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In this Issue…

Introduction

ご購入(こうにゅう)ありがとうございます。

Thank you so much for your purchase!

Furigana is the new Ro-maji

When Yumi and I first started publishing Japanese content online, furigana just wasn’t possible. Web browsers weren’t advanced enough, and so, I added romaji by the tons. I had always believed reliance on romaji can hinder growth, but I didn’t see a way around it.

Eventually, adding furigana to web pages became easy, and we gradually removed the romaji and replaced it with furigana.

But furigana, like romaji, can become a crutch. It can make it unnecessary for your brain to read the kanji and as a result, you glide past the kanji.

We’ve occasionally received requests to add the ability to hide furigana, and I’m happy to say, all the furigana on MakotoPlus.com (and TheJapanesePage.com) is now hidden by default. All you have to do is mouse over (or tap on mobile) the kanji to see the furigana.

If you are just starting out, seeing naked kanji without furigana can be intimidating, but I promise you it will get better and the extra effort will pay dividends.

Please check out www.MakotoPlus.com and let me know your thoughts.

Thank you!Clay & Yumi

P.S. The cover says, おにぎりっておいしいね, which means, “Onigiri is delicious, isn’t it?” The speaker is an onigiri. Hmmm…

Laughs, Jokes, Riddles, and Puns

コンビニでファーストフードを頼(たの)んだら、「骨(ほね)なしチキンのお客様(きゃくさま)~!!」と呼(よ)ばれた。

なんかすごく悪口(わるぐち)を言(い)われたような気(き)がした。

After I ordered fast food at a convenience store, (when the order was ready) I was called the “Boneless chicken customer~!!” I felt like I was being insulted.

Vocabulary:

  • ジョーク  a joke
  • コンビニで  at a convenience store [コンビニ (convenience store) + で (at; indicates the location of action)]
  • ファーストフードを頼(たの)んだら  after I ordered fast food [ファーストフード (fast food) + を (indicates the direct object of action) + 頼(たの)んだら (after (I) ordered; from 頼(たの)む (to order); ~ら means “after; when; if… then”; how to form: Verb (casual past) + ら)]
  • 「骨(ほね)なしチキンのお客様(きゃくさま)~!!」  “Boneless chicken customer~!!” [「」 (quotation marks; “ “) + 骨(ほね) (bone) + なし (without) + チキン (chicken) + の (of; modifier) + お客様(きゃくさま) (customer; client; shopper)]
  • 「骨(ほね)なしチキンのお客様(きゃくさま)~!!」と呼ばれた  was called the “Boneless chicken customer~!!”  [「骨(ほね)なしチキンのお客様(きゃくさま)~!!」 (“Boneless chicken customer~!!”) + と (quotation marker) + 呼(よ)ばれた (was/were called; plain passive positive past form of 呼(よ)ぶ (to call))]
  • なんか  something like …; things like …; someone like …
  • すごく  awfully; very; immensely; severely
  • 悪口(わるくち)を言(い)われた  was being called names [plain passive positive past form of 悪口(わるぐち)を言(い)う (to insult; to say something insulting about; to bad-mouth; make a derogatory remark; 悪口(わるぐち) (slander; bad-mouthing; abuse; insult; speaking ill (of)) + を (indicates the direct object of action) + 言(い)う (to call; to say))]
  • ような気(き)がした  felt like [plain past form of ような気(き)がする (have a feeling that; feels like; seems like); how to form: Verb (casual) + ような + 気(き)がする; 「気(き)がする」 is used when you sense something]

Japanese Vocabulary

口車(くちぐるま)に乗(の)る

to fall for someone’s line; be cajoled; be taken in by someone’s sweet talk

Use this with people who are easily flattered or easily led to believe the unbelievable.

The use of 乗(の)る for “to be carried away” or “get fooled into joining…” is common in Japanese.

