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Dec 14, 2012

The Yotsubato Reading Pack

 The Yotsubato! Reading Pack is now available. 

Click Here to see it!


What is a reading pack? What does it do?

Well, it's really just about making it easier to pick up a book and start reading. In this case, we're focusing on the first volume of the Yotsubato! manga. The best way to learn and develop the ability to read Japanese is to actually do it, but with a few handy tools and tricks you can make the process much easier.

So what is in the reading pack?

The heart of the reading pack is a page-by-page vocabulary list, so that you don't have to be chained to a dictionary to keep reading. Print out the list and keep it with the book, so that if you need to look up a word it's right there. The rest of the pack builds off of this list and works to make you remember the words long after you finish reading.

Reading pack contents (could change):

Vocabulary list
Anki vocabulary cards
Anki sentence cards

More on the Anki cards:

The vocabulary list will be set up so that you can easily take the words that you want from it and add them into Anki for long-term memorization. Each entry on the list can be used to make two cards: one that presents kanji and that you should know the meaning and reading for, the other that gives the meaning and reading, for which you should know the kanji. If that sounds confusing, don't worry; I'll explain more later.

In addition to the vocabulary cards, some additional sentences in a separate pack will be included. These will help to focus on words that have multiple meanings or uses that might make them confusing.

As a note, none of these cards or lists will be monolingual. Definitions will be in English.

What does this reading pack cost?

Someone asked this a while back. Rather than setting a price for it, I'll be making it a name-your-own-price system, and you can even choose to not pay at all. I know what it's like to not have money to spare, so I'd like to help out where I can.

Questions or comments?

This is the first reading pack, so I'm still working on finalizing what it contains and how I approach it. If you have something you'd like to see included or if you have questions about the pack, please leave a comment here or send me an email (

Be the first to know when the reading pack is released!


  1. I'm definitely interested in this. I'm nearing the end of the "textbook phase" (at least grammar textbooks), and this looks like a great way to ease into manga--as well as getting some fun sentences circulating in the Anki-stream.

    From what I've heard, though よつばと! is "easy", it has some casual Japanese that can throw a newcomer off. If this pack helps with that, then I'll be pretty happy.

    1. You're right about the casual Japanese. Quite a few words are so colloquial that they probably wouldn't appear in a dictionary. I've been converting the casual and colloquial language into the normal forms for the vocabulary list, so by the end of the first volume it should feel more familiar.

  2. Waiting in anticipation of this.

    I have had Yotsubato! hanging around for ages. I started it ages ago but gave up since looking up all the words was a chore and instead moved onto sentence mining for the purpose of learning kanji.

    Will be nice to have an aid that will reduce the time considerably. I am guessing that each volume will get progressively easier as the language used will be consistent.

    1. Yes, the language will definitely get easier. In making this pack, I've been experiencing just how often the words repeat (just within the first volume!), so I think getting through this first volume with an aid will make it much, MUCH easier to read the volumes that come after.

  3. Since Yotsubato apparently has furigana, are there going to be kana (+kanji) to English vocabulary cards? Personally, I'm learning Kanji in radical order (the only one that works for me) so despite knowing a few hundred Kanji I'm missing a lot of the common ones right now...

    (Although I guess since that's Anki the card face and back templates should be editable, right?)

    Furiously waiting for this pack, I got here by googling whether such thing exists for Yotsubato.

    1. The plan currently is to provide a vocabulary list with kanji, kana, and English meaning. You can easily copy each line of the list and then make whatever kind of card you want by simply pasting it into Anki. The two main cards are:

      (Front) Kana + English meaning, (Back) Kanji
      (Front) Kanji, (Back) Kana + English meaning

      So you take each word from the list and make those two cards for it, and then you are getting practice remembering the kanji with one card and practice reading/understanding the kanji with the other one.

      Sorry if that sounds confusing, I'm going to make a guide on how to easily use the list to make cards, so I'll have a better explanation then (with pictures!).