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The Great Library

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explanation-3awhitehen learning Japanese, reading often makes up the bulk of it. Needless to say, by reading a lot of different material, you can learn and pick up various new words and phrases. Learning words in context this way is useful since you can see the actual word ‘in action’.

I often come across many interesting reading articles on either the internet, magazines, my textbooks, news clippings etc. Here in The Great Chokochoko Library you’ll find articles I’ve collected over time (or written myself). Each article is either one or two pages long, written in a clear and easy to read format (easy levels feature big fonts) and includes a handy word list. The articles are arranged according to difficulty level and cover a range of different subjects such as culture, history, biology etc.

Be sure to check back often as the collection will grow and more reading articles will be added each time. All articles are ofcourse in high quality PDF and print-ready. Choose your difficulty level first, browse for your favorite article, then click to open or right-click to download.
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49 Comments leave one →
  1. May 11, 2010 12:05 am

    Do you like the articles? Or do you think the articles according to your reading level are too easy or too difficult? Found a typo? Let me hear your feedback and help me improve the quality. If you have a great article that you think has to be included in the collection, this is the place to shout out! Happy reading everybody!

    • May 31, 2010 7:03 pm

      Hello ^^

      I`ve children storys graded by Japanese school classes from the 1st till the 6th class and would like to share them with the other readers.
      So, if you like I could type them up and you could post them here.

      • May 31, 2010 8:27 pm

        Hi Ringonofureba! Sure ofcourse! I’m sure everybody would super appreciate it! You can send it to my email (see About page, bottom) and I’ll add convert them. Really appreciated! Thanks!

    • June 7, 2010 3:32 pm

      I had send you the e-mail with the first story one week ago. Hope you get it ^^

      • June 7, 2010 3:34 pm

        Hmm strange, I never received anything… What’s your email? I’ll send you a message so you can just reply then.

    • June 8, 2010 8:29 pm

      It’s: toshinoakaitako@googlemail.com

      Do you have a document format you prefer, so I could send you them as an appendix in the e-mail and not typed in the e-mail itself?

    • gmwiz05 permalink
      March 7, 2011 9:00 am

      This is really great… I’ve been looking for reading material geared towards my comprehension level. Reason being, I can read most of the vocab words in the N5. Actually, I study quite a bit outside the JLPT. The JLPT vocab isn’t all that practical for me. I’ve been learning by “grade level x JLPT”. This method seems to be working wonders. Now, these articles, can improve both my reading and writing ability. Though, I do wonder if children stories will be added.

      -best of luck,

      I’ll follow up on this event and check out the FB page.

    • Nguyen Duc Tam permalink
      April 23, 2014 6:49 am

      Your reading materials are so great and they would be greater if you can put more English version so that some beginner can understand the reading lessons better.

  2. Anonymous permalink
    May 11, 2010 4:07 pm

    I love having a nice library to turn to, when I need something short, that I can grab, and read on the go :) Honestly, I think this was a great idea. I read all of the ones for N3, and one for N2 , ( 人類最初の文字 – 楔形文字), which seemed a little too easy, but it might just be me. I did have to look up 収穫 (harvest), which wasn’t included in the handy tango list, though.

    This entire site is great, and I really hope you’ll continue to develop it. Thank you for all the hard work you’ve put in.

    • May 11, 2010 4:29 pm

      Thanks, glad you liked it! The feedback is appreciated so I can improve it. Yea, I scrapped 収穫 because this way, the tango lined up perfectly haha. And I thought it was a somewhat easy word. I’ll work on adding more challenging articles soon. :)

  3. Imparatus permalink
    May 14, 2010 9:20 pm

    Great Idea!!! I SO badly need beginner and little kid level material to read. It’s terribly hard to find simple material to work on (the type that I can comprehend 80% or more as I read). This is fabulous.

    The more elementary material the better!

    Mark

    • May 18, 2010 10:13 am

      Isn’t it?! :) I’ll keep on adding more material including lots of ‘kiddie’ beginner material :)

  4. Jacki permalink
    May 18, 2010 1:36 am

    This is excellent, as per usual. Now I have more material to practice before the start of Intermediate next semester ^_^

    • May 18, 2010 10:16 am

      Hey Jacki, how’re you doing? That’s great that you’re starting your intermediate semester upcoming semester. Where are you studying Japanese? And what kind of course is that? Well just click the N2 intermediate option for intermediate reading material :)

  5. September 11, 2010 4:02 am

    Shows how little attention I’ve been giving on WordPress. I rely heavily on your FB posts -_-|||
    Anyway, I’m having fun reading these, thanks!

  6. Fioreblu permalink
    November 1, 2011 8:58 pm

    I’m not remembering how I found your website. I was looking on internet to find some material to read japanese. But it’s pretty hard to find something not to childish or to difficult for a beginner like me.
    I know only 55 kanji for the moment and I’m learning japanese since more two years.
    I just read the beginner level about Goldfish. This text is very wonderful. ^^

    This method is really good to help us to read in japanese without spending a lot of money.
    Thanks a lot for your help!!

    • Squire Starsquid permalink*
      November 1, 2011 11:38 pm

      Thanks for visiting and hopefully you’ll be able to read the other texts soon as you progress! Ganbatte!

  7. Fioreblu permalink
    November 2, 2011 12:03 am

    はい、がんばります!あなたも。
    Thanks a lot for your quickly answer.
    I read the text about “the room”. Because, first, I didn’t know the order of the text. I understand everything at the first reading. ^^
    I’ll read all the others texts in the right order.