EXAMPLE SENTENCE:

あのおばあさんは、詐欺師(さぎし)の口車(くちぐるま)に乗(の)って大金(たいきん)をだまし取(と)られてしまった。

That old woman was taken in by a swindler who cajoled her into giving him a lot of money.

VOCABULARY:

  • あの  that
  • おばあさん  old lady [おばあさん can mean “grandmother” or “old lady”]
  • 詐欺師(さぎし) a swindler; a crook; con-artist [詐欺(さぎ) (con-artist) + 師(し) (master)]
  • 口車(くちぐるま) cajolery; wheedling [口車(くちぐるま) means “mouth wheel” implying a mouth moving fast and smooth to con people before they can think]
  • 乗(の)って  ride and… [te-form of 乗(の)る (to ride~); te-form conjunctive]
  • 口車(くちぐるま)に乗(の)って  taken in by; brought into
  • 大金(たいきん) a large amount of money [大(たい) (big) + 金(きん) (money)]
  • だまし取(と)られて  got something stolen by deception [te-form of だまし取(と)られる which is passive of だまし取(と)る (to steal something by deception); compound word (だます (to deceive) + 取(と)る (to take away))]
  • だまし取(と)られてしまった  (unfortunately) have taken away by trickery [~てしまった is the plain past form of ~てしまう (refers to a regrettable event or negative meaning); how to form: Verb て-form + しまった]

Prefecture Spotlight

Tokyo 東京(とうきょう)

  • Japanese: 東京都 (とうきょうと )
  • Capital: 東京 (とうきょう )
  • Population: 13,988,129 (2022) 

DID YOU KNOW?

Tokyo is the capital of Japan and the largest metropolitan area in the world. It is the seat of the Japanese government and where the Imperial Palace is located. Tokyo is made of 23 main city wards and several other cities, towns, and islands. Someone born in Tokyo is known as 江戸(えど)っ子(こ) a child of Edo, the old name for Tokyo.

PLACES TO SEE:  

· Tokyo Tower—Tokyo’s iconic 333 meter (1,092) tower. Its design is based on the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

· Akihabara—famous for its many electronic and otaku shops.

· Tsukiji Fish Market—Japan’s largest fish market.

· Tokyo Skytree—at 634 meters (2,080 feet), it is the tallest building in Japan. Enjoy (or be terrified by) a 360-degree panoramic view of Tokyo from the observation deck. 

FAMOUS FOR:

· Crowds—with 13 million people, Tokyo is truly a city that never sleeps.

· Neon Jungle—of Shibuya and Shinjuku at night.

· Tokugawa Ieyasu made Edo (the old name for Tokyo) his base when he became shogun in 1603.

· Tokyo Imperial Palace—the main residence of the Emperor of Japan.

· Vastness—skyscrapers, crowded subways, and the hustle and bustle of a large metropolis.

· Regional flavors—Shibuya for fashionable shopping; Shinjuku for luxury hotels and the seedy Kabukicho; Chiyoda for being the seat of the government as well as having the Imperial Palace; Akihabara for electronics; and many more.

語源 Etymology

「君(くん)」

)

日本(にほん)では、若(わか)い男性(だんせい)や小(ちい)さい男(おとこ)の子(こ)の名前(なまえ)を「君(くん)」をつけて呼(よ)びます。「まことくん」といった感(かん)じです。ところが、国会(こっかい)で国会(こっかい)議員(ぎいん)や総理大臣(そうりだいじん)も「君(くん)」をつけて呼(よ)びます。岸田文雄(きしだふみお)君(くん)とか、安倍晋三(あべしんぞう)君(くん)と言(い)った具合(ぐあい)です。どうして君(くん)をつけるのでしょうか?これは、明治時代(めいじじだい)、江戸時代(えどじだい)の末期(まっき)にさかのぼります。吉田松陰(よしだしょういん)という人(ひと)が始(はじ)めた「松下村塾(しょうかそんじゅく)」でたくさんの若者(わかもの)たちが勉強(べんきょう)していましたが、身分(みぶん)によって名前(なまえ)の呼(よ)び方(かた)が違(ちが)いました。相手(あいて)が武士(ぶし)なら「佐々木(ささき)様(さま)はどう思(おも)われますか?」という呼(よ)び方(かた)になりますし、相手(あいて)が農民(のうみん)なら「佐々木(ささき)殿(どの)の意見(いけん)を聞(き)きたい。」となります。身分(みぶん)によって呼(よ)び方(かた)が違(ちが)うのはよくないと、吉田松陰(よしだしょういん)はすべての生徒(せいと)に「君(くん)」を付(つ)けて呼(よ)ぶことを勧(すす)めました。相手(あいて)の身分(みぶん)に関係(かんけい)なく、相手(あいて)を尊重(そんちょう)して話(はなし)ができるからです。これが国会(こっかい)でも取(と)り上(あ)げられて、今(いま)でも続(つづ)く習慣(しゅうかん)になりました。

