Chapter 1

Audio Files

        1-1    1-2    1-3    1-4    1-5

Vocabulary: 1-1    1-2    1-3    1-4    1-5

Mail Messages:    1-1    1-2    1-3    1-4    1-5

Additional vocabulary to help you understand things your teacher might say:


字 (Characters)
Download Intermediate Japanese Kanji flashcards here.  For great results, print them out on punch-out business card paper or card stock.

Web Activities
1-1 地図: Use his map.
1-2 Practice Time:  Here is a link for JR 北海道.  Click on a departure city and then a destination city to begin. Then choose your date and time of departure.  After clicking on the button on the right below the box, several train options will be displayed.
1-5 Small Group Practice 2:
Verb flash cards dictionary form 〜ます form combination
Techno Time:

文化 (Culture
- writing samples

石川啄木<たくぼく> was born on February 20, 1886, as Ishikawa Hajime, in Iwate Prefecture.  He used the pen name 啄木<たくぼく>for the first time in 1903. His first published collection of tanka, 一握<あく>の砂 [A Handful of Sand] came out in 1910. These tanka (five-line poems) are well-loved in Japan and considered quite lyrical and romantic.  After his death in 1912, however, a friend and fellow poet Toki Aika published a posthumous collected entitled 悲<かな>しき玩具<がんぐ> [Sad Toys], a title inspired by the last line of Takuboku’s essay 歌のいろいろ。Here are the last two lines of that essay: 目を移<うつ>して、死んだものゝやうに疊<たたみ>の上に投<な>げ出されてある人形<にんぎょう>を見た。歌は私の悲<かな>しい玩具<がんぐ>である [I moved my eyes, and saw a doll, cast away onto the tatami as through it had died. Tanka is my sad toy.] In this collection, the tanka are darker, dealing with topics not normally handled in poetry, such as social problems and death.

Web information:  (in Japanese)      (in English)

For more poems by  石川啄木, see his “Poems to eat,” (translated by Sanford Goldstein and Shinoda Seishi in Romaji Diary and Sad Toys,   Boston: Tuttle Publishing, 1985)



石川啄木 lived in many places during his short life.  Print out a blank map of Japan, research and pinpoint where he had lived.

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