Learn Japanese with Anime: “Tamako Market” (Intermediate Level)


Webmaster Review

74% Excellent

There are elements like fantasy, including birds that speak human language, but there are many characters that speak natural ways that we hear on a daily basis. It is interesting to note that there are many character names related to mochi(rice cake).

  • Story/Worldview 80 %
  • Character 80 %
  • Animation/Background 75 %
  • Songs/Sound 60 %
  • Originality/Enjoyment 75 %
  • User Ratings (0 Votes) 0 %


1. Information

Tamako Market

Title (Eng)Tamako Market
Title (Jpn)たまこまーけっと
Aired Year2013
GenresDrama, Comedy
NextTamako Love Story (Movie)




2. Synopsis

Tamako Market


Tamako Kitashirakawa, the daughter of the rice cake shop in Usagiyama Shopping Street, is a 1st-grade high school student who likes rice cakes and the shopping streets where she was born and raised. At the end of the year when shopping streets are particularly busy, unexpectedly the bird come in a high-handed manner. That bird who speaks human language somehow started living in her house for a while and then…? A noisy year between Tamako and magical bird begins!



3. Character’s way of Speaking

・Kitashirakawa Tamako (北白川 たまこ, きたしらかわ たまこ)

Tamako Market


She is a high school girl who talks softly. Although the female character typically uses feminine tone in Japanese anime, actual school girls more likely speak as Tamako does. The dialogue can be easily understood because she does not use difficult words. But she sometimes speaks rudimentary Japanese when nervous.


・Dera Mochimazzi (デラ・モチマッヅィ, でら もちまっづい)

Tamako Market


Dera Mochimazzi is a bird who can speak human language. There are a lot of cheesy lines and he often speaks in the theatrical parlance. His narration has a good tempo, and it has become the rhythm of “Dodoitsu” that Japanese people like. Dodoitsu is a form of Japanese poetry consisting of four lines with the moraic structure 7-7-7-5. Dera calls Tamako “Musume”(means little girl). Although it is not common, sometimes you call the person by status or position, meaning that you are superior.

An interesting point is that the name of birds is the name that is like an enemy against Kitashirakawa family that owns a rice cake shop. His name Dera Mochimazzi means “Rice cake is horribly bad taste”


・Ooji Mochizou (大路 もち蔵, おおじ もちぞう)

Tamako Market


He talks to a general teenage high school student. Although the way he talks is very manly, he is a boy with a sensitive heart that cannot tell his feeling of love to Tamako.



4. Terms and Talking Contents

Tamako Market


There are many conversations between high school students and daily conversation with people in shopping streets. There are Japanese greetings and customs that differ in seasons, which helps you to learn more about Japanese language and culture. There are many scenes you will understand four seasons of Japan, which makes you feel like you are studying abroad in Japan. Since Tamako speaks a typical way of speaking as high school girl, it would be helpful to learn the young ladies Japanese. Although the difficulty level is not high, Dera sometimes uses bait difficult words. His cheesy lines that are out of place is one of the attractive points, which need subtitles to understand the meaning of it.



5. Difficult Term List (You should prepare for them before watching)

・Difficult Term List which You Must Know (They come out more than twice)
1きゅうあい求愛courting; wooing
2ぶかつ部活club activities
4しょうてんがい商店街shopping district; shopping street
5えだげ枝毛split end of a hair
6せんとう銭湯public bath; bathhouse
7おうけ王家royal family
8かたじけないかたじけないgrateful; indebted
10ふりつけ振り付けchoreography; dance composition
11げこくじょう下克上juniors dominating seniors
12やぶさかではないやぶさかではないready (to do); willing
13しょうばいはんじょう商売繁盛thriving (prosperous) business
・Difficult Term List which Can Be Useful (They come out once)
16おおみそか大晦日New Year’s Eve
20とんちんかんトンチンカンoff the point, irrelevant
21くだけた砕けたin a free and easy manner
22はるらんまん春爛漫spring in full bloom
26ちょうないかい町内会neighborhood association
27つみたてきん積立金reserved fund
29かいしょくかいべん快食快便good appetite and good bowel movements
30はっぴはっぴhappi coat (traditional costume for festival)
31りんかいがっこう臨海学校summer school
32かなづち金づちcannot swim
34うきなをながす浮き名を流すone’s love affairs are the talk of the town
36えんえい遠泳swimming marathon
37いそのかおり潮の香りsalty scent
41あなば穴場Open spot
44かいらんばん回覧板Circulation board
48さいだん祭壇The altar
49のうりょう納涼cool of the evening
51かれおばな枯れ尾花withered silver grass
52おんぎをはたらく恩義を働くreceive favors
53はなよりだんご花より団子people are more interested in the practical over the aesthetic
54こうはく紅白red and white
55じんとく人徳natural virtue
56いっせいちだい一世一代once in a lifetime
58こんりんざい金輪際for any price
59あんずるな案ずるなdo not plan
60うつつをぬかす現を抜かすto be infatuated 
61ねをあげる値を上げるIncrease the value
64えんもく演目A program
65じゅうせき重責Heavy responsibility
68きゅうだいてん及第点passing mark
71たまのこし玉の輿Cinderella story
72ひょうたんからこま瓢箪から駒something very unexpected
74ずがたかい頭が高いbe proud
75ぼやさわぎ小火騒ぎincipient fire
76おおみそか大晦日new year’s eve


6. Intermediate can Learn Japanese with This Anime

There are many human-oriented conversations in the area/shopping street, and languages are diversified accordingly as the variation of people. Birds and Choi’s way of speaking are old-fashioned and poetic, and also uses difficult honorific words. Because adults in shopping districts use unique words, it seems difficult to even at the intermediate level of Japanese. However, these Japanese are correct both in grammar and way of speaking and are also used in reality, so those who try to step up Japanese conversation should be learned by all means. It is not easy because Japanese unique peculiar phrases and choice of words appear in the conversation, but you will learn real Japanese, which you will never be able to learn from the textbook.


Difficult Terms Occurrence Rate6.4 terms/episode= 76 / 12
Difficulty Level12th grade= Middle School
Total Difficulty Score76.8 points= 6.4 * 12
Comprehensive JudgmentNormal= 70.0 to 129.9 points
Recommended Japanese LearnerIntermediate 



About Author

Leave A Reply