“Kun”

In Japan, young men and small boys are called by their names with “kun”. For example, “Makoto-kun”. However, members of the National Diet and the prime minister are also addressed with “kun”. For example, Kishida Fumio-kun, Abe Shinzou-kun, and so on. Why do we attach “kun”?

It goes back to the Meiji Era (1868-1912) and the end of the Edo Period (1603-1868).

Many young men were studying at the “Shoukason-juku” which was started by a man named Yoshida Shouin, but the way their names were called varied depending on their status. If the person was a samurai, they would say, “What do you think, Sasaki-sama?” If the person was a farmer, they would say, “We would like to hear your opinion, Sasaki-dono.” Yoshida Shouin believed that it was not good to address students differently according to their status, so he recommended that all students be addressed with “kun”. This is so they could talk to others with respect, regardless of their status. This was taken up even in the Diet and became a custom that still continues to this day.

Vocabulary

  • 語源(ごげん) etymology; origin of a word
  • 「君(くん)」“kun” [「」(quotation marks; “ “) + 君(くん) (kun; Mr (junior); master; boy)]
  • 日本(にほん)では in Japan [日本(にほん) (Japan) + で (in; indicates the location of action) + は (adds emphasis)]
  • 若(わか)い男性(だんせい)や小(ちい)さい男(おとこ)の子(こ) young men and small boys [若(わか)い (young; youthful) + 男性(だんせい) (man; male) + や (and; such things as …) + 小(ちい)さい (small; little) + 男(おとこ)の子(こ) (boy; son; young man)]
  • 若(わか)い男性(だんせい)や小(ちい)さい男(おとこ)の子(こ)の名前(なまえ)を「君(くん)」をつけて呼(よ)びます young men and small boys are called by their names with “kun” [若(わか)い男性(だんせい)や小(ちい)さい男(おとこ)の子(こ) (young men and small boys) + の (of; modifier) + 名前(なまえ) (name) + を (indicates the direct object of action) +「君(くん)」(“kun”) + つけて (て-form of つける (to attach; to join; to add; to append; to affix; to stick) which is used to attach to the next verb 呼(よ)びます) + 呼(よ)びます (to call)]
  • 「まことくん」といった感(かん)じです for example, “Makoto-kun” [「まことくん」(“Makoto-kun”) + といった (like; such as ~; how to form: Noun + といった) + 感(かん)じ (sense; feeling; impression) + です (be; is)]
  • ところが even so; however; still; whereupon; even though
  • 国会(こっかい)で in the National Diet [国会(こっかい) (National Diet; legislative assembly of Japan) + で (in; of; indicates the location of action)]
  • 国会議員(こっかいぎいん)や総理大臣(そうりだいじん)も「君(くん)」をつけて呼(よ)びます Diet members and the prime minister are also addressed with “kun” [国会議員(こっかいぎいん) (member of the Diet; Diet member; member of parliament) + や (and) + 総理大臣(そうりだいじん) (prime minister (as the head of a cabinet government)) + も (too; also; as well) +「君(くん)」(“kun”) + を (indicates the direct object of action) + つけて (て-form of つける (to attach; to join; to add; to append; to affix; to stick) which is used to connect to the next verb 呼(よ)びます) + 呼(よ)びます (to call; to address)]
  • 岸田文雄君(きしだふみおくん)とか安倍晋三君(あべしんぞうくん) Kishida Fumio-kun, Abe Shinzou-kun, and so on [岸田文雄(きしだふみお)君(くん) (Kishida Fumio-kun) + とか (and the like; such as; among other things; and so on) + 安倍晋三(あべしんぞう)君(くん) (Abe Shinzou-kun)]
  • と言(い)った具合(ぐあい)です for example [と言(い)った (like; such as ~) + 具合(ぐあい) (way; manner) + です (be; is)]
  • どうして why; for what reason
