Children's Books in Japan

By Nao H. Kauffman
Chief Editor

Reading books educate people and nurture our humanity. I believe everyone should have a favorite book that you grew up with. Nowadays, with the improvement of business globalization and communication technology, many books from different countries have gotten across borders in recent years. There are several Japanese children's books that were published and admired in many foreign countries. I have purchased a few as gifts to friends and also given to my spouse and children so they can share and learn what books I had in my childhood. Publishing books in different languages is not easy for the publication process.

For example, Japanese books usually start from the right side and end to the left even though American books are the opposite. This may affect the illustration size or angle along the stories and require recreating new illustrations for entire books. In some Japanese books the words are written vertically instead of horizontally written sentences in English. Then, the implication or overtones from the original languages may not exactly or precisely fit into the translated languages or layout. Some stories in a country may not be adapted to other countries and are hard to comprehend due to the cultural differences. Adversely, the stories about potty training or bed-wetting can be mutually shared in many countries. If you search books with the key words “Japanese Children's Books” at, there are quite a few books available. My recommendations are as follows, and these are particularly companionable for a long time in many countries nowadays.

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