Resource Guide for Japanese Language Students: Short Stories

This is a guide for teachers and students who are interested in finding reading/visual materials appropriate for their language level in Japanese available in the Univ. of Kansas Libraries..

About this Page

This page lists our library's collection of selected short stories. Unlike other mangas we have in our collection, these only include one or two volumes. As for the levels of each of these mangas, "Ryoko Yamagishi's Special Selection" is the only manga that includes some furigana (hiragana above the kanjis). As for the content, "Boku no Egaita Sensou" by Tezuka Osamu and the two mangas by Takahashi Rumiko might be easier to follow along. 

山岸凉子スペシャルセレクション (Ryoko Yamagishi's Special Selection)

This series contains selected works by Yamagishi Ryoko, one of the so-called "Year 24 Group." Her works often contain occult themes and describe psycho-thrillers. She is famous for her  This special selection series short stories. This sample volume includes five chilling short stories. (Horror)

夜廻り猫 (Yomawari neko)

A stray cat, Heizō Endō, wanders through the town every night, looking for those who shed tears. He listen to their story, laugh together, encourage them and sometimes be cheered by them. Originally created for Twitter, each episode completes in one page, 8 pictures. Latest episodes are available here. The story is heartwarming, but it may be challenging since all texts are handwritten and dialogue includes dialects. The latest episodes are available here.

ウは宇宙船のウ (U wa uchusen no u)

Hagio Moto's adaptation of the short stories by Ray Bradbury. "R is for rocket," "The screaming woman," "The fog horn," "The lake," "Come into my cellar," "Home coming," "Jack in the box," and "The rocket man."

ぼくの描いた戦争 (Boku no Egaita Sensou)

This book includes a series of various short stories about the harsh reality of WWII told by the father of manga, Osamu Tezuka. The stories includes some of this famous characters from other works such as Black Jack. At the end of the book, there is an essay written by the author about his memories of WWII. (Essay)

あたしンち (Atashinchi)

The series is formatted in a four-cell manga or "yonkoma manga." The story follows a family of four, the Tachibana family, in their everyday life. The plot often ends within the four-cells, so you can pick up any episode. The text is supplemented with furigana, so it is easy to read kanji characters. (Comedy)

たそがれの市 (Tasogare no ichi)

Collection of eleven folk-tale like short stories, created by Kondo Yoko. "Tasogare no ichi" is the market in the world after death where the dead exchanges their properties. Occasionally those who are hovering between life and death also stray into this market.

専務の犬 (Senmu no Inu) and Pの悲劇 (P no Higeki)

These two manga books are collections of short stories by Takahashi Rumiko, the manga artist known for "Inuyasha" and "Ramna 1/2". Both books includes six short stories. (Comedy, Action)

よちよち文藝部 (Yochiyochi bungeibu)

Kuze Banko became really popular with her essay comic in which she tells her experiences when she was working for a bookstore. In this comic essay, she picks up famous novelists and presents their well-known works, which everyone knows the title or plots only. This is entertaining, but the text, which does not provide furigana, may be challenging to read. The second season, which presents famous Western novels, is published online.