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We finished our Babu Babu Baby Book lists (ages 0-2), so now let’s start on the list for ages two and up.  Toddlers.

This book is called “Iro Iro Osewa ni Narimashita.”  That’s a hard expression to translate, and the back of the book says in English:  “Thank you for everything.”

Osewa ni narimashita is an extremely handy phrase to know if you live in Japan.  If you don’t learn any Japanese, you should at least learn this.   Japanese people use it a lot, and it is very polite.

If somebody takes care of you, you’ll want to use the phrase when you part ways.  So if you have a host family in Japan, you can use this when you leave for your home country.  Or if some kind Japanese person takes you under her wing and shows you around, you can say this at the end as a way of saying thank you.  It’s stronger and more polite than just plain Arigatou Gozaimasu.

I say it at the end of my Japanese classes, while bowing.  My Japanese teacher on Friday is VERY old-fashioned and he is also elderly, and he told me to say it.  It’s actually a little too polite for something like a Japanese class–a younger, more modern teacher would not expect it.   (I mean, you are not likely to use it at the end of a session of Japanese.  At the end of a semester, you are more likely to use it.  Or when a long period of classes is finally over and you are parting ways forever.)

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Now let’s look at the book itself.  I found this book interesting, because it is by a Japanese author/illustrator and judging by the clothes is set in Japan.  However, doesn’t that girl appear to be, perhaps, of African origin?  So maybe mixed race?  A possibility.  In Japanese picture books, it’s definitely not common for kids who are Japanese to also be mixed race.

This  is not as surprising, though, when we consider this book is the work of THE famous Genichiro Yagyu, author of progressive books like Breasts.

Other than the main character being a mixed race girl, this book is pretty ordinary.  The text is from a child’s chant which can be found in this youtube video.

This book can be found here.


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