    Thanks a lot for everything!!
    Genki de ne.
    De ha, mata ne. ^^

  8. November 30, 2011 10:22 am

    こんにちは、偶然にこのサイトを訪ねて、びっくりした。

    お疲れ様でした。すっごくいいサイトです。本当に。
    多分長い時間がかかりましたね。
    このサイトを見てから、こんなサイトを作りたいだなぁって、こういうふうに頑張りたいなぁって、なんとか熱血になりました。
    僕もがんばらなきゃ…日本に行くためにね…
    今後もよろしくお願いします。

    • Squire Starsquid permalink*
      November 30, 2011 11:35 am

      ありがとう!こちらこそよろしくね〜
      ちょうど今pathofwindさんが作ったサイトを見ました。自分の好きなことや感想とかが載っているし、面白そうサイトだと思います。サイトを作るのにぜひ頑張って下さい!フォトグラフィーに関心があるみたいでしょう、よかったら僕のフォトグラフィーサイトもご覧下さい〜

      http://www.starsquid.com

      もしかして中国人ですか?应该来自香港或台湾吧~

  9. melissa permalink
    February 16, 2012 2:41 am

    hi!! i like a lot the articles..there are very usefull…please download more…if you have a web site that has every kind of article in japanese.. i would appreciate a lot..thanks…

  10. April 23, 2012 7:06 pm

    I just came across this site, it is FANTASTIC! Thank you thank you thank you!!!

  11. Clemens permalink
    December 15, 2012 9:45 am

    For children-level news-stuffs, try 毎日小学生新聞 http://mainichi.jp/feature/maisho/

  12. guoguo.me permalink
    January 1, 2013 5:07 pm

    What precisely truly motivated you to write “The Great Library チョコチョコ”?
    I reallyhonestly enjoyed the post! Thanks for your effort ,Tia

  13. January 11, 2013 4:35 pm

    Just what exactly truly encouraged you to compose “The
    Great Library チョコチョコ”? I actuallytruly enjoyed reading the blog post!
    Thanks a lot -Coy

  14. Andrew permalink
    March 13, 2013 2:07 pm

    Great site, thanks so much for sharing!

  15. April 11, 2013 6:24 pm

    Any chance of getting a copy/paste-able version? I use the site Learning With Texts for intensive reading (as opposed to 多読, which I also do) and these would be excellent material for it.

    • Squire Starsquid permalink
      May 28, 2013 10:26 am

      Hi Delenir, for now I don’t have a copy/paste version, but that could be something useful for future articles. Good tip!

      • May 28, 2013 1:14 pm

        Thanks! I’m looking forward to it! :)

  16. Steve permalink
    May 28, 2013 1:40 am

    I am loving these they are great! so useful, I was just wondering if this is all of them because the article number in the top corner doesn’t seem to go in order, I can only download #4,#5,#14,#15 etc. Is there 1-3 anywhere? Thanks again, not complaining just loving these and wanting more! :)

    • Squire Starsquid permalink
      May 28, 2013 10:25 am

      Hi Steve, actually the article number in the top corner is the numbering of all level articles. So 1, 2 and 3 are other level articles. It’s just the numbering.

      • Steve permalink
        June 12, 2013 3:54 am

        Excellent thanks a lot, just making sure im not missing anything.

  17. December 15, 2013 8:41 pm

    Thanks so much for this! It’s really encouraging to be able to read some very simple texts. Otherwise it gets pretty discouraging (like when trying to read a novel or article). For the other languages I’m learning, I was able to find old books (from 1910 for example) for elementary school students at flea markets, that were intended for school use, and they’re always full of short/easy stories and poems. Here’s an example for elementary schoolers:

    The weather was cold and snowstormy out.
    (Name) was loitering about in the kitchen and smithing himself a sled.
    He thought about, that he was often outside all day.
    Twilight came.
    (Name) went into the living room to his mother.
    “Dear mother! Won’t you tell me more stories?” said (Name).

    Then here is one for slightly older kids: (probably junior high)
    It was becoming night, but I lay awake in bed and could not sleep. Everyone in (town name) was talking about hidden people. …
    “What nonsense! There’s no hidden people in existence.” said (name).
    “You should speak about that carefully,” said my papa. “I remember one clear morning, when I came out into the farmyard, that I saw a blue-clad woman going out of the yard and directly into the big stone in front of the courtyard.”

    If they’re not translated from somewhere else, these older texts are really full of cultural stuff and that’s interesting even if it’s extremely simple text. But then, when I tried looking for more modern beginner’s stuff, it was all a lot less interesting. For example, I don’t want to read a children’s book about a talking blue blob. So if you have trouble finding more beginner’s stuff for this site, maybe Japan is the same and you can find older things meant for children to put up here (probably you could modernize them when necessary). Or you could read that kind of stuff to get inspiration for your own simple texts that you translate for us : P

    • Squire Starsquid permalink
      December 16, 2013 2:40 pm

      You’re welcome! Thanks for dropping by!

  18. Anonymous permalink
    February 6, 2014 8:33 am

    Many thank for the webpage. I am enjoying reading these article very much. Any chance we can have audio ? Sorry if that’s asking too much.

    • February 6, 2014 2:19 pm

      It might be too much effort for the original author of the post, but there are some sites where you can go to request that people record audio for text. Rhinospike.com is one of them, although many people request audio for shorter things on there, I’ve had luck asking for whole book chapters : P

      • Squire Starsquid permalink
        February 6, 2014 2:38 pm

        I was gonna suggest that one too, but you beat me to it ;)

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