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A Ruined Apartment Building

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A language blog for learners of Japanese

This blog is a weekly blog from JOI, Japanese online school. Each week, one of the JOI Japanese teachers writes an article about things that interest them and observations about Japanese culture, food, seasons and attractions.

This week, Yatabe sensei writes a story about one thing that she finds interesting in her neighborhood.

You can read the story in straight Japanese, or with some Furigana which helps you to read and understand the Kanji. And learn some new Japanese vocabulary with the vocab list.

There is also an English translation and video so you can listen to the blog read in fluent Japanese.

A Ruined Apartment Building


By YATABE Kumiko

ruined- apartment building

私の家から少し歩いたところに、私達家族が廃墟アパートと呼んでいる建物があります。二階建ての小さな安っぽいアパートで、誰も住んでいる気配がありません。人が住まなくなってから、かなりの年数が経っているように見えます。10年? 20年? 外壁もドアも煤けて、元の色がどんなだったのかわかりません。一階から二階に上る鉄の階段がありますが、錆びきっていて所々段が外れています。持ち主は、このアパートを建て直すことも取り壊すこともせず、完全に放置しているようです。



ruined- apartment building

To listen to this blog, please watch our Youtube video.

私(わたし)の家(いえ)から少(すこ)し歩(ある)いたところに、私達(わたしたち)家族(かぞく)が廃墟(はいきょ)アパートと呼(よ)んでいる建物(たてもの)があります。二階建て(にかいだて)の小(ちい)さな安(やす)っぽいアパートで、誰(だれ)も住(す)んでいる気配(けはい)がありません。人(ひと)が住(す)まなくなってから、かなりの年数(ねんすう)が経(た)っているように見(み)えます。10年(ねん)? 20年? 外壁(がいへき)もドアも煤(すす)けて、元(もと)の色(いろ)がどんなだったのかわかりません。一階(いっかい)から二階(にかい)に上(あが)る鉄(てつ)の階段(かいだん)がありますが、錆(さ)びきっていて所々(ところどころ)段(だん)が外(はず)れています。持ち主(もちぬし)は、このアパートを建て直す(たてなおす)ことも取り壊す(とりこわす)こともせず、完全(かんぜん)に放置(ほうち)しているようです。



A Ruined Apartment Building

A little walk from our house there is a building which our family calls "The Ruined Apartment". It is a small cheap-looking two story apartment building, and shows no sign of anyone living there. It looks as though it has been quite a number of years since anyone lived there. 10 years ? 20 years ? The outer wall and the door have gotten old and you cannot see what the original color was. There is an iron staircase that goes from the first floor to the second floor but it is rusted and some steps are missing here and there. The owner has not rebuilt this apartment or demolished it, but instead completely abandoned it.

Every time I pass here, I get interested in what it looks like inside. Each unit probably has just one or two rooms, I reckon. I wonder if the doors open properly. Can you use the iron staircase to get to the second floor ? The stairs might collapse on the way up. Inside, I bet you can find some things you cannot find now like an old TV or chest of drawers.

An abandoned building has a similar attraction to old ruins.

廃墟(はいきょ) ruin, abandoned building

二階建て(にかいだて) two-story (building)

気配(けはい) glimpse, sign

年数(ねんすう) the number if years

外壁(がいへき) outer wall

煤(すす)ける get old

錆(さ)びる get rusted

所々(ところどころ) here and there

建て直す(たてなおす) rebuild

取り壊す(とりこわす) demonish, tear down

放置(ほうち)する leave

興味(きょうみ)をおぼえる get interested

崩壊(ほうかい)する break down, collapse

箪笥(たんす) drawer

遺跡(いせき) remains, archaeological site

魅力(みりょく) appeal, charm


Konnichiwa. My name is Kumiko Yatabe. I live in Saitama, just North of Tokyo.

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Guest Tuesday, 26 October 2021