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Read Real Japanese Short Stories by Contemporary Writers eoiteo sy Michael Emmerich nareareo ay Reiko Matsunaga KODANSHA INTERNATIONAL Tokyo New York Landon CONTENTS PREFACE Kawakami Hiromi Otsuichi bpuFaokisic Ishii Shinji ABBSO Yoshimoto Banana B43 Kitamura Kaoru Tawada Yoko DHS Starting rom the back ofthe book running in the opposite direction JIAPANESE-ENGLISH DICTIONARY NoTES ae rom ta pear AlJpanese nase penine apanese od sur name (cept on tm te te op apy age, ‘and C0). meee Fretted any Buns Sun 1,348,107 Copy- Sie as Ken». 8 Phones ates Darton ay sangeet of PSC odes & exdngandedting geen Re he Els arguge Eaton orc ne Dion. 3-48 [saring ham te act boat, compa Dyfon Re Cnt © 20090 Roars eet Unteckingiom nc cantnert rope by Kadaaha Europe Ls Pah iy Ko nye, ha larson Ld, 12-14 Bows thane 28852 aeons tae sheet pr 02008 by Michael Emmorch onthe copii “Karina (p16) evure ©1998 by Heo Kawah “Mash tira tense" Ip-40-0) ep 06 oye ha fir” on 0-7 copy 205 by Sone ‘Mi (np 7-105) cpt 20004 Eanane Yoho “Apropo 18-27 cape 2008 by ao era “iar pp 0-3) ena 08 aca ‘ihn ese, iain pon, Festi, 2008 Www wiwos0 s21150987654321 Liang ofCongess Cstagingin Raion ata ane panes etn shrt tri by corny mies? ‘ety Meharry he Manage 'sinra-4-7700-2089- ‘es: enn ing he 8660100 ce zoos? PREFACE ‘The phrase “best-kept secret” gets on my nerves, in part because T usually turn first to the restaurant reviews when the newspaper parachutes through, ‘our mal slot, and this overdone expression seems to crop up in every third review. Sometimes, though, you simply have no choice but to use it. Take, for instance, the Japanese language. You've heard rumors, no doubt, that Japanese is an extremely difficult language for English speakers to master. Impossible, even! Well, rest assured, fellow student—those rumors are false, One of the best-kept secrets around, really and truly, is that Japanese is not actually all that hard Learning a language, ! would suggest, is like jumping on a train without having any idea where its headed, and staying aboard until you get there— ‘wherever “there” is, Trips of this sort can bea bit unnerving, sure, and with Japanese you have to travel along way before the scenery stats to change, and it can get kind of boring just sitting ther, staring blankly at your fash cards. That's the rub, really—it's not that the language is hard, per se, you just have to take your time getting into it, and that’s true of any language Japanese grammar is much simpler than that of German or French or, lative, instru say, Punjabi, with its array of nominative, genitive, accusativ ‘mental, ablative, locative, and vocative cases—one for every day of the week. ‘And you know those “three writing systems” you hear so much about? That, as our Russian friends say, is a bunch of hooey. Japanese is so wonderfully fan and rich precisely because it mixes three scripts—kauyj tay, aid kkatakana, the second two of which can be learned, in a pinch, over a long ‘weekend—into a single, very versatile writing system. It takes a while to learn the 1945 kanji identified by the Japanese government as appropiate