Beginner Japanese Book Club // Now Reading: 神さまがまちガえる

Wow, that’s great! I’m happy to run the Ogawa Mimei club, and I will add a home thread in the next few days (for those early birds among the members :wink: )


I didn’t vote this time because I wanted to sit the next pick out and take a break, so I’m super happy that Ogawa Mimei got second place - I’ll probably join that club! :smiley:


Awesome, thank you!

I’m excited for this one 'cause some of the stories at least look super short, so I hope it will be nice and beginner-friendly, as books go :slight_smile: maybe we could even be totally scandalous and read them out of order to get a perfect ramp up :open_mouth:


Yay, looking forward to having you with us!

That’s a very good idea actually, thank you!

Speaking of which, what pace are we expecting this book to be read at? (I must admit I’m a bit out of sync regarding beginner book schedules…) 10 pages, maybe? :thinking: (The book has 136 pages according to Amazon, so that would be ~12-13 weeks or so)


I don’t think we have a really solid stance on pages per week (partly because the density and difficulty varies on top of that anyway), but the (somewhat unofficial) maximum length of time we take for a book is 16 weeks, so anything up to that would be fine. And we try to have a slower pace at the start that builds up of course.

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Actually, on that note…

Is there a directly equivalent hard copy? The eBook appears to be volume one in a three-volume collection, possibly published in 1980 but seemingly unavailable. If you search for books with the same 童話集 name, you mainly get two options:

I found contents pages for both on Honto. The 2013 version, containing 23 stories in total, was missing 7 of the 17 in the eBook. The 1951 version, containing 25 stories in total, was missing 6.

If you bought both (!) you would only be missing 4 in total:

  • 角笛吹く子
  • 酔っぱらい星
  • 木に上った子供
  • 白い馬

But it’s probably a bit extreme to buy both just to get an extra 2 or 3 stories.

So that’s a bit of a bummer, but I guess people who really want a hard copy will just have to get one of those and sit out a few as they come up (and perhaps hold a small off-shoot afterwards to finish their remaining stories :grin: ).

*I believe it was re-released in 2003!


I noticed that most (or all?) of the stories are on Aozora as well (for free). I will add links to the stories and also list the stories in my BookWalker edition, so we can decide which ones we want to read. I assumed the hardcopy has the same contents as the covers are the same, sad to hear that there’s a big difference!


Ah, that’s a good idea - then people can pick up the missing ones on Aozora even if they do buy the book. I think the problem is that that specific edition is out of print, so there are only a couple of second-hand copies available.

On an unrelated note…

I have removed the Great Detective Conan nomination on the grounds that - on top of the nomination being three years old at this point - the difficulty poll was closed at some point and so is drastically out-of-date.

I don’t exactly want to remove nominations just because they’ve been around for some time - Great Detective Conan often does very well in the polls - but it’s not great for the post to be unusable. So I’m flagging this for people in case anybody would like to re-nominate it using the new format.

(There were no other removals this time around)


Great plan!! With that much advance warning, I got to choose the cheaper shipping option for once!

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I‘ve actually wondered whether Detective Conan would be more suitable for the Intermediate Book Club anyways? I have not really read it yet, only flicked through, but my impression was that it contains a lot of text, and probably with a lot of vocabulary as well? Also, it was rated the most difficult of the whole poll iirc. What’s your impression?


I reckon that’s probably a good idea if you think it looks hard enough for the Intermediate Club - it’s always looked like it has an incredible amount of text to me.

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I’ve held off on start reading it because it feels a bit text-heavy. I’d say somewhere between BBC and IBC at the very least.


The home thread for Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun is now up:

(As is the thread for Ogawa Mimei; see the OP)


Oh, I forgot to post the thread for the runner-up :sweat_smile:

Here it is:


The first two volumes of this manga are currently free to purchase and keep on Book Walker.


Kobo says me too.


Hello everyone. A new book club will start next week to read up on some introductory subjects in mathematics:

We will follow the YouTube series “Maths in Japanese” and mix in a couple of Wikipedia articles to solidify the vocabulary terms introduced by the series. While the videos are more on the beginner side the Wikipedia articles are more leaning towards the intermediate level, I’d say.

Come and join us on our journey into the beautiful world of mathematics :blush:


do you have any advice for reading it? i actually find it difficult since so many words are not using kanji. did you have to look up a lot? thanks!

don’t know if it will help…use the book club resources…can always post up a question in the Yotsuba threads…other good resources is a great site as is deepL (it’s basically cheating though - lasts ditch effort if stuck)…

when you find it’s all hiragana…try reading it out loud (even if it’s in your head)…that has helped me a lot sometimes when I look at something and feel stumped then read it out loud and go …oh duh…im dumb haha …

keep in mind though at level 15 (if that’s your current level)…sadly you are stuck looking up a lot unless you know vocab from elsewhere… it’s just a grind … but overtime it does get easier…the most important thing is to find something you WANT to read, it’s interesting…if it’s boring the slog isn’t worth it. Yotsuba is a good recommendation, but honestly I found it wasn’t as easy as everyone said it was…in the beginning…but it is a good beginner manga …and some of it is absolutely hilarious.


Thank you! Yeah, I’m level 15, I’ve been studying some vocab with other apps, but somehow I still lack some very basic vocab, probably because I just haven’t been reviewing those basic ones enough.

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