'Advanced' Bookclub (checking for interest)

I actually had a class at my university called “文学I” that was all about reading the Kojiki. I initially took the class because I wanted to read stuff like Sōseki, but I didn’t expect them to go this far back. Learning about the creation myth is definitely interesting, but the style of the class was not really what I wanted, so I decided not to take it after all.


Think you must be confused - pretty sure this is from Minna no nihongo II


The creation myths were briefly touched on in a cultural studies course I did at uni. They’re kinda icky.

No, that’s definitely book one. This one’s the sequel:

1 Like

Do those older books use the old spellings or are they all rewritten and republished with the new spellings after the kana reforms?

Just reading this Wikipedia page on historical kana makes me so glad I didn’t have to learn that.


Pretty sure the more popular ones are re-published with new kana orthography, but if you read on Aozora, you’ll often find the historical orthgraphy. But honestly, that’s something that you’ll get used to quickly in either case.

1 Like

Had the exact same experience. It was a contemporary easy version with pictures, but still there we were reading the kojiki. But in the end it was fun taking it. No regrets.

1 Like

I’m thankful for everyone who’s interested in this book club. May the crabigator bless you all :kissing_heart:


Ok, well it looks like we have about 10-15 people who would theoretically be interested in doing something like this, so I guess all that’s left to do is set up ‘The Official Thread’ ™ and have people throw out a few book suggestions for voting? Or else just convert this one? What do the mods say?


I’m open for most everything, but my personal nomination would be 雪国 (Snow Country) by the already mentioned Yasunari Kawabata. It is one of the most famous Japanese literary works, commonly read in high school, I think. It’s not overly long and from what I’ve seen, the language doesn’t look too difficult.

The very first sentence of the book is very famous, you will probably find it in many Japanese textbooks. 「国境の長いトンネルを抜けると雪国であった。」It describes the protagonist’s arrival in Niigata prefecture, a place with very heavy snowfalls, especially in the mountain areas.

I honestly don’t know much more about the story, but I’ve always been interested in reading 雪国.

But of course I’m also open for everything else.


I’m in no way a mod, but I’d say just convert this thread :slightly_smiling_face: once you’ve picked a book and start date you might want a separate thread for discussing the book; depends whether you reckon you’ll pick more books in future, and how active the discussion is.

1 Like


I’d love to hear more suggestions. :slight_smile:

I’ll try to keep somewhat to the proposal template from the other bookclubs.

Since I’m not up for reading something as old as Natsume Soseki (yet), I’d like to propose something from 森博嗣 (もりひろし) for any SF/mystery fans here: The first volume of his newest series,


English Summary

It’s pretty far in the future, where so-called Walk-Alones (robots so close to humans that you can hardly distinguish by looks alone) are commonplace. In this world, a professor called Hagiri is working on a device to distinguish between humans and these Walk-Alones. But his workplace gets bombed, and the Intelligence Agency sends a bodyguard to protect him. From there, they try to figure out who is trying to kill him and why.

Japanese Summary from the back of the book


For anyone interested in science (fiction), human-like robots, what makes us human, and so on.

Personal Opinion
I really like the writing style. I feel like the grammar and vocab (apart from the occasional science/future talk) is quite simple most of the time, but still not that easy to understand simply because of the mostly science-y and also philosophical theme.

Most of it feels like simple wording, but there’s enough to discuss and ask questions regarding content.
Good length at about 260 pages.
It has lots of little chapters (6-10 pages), so it’s easy to partition for weekly reading.
I also like the pacing, it has chapters where he is just thinking about possible theories and others where lots of stuff is happening.

I don’t know if this is “literary” enough for this club, and I also can’t really judge if the level is actually above something like Kino from the intermediate book club. I wanted to hear other’s opinions on that (I can post some more sample pages if needed).
I don’t know enough about the author (and also about Japanese) to be able to judge whether he has a place amongst other authors mentioned here

Bookwalker link for reading sample etc.


Currently, this would probably be too advanced for me. Maybe in a year or so. It also depends a bit on the type of books which would be read here.

I googled the author and found out that he once won a (niche?) literature prize for another book:

I was thinking about proposing すべてがFになる, but it has almost 500 pages, so I figured it was simply too long to be read in a book club. But maybe others have a different opinion on that?

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.