Recommended Japanese Textbooks

If you are looking for a Japanese textbook on a particular subject, I would like to show the brief comparison table first so that you can decide which textbook is good for you.

You can click the book title to jump to each textbook to see more details.
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Recommended textbooks Short description
Minna no Nihongo
  • By far the most popular textbook
  • Grammar textbook is very easy to follow
Genki
  • The second most popular textbook
  • For conversation and grammar
  • Good for Kanji
Japanese from zero
  • The third most popular textbook
  • The author George Trombley also has Youtube channel
Japanese Graded Readers
  • Good for Reading
Shin kanzen master
  • Good for JLPT
So matome
  • Good for Grammar
Japanese for Busy People
  • It teaches handy phrases and how to address and respond to others in Japanese in a respectful and appropriate way
Hiyaku
  • From Intermediate level
Chuukyuukara manabu nihongo
  • From Intermediate level
JLPT Official Workbook
  • JLPT Official Examination Workbook

Minna no Nihongo

This textbook is the most popular worldwide. A lot of Japanese schools use this book for teaching.

There are 2 types of textbooks.

  • Main Textbook | It comes with a CD and you can practice listening. Basically, everything without grammar.
  • Grammar Textbook | You can learn Japanese grammar.

They are supposed to be used together so I recommend buyingA�both of them together.
However, if you pick only one, it could be the grammar book because many people have a problemA�with grammar.
I also do YouTube lecture according to this grammar book and IA�found this is useful.

Since it was first published in 1998, Beginner Japanese has been a staple of Japanese language learning. In this second edition, the vocabulary has been updated accompanied by illustrations that help structure learning. The CD offers supplementary exercises and conversation techniques.

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Genki

Genki is the second most popular textbook next to Minna no nihongo.
The one in the list is for grammar and conversation and comes with a CD.
You learn grammar and conversation together in each section.

Second edition of the most highly regarded teaching text book on the Japanese language, covering speaking, listening, reading, and writing to cultivate overall language ability. Each lesson in the revised edition features a new section dubbed Culture Notes,” and now includes the audio CD companion which is in mp3 format ready to install on any music player. In Japanese/English. Distributed by Tsai Fong Books, Inc.

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Japanese from zero

This book is not only popular among Amazon.com. but also the author is a Youtuber.

Japanese From Zero! is an innovative and integrated approach to learning Japanese developed by professional Japanese interpreter George Trombley and co-writer Yukari Takenaka.

The lessons and techniques used in this series have been taught successfully for over ten years in classrooms throughout the world.Using up-to-date and easy-to-grasp grammar, Japanese From Zero! is the perfect course for current students of Japanese as well as absolute beginners.

In Book 1 of the Japanese From Zero! series, readers are taught new grammar concepts, over 800 new words and expressions, and also learn the hiragana writing system.

Features of Book 1:
– Integrated Workbook with Answer Key
– Over 800 New Words and Expressions
– Learn to Read and Write Hiragana
– Easy-to-Understand Example Dialogues
– Culture Points about Japan
– Bilingual Glossaries with Kana and Romaji
…and much more!

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Japanese Graded Readers

If you are particularly looking for the reading practice, this is the one you should try.

The Japanese Graded Reader series meets the need of the learners of Japanese who want to learn and enjoy reading/listening in Japanese.
Each reader is written and edited with care to every detail so you can enjoy reading and absorb tons of Japanese without a dictionary.

-Five levels for the beginning to intermediate learners. Ranges from folk tales, fiction, biographies, history, and culture.
-Every kanji has its reading printed next to it, and also every katakana up to Level 3.
-Vocabulary and grammar are controlled throughout.
-Vocabulary outside the control list are made clear through paraphrasing and/or illustrations.
-CD recording with sound effects makes reading, listening and shadowing much fun.

This is the introductory level of our textbook series featuring 400 characters and 350 vocabulary words per volume using only desu/masu forms. All of the content is written horizontally and using mostly pictures so even complete beginners will have no trouble reading along. (Includes 6 volumes and 1 audio CD)a��Sakurai??a�?The Soybeans i??a�?The Daily Lives of the Kimura: Ittekimasu a�?The Daily Lives of the Kimura: Tadaima a��The Daily Lives of the Kimura: Ichiro at School a�?Officer Ryo-san at Nishimachi Koban: Where is the Koban

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Shin kanzenA�master

This book is popular among JLPT learners and they recommend.

Review:
Excellent set of books for the serious student. They are completely in Japanese, so unless you are ready to study Japanese in Japanese, they may not be quite right for you. The material is challenging, but appropriate if this is the level you are pursuing, and the organization is very methodical and well thought out.

