Advanced Japanese Book Club // Now reading: 海辺のカフカ・Next: 狼と香辛料

So far I think all of the books have either been over the page limit for the intermediate book club or have been decreed too difficult, so it’s not like they could have gone there anyway. The ones I’m thinking of are also over 350 pages. :slight_smile:
If that’s what you meant…?

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I was thinking more about time investment. If everyone just focuses on finding recommendations for this club, they won’t look for things to recommend in the other club. We do have enough-ish recommendations though so it’s not as much as an issue as I thought, it seems.

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If you are really worried about the nominations in Intermediate club, I could easily recommend two or five more there… So far I just didn’t because I thought it does not make sense to nominate more than I can vote for. But if you think it’s fine, I can go ahead.

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Nah, you have contributed a lot already, don’t worry!

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OK, added them to the template.

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午後の曳航 (The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea)

Author: 三島由紀夫 (Mishima Yukio)

Summary

Japanese from amazon.co.jp

船乗り竜二の逞しい肉体と精神に憧れていた登は、母と竜二の抱擁を垣間見て愕然とする。矮小な世間とは無縁であった海の男が結婚を考え、陸の生活に馴染んでゆくとは……。それは登にとって赦しがたい屈辱であり、敵意にみちた現実からの挑戦であった。登は仲間とともに「自分達の未来の姿」を死刑に処すことで大人の世界に反撃する――。少年の透徹した観念の眼がえぐる傑作。

English from Wikipedia

Much of the story is told following the actions of Noboru Kuroda, an adolescent boy living in Yokohama, Japan. He and his group of friends are good students but they are secretly a gang. They believe in conventional morality and are led by their schoolmate, the “chief”. Noboru discovers in his chest of drawers a secret peephole into his widowed mother’s bedroom and uses it to spy on her. Since Noboru has a keen interest in ships, his upper-class mother Fusako, who owns Rex, a European-style haute fashion clothing store, takes him to visit one near the end of the summer. There they meet Ryuji Tsukazaki, a sailor and second mate aboard the commercial steamer Rakuyo who has vague notions of a special honor awaiting him at sea. Ryuji has always remained distant from the land, but he has no real ties with the sea or other sailors. Ryuji and Fusako develop a romantic relationship…

Length: 208 pages
Category: hard&slow

Availability

amazon.co.jp
ebook not available.

Personal Opinion

I once read a book review (which I can’t find any more) and it sounded quite interesting. Also, the author is a very interesting figure (quote from Wikipedia):

Kimitake Hiraoka (平岡 公威, Hiraoka Kimitake, January 14, 1925 – November 25, 1970), known also under the pen name Yukio Mishima (三島 由紀夫, Mishima Yukio), was a Japanese author, poet, playwright, actor, model, film director, nationalist, and founder of the Tatenokai. Mishima is considered one of the most important Japanese authors of the 20th century. He was considered for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1968.
Mishima’s personal life was controversial, which makes him still a contested figure today. Ideologically a right-wing nationalist who opposed the westernisation of Japan, Mishima formed the Tatenokai, an unarmed civilian militia, for the avowed purpose of restoring power to the Japanese Emperor. On November 25, 1970, Mishima and four members of his militia entered a military base in central Tokyo, took the commandant hostage, and attempted to inspire the Japan Self-Defense Forces to overturn Japan’s 1947 Constitution. When this was unsuccessful, Mishima committed seppuku.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • Renowned author
  • Not too long
  • Wikipedia features a long interpretation, so we can double-check our own theories :slight_smile:

Cons

  • According to Wikipedia, Mishima’s work is characterized by “its luxurious vocabulary and decadent metaphors, its fusion of traditional Japanese and modern Western literary styles, and its obsessive assertions of the unity of beauty, eroticism and death”. That sounds somewhat hard to digest.

Pictures

First Three Pages of Chapter One


Additional Pages


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

5 Likes

86―エイティシックス―

61dTn+rLR9L.SL500

Author: 安里 アサト (Asato)

Summary

Japanese

第23回電撃小説大賞《大賞》受賞作、堂々発進! 最終選考委員と、編集部一同をうならせたエンターテイメントノベルの真・決定版!

サンマグノリア共和国。そこは日々、隣国である「帝国」の無人兵器《レギオン》による侵略を受けていた。しかしその攻撃に対して、共和国側も同型兵器の開発に成功し、辛うじて犠牲を出すことなく、その脅威を退けていたのだった。 そう――表向きは。 本当は誰も死んでいないわけではなかった。共和国全85区画の外。《存在しない“第86区”》。そこでは「エイティシックス」の烙印を押された少年少女たちが日夜《有人の無人機として》戦い続けていた――。死地へ向かう若者たちを率いる少年・シンと、遥か後方から、特殊通信で彼らの指揮を執る“指揮管制官(ハンドラー)”となった少女・レーナ。二人の激しくも悲しい戦いと、別れの物語が始まる――!

