Beginner Japanese Book Club // Now Reading: Ogawa Mimei: Collection of Children's Stories

I’m just gonna apologise here and now if I post any discussion threads late in the coming weeks, or just on entirely the wrong day - working from home full time is messing up my sense of which day we’re on pretty intensely :sweat_smile:


Bah. I was hoping I could find a link to a website that does nothing but read your system time and then post in big friendly letters “It’s Friday” or whatever, but my search fu is weak. Google will tell you, though. :slightly_smiling_face:


Can this be bought if I own a kindle paperwhite connected to the US store already? Like, is my kindle region locked?

A kindle can only be linked to one Amazon account at a time, and unfortunately and require different accounts. The good news is that you can freely switch your Paperwhite between accounts as much as you want. It’s just inconvenient.


Thanks sounds like a pain but doable

As this was originally a BBC read, I figure it makes sense to make sure people here know about the re-read group:


Being at home is definitely confusing me. I seen this and wondered why the BBC would be interested in Japanese books :sweat_smile:


Hah, sorry :grin: I like to call them the BBC and the ABC…

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Should be ABBC though… People are gonna think ABC is the advanced book club…


I’ve just been watching the news too much lately

That definitely does make sense as an abbreviation for beginner book club :joy:


If any of you still want to check out the furuba manga the first 10 volumes are free to read until 4/14 on ebookJapan - black and white or colored


I can’t put myself through another binge read like I did for がっこうぐらし. Thanks though!


It says 9/30まで even. Maybe they extended it? Or I’m looking in the wrong place. :sweat_smile:

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The first volume of each is free to read until 9/30 (which works great for the book club), and volumes 2-10 are free until 4/14 in celebration of season 2 coming out soon :smile: And they’re saying season 2 starts with volume 7 if anyones interested in getting a sneak peak


Ooh, thanks for the extensive info! Guess I’ll be reading at least volume 1 with the book club. :+1:

Will take a look later to decide if I do want to binge after all. ^^


My copy of Fruits Basket just arrived and it’s so chonky :joy: like as fat as Aria, but not as tall, so it’s like a little paper brick.


i was wondering if anyone has checked out 地縛少年花子くん(toilet bound hanako kun)?
I enjoyed the anime and was able to follow it easily so i checked out the manga and realized it was extremely easy to understand and was thinking it may be nice for this book club.


Home thread for Fruits Basket is up:

I’ve posted it early because of the difficulties most of us are facing right now sourcing things.

@z3aabi I don’t really know anything about that one, but if you think it would be good for the club you can submit a nomination :blush: there’s a format you can copy and paste in the OP.




The famous “Seven Wonders” that every school seems to have are a staple of Japanese urban legends. One of the most well-known of these tales is that of Hanako-san: the ghost of a young girl who haunts the school’s bathrooms.

Kamome Academy has its own version of Hanako-san’s legend. Rumors claim that if one successfully manages to summon Hanako-san, she will grant her summoner any wish. Lured by the gossip, many people have tried to call upon her, yet every attempt has failed. However, when Nene Yashiro, a girl hoping for romantic fortune, dares to summon Hanako-san, she discovers that the rumored “girl” is actually a boy!

After a series of unfortunate events involving Nene’s romantic desires, she is unwillingly entangled in the world of the supernatural, becoming Hanako-kun’s assistant. Soon, she finds out about Hanako-kun’s lesser-known duty: maintaining the fragile balance between mortals and apparitions.


Personal Opinion

I first watched the anime when it was airing and really enjoyed. After it ended i thought i’d give the manga a go and realized that the official translation is still only on the 2nd volume, so i decided to read it in Japanese. I checked out the page samples on Amazon and found it refreshingly easy to follow so i bought all available volumes so far. On writing this I’ve read up to the 4th volume with on average 2 chapters a day.
Edit: I’ve completely caught up to the series currently at volume 13. I burned through all the volumes in under a month because of how much i enjoyed the story, characters, and art style. After finishing i can say that this is probably one of the saddest, happiest, and fun manga I’ve ever read. In terms of difficulty there are only a handful of vocab words that were unfamiliar to me but that showed up so often that by the end of the first volume they were no longer a problem. The grammar and dialogue were easy to follow and understand, there was only one place where i felt confused (in one of the later volumes) but i quickly figured that out by just going back a page and re-reading.
Personally i’m really enjoying it. There aren’t many unfamiliar kanji and almost all the unfamiliar vocabulary can be guessed at easily. The art style is really cute, and the story is surprisingly sad as well as uplifting at times.
Overall, this is actually my first time reading a manga in Japanese and enjoying it.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club


  • The story is really fun.
  • The art style is great.
  • The vocabulary isn’t hard.
  • The dialogue is easy to follow.
  • All kanji have furigana.
  • The first three volumes are available in English and an anime adaptation was also recently released so going back and forth between them makes understanding the story easier.


  • Some people may not understand the concept of the 7 school wonders/mysteries
  • The beginning is a bit slow.


First Three Pages of Chapter One

Additional Pages

Difficulty Poll

How much effort would you need to read this book?

    1. No effort at all
    1. Minimal effort
    1. Moderate effort
    1. Substantial effort
    1. So much effort my head might explode :exploding_head:
  • I don’t know

0 voters


Gonna join in with yuru camp, maybe I can stay in the bookclub this go round.