  • 君(きみ)をつけるのでしょうか why do (we) attach “kun”? [君(くん) (kun) + を (indicates the direct object of action) + つける (to attach; to join; to add; to append; to affix; to stick) + のでしょうか (ask a question in a polite way)]
  • これは it; this [これ (it; this) + は (adds emphasis)]
  • 明治時代(めいじじだい) Meiji period (1868-1912)
  • 江戸時代(えどじだい)の末期(まっき)に end of the Edo Period (1603-1868) [江戸時代(えどじだい) (Edo period (1603-1868)) + の (of; modifier) + 末期(まっき) (closing years (period, days); last stage; end stage) + に (specifies time)]
  • さかのぼります to go back (to the past or origin); to date back (to); to trace back (to)
  • 吉田松陰(よしだしょういん)という人(ひと)が始(はじ)めた「松下村塾(しょうかそんじゅく)」で at the “Shoukasonjuku” which was started by a man named Yoshida Shouin [吉田松陰(よしだしょういん) (Yoshida Shouin) + という (named; called) + 人(ひと) (person; someone) + が (identifies who performs the action) + 始(はじ)めた (started; plain past form of 始(はじ)める (to start; to begin)) +「松下村塾(しょうかそんじゅく)」(“Shoukason-juku”; a private school) + で (at; indicates the location of action)]
  • たくさんの若者(わかもの)たちが勉強(べんきょう)していました many young men were studying [たくさん (many; plenty; a large number) + の (modifier) + 若者(わかもの)たち (young men; young people; youth; たち is a pluralizing suffix (especially for people and animals)) + が (identifies who performs the action) + 勉強(べんきょう)していました (were studying; ていました-form of 勉強(べんきょう)する (to study) which places focus on the duration of a past action)]
  • が but; however
  • 身分(みぶん)によって depending on status [身分(みぶん) ((social) standing; status; position; rank) + によって (depending on; according to; how to use: Noun + によって)]
  • 名前(なまえ)の呼(よ)び方(かた)が違(ちが)いました the way (their) names were called varied [名前(なまえ) (name; given name) + の (modifier) + 呼(よ)び方(かた) (way of calling) + が (emphasizes the preceding word) + 違(ちが)いました (varied; polite past form of 違(ちが)う (to vary; to differ))]
  • 相手(あいて)が武士(ぶし)なら if the other person is a samurai [相手(あいて) (other person) + が (emphasizes the preceding word) + 武士(ぶし) (samurai; warrior) + なら (if; in case; if it is the case that)]
  • 「佐々木様(ささきさま)はどう思(おも)われますか?」“What do you think, Sasaki-sama?” [「」(quotation marks; “ ”) + 佐々木(ささき)様(さま) (Sasaki-sama; 様(さま) (Mr.; Mrs.; Miss; Ms.; honorific or respectful (sonkeigo) language, after a person’s name (or position, etc.))) + は (indicates the sentence topic) + どう思(おも)われますか (what do (you) think?; どう (how; in what way; how about) + 思(おも)われます (polite passive positive form of 思(おも)う (to think)) + か (question marker))]
  • 「佐々木様(ささきさま)はどう思(おも)われますか?」という呼(よ)び方(かた)になりますし (they) would say, “What do you think, Sasaki-sama?”, and [「佐々木(ささき)様(さま)はどう思(おも)われますか?」(“What do you think, Sasaki-sama?”) + という (that; is used to define, describe, and generally just talk about the thing itself) + 呼(よ)び方(かた) (way of calling) + になります (come to; turn out to; become) + し (and; and what’s more)]
  • 相手(あいて)が農民(のうみん)なら if the other person is a farmer [相手(あいて) (other person) + が (emphasizes the preceding word) + 農民(のうみん) (farmer; peasant) + なら (if; in case; if it is the case that)]
