Boku no Imouto wa Kanji ga Yomeru Vol1 Ch1-A

This is terrible light novel and I don’t know how far I’m going to go with this, but have the first half of chapter 1.
Also it would help if someone could come up with a shorter phrase for “non-blood-related little sister” since typing it 50 times a chapter gets annoying.

——————————————————————————————————————————–

Chapter 1 – SENSEI’S LITERATURE

My little sister can read kanji.
And that’s something amazing.

I was currently riding a train bound for Tokyo.The window beside me offered a glimpse of Mt. Fuji before it vanished from sight a moment later. There was no opportunity to enjoy the scenery flying by, with the breakneck speeds that the trains these days run at.
With that in mind, I instead focused my attention to the seat across from me. Sitting there was a girl with long hair – my little sister, Kuroha.
She was intensely absorbed in reading a book.
Wondering what kind of book it was, I glanced at the cover.

Cellphone Novels Complete Collection #11 ☆I Fell In Love With a Hot Guy☆ Original Edition

…Woah.
She’s reading something difficult, as usual.
I couldn’t read the kanji, but I could tell what kind of book it was from the furigana. It was from the late modern era, an old novel that used lots of kanji.
“…What’s with the stare?”
Kuroha noticed my gaze and looked up from her book. She stared at me with an annoyed expression.
“I was just thinking, it’s pretty amazing how you can read such a difficult book like it’s nothing.”
“It’s relatively easy for a book from the late modern era.”
“But it’s still impossible for the average person.”
I looked at Kuroha again after delivering my reply.
My eyes first stopped at her smooth, straight, and long black hair that shined with a silky gloss. Her facial features boasted well-defined eyes and a sharp nose. This isn’t something I should say as her older brother, but her beauty was something to behold.
Moving on to below her face, her slim and well-proportioned figure was adorned in an old-school style outfit. A white blouse, necktie, and a checkered skirt – exactly what a high schooler from the old days would wear. It seemed that Heisei style was in fashion these days.
Her legs were clad in black stockings, but this wasn’t because she was trying to follow fashion trends. There was a particular reason why she had to wear black stockings, though not a very important one.
She was 16 years old, one year younger than me. She both looked and acted mature, so she was often mistaken for being older than she actually was. She seemed very bothered by it, so once I told her, “Beautiful people will start looking young once they get old!” but for some reason she glared at me after that.
Kuroha looked down at her book again.
“You sure know your kanji.”
I was impressed.
Kanji doesn’t exist at all in our current language. The last time they were used was during the late modern era – that is, from the latter half of the 19th century to the latter half of the 21st century.
“Being able to read kanji was normal back then, you know?”
“Seems like it. But it doesn’t come up at all in our daily lives.”
“I believe it’s important to inherit the literature of our ancestors,” Kuroha said with an unsmiling face. “Onii-chan, you should learn some kanji as well. Using them would help set the atmosphere if you ever wanted to write a historical piece. It’s all about the details.”
“I only plan on writing using contemporary settings, though.”
The topic had shifted to novel-writing. I was aiming to become a professional author one day.
Indeed, if I could read and write kanji, my stories would feel much more realistic. I have challenged myself to learn kanji in the past, but the results were nothing short of failure.
Since our conversation had paused, Kuroha focused her attention back on her book. Now then, what should I do? Think up some ideas for a novel?
I inadvertently looked at a wall inside the train. A screen had been mounted there, with news headlines scrolling across.

magical girl statue◎discovery![1]

From the looks of it, a life-sized magical girl statue from 200 years ago had been discovered in Tokyo. After an inspection, it was taken in by the Agency for Cultural Affairs. According to the report, the statue was of the main character of “Magical Girl Do-S”, dressed in a pink costume.
“Hey, that magical girl statue that’s been in the news was found. Apparently it’s worth 50 billion yen.”
“Is that so.”
Kuroha didn’t look up from her book and replied indifferently. Even a cultural artifact worth 50 billion yen doesn’t interest her…
The next headline flowed onto the screen.

usubi → homyura prize nominee!

