Falktales (昔話)

My foreign friend asked me which Japanese short stories are good for learning the Japanese language, so I looked for Japanese folktales on the internet. I think the folktales are helpful for Japanese learners because the stories are short and easy to read. Besides they also can learn Japanese cultures and values from the stories. Today I’m going to share the website with you guys.

Old stories of Japan

This site has a lot of stories in both Japanese and English. It is not the best site because every time you open the links on PC, the BGM file will be downloaded. It’s annoying... In addition, the Japanese words in the sentences are a bit difficult. But above all, it’s free.𿘏 It would help your learning, or at least be your guide.

I recommend below stories specially. They are famous and popular. I suppose all Japanese people know them.
- The Peach Boy (桃太郎 ももたろう no.3)
- A Golden Boy (金太郎 きんたろう No.6)
- Urashima Taro (浦島太郎 うらしまたろう No.15)
- One Inch Boy (一寸法師 いっすんぼうし No.5)
- The Old Man who made Cherry trees blossam (花咲か爺さん はなさかじいさん No.4)
- The Crane Lady (鶴の恩返し つるのおんがえし No.2)

These stories are very popular so that many people have made the parodies. Therefore after reading them, you will say things like “I see! That TV commercials/anime characters are based on this story!”. I think it would be fun!𿘊
これらのお話はとても有名なため、多くのパロディが作られてきました。なのでこれらを読めば、「なるほど! あのテレビCM/アニメキャラはこのお話を基にしているのか!」と言うようになるでしょう。それはとても楽しいと思います。𿘊

If you find the kanjis in the Japanese pages difficult, this web tool will help you. Input the URL of a Japanese page to the blank, and this tool will add furigana to the page. It seems like over 95% of furiganas are correct.

I hope this information will help you.