  • 「佐々木殿(ささきどの)の意見(いけん)を聞(き)きたい。」“(We) would like to hear your opinion, Sasaki-dono.” [「」(quotation marks; “ ”) + 佐々木(ささき)殿(どの) (Sasaki-dono; 殿(どの) (Mr.; Mrs.; Miss; Ms.; indication of respect to a person or a title; form of address used for official letters and business letters, and in letters to inferiors)) + の (‘s; of; modification) + 意見(いけん) (opinion; view; comment) + を (indicates the direct object of action) + 聞(き)きたい (like to hear; from 聞(き)く (to hear; to ask; to listen); ~たい means “want to do something”; a verb suffix that adds a meaning of desire; how to use: Verb (ます-stem form) + たい)]
  • 「佐々木殿(ささきどの)の意見(いけん)を聞(き)きたい。」となります would be “(We) would like to hear your opinion, Sasaki-dono.” [「佐々木(ささき)殿(どの)の意見(いけん)を聞(き)きたい。」(“(We) would like to hear your opinion, Sasaki-dono.”) + と (quotation marker; used for quoting (thoughts, speech, etc.)) + なります (to get; to become; to turn out)]
  • 身分(みぶん)によって呼(よ)び方(かた)が違(ちが)うのはよくないと that it is not good to address differently according to status [身分(みぶん) ((social) standing; status; position; rank) + によって (according to; depending on) + 呼(よ)び方(かた) (way of calling) + が (emphasizes the preceding word) + 違(ちが)う (to vary; to be different) + の (nominalizer; turns the preceding clause into a noun phrase) + は (indicates the sentence topic) + よくない (not good; plain negative form of よい (good; excellent; fine; nice; pleasant)) + と (that; used for quoting (thoughts, speech, etc.))]
  • すべての生徒(せいと)に「君(くん)」を付(つ)けて呼(よ)ぶことを勧(すす)めました (Yoshida Shouin) recommended that all students be addressed with “kun” [すべて (all; the whole; everything) + の (of; modifier) + 生徒(せいと) (student; pupil) + に (to; into) +「君(くん)」(“kun”) + を (indicates the direct object of action) + 付(つ)けて (て-form of 付(つ)ける (to attach; to join; to add; to append; to affix; to stick) which is used to connect to the next verb 呼(よ)ぶ) + 呼(よ)ぶこと (be addressed; 呼(よ)ぶ (to call; to address) + こと ((must) do; how to form: Verb (dictionary form) + こと)) + 勧(すす)めました (recommended; polite past form of 勧(すす)める (to recommend (someone to do); to advise; to encourage; to urge))]
  • 相手(あいて)の身分(みぶん)に関係(かんけい)なく regardless of the other person’s status [相手(あいて) (other person) + の (‘s; of; modifier) + 身分(みぶん) ((social) standing; status; position; rank) + に関係(かんけい)なく(regardless of ~; how to use: Noun + に関係(かんけい)なく)]
  • 相手(あいて)を尊重(そんちょう)して respect others [相手(あいて) (others; other person) + を (indicates the direct object of action) + 尊重(そんちょう)して (て-form of 尊重(そんちょう)する (to respect) which is used to connect to the next phrase)]
  • 話(はなし)ができる can talk [話(はなし) (talk; conversation) + が (is used with potential form of a verb) + できる (can; to be able to do; plain potential form of する (to do))]
  • からです is because [から (because; since) + です (be; is)]
  • これが this [これ (this) + が (emphasizes the preceding word)]
  • 国会(こっかい)でも even in the Diet [国会(こっかい) (National Diet; legislative assembly of Japan (1947-)) + でも (even)]
  • 取(と)り上(あ)げられて is taken up, and [て-form of 取(と)り上(あ)げられる (plain passive positive form of 取(と)り上(あ)げる (to take up; to adopt)) which is used to connect to the next phrase, creating the meaning of “and”]
  • 今(いま)でも続(つづ)く習慣(しゅうかん)になりました became a custom that still continues to this day [今(いま) (present; in now; this day) + でも (still; yet) + 続(つづ)く (to continue; to last; to go on) + 習慣(しゅうかん) (custom; practice) + になりました (became; polite past form of になる (become; come to; turn out))]