…What?!
I couldn’t believe my eyes.
The Homyura Prize is Japan’s most influential literary award. How could that thing, usubi, get nominated?!
“What’s wrong, Onii-chan?”
Kuroha looked up at me with a puzzled expression on her face.
“What…? Oh.”
I had jumped up without realizing it. After coming to my senses, I sat back down.
“Looks like usubi got nominated for the Homyura Prize.”
“Yeah, I read about it. It’s been a huge topic in the news recently.”
“That book isn’t fit for the Homyura Prize.”
usubi is a novel that’s become the center of attention recently due to its originality. If one were to ask what’s so original about it, the first thing would come to mind would be its writing style. The text doesn’t contain stars, exclamation marks, or @ symbols at all. It’s a very risky move to make, considering the current style of Japanese literature. The story itself is also very unconventional – it follows the life of the main character from middle to old age, with no high or low points or plot development of any sort. The theme of the work is “growing old.” No cute girls, attractive young women, or panty shots ever appear.
It’s like blasphemy against modern literature!
“I think Oodaira’s imouto st☆r should win.”
“Oh, that one. That typical piece of orthodox literature.”
Yes, it’s orthodox all right. The Homyura Prize should only be award to books that stick to tradition.
However, Kuroha’s expression had turned sour.
“Are you implying that imouto st☆r is bad?” I asked.
“I didn’t say that it’s bad. But doesn’t its story follow the same pattern as always? Oodaira’s works are always so similar – the protagonist suddenly gets a non-blood-related little sister and all.”
…I stood up again. Intentionally this time.
“That is exactly the essence of Oodaira’s writing. Don’t insult orthodox literature!”
Kuroha shrugged. It’s times like these where that face of hers can get annoying.
imouto st☆r does introduce some new ideas. For example, the little sister faces a crisis when she’s suddenly challenged to a strip rock-paper-scissors match. But then she comes up with an ingenious plan where she gets naked first! It was such a twist!”
“But why did she have to get naked all of a sudden? And why was she even challenged to a strip rock-paper-scissors match in the first place? Isn’t that a bit sudden when she was just walking down the street? It was an unnecessary development.”
Sigh, I pity her.
“Kuroha, you’re a smart girl. But you don’t have the mind to understand literature. Meaningless undressing scenes are a crucial pillar of traditional writing! The strip rock-paper-scissors match was introduced for the very purpose of making that undressing scene make sense.”
“It doesn’t make sense no matter how I read it.”
“You’re paying too much attention to the details. The important part is that they had a rock-paper-scissors match and undressed. That is the heart of orthodox literature!”
“…Only delusional freaks can understand and enjoy this stuff.”
“Wh-what was that?!”
I shuddered at Kuroha’s harsh remark and sat back down with a thud.
“Honestly, you don’t have any respect for Oodaira-sensei at all. Why did you come along today, anyway?”
There was a very important reason why we were headed to Tokyo today.
We’re going to meet the famous novelist, Oodaira Gai.
He is the contemporary author that I respect above all others.
Born in 2132, currently 70 years old. A veteran of the industry, celebrating his 50th anniversary since his debut this year. As a forerunner in the world of Japanese literature, he is known for always being able to make the best-sellers lists no matter what he puts out. He has built up a large fanbase abroad as well. It’s been claimed that he’s the most-read author in the world right now.
He’s not someone that an ordinary high schooler like me can normally meet, but a relative of mine who works for the publisher got a chance for me, and now I’m on my way to visit his home in Tokyo.
I had originally planned to go alone, but Kuroha decided to come along as well. She’s not a particularly big fan of his, so I wonder why? Does she just want to meet a celebrity?
“I would have been fine going alone, you know?”
“I happened to have no plans for the day is all.”
“No plans… Do you not have any friends? All right, I’ll go to your classroom and yell out to everyone, ‘Be nice to Kuroha!’. I’m pretty confident in the volume of my voice.”
“…Please don’t. If you do that, the both of us are going to die.”
“Die?”
“Me in the social sense, you in the medical sense.”
“Why in the medical sense?”
“Because I’ll kill you!”
She can say some scary things…
“I do have friends, so please don’t do anything strange.”
“Then why don’t you hang out with those friends instead of me?”
“I have my priorities.”
“Pri…?”
“The order of precedence in which I plan to complete certain duties.”
“D-don’t worm your way out of the question by using difficult words!”
“But I was trying to simplify it.”
No, you’re not simplifying anything. In fact, I don’t understand it one bit!
Kuroha sighed a “whatever” with a dissatisfied look on her face, and then continued.
“I was worried that you would do something rash in front of Oodaira-sensei, so I’m here as a babysitter.”
Babysitter?!
…I see. Kuroha is worried about me in her own way.
“I understand. I must still be pretty childish from your point of view. Thank you, Kuroha.”
I gripped both of her hands, which were still holding the book, to express my thanks.
“Wha, wha– Stop it!”
Kuroha pulled her hands back in a fluster.
“Still, I’d be happy if you could appreciate Sensei’s books a little more.”
“Oodaira’s novels are nothing but romantic comedies involving non-blood-related little sisters. So, well…”
Kuroha twirled her long black hair around her index finger. That was one of her habits when she felt embarrassed.
Hmm. I wasn’t sure what Kuroha was thinking at the moment, but I went ahead and said what was on my mind.
“Non-blood-related little sisters sure are nice…”
“Y-yeah.”
Kuroha looked down for some reason.
“2D ones, I mean.”
“……”
And now she looked back up, with a much more menacing look on her face.
“I’m amazed. You can prattle on about non-blood-related little sisters and such even in the environment you’re living in.”
…My environment, huh.
In a sense, that’s exactly why I could relate so much.
Kuroha’s demeanor turned apologetic after she noticed my lack of response.
“I’m sorry… that was inconsiderate of me.”
“Don’t worry about it. More importantly, we’re almost there.”
Soon after that, an announcement chimed that the train was about to arrive at Shinagawa Station. Just a little bit longer, and I can meet Oodaira-sensei! I was so excited that I felt like I was walking on air.

