[2021] 多読/extensive reading challenge

Just finished my first…18+ book in japanese (百合エルフと呪われた姫)

The basic premise is a girl whos a half elf (one human parent and one elf parent) is kinda shunned in the village because elves and humans hate each other. She decides to run away and stumbles across a princess who is cursed and kinda privately shunned within the royal family because of a curse a witch placed on her on her 15th birthday. I won’t go into the details of the curse on the 1% chance someone reads it.

Things go from there, and you would expect it to not have much plot because its just an ero book…but thats not actually the case and it has a big reveal and kinda comes full circle real nicely. The only problem is, it really glosses over some stuff in the plot where when you think about it…its really like incredibly messed up. The person who really saw that messed up stuff from a front row seat was the half elfs aunt and I’m sure shes got some stories to tell. I almost feel like an actual novel from her perspective could be a legitimately good book.

The aunts story:

She basically witnessed the birth of a sacred spot that grants wishes and watched a lot of people go there to pray for something. Then, she saw the tragedies that happened when it turned out that spot takes something from you in return as compensation and the efforts that came after that to seal away the spot. Later she saw her sister fall in love with a human which is a big nono, but they couldn’t have a kid together so the sister went to the sacred spot to pray for one and lost her lifespan as an elf as compensation and died an early death. Apparently, they knew they would be separated by force and wanted to leave behind some proof of their love so they decided a kid was their best bet. Thus, the aunt had to raise the half elf child who she hated and loved at the same time while keeping close watch until that half elf eventually ran away. She then went through hell trying to track said half elf down only to find out that she found out about the sacred spot and plans to use it just like her mom did to give birth to her because she wants to free the princess from her curse. She ends up letting her use it and for all we know, has no idea about if her niece even survived. Not to mention that the relationship her sister had with a human led to events that caused the poor relationship between elves and humans so the aunt got to see the origin of that too. Auntie is the true main character.


I’m finally making progress again after a extended reading break for a month or so.


I’ve finished 兎の目, the book I’ve started back in July. It’s a children’s book from 1974 about a young teacher and a bunch of elementary school children, most of whom live at a waste disposal site. It deals with the challenges teachers face when dealing with “problem” and mentally handicapped children, how everyone is different and that individual attention and care is very important.

Definitely a good book that emphasizes how important empathy is. It wasn’t always pleasant to read, though, because it contains detailed descriptions of flies and what they eat and other things some readers might find gross, and at one point an account of torture a Korean man had to face during the war. My biggest issue, though, was the lack of kanji combined with the fact that almost everyone speaks in a dialect (a variation of Kansai-ben). Some words were written in an unusual mixture of kanji and kana that made it hard to look them up (e.g. 勉きょう instead of 勉強) which slowed my reading down at times.

The author, Kenjirō Haitani, used to work as an elementary school teacher himself, which may be why the interaction between the teachers and students feel so authentic.

By the way, the cover illustration is by Katsuya Kondō who is known for his work as a character designer and animation director at Studio Ghibli.

By the way, the book was also published in English and the cover is pretty terrible.



Maybe its just because I read the most futsu weeb stuff ever, but you always seem to read some pretty unique stuff. Childrens book from the 1970s isn’t one I feel like I see often.


Very very relatable! Well, minus Kansai-ben. I had the same problem with Edogawa Ranpo’s first entry in the Boy Detective Club series. It had close to no kanji. Paired with the excess of onomatopoeic expressions, it was a pretty tough read. I found it very surprising, because the next book in the series features the “normal” amount of kanji. Way above my level, but still.

Your title sounds quite interesting! :slight_smile:


That cover sure is something.

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The Beginner Book Club is currently reading a collection of short stories for children from around the 1920s or so (depending on the story). They also feel pretty unique so far (this week we’re reading the third story). They are very short, around 10 pages on average, and freely available on Aozora, so if you‘d like to dip your toes in :blush:

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I’m sure you’ve seen what I read, so I’m sure you’ll know what I mean when I say its a bit too respectable for my tastes :^)

I appreciate the offer/info tho! I usually ignore the bookclub threads since im not in them, so I had no idea you guys were reading that. Actually hella cool. I would have thought that books from the 1920s might be a bit harder for beginners vocab wise though, right? Is the language much different?


I must say I’m surprised how accessible the texts are. I think that’s where the author really shines in writing the stories in a language that can be understood well even by smaller children. Of course the downside is the relative lack of kanji, with the occasional kilometer-long kana chain that is tricky to break down, but at least we need not look up dozens of weird or old-fashioned kanji that I’ve come across in more literary and/or older texts that are used for “usually only kana” words (I can’t come up with a good example right now, but my current book e.g. features 云う and 居る which I of course got used to, but it took me a moment).
Of course there are some unknown and maybe a bit outdated vocab, but since we are talking Beginner Book Club, I expect everybody to encounter lots of new vocab no matter the book. That’s just the nature of learning. I just checked my Anki deck, and from the first 3 stories (~18 pages) I added around 70 words, which is rather at the lower end for me. (Adding a word does not necessarily mean that it’s brand-new to me, though. Sometimes I’m just unsure and then tag it anyways while I’m at it. Also I don’t add all words I don’t know, but I guess most of them.)
For the book club, the participants create lists of the book’s vocab, so that helps a lot with reading.
What makes the text sometimes a bit harder to read is that it of course also contains some old-fashioned grammar. Luckily it’s not as bad as I had feared, though. I’m trying to mitigate this pain a little by posting about some of the more difficult or obscure grammar points at the start of the week. So far it feels like the core group is doing well and enjoying the stories, which is all I can wish for.