Anime / Manga Phrases

「私(わたし)の友(とも)だちは、・・・私(わたし)が決(き)めます。」

古味硝子(こみしょうこ)のセリ

フアニメ「古味(こみ)さんはコミュ症(しょう)です」より

“As for my friends, … I decide.”

Line of Komi Shouko

From the anime “Komi Can’t Communicate”

Vocabulary

  • 「」—(quotation marks; “ ”)
  • 私(わたし)の友(とも)だち  my friend [私(わたし) (I; me) + の (‘s; indicates possessive) + 友(とも)だち (friend; companion)]
  • 私(わたし)が決(き)めます  I decide [私(わたし) (I; me) + が (identifies who performs the action) + 決(き)めます (to decide; to choose; to determine)]
  • 古味硝子(こみしょうこ)のセリフ  line of Komi Shouko [古味硝子(こみしょうこ) (Komi Shouko) + の (of; ‘s; modifier) + セリフ (one’s lines; speech; words)]
  • アニメ  anime; animation; animated film; animated cartoon 
  • 「古味(こみ)さんはコミュ症(しょう)です」 “Komi Can’t Communicate” [「」(quotation marks; “ “) + 古味(こみ) (Komi) + さん (is an honorific suffix which means Mr., Mrs., or Miss that can be used with both first and last names and both genders) + は (indicates the sentence topic) + コミュ (communication) + 症(しょう) (illness) + です (be; is)]
  • より  from

Haiku

Kobayashi Issa 小林一茶(こばやしいっさ)  

))

秋風(あきかぜ)や むしりたがりし 赤(あか)い花(はな)

Autumn breeze | wanted to pluck | red flower

)

EXPLANATION

(意味(いみ))秋風(あきかぜ)がふいています。この赤(あか)い花(はな)を(死(し)んだ)あの子(こ)はむしりたがっていたなぁ。(解説(かいせつ))小林一茶(こばやしいっさ)が亡(な)くなった娘(むすめ)を思(おも)って作(つく)った俳句(はいく)と言(い)われています。赤(あか)い花(はな)は、おそらく彼岸花(ひがんばな)でしょう。幼(おさな)い娘(むすめ)が欲(ほ)しがった花(はな)を眺(なが)めながら、娘(むすめ)の生(い)きていた頃(ころ)を思(おも)い出(だ)しているという切(せつ)ない俳句(はいく)です。 

(Meaning) The autumn wind is blowing. This red flower is a flower that the girl (who died) wanted to pluck.

(Explanation) It is said that Kobayashi Issa wrote this haiku thinking of his dead daughter. The red flowers are probably higanbana (red spider lily). The haiku is a poignant reminder of the time when his daughter was alive, while gazing at the flowers that his young daughter wanted.

