This picture book is called “Ano Toki Suki Ni Nattayo”  I am going to translate this as, “The Moment We Became friends.”



It’s set in a first grade classroom.  The narrator is that girl in the front on the left.  It starts out, “My seat is on the side, and behind me sits Pee Pee.  Her real name is Marika Kikuchi but she’s called Pee Pee because she has peed in the class.”

Anyway, the two girls eventually get together, but the narrator is hesitant because Pee Pee is considered weird.  But at the end of the story,  the narrator accidentally pees in class herself and Pee Pee saves her by dropping a vase of water to cover the pee.   So the narrator apologizes to Pee Pee afterwards for all that the unkind things she thought about her, and of course they become friends.

If you’re not interested in the Japanese language, stop reading here.

“Pee Pee” in Japanese is “Shikko” so this girl is called Shikko in the book (しっこ)

The first time I read this book, I was confused at the end where the narrator says, “I needed to pee.”  I thought she was still talking about Pee Pee the girl.  The second time I read it I realized the difference.

I need to pee:  Oshikko ga shitakunatta. おしっこがしたくなった。

I realized that shikko (the act of peeing) gets the honorific and becomes:  “Oshikko”

In real life, when I hear people (usually little kids!) say they need to pee, it is often “Oshikko” and not just “Shikko.”

I wonder why that is?  Lots of words get the honorific automatically.  Okane (money)  for instance.  I wonder how it was ever decided?

This is the amazon link to the book.