Mariko’s Secret Notebook


Mariko’s Secret Notebook

   Henry Kiryowa


1 Riku Stars in a Cartoon Show

2 At the Movies

3 Riri in the Mirro

4 What Were They Thinking?

5 Car Talk!

6 At the Library

7 The Photograph

8 Squirrel Looking for Lunch

9 I Meet the THUNDER BOY!

10 Shadows

11 I Know What They Think!

12 Played by the Digital Games

13The Most Beautiful Person…I Know

          Mariko’s Secret Notebook

  Shsssh! my name is Riku Tanabe. I’m going to be 10 next week. I’ve just seen my big sister, Mariko, tossing this, in the trash can…Oh, yikes! It looks like some kind of a diary…a thick notebook full of notes! Wonder why she’s throwing it away!

 Uh… I shouldn’t do this, but I CAN’T stop myself from doing what I’m about to do…reading it!

It looks kind of old. Look, it says “Yesterday was my birthday. I turned 10-” Wow! She was 10 when she started keeping this diary! Now she’s 14 maybe 15.

I can’t believe I’m reading my sister’s secret notes. But hey…she’s just thrown them away.

 I’m gonna need a safe and quiet place before I start devouring it. Here we go…

  Mariko Tanabe is my name. My family, friends and not so friends call me Mari chan. I’ve been alive for ten years, one day and some hours. I live in a two-storey house on a street that doesn’t have a name somewhere in the prefecture of Shizuoka Japan, with my mom and dad and an annoying younger brother named Riku. Oh and… seven gold fish all of them named Kin chan. I wish we’d something bigger in form of a pet.

Yesterday, I bought this thick Notebook at a stationery store. My mom asked me what it was for and I told her that I wanted to write some important notes about my life. “Are you starting to keep a diary?” she asked.  “I’m not really sure. I just want to jot a few things down. May be it’ll be fun to read it in the future when I’m older,” I said.

I’d like to keep my notes absolutely secret! I don’t know for how long, though. If you’re reading this short preface note, STOP! Put my secret notes notebook back where you’ve found it. It might be too late to stop you from reading it anyway but… please don’t ever tell my mom and dad, friends or teachers about it. There’s no doubt if my parents get to know some of the things I’m about to put on these clean sheets of paper, socks will fly off their feet and land on the neighbor’s roof!

I may be ten years and a day old with piggy-tails and ribbons and secret crushes on fifth and sixth grade boys but I’m not your average, regular ten -year old girl. I see, hear, feel and imagine things that I’m sure most of humanity doesn’t. I tend to be more observant and think about stuff that regular kids of my age and a little older, wouldn’t ever bother themselves with. This is the first time in my life I’m attempting to make a record of stuff happening in my young life. Part of me says that I should not do this. And the other…why not? It might be fun even if it may get me deep in a pile of trouble.


toss                …を(軽く)投げる、放る

I can’t stop myself from        自分が…するのを止めることができない

turn 10              10歳になる

devour               …をむさぼり読む

two-storey house            2階建ての家

annoying             うっとうしい

thick notebook           ぶ厚いノート

stationery store               文房具屋、文具店

jot a few things down      いくつかちょっと書き留めておく

absolutely secret             絶対内緒に

preface note                    前書き

no doubt                         疑いなく

secret crushes                 片思い、ひそかな恋心

tend to              どちらかといえば…する方だ

observant            目配りの利く

stuff                ものごと

deep in a pile of trouble 山のようなトラブルにどっぷりと