VOCABULARY

  • 秋風(あきかぜ) autumn breeze; fall breeze [秋(あき) (autumn; fall) + 風(かぜ) (wind; breeze)]
  • や (emphasizes the preceding word) [it’s a kireji (cutting word) which indicates a pause, both rhythmically and grammatically, and may add an emotional flavor to the word/phrase preceding it]    
  • むしりたがりし wanted to pluck [expresses the past tense form of むしりたがる (want to pluck; from むしる (to pluck; to pick);~がる means “wants to do ~ (third person)”; how to form: Verb (たい form) たい + がる)] 
  • 赤(あか)い花(はな) red flower [赤(あか)い (red; crimson; scarlet) + 花(はな) (flower)]
  • 小林一茶(こばやしいっさ) Kobayashi Issa (1763 – 1828) [A Japanese poet and lay Buddhist priest. He is known as simply Issa, a pen name which means “Cup-of-tea”. He is regarded as one of the four Haiku masters in Japan.]
  • 意味(いみ) meaning; significance; sense
  • 秋風(あきかぜ)がふいています the autumn wind is blowing [秋風(あきかぜ) (autumn wind; fall breeze) + が (identifies what performs the action; emphasizes the preceding word) + ふいています (is blowing; ています-form of ふく (to blow (of the wind)) which is used to describe a continuous action)]
  • この赤(あか)い花(はな)を(死(し)んだ)あの子(こ)はむしりたがっていた this red flower is a flower that the girl (who died) wanted to pluck [この (this) + 赤(あか)い花(はな) (red flower) + を (indicates the direct object of action) + 死(し)んだ (died; plain past form of 死(し)ぬ (to die; to pass away)) + あの (that; the) + 子(こ) (child; kid) + は (indicates the sentence topic) + むしりたがっていた (wanted to pluck; from むしる (to pluck; to pick); ~たがっていた is the ていた form of ~たがる (wants to do ~ (third person)) which places focus on the duration of a past action)]
  • なぁ (casual suffix) [is used when you express your opinion or feeling]
  • 解説(かいせつ) explanation; commentary
  • 小林一茶(こばやしいっさ)が Kobayashi Issa [小林一茶(こばやしいっさ) (Kobayashi Issa) + が (identifies who performs the action; emphasizes the preceding word)]
  • 亡(な)くなった娘(むすめ)を思(おも)って作(つく)った俳句(はいく) wrote the haiku thinking of (his) dead daughter [亡(な)くなった (passed away; plain past form of 亡(な)くなる (to die; to pass away)) + 娘(むすめ) (daughter) + を (indicates the direct object of action) + 思(おも)って (て-form of 思(おも)う (to think) which is used to connect to the next phrase) + 作(つく)った (wrote; plain past form of 作(つく)る (to make; to write)) + 俳句(はいく) (haiku; 17-mora poem)]
  • と言(い)われています (it) is said that [と (that) + 言(い)われています (is said; ています-form of 言(い)われる (plain passive positive form of 言(い)う (to say)) which describes a continuous action; how to form: Verb て-form + います)]
  • おそらく probably; (most) likely
  • 彼岸花(ひがんばな) higanbana; red spider lily (Lycoris radiata); cluster amaryllis
  • でしょう it seems; I think; I guess; I wonder
  • 幼(おさな)い娘(むすめ)が very young daughter [幼(おさな)い (very young; little) + 娘(むすめ) (daughter) + が (identifies who performs the action; emphasizes the preceding word)]
  • 欲(ほ)しがった花(はな)を眺(なが)めながら while gazing at the flowers that (his young daughter) wanted [欲(ほ)しがった (wanted; from 欲(ほ)しい (wanting; desiring; wishing for); plain past form of 欲(ほ)しがる (want; desire; ~がる is used to describe how other people seem to feel, based on how they look or behave; how to form: drop the final ~い of an い-adjective and add ~がる)) + 花(はな) (flower) + を (indicates the direct object of action) + 眺(なが)めながら (while gazing at; from 眺(なが)める (to look at; to gaze at); ~ながら means “while; as; during”; how to form: Verb (ます-stem form) + ながら)]
  • 娘(むすめ)の生(い)きていた頃(ころ)を思(おも)い出(だ)している (he) remembers the time when (his) daughter was alive [娘(むすめ) (daughter) + の (modifier) + 生(い)きていた (was alive; ていた-form of 生(い)きる (to live; to exist) which places focus on the duration of a past action; how to form: Verb て-form + いた) + 頃(ころ) (when; around; about; how to form: Verb (casual) + 頃(ころ)) + を (indicates the direct object of action) + 思(おも)い出(だ)している (remember; ている-form of 思(おも)い出(だ)す (to recall; to remember; to recollect) which is used to describe the actual state or condition of the subject; how to form: Verb て-form + いる)]
  • という that; called [is used to define, describe, and generally just talk about the thing itself]
  • 切(せつ)ない俳句(はいく) heartrending haiku [切(せつ)ない (painful; heartrending; trying) + 俳句(はいく) (haiku)]
  • です be; is