English

The San Magnolia Republic has long been under attack by unmanned weapons from the neighboring Empire. Against this onslaught, the Republic has also deployed similar weapons, narrowly avoiding great loss of life and impending disaster-or at least that’s how it seemed.

The truth is that it has never been possible to have no casualties. Young men and women drawn from the Republic’s supposedly non-existent 86th district are organized into the “86 unit” and then ordered to pilot the “unmanned weapons” before heading to battle. [/details]

Length: 344 pages
Category: faster pace

Availability

Amazon

Ebook:
Rakuten Kobo
Bookwalker

Personal Opinion

Seeing as we’ve gotten some heavier books, I thought we need to lighten the mood up a bit with a light novel. Currently I’m mostly trying to read books that aren’t too difficult to get my routine and immersion going on. I’d guess this is on the average side, although the book seemed to have some military terms and lots of katakana words (good practice!).

I’m also really into harder sci-fi, and this looks like a great first jump into a Japanese sci-fi book (which seem to be a bit on the rarer side). I heard the later books fall a bit flat, but that the first book is a great standalone.

Goodreads link

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • Sci-fi and Mecha!
  • Light reading, but some thought-provoking aspects about the reality of war
  • Received very favorable reviews from readers as well as critics
  • Part of a series but I heard works great as a standalone

Cons

  • If you don’t like sci-fi…

Pictures/Sample

Bookwalker sample

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

7 Likes

:rofl: Why am I even trying to take screen shots of those…
At the same time, it is more convenient to not have to go to a different website :thinking: Oh well.

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Or if you can’t stand mechs. :joy:

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Let’s go ahead and make the deadline for nominations July 10, high noon, Tokyo time; or 20 nominations, whichever happens first. That’s a little more than exactly 5 days from the time of writing this.

After that we’ll hold a week (?) of voting.

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I week is definitely the maximum you need for a poll to be open. Voting tends to dry up after 2-3 days.

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So you’re saying 2020-07-10T03:00:00Z

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That’s too cool. Does it show the local time for wherever you’re clicking from? Yes, that time.

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It shows the time your browser believes in :slight_smile: So yes, usually your local time.

You can insert this yourself; in the toolbar of the edit box there is this calendar icon.

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In that case, maybe 3-4 days for voting would be better.

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You can simply adjust this manually; whenever you feel that nothing happened in the past 24 hours or so, just close the poll. No need to pre-determine it exactly (but of course a maximum time span might be helpful to get people going).

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マスカレード・ホテル

東野圭吾 :

Summary

Japanese

都内で起きた不可解な連続殺人事件。容疑者もターゲットも不明。残された暗号から判明したのは、次の犯行場所が一流ホテル・コルテシア東京ということのみ。若き刑事・新田浩介は、ホテルマンに化けて潜入捜査に就くことを命じられる。彼を教育するのは、女性フロントクラークの山岸尚美。次から次へと怪しげな客たちが訪れる中、二人は真相に辿り着けるのか!? 大人気シリーズ第1弾のミリオンセラー。

English translation by yours truly, tread with caution

A baffling serial murder case in the city. Both suspect and motive are unclear. From the code left behind only the next crime scene could be deduced: first class Hotel Cortesia Tokyo. Young detective Nitta Kousuke is to go undercover as a hotelier. Female receptionist Yamagishi Naomi is to teach him. As one suspicious guest after the other arrives, can these two form a true team?! First volume of super popular mystery series~

Length : 515
Category : fast pace

Availability

amazon.co.jp/
No ebook available. L

Personal Opinion

It seems to be a pretty popular series, with a lot of good reviews on amazon, and more entries for the second book even than the first on bookmeter (26000 to 25000), so the first book should be really good. That’s how you judge these, right? :wink:

The author has received a couple prizes for his mystery/crime novels, but not for this one. Still, should be pretty good. And yep, this is the guy from 容疑者Xの献身 that is also in the nominations.

There’s no English translation available, which might be a point in the ‘worth reading in Japanese’ corner? It’s also been made into a movie

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • There’s probably a reason this guy’s so famous
  • It’s not too difficult
  • There’s more if we really like it!
  • No English version available yet, so we’ll really be ahead of the curve! :wink:

Cons

  • It’s really rather long
  • No ebook
  • No English version to check, if that’s still applicable here ^^

Pictures

First Three Pages of Chapter One

Additional Pages

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

4 Likes

I definitely took those pictures too late in the day, the lighting’s pretty bad. I might just take new ones tomorrow anyway, but let me know if it’s unreadable for extra motivation maybe? :sweat_smile:

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Nah, looks fine for me. BTW I found the wikipedia page for the movie (which contains nothing but the cast) but the cast contains the names of the characters! And they claim the guy’s last name is Nitta :joy_cat:

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Oh, that does bring up the correct Kanji! I’ll just go ahead and assume whoever wrote that/adapted the movie has it right then and change the name. :wink:

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