Japanese Folk Tales & Mukashi Banashi

Japanese Folk Tales & Mukashi Banashi

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Japanese folk tales are called, "mukashi banashi". They begin with a set phrase like, "Once upon a time (Mukashi Mukashi aru tokoro ni… )". The characters of a "mukashi banashi" often include an old man and an old woman, or man with a name like Taro or Jiro. There are a few hundred stories that are considered standard Japanese folktales. Many Japanese grow up being very familiar with them. There was a popular TV series called, "Manga Nihon Mukashi Banashi", which is an animated version of famous folktales. You can watch some of them on Youtube. I noticed one of the stories; "Hanasaka Jiisan (Grandfather Cherry Blossom)" has English sub-titles, which I think would be great to use for listening practice. I wrote out the dialogue for the first two minutes in Japanese and romaji. I hope you can use it as a study aid. If you find it useful, please let me know and I will add more dialogue in the future.

Japanese Translation


日本の古くから言い伝われている話を昔話といいます。昔話は一般的に、「むかし むかし あるところに。。。」といった決まり文句で始まります。そして、おじいさん、おばあさん、太郎や次郎といった名前の男の人が、しばしば登場人物として現れます。日本の昔話は代表的なものだけで、2,3百はあります。多くの日本人にとって、聞き育った昔話はとてもなじみ深いものです。「まんが日本昔話」は、昔話をアニメ化した人気テレビ番組です。ユーチューブでも、その番組を見ることができます。その中のひとつの「はなさかじいさん」に英語の字幕がついていることに気づきました。よい聞き取りの練習になると思います。その「はなさかじいさん」の最初の2分間のせりふを日本語とローマ字で書き出してみました。勉強の助けとなるといいなと思います。もしそれがあなたにとって役立つようなら、知らせてくださいね。そのあとのせりふも続けて、書き出すことにします。

Romaji Translation

Nihon no furuku kara iitsutawareteiru hanashi o mukashi-banashi to iimasu. Mukashi-banashi wa ippanteki ni, "Mukashi mukashi aru tokoro ni… " to itta kimari monku de hajimarimasu. Soshite ojiisan, obaasan, Tarou ya Jirou to itta namae no otoko no hito ga, shibashiba toujou jinbutsu to shite arawaremasu. Nihon no mukashi-banashi wa daihyoutekina mono dake de, ni san byaku wa arimasu. Ooku no nihon-jin ni totte, kikisodatta mukashi-banashi wa totemo najimibukai mono desu. "Manga Nihon Mukashi Banashi" wa, mukashi-banashi o animeka shita ninki terebi bangumi desu. Yuuchuubu demo, sono bangumi o miru koto ga dekimasu. Sono naka no hitotsu no "Hanasaka Jiisan" ni eigo no jimaku ga tsuiteiru koto ni kizukimashita. Yoi kikitori no renshuu ni naru to omoimasu. Sono "Hanasaka Jiisan" no saisho no ni-fun kan no serifu o nihongo to roomaji de kakidashite mimashita. Benkyou no tasuke to naru to ii na to omoimasu. Moshi sore ga anata ni totte yaku ni tatsuyounara, shirasete kudasai ne. Sono ato no serifu mo tsuzukete, kakidasu koto ni shimasu.

Note: The translation is not always literal.

Beginner's Phrases

There are a few hundred stories that are considered standard Japanese folktales.

  • Nihon no mukashi-banashi wa daihyoutekina mono dake de, ni san byaku wa arimasu.
  • にほんの むかしばなしは だいひょうてきなものだけで、に、さんびゃくは あります。
  • 日本の昔話は代表的なものだけで、2,3百はあります。


  1. Iseabail

    Comrades, this is a treasure trove! masterpiece!

  2. JoJogor

    I thank for the information.

  3. Cerny

    Senks, very useful information.

  4. Daizragore

    I thank for the information.

  5. Kagall

    Certainly. It was and with me. Let's discuss this question. Here or in PM.

  6. Maryann

    I find that you are not right. I'm sure. We will discuss. Write in PM, we will talk.

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