週刊プロレス No. 2125

After last issue’s comment about how it’s not as simple as “put Mutoh on the cover and it’ll sell” anymore, I thought it was kinda funny that this issue’s cover is Mutoh making a silly face mid dragon screw:

拳王’s column is especially interesting in this one, as he talks about Noah vs. DDT. He says DDT isn’t プロレス but an extension of school drama performances, and using the sushi industry as an analogy, DDT is like a school where anyone can learn to roll sushi within half a year, whereas Noah is like a traditional artisan sushi shop where learning to cook rice takes 3 years, and nigiri 8.
Pretty interesting to see pointed comments about what is and isn’t “professional wrestling” in the context of an ultimately good-natured, presumably mostly kayfabe feud between two wings of the same company, instead of the acrimonious industry battle lines being drawn in America right now around the same point.

Yuka Sakazaki’s getting fired up about fighting Miyu - the headline for the interview is 大嫌いで、大好きなあいつ and she says she’s gonna target Miyu’s face.

Over in 全日本, Aoyagi and Miyahara are in shambles ahead of their match with the ツインタワーズ. Aoyagi sees no hope and to try to get him out of his funk Miyahara takes him to Tokyo Tower to show that “see? They’re not so big comparatively” but to no avail and all they can do is look sad on playground equipment:

An interview with Utami Hayashishita starts right out of the gate with an extended metaphor where Saya Kamitani is her tag partner and 本妻, 朱里 is her 浮気相手, AZM is the shoulder she can cry on during domestic disputes, and she’s also got 横恋慕 going on with Maika.
There’s even a little graph:

She also talks about being upstaged for the main event twice. The first time she thought “well, it’s a hair vs. hair match,” but the second time it was just a tag match, and she couldn’t help but think that if Iwatani were the champion it wouldn’t have happened, so it must be her own fault in some way and she drank and cried. She says if her match with 朱里 is made the semimain as well, she’ll cry in front of everyone, after all the wrestlers she respects most are the ones who can show vulnerability as well as strength. (but she wants to show strength as a champion too)

We also check in with the four remaining in the Cinderella Tournament, and it seems like being on the cover put a bit of a target on Maika’s back since the others all mention it as a reason to beat her.
Unagi Sayaka talks at length about wanting to stand out the most, and how she always stood out at school so she got punished more than others, and she quotes her mom telling her:

The topic of Giulia’s column this week is "キャリアを気にするか?” and it’s about 後輩/先輩 relationships in wrestling and how you need to not worry about them too much. She says a match she had with Rina Yamashita helped teach her that because she had a poster of Rina on her wall and she was one of the reasons she got into wrestling, so she was starstruck even as she got beat up, but after the match Rina said 「リングに上がったら憧れって言葉は使うなよ。タイマンなんだよ!」 and she took that to heart. For example, while building matches with Tam she can’t think about like, Tam’s a senpai, she’s gotta be cordial to her.
She also alludes to how since professional wrestling is a 特別なジャンルのスポーツ, even more than winning or losing matches against 先輩 like that, hitting a particular move or anything to leave a strong impression in the audience’s mind can go a long way.

Speaking of Rina, there’s a spotlight on women in deathmatch wrestler, with interviews with Suzu Suzuki and Rina.
Suzu talks about her 7 match series and how 傷 from the matches are memories of each one, and talks about how the idea that 18 year-old girls shouldn’t do deathmatch wrestling and should avoid the wounds and scars that go along with them is a 既成概念 like “women should have long hair and be fair of skin” or “men shouldn’t have long hair or wear skirts” and she wants to break those down, quoting Inoki with 「世間と闘え、常識なんかぶっ壊せ!」
She also talks about how watching Risa Sera is what made her realize women wrestling in deathmatches was possible and is part of what got her into wrestling and she wants to have another deathmatch with her now that she’s gotten all this experience. The interviewer says that Sera said she’d retire at 30 and she’s 29 now, so the clock is ticking.

I thought it was interesting that in Rina’s interview, she doesn’t have that same kind of “I saw it from afar and knew I wanted to get in on that!” type of story with deathmatch or intergender wrestling, it just kind of happened by happenstance when she was offered a mixed tag match and the people involved were too cool for her to pass up and it just developed from there.

