Sleep Stories in Japanese
Relax tonight while listening to a famous Japanese story. The sound of gentle rain and Yumi's soft voice will help you sleep while enjoying this famous story.
While the story is intermediate level, even beginners can listen to begin training their ears to hear the sounds of Japanese.
- Relax in a comfortable position in your bed.
- Turn the volume down until you hear her voice and a hint of the rain.
- Slip into a restful sleep and wake up wondering what happened to the rest of the story!
鼻 Hana (the Nose) by 芥川龍之介 Akutagawa Ryuunosuke
The story explores themes of obsessive vanity and how this affects those around us. View the Japanese and some vocabulary help here.
Makoto+ members can download a PDF of the story and the audio file with or without the background rain. If you are a member, please click here. If you aren't yet a Makoto+ member, please learn more here.
Summary in Japanese and English
Examining unattractive aspects of the human heart or the minute movement of human emotions are a common theme in Japanese novels. Akutagawa Ryuunosuke's Hana, the Nose, is a novel with a sharp look at pride and egotism.
The priest with a long nose is troubled with a complex. He keeps thinking if only he could make his nose smaller, surely no one would laugh at him. But instead, when his nose became a normal size, the laughter increased. Contrary to expectations, being freed from worry about making his nose small induced frustrations and he often took it out harshly on his disciples.
Once his nose was once again ugly and long, he finally had a cheerful disposition. "There's nothing more to laugh at now," he thought.
His problem wasn't his nose, but his heart with its worrying over his nose.
After that, people didn't stop staring and laughing, but because he accepted his nose as part of himself, he was freed from his worries.
注文の多い料理店 Chuumon no Ooi Ryouriten (The Restaurant with Many Orders) by 宮沢賢治 Miyazawa Kenji
Two young gentlemen are tired and hungry after a full day's fruitless hunt. They happen upon an impressive Western-style restaurant right smack in the middle of the woods. But perhaps they aren't as lucky as they first appear.
よだかの星 Yodaka no hoshi - The Nighthawk Star by 宮沢賢治 Miyazawa Kenji
The yodaka (Nighthawk/Nightjar) is an ugly bird. Everyone knows it. The hawk (taka) is very upset the yodaka uses his name (the taka becomes daka) and demands the yodaka change his name.
The yodaka would rather die than to change who he is. He seeks the sun, the star of the West, South, North, and East. All reject him and tell him he doesn't have the status or money to become a star.
When it seems he is nothing but a great failure and is about to plummet to the ground, he shoots up and...
Does he become a star? Listen to the sleep story to find out.