Kanji Spotlight

Learning Kanji one Character at a Time

JLPT N5 Kanji

On: カ        

Kun: ひ                

Meaning: fire

Hint: Think of it as sparks coming from a person.

Stroke Order:

Examples:

  • 花火(はなび) fireworks [note how the hi becomes a bi]
  • 火花(ひばな) sparks [sometimes you can reverse kanji and get a different meaning—note here how the hana becomes bana]
  • 火山(かざん) volcano [lit. fire mountain]   
  • 火曜日(かようび) Tuesday  

Example Sentence:

あしたは火曜日(かようび)です。 

Tomorrow is Tuesday.

VOCABULARY:

  • あした  tomorrow                                                                
  • は  (indicates the sentence topic)
  • 火曜日  Tuesday
  • です  be; is

Grammar Time

~中 

ABOUT:   

中 by itself means “inside” or “in.” However, when attached to a noun, it adds the meaning of “during” or “while” or “throughout.” It is either pronounced as ちゅう or じゅう. There appears to be no set rule for when to use either pronunciation. Learn a few examples by heart.

How to Use:

■ Add to nouns or phrases to indicate duration or coverage.    

Examples:

[throughout]

彼(かれ)は、一日(いちにち)中(じゅう)、テレビを見(み)ました。

He watched TV all day long.

[he-as for-throughout the day-TV-(direct object marker)-saw]

[during]

仕事(しごと)中(ちゅう)なので、彼(かれ)は外(そと)に出(で)られません。

He is working, therefore he cannot leave. 

[work-during-therefore-he-outside-cannot leave]

[during a future time]

来週(らいしゅう)中(ちゅう)に、宿題(しゅくだい)をすませましょう。   

Sometime in the next week, let’s finish the homework. 

[next week-during-homework-let’s finish]

  • 彼(かれ) he; him
  •  (indicates the sentence topic)
  • 一日中(いちにちじゅう) all day long; all the day; throughout the day [一(いち) (one; 1) + 日(にち) (day) + 中(じゅう) (throughout)]
  • テレビ  television; TV
  •  (indicates the direct object of action)
  • 見(み)ました  saw [polite past form of 見(み)る (to see; to look; to watch; to view)]
  • 仕事中(しごとちゅう) at work; in the midst of work; working [仕事(しごと) (work; job; labor) + 中(ちゅう) (during)]   
  • なので  because of; given that; since; therefore; so [how to use: Noun + な + ので]
  • 外(そと)に  outside [外(そと) (outside; exterior) + に (to; expresses direction)]
  • 出(で)られません  cannot leave [polite potential negative form of 出(で)る (to leave; to exit; to go out; to come out)]
  • 来週中(らいしゅうちゅう)に  sometime in the next week; within the next week; during the next week [来週(らいしゅう) (next week) + 中(ちゅう) (during a future time; within) + に (specifies time)]
  • 宿題(しゅくだい) homework; assignment
  • すませましょう  let’s finish [polite volitional form of すませる (to finish; to make an end of; to get through with; to let end); volitional form is used when making a suggestion to one or more people including oneself]
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