We left Shinagawa Station and switched to a connecting train headed toward Oodaira-sensei’s home.
The closest station to Sensei’s house was a private railway called Nerima. After arriving at Nerima Station, we walked out into the street, where a government signboard was mounted quite visibly across the traffic circle in front of us.
On the signboard was an illustration of the current Prime Minister, a cute 2D girl named Nyarumo-chan. Her large and round eyes radiated cuteness.
Nyarumo-chan is the seventh two-dimensional prime minister. She is meant to serve as “the nation’s little sister.” Everyone loves little sisters, especially of the blood-related variety, so she has received overwhelming support. Even I’m very fond of her, despite being more of a fan of non-blood-related little sisters.
Directly underneath the signboard was an electric sign with a message from Nyarumo-chan: “long live japan!”
Now then, Sensei’s house should be close to the station… I looked around at my surroundings.
Almost immediately, I spotted a towering, chalk-white mansion at the corner of the street. There it is. Sensei’s house!
And then I gulped. I’m getting nervous, which isn’t a surprise. I have to make sure that I don’t make any stupid mistakes. I fixed my collar in a fluster.
Suddenly, I became worried about the clothing that I chose for today.
I was wearing a uniform in the same old school style as Kuroha, but in a different fashion.
My outfit included a black jacket and slacks, a supposed school uniform.
Apparently it’s the type of school uniform that an intellectual young boy from the Showa Era who was aiming to become an author would wear.
“Kuroha, do you think my clothes might come off as disrespectful in front of Sensei? I’m worried that they might be too intellectual and stylish.”
“……Don’t worry. No matter what you wear, onii-chan, you won’t seem intellectual or stylish. Far from it.”
“Oh, that’s a relief.”
I can relax now.
As we neared Sensei’s mansion, we noticed illustrations painted on the surrounding white outer wall.
They were all young girls. One, two… there were a total of 20. All of them looked around elementary school age. I knew who they all were.
They were the little sisters.
Sensei has always written about little sisters, ever since his debut. The 20 girls were the heroines of each of his works.
“How many of them can you recognize, Kuroha?”
“You mean how many I can tell apart? Only Rin from imouto st☆r, I guess…”
“I win! I can recognize all of them.”
I’m a major Oodaira fan. It’s a given that I should know which illustration belongs to which heroine.
“They all look the same to me.”
She’s such a beginner.
It’s true that all the girls are elementary school age, they all have twintails, they’re all wearing cute ribbons, and they all have a small figure with no curves. Certainly, they might look the same to the untrained eye.
But look closer – each of them have their unique traits. One has a mole next to her mouth, another has hair longer by 1 centimeter, and yet another has a different colored hair ribbon. If you were to ask me, they’re as different as could be.
“And it’s not just their appearances. Their personalities are all the same, too.”
But that’s a big mistake. The features that they have in common are limited to adoring being pampered, not wanting to be alone, getting embarrassed easily, putting up a strong front, getting jealous easily, being clumsy, having a habit of bed-wetting, saying strange things on occasion, and loving their big brother more than anything else in the world. That’s all there is, really.
It’s not like Sensei is projecting his own ideals onto his heroines. He makes sure to give each girl her own unique personality.
“All the girls look the same, so I guess every book is the same as well.”
This woman! Her mouth is going to get herself in trouble one day.
Setting the heroines aside for now, the protagonist differs from book to book as well. The little sisters are always 10 years old, but the protagonists grow to match Sensei’s own age. In imouto st☆r, the protagonist was in his seventies.
That scene were the little sister helped the protagonist put on his dentures was so moving!
“Don’t just focus on the individual characters. It’s also important to note how the protagonist and the little sister relate to each other!”
“Yeah, yeah.”
What’s with that lousy attitude? Make fun of your older brother too much and he’ll get angry!

