Japanese Reader Collection Vol 2: Momotaro, the Peach Boy

Momotaro, the Peach Boy

Newly updated and soon to come out in paperback, Japanese Reader Collection Volume 2 now includes a revised Momotaro story and The Tortoise and the Hare. A download link for the MP3s of the story is also included.

Just for fun, see how CJ Martin went from this:


to this:


Click to read about the process on his blog.

(The Temporal, a thriller by CJ Martin and in English is FREE now for Kindle.)

Three New Videos on Japanese Idioms

It is kind of plug and play–hope you don’t mind, but I uploaded three new Japanese Idioms videos last night:


This is used when someone speaks only a little or is very quiet. The antonym of this expression is 口が軽い。 kuchi ga karui. One’s mouth is light.
Literally, “mouth is heavy.”


kuchi wo waru
confess; spill the beans; tell all

hannin wa, youyaku kuchi wo watta.
The criminal finally spilled the beans.


kuchi ga katai
tight-lipped; able to keep a secret; lips are sealed

kare wa, kuchi ga katai node, himitsu wo hanashitemo daijoubu da.
He is pretty tight-lipped, so even telling him secrets is fine.

Japanese Proverb: 猫に小判 To Cast Pearls Before Swine


[ねこ に こばん neko ni koban]

Cast Pearls Before Swine

[audio http://thejapanesepage.com/audio_files/kotowaza/1neko.mp3 ]

 This is a useful and common Japanese proverb that is similar to the biblical “cast pearls before swine.” Literally, this means to give a cat a koban.

A koban was an oval-shaped coin used in the Edo Period. Being valuable, giving one to a cat naturally would be foolish.

Koban. Image from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koban_%28Japanese_gold_coin%29



  • 猫に neko ni (give) to a cat [に shows direction]
  • A 小判 koban was an oval-shaped gold coin used during the Edo period.
  • 豚に真珠 buta ni shinju Pearls to a pig. This proverb from the Bible is also often heard in Japanese and means basically the same thing as 猫に小判.



 houseki ni kyoumi no nai hito ni daiyamondo wo agetemo, neko ni koban da.
For someone who has no interest in precious stones, even giving that person a diamond would be casting pearls before swine.

 [audio http://thejapanesepage.com/audio_files/kotowaza/1neko-f.mp3 ]

  • 宝石 houseki—precious stones; gems
  • 興味のない人 kyoumi no nai hito—a person not interested in…
  • に ni—indicates the 興味のない人 is the receiver of ダイヤモンド
  • ダイヤモンド daiyamondo—diamond
  • 上げても agete mo—even if you give (him a diamond)

This lesson is found in our Kotowaza, Japanese Proverbs and Sayings book. It is available in ebook and paperback formats. To learn more, go here on Amazon and here at TJS.com.


Adding Sound Files and Music to your iPhone

If you just got an iPhone and were wondering just how to add music to it from your computer, here’s how.

You would think you could simply drag and drop MP3s onto your iPhone. But why make it easy for us? iTunes is confusing, but once you figure it out, it is handy for keeping things organized.

I use folders and playlists within the folders to organize things. Folders just hold playlists and playlists hold tracks.



I have a folder called “Crooners” and in it, I have several playlists that I have grouped by the artist. Under it, I have another folder for my Japanese music.

To do this, first make a folder.

1)      With the newest version of iTunes (, you click on the top left.


2)      New > New Playlist Folder.


3)      Name the folder “Japanese Lessons” or “Kotoba” or whatever

4)      Next, make a playlist and name it whatever you want.


Next, plug in your iPhone, add that playlist, and sync.

1)      Click on the iPhone button to the top right.


2)      Click on “Music” at the top


3)      Select “Sync Music” and “Selected Playlists, artists, albums, and genres”


4)      Then choose the playlists you want.


Sync and you should see it on your iPhone.

Japanese Dialogues Apps FREE for iPhone and iPad TODAY

TODAY ONLY (well, through November 27) our two Japanese Dialogues apps are absolutely FREE! If you like them, PLEASE LEAVE A REVIEW!

Paul Stevenson from the Australian software development company Dependency and I produced these two great apps a few months ago. We have plans to upgrade them for iPhone 5 screen sizes, quizzes for vocabulary, and other goodies, but sales have been dismal. We’ve heard praises from individuals, but so far, we’ve had zero reviews on iTunes. Would you be willing to help us out by reviewing the apps after using them for a while?

To sweeten the deal, you’ll not only get these two apps absolutely free, but if you email me the text of your review (and the country for your iTunes store), I’ll email you a link to our latest Japanese Reader: うさぎと亀 The Tortoise and the Hare also FREE. This download works with PCs and Macs; includes Kindle & Nook ebooks, PDFs for printing, and MP3s of the story in Japanese read slowly and normal speed. Just email me here.