Today’s book is “Mari.” This means “ball.” It’s a little confusing though because nowadays Japanese are far more likely to use the Japanese loanword of ball, bo-ru.
When I first came to Japanese, I was talking to a coworker of mine, a Japanese man. He said that there were many English loanwords, but all of them had a Japanese equivalent. For example, Japanese people always say kamera for camera, but the actual word used traditionally is shashinki. (picture machine.)
So then I went to a camera store and asked, “Shashinki wa utte imasuka?” (Do you sell cameras?) The clerk, a young woman, looked at me like I was crazy. That’s because nobody, especially not a foreigner, uses that traditional word.
Old people are much more likely to use the traditional terms, and so when I talk to them I learn quite a few of the traditional words. Not exactly useful for a test…but fun!
This book is about a ball that goes from page to page, getting acted upon by forces and thus changing shape. Its text reads like “Splat! Bonk! Patooey!” No real text. This is another book I read in full at an intersection on my bike while waiting for the light to change.
It can be found here.