful, spunky girl Kiki, who follows her maternal tradition of witchcraft. She has the power to fly and sets out at the age of 12 to find her own town. On her quest, she meets all kinds of people and has many adventures. She develops her confidence and self-awareness and makes people realize that everyone has some magic that makes them special.
9. Japanese Fairy Tale Series (桃太郎)
Author: Hasegawa Takejirō
It is a series of 20 books comprising the popular Japanese folklore. The books are printed on crepe paper and gives a different feel in reading. The illustrations in the book are just apt to retain the Japanese culture.
10. Yotsuba! (よつばと!)
Author: Kiyohiko Azuma
It is a recommended book for the folks learning the Japanese language for the first time. It is simple to read and understand because the main character in the book is a child. It is again a popular Japanese manga like the Crayon Shin-chan.
That’all are Top 10 Japanese books for beginners. Assessment is based on our personal experience. If you know any other good books, please introduce us.