Advanced Japanese Book Club // Now reading: 四畳半神話大系 (The Tatami Galaxy)・Next: Nausicaä・Next: マリアビートル

What’s interesting is the name is written differently in the Japanese blurb too?

I don’t know what to believe anymore.

Also, the English one is gender fluid.



Author: 葉室 麟







Shaken feelings and the clan’s inhumanity. Will Iya be able to overcome the hardship?

My love is like an arrow, deliver it!

Iya, the eldest daughter of the Arikawa family, the chief vassal of the Ogino clan, is so good at archery that she competes with Higuchi Seishiro, the most skilled archer in the clan. As they compete with each other, Iya becomes attracted to Seishiro, but hisher younger sister, Hatsune, is proposed to marry Seishiro. Iya decides to fight Seishiro in an archery contest to clear his name, which has been brought into disrepute by the lord of the domain because of an unfortunate rumor about Iya. What is the identity of the mysterious samurai who has taken refuge in the Arikawa family? What will happen to the sisters’ wavering feelings? The factional strife of the smoldering clan engulfs the sisters.
A historical novel with noble aspirations that will move you with fresh emotions!

(Translated with DeepL, because I’m lazy :wink: I have corrected the pronoun where the AI was incorrectly suggesting incest but otherwise left it alone.)

Length: 312 pages
Category: historical/romance


Paperback on Amazon
Ebook on Bookwalker

Personal Opinion

So, this one’s from my to-read pile; I figured I’d nominate it to see what the club’s appetite for historical fiction is – maybe you’d like a change from mystery fiction? :slight_smile: I’ve read and enjoyed a book by this author before (草雲雀), and I found it a fairly easy read as historical fiction goes. Author has won the usual collection of awards including 歴史文学賞, 松本清張賞 and 直木賞, though not for this book in particular.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club


  • It’s only just over 300 pages, which hopefully compensates for historical-setting vocab issues


  • If you haven’t read historical fiction before, there’s a bit of genre-specific vocab that might increase the difficulty


The Bookwalker preview has pages 1-60

Difficulty Poll

How much effort would you need to read this book?

  • No effort at all
  • Minimal effort
  • Moderate effort
  • Significant effort
  • So much effort my head might explode
  • I don’t know

0 voters


I don’t know what it is but I feel like I really enjoy the writing style in さわらびの譜 from the little I read. Maybe I was biased by the pretty 和風 cover :stuck_out_tongue:


Amusingly none of those are right – the preview furiganas it as Mifuyu…


Which seems like the obvious reading, no? I get that there are non-straightforward readings for names all the time, but that one didn’t seem difficult to guess.

1 Like

While in some parts of the world the weather starts to be nice and warm, in others it’s getting colder and colder, and what else do you need to survive the winter than a good book? :grin:

Let’s have a Poll!

Have a look at the List of Proposed Books section in the first post for details on each book. Every book has a difficulty associated with it (based on the book club members’ votes, thus subjective) out of 5, where 1 means “no effort at all” and 5 means “so much effort my head might explode”. The difficulty is annotated in the poll in square brackets after the book’s name.

Do not rely solely on difficulty when making a choice. Please have a look at the nomination posts and text samples if you haven’t already.

Expected reading pace: The proposals fall into two categories, Fast and Hard. We aim to read fast books at 30-50 pages per week and hard books at ~15 pages per week (that number might vary a bit throughout, depending on the book’s breaks and chapters). For manga, depending on difficulty and chapter length, we will probably read one to several chapters per week. The pick’s exact reading schedule will be negotiated before the book club kicks off.

Start of Book Club: We will start the next book on February 4th (after a one-week break).

Poll duration: The poll will be closed within a week (and most likely before that), whenever it looks like voting has dried up. You can choose up to 5 options.

  • Fast: 86―エイティシックス― [2.7]
  • Fast: クォンタムデビルサーガ アバタールチューナーⅠ [3.13]
  • Fast: マスカレード・ホテル [1.9]
  • Fast: 風の谷のナウシカ [3.13]
  • Fast: 化物語(上) [2.57]
  • Fast: 虐殺器官 - Genocidal Organ [3]
  • Fast: 蛇にピアス [2.29]
  • Fast: 感応グラン=ギニョル [3]
  • Fast: 村上海賊の娘 [2.78]
  • Fast: 砂漠 (さばく a campus life) [2.33]
  • Fast: 四畳半神話大系 (The Tatami Galaxy) [3.4]
  • Fast: この本を盗む者は [2.5]
  • Fast: さわらびの譜 [3]
  • Hard: 檸檬 [3.67]
  • Hard: 風立ちぬ [3]
  • Hard: 午後の曳航 [3]
  • Hard: 文字渦 [3.88]

0 voters


No さわらびの譜 ? Did it miss a nomination deadline?

1 Like

Oh, did I overlook a nomination? :scream: Let me check…

1 Like

Last one in the thread, here’s the nomination post

I see! I forgot to scroll through the thread to see if there were any nominations that did not make it into the overview in the OP :face_with_spiral_eyes:
It’s fixed now :sweat_smile:
@Belthazar would you be so kind and re-cast your vote for Nausicäa? Thx!


Everyone should re-cast their vote for Nausicaä.


Is difficulty affecting anyone else’s votes?
I personally would love to read 四畳半神話大系 but it seems a tad bit hard for me to read on fast pace (and it’s definitely long enough that it needs decent pace)


I think most people take difficulty at least a bit into account. Even in English some writing can be more mentally draining to read (even if rewarding) and I suspect some of the books on that list would fall into that category.

I’m currently a straggler in the 秋の牢獄 re-reading club (I’ll finish it before end of year, I swear!) so even if Tatami Galaxy were to get selected before you felt ready it doesn’t mean you couldn’t resurrect the club again down the line and take advantage of any character sheets or other resources that may come out of the first club. :slight_smile:


I think I assume the reading schedule will adjust enough to even out difficulty differences for me, so I’m largely voting based on what I think I’d like to read.


Same for me as well. For me, the only other criteria is that the book must have an e-book version available. I don’t buy physical books anymore because shipping is expensive.


The two current leaders of our poll currently have a 50% coin cashback on Bookwalker (until EOD Dec 25th Japan time). I think this is especially interesting for the first book as its normal price tag is a bit steep :sweat_smile:



Amazon claims the hardcopy version of この本を盗む者は is: paperback; 344 pages; over an inch thick. I don’t personally believe all of these are correct :slight_smile:


I don’t exactly know if I’m advanced enough to be able to participate in the advanced book club, but I saw a few books on my wishlist as well as one I already have (I have the 海王社文庫 copy of 燃ゆる頬/風立ちぬ, though it and the other 海王社文庫 books have been low priority so far because frankly I’m intimidated by them), so I’m gonna give it a try if one of them gets picked


From what I see in the challenges, I would be very surprised if you couldn’t keep up, don’t you think? Also, didn’t you read the first few weeks of Kafka with the Advanced club? Granted, some books will be a bit harder or easier, but I‘d say that book was a pretty typical representative of the „Fast“ category, and for the „Hard“ category we just read much slower. Looking forward to having you join us if your favorite book wins!


I didn’t exactly keep up though (nor do I think I’ve learned my lesson of not reading well-known authors just because they’re well-known lol), but that was months ago and I’ve made some improvement since then, and the only reason I’m behind in the one book club is I’m less interested in it than I thought I’d be. Huh. I guess I still just think of myself as a slow reader, and much closer to beginner than advanced