1. Education

Niji no tori - Learn from a Story

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This lesson introduces the story called, "Niji no tori." "Niji" means "rainbow" and "tori" means "bird." Click this link to learn the colors of the rainbow in Japanese. You can also learn vocabulary for colors and birds at my Audio Phrase Book. Here is some useful vocabulary from the story.

Vocabulary

tori 鳥 --- bird
kitanai 汚い --- dirty
kireina きれいな --- pretty
mushi 虫 --- insect
yuuki no aru 勇気のある --- brave
boro boro ぼろぼろ --- ragged
hidoi ひどい --- terrible
makkuro 真っ黒 --- jet-black
utsukushii 美しい --- beautiful
misuborashii みすぼらしい --- shabby; miserable
hazukashii 恥ずかしい --- be ashamed
koso koso こそこそ --- stealthily; secretly

Grammar

(1) There are two types of adjectives in Japanese: i-adjectives and na-adjectives. From the vocabulary above, "kitanai", "utsukushii" "misuborashii" are i-adjectives and "kireina" is a na-adjective. Click this link to learn more about Japanese adjectives.

(2) "Boro boro" and "koso koso" are onomatopoeic phrases. "Boro boro" describes something in bad condition; old and worn out from overuse. Here are some examples.

  • Kono jisho wa chuugakkou no toki kara tsukatte iru node, boro boro da. この辞書は中学校のときから使っているので、ぼろぼろだ。 --- Since I used this dictionary when I was at a junior high school, it is worn out.
  • Kono jiinzu wa katta bakari nanoni, mou boro boro ni natte kita. このジーンズは買ったばかりなのに、もうぼろぼろになってきた。 --- Although I just bought these jeans, they are already falling apart.
  • Please check out my lesson, "Onomatopoeic Phrases" to learn more about them.

    (3) "Makkuro" means, "jet-black". "Ma" is a prefix to emphasize the noun that comes after "ma." Here are some examples. Click this link to learn more about the prefix "ma".

  • makka 真っ赤 --- bright red
  • masshiro 真っ白 --- pure white
  • Nijo no Tori (虹の鳥)

    You can also read this story in Japanese and listen to the audio file.

    Mukashi mukahi no oomukashi, subete no tori wa kuro ka haiiro no kitanai iro deshita.
    Aruhi no koto, toritachi ga futo sora o miageru to, nanairo no kireina niji ni, potsun to kuroi shimi ga dekiteimashita.

    "Nandarou."
    Toritachi ga mite iru to, sono kuroi shimi ga dondon fuete ikimasu. Suruto ten kara nanairo ni kagayaku tori ga maioritekite, toritachi ni iimashita.

    "Niji ni warui mushi ga kuttsuite, kireina niji no iro o kuitsukusou to shiteimasu. Douka isshoni, warui mushi o yattsukete kudasai."
    Sokode yuuki no aru toritachi wa, nanairo no tori to isshoni warui mushi o yattsukeru to iimashita.

    Demo yuuki no nai toritachi wa, nanairo no tori ga ikura onegaishitamo shiran kao desu.
    "Dewa, watashitachi dakede ikimashou."

    Yuuki no aru toritachi wa, nanairo no tori to isshoni tobitachimashita.
    Yuuki no aru toritachi ga niji ni yattekuru to, niji wa warui mushi ni iro o taberarete boroboro deshita. "Kore wa hidoi! Hayaku shinai to, niji ga makkuro ni natteshimau."

    Toritachi wa, niji ni kuttsuita mushi ni osoikakarimashita.
    Shikashi mushitachi mo, sou kantan ni wa yararemasen.
    Toritachi no karada o oshiri no hari de sashitari, kamitsuitari shimashita.
    Kokomade tondekite tsukareteita toritachi niwa, totemo tsurai tatakai deshita.
    Demo toritachi wa ganbatte, nantoka mushitachi o yattsukemashita.

    "Yatta! Warui mushi o yattsuketa zo!"
    "Niji o mamotta zo!"
    Toritachi wa hottoshite, otagai no kao o mimashita.
    Suruto itsunomanika, dono tori mo kireina iro no hane ni natte ita no desu.

    Mushitachi to muchuu de tatakatte iru aida ni, niji no iro ga karada ni tsuite ita no desu.
    "Waa, kireina iro."
    "Mite mite, watashi wa pinkuiro yo."
    "Boku nanka, aoiro dayo."
    Minna ga yorokondeiru to, nanairo no tori ga iimashita.
    "Sono niji no iro wa, kesshite ochimasen. Niji o mamotta minas an no yuuki o tsutaeru tameni, sono utsukushii iro wa kodomotachi ya magotachi nimo uketsugareru deshou."

    Sate, chijou ni nokotta toritachi wa, niji ni itta toritachi ga mushi ni yararete boroboro ni natte kaette kuru to omotte imashita.
    Tokoroga niji ni itta minna wa, hikarikagayakuyouna utsukushii sugata ni natte kaette kita no desu.
    "Waa, kireina iro. Iinaa."

    "Sore ni hikikae, bokutachi wa…"
    Chijou ni nokotta toritachi wa jibun no misuborashii sugata ga totemo hazukashikunari, kosokoso kakurete shimaimashita.

    Kireina iro no tori to soudenai tori ga iru nowa, kouiu wake nano desu.

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