The history column is pretty interesting this time around - for the finals of the 1983 precursor to the G1 tournament, apparently everyone thought for sure it was going to be Inoki vs. Andre the Giant with Inoki winning vs. the giant foreigner like always, but what happened instead is a ringout caused Hulk Hogan to go to the finals against Inoki instead of Andre, where he shockingly knocked out Inoki and won the tournament.
The columnist strongly implies that Inoki booked it this way to shock everyone and grab as many headlines as possible.
Here’s a picture I found of the 「舌出し失神事件」:

Here’s some fun Suzu pics:
(warning: BLOOD)

Also, since @fallynleaf asked about it, I skipped ahead just to read Kota Ibushi’s interview in the magazine I just picked up (it’s the one with the Stardom women in Osaka on the cover), about his illness and upcoming match with Tanahashi.
It’s definitely emotional! He says he’s been sidelined for injuries before, but never an illness, so the recuperation was especially taxing. Apparently he just suddenly felt especially weary during training, tried to work through it and then crashed again and had to work through it from there, and around the time of the Dome show he was scheduled to headline, he ran a 40度7分 fever (105°!) and had to be hospitalized to continue recuperating. The name given is the intimidating-looking 誤嚥性肺炎. Scary stuff, especially considering what happened to Brodie Lee so recently. Is COVID not enough that we also gotta have weird out-of-nowhere debilitating lung ailments too??
Anyway, when he was officially removed from the Dome show he cried from a sense of 申し訳ない. From this standpoint, Tanahashi ends up being tied into some extremely powerful mixed emotions for him, being emblematic of what he can’t do in replacing him in the match (and being characteristically perfect in that Tanahashi way) while also taking over and helping Ibushi at such a low point, offering him the return match, and inspiring him (the last line of the column, talking about Ibushi’s perspective on Tanahashi, is a 夢をもらった感じ). He says he’ll try to be at 100% for the match since the best way to repay Tana would be to fight for all he’s got.
A lot that’s hard to read from a dude who was believably talking about how he was going to become God by winning a wrestling match not long ago! And definitely deepens what was already an overtly emotional match.


Oh wow, thanks for this! Lots of extremely good content in this issue.

If Kenoh thinks that DDT is an extension of school drama performances, he should avoid watching any of the ひらがなまっする shows, haha. The last one was especially funny because most of the show was the characters competing in a parody of the Olympics where they had to perform different 型 that were things like “the opening few minutes of a match,” or “mid-card wrestler in match 2 of the third show of a non-Tokyo tour,” or “typical tag routine that will probably be popular in US indies in the near future.” The rounds included singles matches, tag matches, a 3-way match, and backstage comments. I actually wonder if Hiragana Muscle gets reported on in this magazine. Unlike most pro-wrestling, it is a performance even in kayfabe, so perhaps that disqualifies it.

Yuka targeting Miyu’s face reminds me of the match Miyu did on one of Chris Brookes’ produce shows where the wrestlers spent the entire time targeting her chin specifically. It was so funny!

Also, that Utami interview is amazing! Thank you so much for sharing it. Everyone in my discord server loved that extended metaphor, haha!

Suzu Suzuki sounds like she rules! I hope she gets to have that match with Hikari that Hikari mentioned wanting in her interview in the issue that I have.

And thank you so much for looking at that Ibushi interview for me! It sounds like it was a really horrible experience for him :cold_sweat:. I hope he’s able to use the time before the G1 to recuperate a little more…

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Am I dumb or did I just come across another one?


Should be なざるを得ない, right?


Indeed my good sir.

These are getting out of hand.


Considering how many results I get when searching for this exact term, it’s either somehow legit (for some reason I haven’t been able to discover) or a very common typo. My money is on the latter but just in case I’m gonna poke a friend of mine who knows a lot about old forms.

Here’s a tweet that has both for some reason (most results for “ならざる なるざる” on twitter are people self-correcting after the fact though).

Edit: from my friend:

him: Some weird stuff mightve happened in the 11th century to cause this but afaik ざる only attaches to the negative stem. This is either a typo or just a shift to ignoring traditional rules similar to what happened with まい
me: interesting, what happened with まい?
him: https://www.imabi.net/thevolitionalii.htm I can’t remember which way round it was but essentially it attached to either the negative stem or the dictionary form, but there’s a trend to just use it after the dictionary form for everything
him: So you end up with stuff like all of すまい、せまい、するまい and しまい being used

So I’m gonna tentatively go all in on it being a typo, but this is maybe something to keep an eye out for in case it is actually a language shift that ends up gaining momentum.

Edit edit: consider the possibility that it actually means “haven’t gotten a bamboo strainer that will become a person”. (人になる)笊を得なかった


Interesting, thanks for the research. I’ve seen a few typos that seem common like 周 to 週 and theyre understandable, but this one’s a bit more surprising.

Lmao aw shit now that you mention it that is totally a possibility.


Dude what the hell…


You mean this?

No that’s クレーンゲーム

クレームゲーム is where you complain to the manager and hope they give you a 景品 as an apology, of course.


クリームゲーム would have been funnier.


Sounds like something that woulda showed up in my last book :upside_down_face: