佐賀のがばいばあちゃん 👵🏼 (Intermediate Book Club)

Thanks for starting this up @NicoleIsEnough! I’m excited albeit a little nervous about participating. But as soon as I saw the nomination, I knew it was a book I wanted to read and secretly hoped it would be picked so I could be pushed into reading it sooner rather than later.

In regards to the reading schedule, it really does feel like a smooth read so far. It’s really time consuming for me since it’s the first text I’m genuinely reading without all the furigana support, but content-wise, it’s very readable. I don’t see a problem trying a 10 week schedule and maybe adjusting if others feel like they’re falling behind?

I took pictures of the chapter list in the paperback version below.

Pics of Chapter List


So the main paperback version (I think the one originally listed in the nomination list) is a lot smaller than the average paperback I’ve seen. I don’t have much experience with books, so I can’t comment any further, but I included pictures of pages from the prologue to a few pages from chapter 1 to give you a feeling what it looks like.

Difference in size next to 夜カフェ

pages 6-9 (Prologue)




pages 10-13 (opening to chapter 1)


And if it helps anyone else, I started a vocab list while reading the Prologue. It was pretty kanji heavy for me, but if you feel off-putted by it, I’m pretty sure it won’t be that bad later on. There was a lot of explanation on the context of the story, so I think it’ll be a little easier to read from chapter 1.

Personal Vocab List for Prologue

急勉 きゅうへん sudden turn; sudden change
所得倍増計画 しょとくばいぞうけいかく Income Doubling Plan
高度経済成長 こうどけいざいせいちょう Japanese post-war economic miracle​
紛争 ふんそう dispute; conflict; trouble; strife
地価上昇 ちかじょうしょう Land price rise
校内ぼうりょく こうないぼうりょく School violence
円高 えんだか appreciation of the yen; strong yen; strengthening of the yen; high-valued yen; exchange in favor of the yen (favour)
ドラ案 どらあん Dollar depreciation
バブル bubble economy
崩壊 ほうかい collapse; crumbling; breaking down; caving in
価格破壊 かかくはかい sudden, wide-spread drop in prices
就職氷河期 しゅうしょく ひょうがき period of poor employment opportunities; job drought; employment ice age
不景気 ふけいき Recession
リストラ (corporate) restructuring; downsizing; laying off people
満員 まんいん crowded
揺らぐ ゆらぐ to swing; to sway; to shake; to tremble
解放 かいほう release
不足 ふそく insufficiency; deficiency; shortage; lack; scarcity; deficit
縛る しばる to restrict (freedom); to tie down (with rules, regulations, etc.); to fetter
健やか すこやか vigorous; healthy; sound
流行 りゅうこう fashion; trend; vogue; craze; fad; popularity
尊敬 そんけい respect
成績 せいせき results; record; grades; marks
将来 しょうらい future
少年犯罪 しょうねんはんざい juvenile delinquency
増える ふえる to increase
次第 しだい depending on
断言 だんげん assertion; declaration; affirmation
以来 いらい since; henceforth
厳しい きびしい harsh
付属 ふぞく affiliated
掃除婦 そうじふ cleaning woman
抜く ぬく to do to the end; to carry through
預ける あずける to place (in someone’s custody); to entrust (someone) with
既に すでに already; too late
相変わらず あいかわらず as usual; as always; as before; as ever; still
裕福 ゆうふく wealthy; rich; affluent; well-off
冒頭 ぼうとう beginning; start; outset
暮らし くらし (way of) life; living; livelihood; life circumstances
大往生 だいおうじょう peaceful death
とてつもない enormous; tremendous; extraordinary; monumental
勘違い かんちがい misunderstanding
確かに たしかに certainly
放棄 ほうき abandonment

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