About Grammar N4:
Here is a book that allows the learner to review upper beginner level grammar while at the same time developing the skills necessary to pass N4 of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test. With concise explanations and ample practice exercises, the book is organized so that the learner in a step-by-step manner gets closer and closer to the level needed to pass the exam. The book is structured in the following manner: Question Examples, Practicing Grammatical Forms, Skills Development and Mock Test. In Part 1 of the Skills Development section, 2 to 3 test question grammar forms are presented per chapter to clarify their grammatical form by semantic function. In Part 2, beginning with the different usages of particles, use of the ‘te-form,’ beginner-level grammar points related to such items as transitive and intransitive verbs, etc., the basic rules of Japanese grammar are acquired. Not only aimed at taking the exam, this book is also suitable for those wishing to firmly establish their ability at the beginner level, so as to be able to carry on to the intermediate and advanced levels. The book comes with explanations in English.

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So matome

The definitive study guide for the JLPT!
The “So-matome” series

About Grammar Book:

Learn 230 different grammar points over the course of 6 weeks! Includes example sentences, translations and simple explanations to make things easier to understand.
-Strengthen your Japanese language knowledge and skill base by studying Japanese for specific fields one at a time
-Easy-to-follow layout with study material on the right-hand page and practice questions on the left-hand page
-Includes English, Chinese and Korean translations [Please confirm before purchase because some books have different languages]

This book is good for grammar and very popular.

Nihongo So-matome: Essential Practice for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) Level N5 Kanji, Vocabulary, Grammar, Reading Comprehension, Listening Comprehension
Nihongo So-matome: Essential Practice for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) Level N4 Kanji, Vocabulary
Nihongo So-matome: Essential Practice for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) Level N4 Grammar, Reading Comprehension, Listening Comprehension
Nihongo So-matome for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) Level N3 Grammar
Nihongo So-matome: Essential Practice for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) , Level N3, Reading Comprehension
Nihongo So-matome: Essential Practice for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT), Level N3, Kanji
Nihongo So-matome; Essential Practice for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT), Level N3, Vocabulary
Nihongo So-matome for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) Level N3, Listening Comprehension
Nihongo So-matome for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) Level N2, Kanji
Nihongo So-matome: Essential Practice for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT), Level N2, Listening Comprehension
Nihongo So-matome: Essential Practice for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) Level N2, Reading Comprehension
Nihongo So-matome: Essential Practice for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT), Level N2, Vocabulary
Nihongo So-matome: Essential Practice for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT), Level N2, Grammar
Nihongo So-matome: Essential Practice for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT), Level N1, Reading Comprehension
Nihongo So-matome: Essential Practice for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT), Level N1, Vocabulary
Nihongo So-matome: Essential Practice for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT), Level N1, Listening Comprehension
Nihongo So-matome: Essential Practice for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) , Level N1, Kanji
Nihongo So-matome: Essential Practice for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT), Level N1, Grammar

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Japanese for Busy People

Japanese for Busy People is the most popular Japanese language textbook series in the world. With over 20 components including texts, workbooks, CDs, videos and teachera��s manuals, it is also one of the most comprehensive. Now, a decade after its first revision, the entire series is being redesigned, updated and consolidated to meet the needs of 21st-century students and businesspeople who want to learn natural, spoken Japanese as effectively as possible in a limited amount of time.

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Hiyaku

Hiyaku: An Intermediate Japanese Course provides a progressive intermediate course in Japanese, incorporating modern teaching methods and practicing all four language skills. Hiyaku provides content-based instruction, with authentic and semi-authentic dialogues and readings, all carefully selected to instruct and inspire students as they learn Japanese.

Key features of the textbook include:
-highly structured chapters, beginning with warm-up exercises followed by focused practice of each of the four skills
-gradual introduction to increasingly authentic materials
-content taken from original Japanese sources such as books, TV programs, magazines, newspapers and websites
-extensive audio material provided as FREE MP3 files on a companion website
-instructora��s materials, including PowerPoint files provided through the companion website.

Hiyaku does not simply teach language and basic cultural points: it also helps students gain a holistic understanding of Japanese society and history, and provides the necessary foundation for the advanced study of Japan and its language.

 

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Chuukyuukara manabu nihongo

This book is for the people who are already in Intermediate level of Japanese.

Review:
Very good for reading comprehension.

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JLPT Official Workbook

It is a collection of problems only summarizes the issues that have been questions actually.

Review:
As official practice exams, these use the exact format of the test and include a CD for the listening portion. They are pretty great! There is no English in them. There is a foreword that talks about the JLPT and it’s history and the appendices in the back provide some opportunity for additional practice at reading authentic Japanese. All Kanji outside the exam portion have furigana, so you won’t need to consult your dictionary furiously if you’re not already proficient in the Joyo Kanji.

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