After my déconvenue at the JLTP, I bought this magazine even though I had no idea what it was about, just because I love Moomin. Moe turns out to be a magazine about illustrated books for children and you probably know Moomin, the main character of children books created by Tove Jansson.
As a child, I had an illustrated book of Moomin but I can’t remember which story it was. I just remember that I was a little afraid of Snufkin, who is now my favourite character! I think one can say that I had forgotten all about Moomin until I came to Korea. I don’t know why but Moomin is very popular here.
The first part of the magazine is devoted to this month’s theme: Moomin. I find it very interesting and it made me wonder why do some characters become so famous that they fascinate people all other the world when there are so many books for children and so many new characters created every year.
The magazine opens with an article about the new Moomin Museum in Tampere and a brief history of the publications by Moomin’s creator Tove Jansson. It also contains articles about Helsinki, other Moomin’s authors and even gives a recipe of crêpe with blueberry filling.
The other half of the magazine is not about Moomin but it does contain interesting articles, that is, for someone interested in illustrated books. For example, there is an interview with the author of 「猫かるた」. The book looks very cute, but what is worth of interest is that I learnt about かるた which are Japanese playing cards. If I understood well, two players face each other and between them lay some cards. Someone reads the first lines of a poem and the players must find the card which contains the last lines of the same poem. The idea is to grab the card before the other player. Anyway, have a look at some competition of karuta on Youtube (競技かるた), it is interesting!
Let’s go back to Moomin! I enjoy reading this magazine because it has a lot of pictures and short texts. This is perfect to read some Japanese without really making an effort. I just skip what I don’t understand, enjoy the pictures and am happy to relax even while reading Japanese and I will definitively try the blueberry crêpe.
Reading this magazine made me want to watch the series 楽しいムーミン一家, a dutch and Japanese produced television series that started in 1990. I watched several episodes when I had just started learning Japanese and I was baffled to see that I could understand some parts of it. Now that I am watching some episodes again, I realise that I can understand almost everything they say! It is very encouraging and a great way to replenish one’s self-confidence.
Almost all the characters speak in a very clear way. To me, it is much easier to understand this series than any anime. The characters always use a very clean language, they do use all kinds of grammar (some that I saw only recently) but they only use easy words. An easy vocabulary associated with a clear pronunciation makes this series a treasure for Japanese learners. Even if you are a beginner, you will certainly be able to understand some bits here and there.
おしらせ: Next week is finally the long-awaited Kyoto trip (my second time in Japan). This blog will also take some holiday. There will be no new post next week and I will be back for the Wednesday post on December 27th.