“…Who are you?”
Those were Sensei’s first words after he opened the front door. He looked at me suspiciously.
It’s the real thing. It’s the real Oodaira Gai!
He looked no different from recently published photographs. His white hair was slicked back, he had a refined white beard, and classic black framed spectacles sat on his nose. The eyes behind the lenses posessed a sharp, dignified air.
“It’s nice to meet you. I’m Imose Gin.”
I gave him my full name. In response, Sensei stroked his beard while tilting his head upward, as if he was thinking about something.
“Did I have any visitor appointments today…?”
No way, did he not receive any messages about it?
Sensei continued to look at us hesitantly.
“Hmm, pardon me for a moment.”
He scrunched up his eyebrows and put his hand next to his ear, and then murmured “uh-huh, uh-huh,” while nodding. I didn’t know who he was talking to. He was probably wearing a miniature phone on his ear.
“Ahh, sorry about that. I had completely forgotten, but my little sister reminded me. I see, so the appointment was today, was it?”
A gentle smile formed on Sensei’s face as he spread his arms out. Thank goodness, it looks like he’s welcoming us.
“This is my little sister, Kuroha.”
I moved to the side and introduced Kuroha, who had been standing behind me.
“It’s nice to meet you. My name is Kuroha.”
“…Little sister, huh.”
Sensei’s eyes narrowed.
“Is she your blood-related sister?”
I gulped.
Why would Sensei want to ask that? Is she my real sister? That’s…
“No, Kuroha and I are not related by blood.”
Right, we’re not. I was put up for adoption by my real parents shortly after I was born, and have been raised by my foster parents ever since. It’s not a past that I especially enjoy talking about.
“…Non-blood-related, is that so…”
Sensei mumbled.
Eh? He was acting strange. His shoulders were trembling slightly.
“You bring along your non-blood-related little sister to meet me, who is called ‘Oodaira of the Non-Blood-Related Little Sisters’…”
Sensei was glaring at me as if he had met his natural enemy.
“Did one of your parents remarry?”
“No, my current parents took me in when I was a baby.”
“Your case is quite a rare one. I’m sure the relationship you form with your little sister in the future will be rare as well.”
“I-I’m sorry.”
I was overwhelmed by the tension and apologized by instinct.
“Oh no, I should be the one apologizing. Your life must not seem so envious from your perspective. Well then, come on in.”
It looks like Sensei has calmed down. He opened the door and ushered us in. I said a word of thanks and stepped inside.
“…Wait a moment.”
Before we could step into the entrance hall, Sensei stopped us with a low voice.
“I want to confirm something. Do you only have one little sister?”
He’s sharp! So sharp it made me shiver.
“No, I have one more.”
“How old is she?”
“She’s ten years old.”
“T-ten?!”
Sensei’s face twisted in surprise.
“Does she come to you for help whenever she wets the bed?!”
“Yes, she does. Her parents and Kuroha will scold her if she tells them, so..”
BANG! Sensei kicked the front door.
“OOOOOOOOOH!!!”
His face turned a red so deep that it wouldn’t be surprising if steam came out from his ears.
“A 10 year old little sister who wets the bed!”
Sensei’s tears dripped rapidly down his face. He then pulled something out of his pocket. It was a cell phone.
“Hello, Choumabayashi-kun? It’s Oodaira.”
While the two of us remained dumbfounded, Sensei started talking to someone.
“There’s a guy here that I want turned back into an infant.”
I have no idea what he’s talking about.
“Get this, this guy has two non-blood-related little sisters. And one of them is ten years old! It’s frustrating, but there’s nothing I can do about it. But if he turns into an infant, then those little sisters would become his older sisters.”
I was alarmed at Sensei’s conversation. Isn’t this Choumabayashi the famous scientist, Dr. Choumabayashi, who has completed a countless number of successful experiments?
Sensei hung up the phone and softly smiled in our direction. Although his eyes weren’t smiling at all.
“Gin-kun, you might be the first person in humanity to experience something like this. You’ll become a vital contribution to scientific progression.”
A first for all of humanity! Scientific progression!
“Kuroha…”
I looked at my little sister. Perhaps startled by the unforeseen situation, she was frozen stiff.
“I am deeply moved!”
I’ve been given the chance to experience something extraordinary. This will definitely become a source of material for my novel.
“Sensei!”
I kneeled on the floor. This man is a being that you should bow down to in respect!
