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

We’re starting it tomorrow though :sweat_smile: (or today, depending on your time zone, I guess)

(If you’re referring to the one in the title when you say “the one you’re reading now”)

Oh! Ok, I didn’t notice that. Thank you :smiley:

image

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Here goes. Hopefully it won’t be considered too much of a “niche” genre…

Title

蟲師 (Mushi-shi Book 1)

Summary

Mushishi is set in an imaginary time between the Edo and Meiji periods, featuring some 19th-century technology but with Japan still as a “closed country”.[5] The story features ubiquitous creatures called Mushi (蟲) that often display what appear as supernatural powers. It is implied that there are many more lifeforms more primitive than “normal” living things such as animals, plants, fungi and bacteria, and Mushi is the most primitive of all. Due to their ethereal nature most humans are incapable of perceiving Mushi and are oblivious to their existence, but there are a few who possess the ability to see and interact with Mushi. One such person is Ginko (ギンコ), the main character of the series voiced by Yuto Nakano in the original version and by Travis Willingham in the English dub.[6][7] He employs himself as a Mushi Master (蟲師 mushi-shi ), traveling from place to place to research Mushi and aid people suffering from problems caused by them.

The series is an episodic anthology with no overarching plotline in which the only common elements are Ginko and the Mushi. Ginko is a man with one green eye, who not only can see various types of mushi but also attracts them. Because of this ability, he is constantly wandering and smokes in order to keep the mushi away. He appears to have a generally laid back personality, however, he can be very serious and focused on his work when it comes to protecting people from mushi. He stresses that the mushi are not evil, but merely trying to survive like everyone else. A majority of the stories do not focus on Ginko, but rely on him as a catalyst to move the story forward by diagnosing or curing mushi-related illnesses and phenomena.

Availability

Amazon.jp
Kindle
Ebook japan

Personal Opinion

The art is gorgeous and the stories and universe are really unique. The language is very beautiful from what my Japanese friends say, so I’m guessing that means really correct grammar, which is good for us beginners.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

Not too text heavy
A collection of short stories, so people could join for just one if they’re strapped for time.
Physical book is very beautiful so there’s that added pleasure :slight_smile:
Just enough of a challenge as only uncommon kanjis have furiganas.
The anime is easily available with or without english subtitles, which can help if one gets really stumped.

Cons

Only uncommon kanjis have furigana (can be a con depending on where you are in your learning)
Set in old school japan, so less modern words/turn of phrases I guess.

Pictures

First Three Pages of Chapter One

23

Additional Pages

Difficulty Poll

How much effort would you need to read this book?

  • No effort at all
  • Minimal effort
  • Just right
  • Challenging
  • Impossible, even with everyone’s help
  • I don’t know (please click this if you’re not voting seriously)

0 voters

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I just… want to read everything D:

What have I done.

Now I have two languages in which I don’t have enough time to read everything.

DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD:

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Lol I feel you. I’m actually a professional reader for a publisher here, so I HAVE to read everything in English, which leaves me less time for Japanese (especially since it takes me about 1h to decipher 2 speech bubbles lol)

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That first page is a different level to the subsequent pages you posted. It gets a lot easier!

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I mean I just spent about two and a half hours translating 夏目友人帳 pages LOL so I feel you there. Here’s to hoping we get much faster the more we practice!

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I actually bought 時をかける少女 today :joy:
That’s probably maximum jinxage.

7 Likes

I absolutely adore Mushishi! It’s such a good series, and I don’t feel it gets enough love. Personally, I’d happily struggle through the kanji to read it (and flicking through the first chapter on ebooksjapan, it doesn’t actually look too bad difficulty-wise).

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Yessss! An ally in my crusade to get Mushishi known the world over ! :blush:

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aaaah Mushi-shi!!! I remember the anime being pretty popular a few years back, (but I never got around to watching more than a few episodes oops) so I don’t think it would be too niche tbh. The manga looks really good!

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I had trouble getting into Mushishi and Kino’s Journey (the anime) because of their slow pace. :disappointed:

Ah yes, if you don’t like slow pace, Mushishi is pretty much the slowest anime on Earth (but much better than Kino’s journey, IMHO). It’s more an atmospheric journey than a roller coaster… I think it would probably bother you less in reading it?

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Probably, which is why I’m not against reading Kino’s Journey either. In the case of Mushishi though, there’s a lot more manga I’d rather read.

Yes, that was one of the reasons why I thought it would be a good idea to go for it. From what I understand, it’s almost a collection of short stories with common main characters.

The wikipedia page says that there are even some chapters that focus on different characters, so at that point it’s pretty much just short stories :stuck_out_tongue:

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If Kino wins now or ever, I suppose we could just schedule part of the book and then read the rest if enough people are still reading.

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True, but there was no option to nominate part of a book. That could be a thing, though.

Well, maybe instead we need a policy that if a book ever gets below X active members we have to stop and vote on the next book.

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That’s a good policy, and we should probably implement it, but it’s not exactly the same thing. If people know that there’s only one chapter left, they might stick around, while the thought that “if everybody else gives up, the pain stops for me too” isn’t really as motivating.