first post here. I'm currently reading a children's books titled 'きつね森の山男'. I think it's a good starters book however, some of the structures are confusing or contrary to what I have learnt. I understand the phrase ' aoi aoi morideshita' to mean 'the forest was blue'. I'm sure there is some rule I haven't seen yet, or some obviation to a rule, but wouldn't 'mori ha aokatta desu' mean the same thing?

Thanks guys! (P.S I'm sure I'll be posting more questions about this book!)

  • Hello Kaney, just a tip here, in english we can also say things like "The car was black" and "it was a black car" to mean roughly the same thing, right? The focus changes a little bit though, but what I mean is that there are usually more than one way to say things. Jan 10, 2019 at 21:05
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    Ah I see, similar to Portuguese/Spanish where you can omit the subject/pronoun from the sentence. Of course it had to be something simple haha, thanks for your fast reply! Jan 11, 2019 at 0:31

1 Answer 1


I'm assuming you're comfortable with hiragana, since you're reading this book!

あおい あおい もり でした。

Means "it was a green, green forest." (In Japanese, あおい is often used for things we'd called "green" in English, such as trees and traffic lights.)

As Felipe Oliveira explained, in Japanese as in English, an adjective can come before or after its noun, depending on what you want to emphasis and how you want the phrase to sound.


It was a big dog.


The dog was big.

  • Ah I see now, even though the topic marker isn't used it still translates to English with the subject as 'it'. Thanks for your fast reply! Jan 11, 2019 at 0:31
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    In Japanese, あおい is often used for things we'd called "green" in English ← But they do say "bluegrass", "Blue Mountains", etc. in English as well.
    – user4032
    Jan 11, 2019 at 1:24
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    But bluegrass is from the color it flowers (when it's allowed to bloom); blue mountains from the surrounding blue haze; blue ash from the tint the bark gives water; and so on. The English blue for things that are not obviously blue in each case has a different story behind it.
    – user1478
    Jan 11, 2019 at 1:37
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    See japanese.stackexchange.com/a/1056/88.
    – deceze
    Jan 11, 2019 at 7:21

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