Osaka’s Ryotaro Shiba Museum


What better way to honor a famous author that to build a book museum? The Ryotaro Shiba Museum in Osaka, Japan celebrates the life of Ryotaro Shiba, an Osaka native. Shiba wrote more than 30 novels and hundreds of essays in his long career, mostly related to the history of Japan, before he passed away in 1996.


The museum, opened five years after his death, is found in a quiet residential neighborhood and features two parts. The first is the house where Shiba lived for many years. The house looks over a small forest where he loved to go for walks. The new part of the museum is a large curving glass corridor full of 11-meter high bookshelves. The shelves contain 20,000 books from Shiba’s collection. Shiba used these books to research his novels and essays.


The museum website encourages visitors to sit in a chair, look up, and admire the huge walls of books. By doing this, visitors can feel Ryotaro Shiba’s spirit. Note that photography and mobile phones are not allowed inside and you should be quiet while visiting.

Vocabulary 好字精選

1. native (n) a local person, a person born in a specific area  天生的;本土的;出生地的
Maya is a Taiwan native, even she speaks perfect English.

2. residential (adj) related to residents, not businesses  居住的;住宅的;適合居住的
Burt and his family live in a residential area in the city center.  

3. curving (adj) a line that continues to bend at the same rate  彎曲的
The presenter drew a downward curving line to illustrate the decline in sales in the last year.

4. corridor (n) hallway  走廊,迴廊,通道
Go to the end of the corridor then turn left.

5. collection (n) a group of something that one collects  收集,採集;收藏品
Kevin has more than 2000 monster cards in his collection.  

6. admire (v) appreciate  欽佩;欣賞
You can admire the waterfall from the bridge or walk right down to the bottom of it. 

7. photography (n) the taking of photos  攝影;攝影學
Irene studied photography in college and now she does wedding photos.

Phrases and Sentence Patterns 句型解析

1. what better way to V1 than to V2? (sentence pattern) The best way to V1 is to V2, Is there any way better than V1 to do V2?  有甚麼…更好
What better way to inspire others than to give a good speech?

2. pass away (phrasal verb) die過世,死亡,身亡
Victoria’s grandmother passed away last night. 

3. look over (phrasal verb) have/has a view of  檢查;瀏覽
The balcony looks over the river valley.

Exercise 課後練習題

1. Becky, a ____________ of Paris, now lives in Berlin.

2. This apartment building is _______________; there are no shops or businesses inside.

3. It’s difficult to hang pictures on this ______________ wall.

4. There’s a long ______________ connecting the two buildings.

5. It’s kind of weird that Adam has a _____________ of dried bugs.

6. The girl stood there ______________ the mountain view.

7. Just about everybody can do _______________ now that all cell phones come with cameras.

8. ____________ find a job than to post your resume on a job hunting website?

9. The elderly woman was over 100 when she ____________.

10. The castle ____________ the lovely countryside.

1. native
2. residential
3. curving
4. corridor
5. collection
6. admiring
7. photography
8. What better way to
9. passed away
10. looks over

Comprehension Questions 閱讀理解

1. In what year was the Ryotaro Shiba Museum opened?
a. 1991
b. 1996
c. 2001
d. We don’t know.

2. Which of the following is not true?
a. The neighborhood this museum is found in is peaceful.
b. This museum is located in Osaka, where the author lived.
c. The main items that are exhibited in this museum are books.
d. Visitors can take beautiful photos of the tall bookshelves.

1. 司馬遼太郎紀念館是在以下何年開幕?
a. 1991年
b. 1996年
c. 2001年
d. 我們不知道

2. 下列哪一項敘述是錯誤的?
a. 紀念館的周邊區域非常地平靜。
b. 這座紀念館位於大阪,為作者的現居城市。
c. 在這間紀念館展出的主要展覽品為書籍。
d. 參觀者可以拍下巨大書架的美麗照片。



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