“I have many friends. Several of them at the top of their fields.”
Sensei continued to glare down at me, weeping.
“I have connections to politicians as well. I’m going to impose a tax on non-blood-related little sisters. No exemptions for minors. Non-blood-related little sisters are supposed to be a luxury. Therefore, they should be taxed.”
“How magnificent. Even the structure of society has been altered as a result of the meeting between Sensei and I. It’s as if our meeting has given birth to a miracle!”
“Are you making fun of me?!”
“Of course not! I am deeply moved. I’ll use this precious opportunity that you have bestowed on me as material for the novel that I’m submitting to the Newcomers Award. Thank you very much!”
“Newcomers Award? What are you talking about?!”
Sensei’s words hit me with wrath.
“You’ve made me angry. I’ll tell the publishers to never let you debut. Give up on becoming a novelist!”
Eh…? His words repeated in my head. Give up on becoming a novelist…?
I’ve offended him without realizing it! Sensei’s influence reaches far and wide in the literary world, so preventing my debut should be a simple matter for him. At this rate, I won’t be able to become an author!
I was left dumbfounded, but then…
“Please wait a moment!”
Kuroha moved in front of me, who was still kneeling on the ground, in a fluster. Her long black hair fluttered.
“We deeply apologize for upsetting you. Please take a look at this.”
Kuroha took out her cell phone and showed the screen to Sensei.
“This is our little sister, Miru.”
Judging by her words, Sensei was being shown a picture of the younger of my two little sisters, Miru.
“If it will appease your anger, then we will bring Miru here and have her call you ‘onii-chan’.”
The moment after Kuroha said that, Sensei stopped moving.
“Ooh…”
Sensei smiled while entranced.
“Onii-chan… nice.”
His mouth was hanging half-open, drooling a bit. He was already at an old age, so he must have trouble controlling his mouth muscles. Poor guy.
After remaining like that for a while, he suddenly tensed up again.
“It’s a deal.”
He proclaimed and pointed at Kuroha with a snap.
“Anyway, we can’t stay here standing and chatting forever. Come in, let’s talk in the living room.”
It looks like Sensei has calmed down. He turned his back to us and went inside the house.
Sigh, somehow we managed to escaped that predicament. What a relief…
“Thank you very much. Onii-chan, stand up.”
After I straightened myself up, Kuroha walked up to me and whispered in my ear.
“Saying that we would take Miru here was just an emergency excuse. Don’t take it seriously, okay?”
“Why? We shouldn’t trick Sensei.”
“But if I didn’t do that, he would have stayed angry. Your dream would have ended right there. It was the right decision for me to come after all.”
When you put it like that… the one who successfully calmed Sensei down was Kuroha. I should be thanking her for coming with me.
………
Wait, didn’t I get caught up in this because she wanted to come along in the first place?
While I was still busy thinking, Kuroha left me and entered the house. Oi, that’s unfair! I’m the one who respects Sensei so much, so I should be first!

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[1] The 23rd century-style text in the original Japanese is in all hiragana. Obviously that’s impossible to translate, but I’ve tried to do something similar in English by using no capital letters, minimal punctuation, and internet shorthand where it applies.

Table of Contents | Ch1-B

Leave a comment

7 Comments

  1. Thicky

     /  March 17, 2013

    Haha. Maybe ‘stepsister’?

    I appreciate your effort translating this light novel. Thank you.

    Reply
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  3. Since I finished that book I’ve started 4 businesses.
    From customer satisfaction to the importance of
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  4. The other day, while I was at work, my cousin stole my iPad and
    tested to see if it can survive a 30 foot drop, just
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  5. Fartly Avocado

     /  July 2, 2016

    Adopted little sister.

    Reply
  6. Fartly Avocado

     /  July 3, 2016

    By the way are the black stockings a Chekhov’s Gun? Is it something like she heard him once say he likes black stockings, so she wants to impress him, but she gave him some excuse for why she wears them?

    Reply
  7. why dont you just Ctrl + C to copy and Ctrl +V to paste every time you need it when you know your going to need it a lot.

    Reply

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