A while ago I introduced Aozora Bunko, a website where you can get free ebooks in Japanese.
Now, how do you use the thing? Here’s how to search for free eBooks in Japanese.
Search for the Book:
There are a few main ways to search for books on Aozora.
Search by Author
You can search by author by using the links in the「公開中 作家別」row. So if you want to find an author named 松本 (Matsumoto) you need to check the 「ま行」and the author, if he has been entered into Aozora, will be listed.
Search by Book Title
You can search by title by using the links in the 「公開中 作品別」row. However, the book titles are all listed in Japanese. So if you want to find a book called 「長い夢」you would need to look under the 「な」link. You will see 「長い夢」listed.
If you are looking for a foreign book you will need to know the Japanese name for the book you are looking for.
Lastly, there is a site wide search in the upper right which is just a Google search against www.aozora.gr.jp.
So you need to know how to write the name of the book you are seeking in Japanese. Though, I guess you could assume that if you’re looking to read a book in Japanese you cean read and write the language huh?
Example of Finding an English Book
For example, say you’re looking for “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott.
Louisa May Alcott in Katakana is written like this. 「オルコット ルイーザ・メイ」If you want to search for author on Aozora, you must know the authors Japanese spelling.
The title of “Little Women” has been translated to 「若草物語」in Japanese. If you want to search by title on Aozora, you must know the books Japanese title as well. Sometimes, the titles are in Katakana. Sometimes they have been translated, in this case.
Not easy huh!
Once you successfully up “Little Women” it will look like this.
At the bottom of this page you will see the Japanese text which says “File Download”.
Of course, the Aozora website is still being built, so this information may become invalid someday!
Hope this helps.
If anyone knows a way to go from an English book title to the Japanese book title… Let me know!