Read online or subscribe by email to stories about Japanese culture written in kanji, hiragana, and English text with Japanese audio. Some of the stories are quite interesting and contain facts not very well covered in English, such as this one about Kido Shunzo and Kyugun I reported earlier.

Hiragana Times is truly a unique magazine, in which you can study a language while learning information about Japan. Each Japanese paragraph is followed by its English translation, and furigana are placed above each kanji to make Japanese study even easier.

Related Posts: Other Japanese Resources


22 thoughts on “Practice Reading Japanese: Hiragana Times

  1. I remember reading a sample issue in the Japan Foundation library; I also remember making a mental note to visit this site at some point in time. True to form, I completely forgot about it.

    Thanks for the reminder. πŸ˜‰

  2. Wow, that’s really cool. (: Except that I know nuts about Japanese. Haha. I could speak and read Chinese, but I’m not really good at that as I’m the only one in the family who studied it last time.

    1. Well, it is never late to learn if you are interested and have time (I suspect the latter might be a problem).

      I’m the only one in the family who studied it last time.

      I knew it! You are a reincarnation of a Chinese princess πŸ˜›

      1. HAHA! Well I happened to be sent to a Chinese school in the past. They certainly worked us really hard, and I’m sorry to say that it wasn’t the right study technique. I liked writing Chinese Calligraphy, although it wasn’t the best as I never had lessons. Everyone was musically inclined in my class last time! All but me and a few others.

        Oh yes, time is the main factor, always. Especially in my line of work in the future. But I can’t rule out where I might go to further my studies later on. It may be Japan, so I might just have to pick it up. Lol.

        Have you heard about the unreleased episode 25 of Kuroshitsuji? It will only be included in the 9th DVD, and apparently there’s going to be a performance of Hamlet. 😐 The irony… I was involved with the exact same play just a few semesters back.

        1. I see. It sounds like that school was not a very good experience for you.

          Unfortunately, I am not very good at music. I enjoy music, but I am much more into drawing πŸ™‚ Everyone has different aptitudes. Probably, your art is as beautiful as your poems πŸ˜‰

          It is always good to keep the future options open πŸ™‚

          Yes, I heard about the new Kuroshitsuji episode, but thank you for mentioning it πŸ™‚ However, I have not heard that Hamlet will be involved lol

          Oh, what was your role and experience in Hamlet play?

          1. I played the queen in my class’ play. 😐 Haha. Aww, you really flatter me; but I doubt that my art is that beautiful anyway. We modernised our play at our lecturer’s suggestion, because the original one had quite a long plot-and numerous characters!

            We turned it to a mafia setting instead. So from the queen I was the uh, grieving widow? Yeah, the widow who sometimes appeared drunk because her husband is dead, lol. We had to refrain ourselves from laughing because it was a somber play!

            Playing dead wasn’t easy, because I had to collapse on the ground-pretty hard. The next day I had a back pain, more from the muscles. Not to mention, I also had side roles like the actors who acted out the King’s death scene-which means I had to die about 3 times! XD

            Our play turned out pretty well, better than we expected. I wonder if the Kuro one will be just as crazy, or with Grell, scandalous?

            1. Oh, that is an interesting role to play πŸ™‚ How could you, Gertrude? Right after a tragedy, you married Sebastian in a hurry πŸ˜›

              Oh my, playing a drunk widow must have been very challenging, but fun for others to watch πŸ˜›

              😦 I hope your back is feeling better now… Art is great, but you should be careful!

              Three times… What a morbid play it was for you πŸ˜›

              Kuroshitsuji play?! You must record and post this! πŸ™‚

              1. Haha, I was referring to the upcoming episode! And don’t even bring up the subject of Kuroshitsuji plays, or my friends might just make me cosplay-which I am totally not familiar with. Why are our replies getting narrower and narrower? XD Haha, thank goodness I only had a few days of bruises, but thanks for asking. Well, it was quite an experience, for everyone never did see me in a dress before anyway. I wonder how would the 2nd season be like. I managed to squeeze out a poem on Friday. (: It’s on my blog now. Have a great weekend!

  3. haha The replies are too indented now >.< Let's start over!

    Good, they should make you cosplay! πŸ˜› New experiences are fun! What Kuroshitsuji character would you cosplay if you had a chance?

    Dresses are overrated πŸ™‚

    That poem was a nice projective test πŸ˜›

    Enjoy your weekend πŸ™‚

    1. I’m not sure how will my parents react to cosplay, so that’s a shaky topic to approach, heheh. Erm, which character would I dress up as from Kuroshitsuji? 😐 I really have no idea! Haha maybe it never occured to me. Thanks for reading my poem. It’s great that you leave a comment as it’s cool to know what others think. On DA it’s slightly disappointing because people hardly do so to my stuff. Thanks, the weekend is almost over anyway haha (;

      1. It sounds like you have strict parents. I am not sure myself what Kuroshitsuji character I would cosplay. Tanaka must be fun because I would be drinking tea all day πŸ˜›

        It was a good poem πŸ™‚ I also enjoy learning about opinions of others πŸ™‚ Sometimes it can be difficult to extract the meaning that the artist put into their creation without knowing the person very well. For example, what do you see in this painting?

  4. Ooh. Did you draw that? (: Hmm, I see a boat in a thick wood, although painted at a different angle and a much cooler color theme. The picture on the right seems to give me the feeling that the boat is stuck/sailing into the unknown with the way it is positioned and the dark colors. The other one has a serene and quiet kind of atmosphere. Maybe describing different times in life, or is he/she at a predicament? XD this painting is quite abstract. What do you think?

    1. Your interpretation is very perceptive. You mention that the boat is stuck or sailing into the unknown and there might be some predicament.

      My initial impression was that the right side of the diptych was quite cold, but I decided to paint a more optimistic picture in my mind.

      The painting is divided into two parts. Right parts looks like a negative image and an alternative view on the perspective on the left side. I believe both sides represent the same view just from different points. Perhaps, the view on the right is how a being other than human experiences the picture at the same moment when a person observes the view depicted on the left side. However, I think this is not the case. I think that two sides represent temporal rather than perspective differences.

      The view on the right is actually night time. On a beautiful summer eventing depicted on the left side, we see the nature in all its beauty: green vegetation, golden bark of the trees, blue sky, etc. We see all those objects because the sun reflects from them and we perceive myriad of colors. This is not the case at night. At night there is no sun, no colors, but what we see is the ultimate reality. We see glow of life that emanates from all things: trees, moths, and the boat itself. We see that the boat and the tree are ultimately the same.

      This is a painting by Jennifer Bartlett (111.8 cm x 152.4 cm). While we may never know what the artist wanted to say or what she did say unconsciously, knowing about her childhood experience in a boat might shed some light…

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