1. Education
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Namiko's Blog Lessons - Kawaisouna zou

By

Kawaisouna zou

August 15th is the day that World War II ended. There are quite a few Japanese children books that talk about the war. "Kawaisouna zou," which was published in 1970, is a long selling book. It is a true story about three elephants at the Ueno Zoo in Tokyo during World War II. I read it when I was at elementary school. I remember it was very sad and I strongly hoped that war never happens again. I haven’t read it for a quite a long time, but I recently read news that a CD of this book was released with both Japanese and English on one disk. The American singer, Cindy Lauper, reads the English version of the story. I hope it will help to spread an antiwar message.

Japanese Translation

かわいそうなぞう

8月15日は終戦記念日です。戦争について書かれた日本の子供の本はたくさんあります。1970年に出版された"かわいそうなぞう"は、そのなかでも長く読み継がれている物語です。第二次世界大戦中、東京の上野動物園にいた三頭の象についての実話です。私はこの本を小学生のときに読みました。とても悲しくて、戦争が二度と起こってほしくないと強く思ったことを覚えています。長い間この本を読んでいないのですが、最近この話が日本語と英語でCDに吹き込まれ、発売されたというニュースを読みました。アメリカ人歌手、シンディーローパーが英語版を朗読しています。このCDが反戦のメッセージを広める役に立つといいなと思います。

Romaji Translation

Hachi-gatsu juugo-nichi wa shuusen kinenbi desu. Sensou ni tsuite kakareta nihon no kodomo no hon wa takusan arimasu. 1970-nen ni shuppan sareta "Kawaisouna zou" wa, sono naka demo nagaku yomitsugareteiru monogatari desu. Dainiji sekai taisen chuu, toukyou no ueno doubutsuen ni ita san-tou no zou ni tsuite no jitsuwa desu. Watashi wa kono hon o shougakusei no toki ni yomimashita. Totemo kanashikute, sensou ga nidoto okotte hoshikunai to tsuyoku omotta koto o oboete imasu. Nagai aida kono hon o yonde inai no desu ga, saikin kono hanashi ga nihongo to eigo de shiidii ni fukikomare, hatsubai sareta to iu nyuusu o yomimashita. Amerika-jin kashu, shindii roopaa ga eigoban o roudoku shite imasu. Kono shiidii ga hansen no messeeji o hiromeru yaku ni tatsu to ii na to omoimasu.

Note: The translation is not always literal.

Beginner's Phrases

It is a true story about three elephants.

  • Sore wa santou no zou ni tsuite no jitsuwa desu.

  • それは さんとうの ぞうについての じつわです。

  • それは三頭のについての実話です。

Learn More

"Tou" is a counter, which is used for large animals. Click here to learn more about counters.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.