Intermediate Japanese Book Club // Now Reading: あん・Next: あなたも殺人犯になれる!

Miho Imada (pictured above)is an absolute legend who brews some truly amazing sake. She’s also revived a local Hiroshima rice strain which she likes to boast grows taller than she does (Hattanso).

Other female brewers of note are Rumiko Moriki who took over her family’s brewery around the Natsuko No Sake manga came out. She took a lot of encouragement from the manga. Oze Akira who drew the manga drew labels for Rumiko. She’s also a tremendous enthusiast for sake who always has time for fellow enthusiasts and keeper of an irascible frog glove puppet.

Tsuji Maiko of Tsuji Honten, brewer of gozenshu, and Mukai Kuniko of Mukai Shuzou are also prodigious talents.


wow, that’s fascinating! i’m sure you’ve read oishinbo? one of the collected volumes is about sake…

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I think that was the first sake (or food) related manga I read. I’ve got both Japanese and English versions of the Sake one which is great for parallel reading. The fish one is really interesting as well, especially if you want to know all the ways sushi can kill you but doesn’t because to the care taken with raw fish.

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Currently the first two volumes of ヨコハマ買い出し紀行 are free to keep on Bookwalker (until Feb 11th) and probably also elsewhere (didn’t check).


Thanks for the heads up! Can confirm for kindle. :slight_smile:


On BookLive as well! Hoora!


@NicoleIsEnough Checking was a little bit later than I thought, but the above is correct.
With your method of 3 strikes, the only difference is that all three get kicked.
By setting the threshold at 20%, there’s no difference between our two methods except for ポーション.

Now I’m a bit confused…

“my method” vs. “your method” refers to three strikes overall vs. three strikes in a row? By now I’m convinced that your method is better then because it better reflects the most recent developments. Given the fluctuation of participants it should only be fair that previous lack of interest can be overridden by new participants, and it should not matter too much if one recent poll is a bit weak. So let’s roll with your method then.

What I’m not clear on is what “threshold at 20%” implies :slight_smile: If a book gets 20%, is it in or out?
I have added a table to the OP (and added the poll percentages for this clarification’s sake) so there you can see that ポーション頼みで生き延びます and もやしもん are either both in or both out - depending on what 20% means.
While it’s totally clear that 1リットルの涙 難病と闘い続ける少女亜也の日記 is out.

If you are ok with the table, I would backfill it with the already removed entries to get to a consistent format.


Ah, sorry, yes, that’s what I meant.

ポーション got a 21% based on my data, but I collect them from poll results which tend to round things weirdly.

Based on the original wording (which I should probably link in the OP or somewhere for easier access), a score of 20% exactly would be out. That being said, もやしもん got > 20% that got rounded down to 20% by the poll. So it’s… unclear.
I’d favor keeping it in since we have still space for more nominations.


OK, so I updated the table with the old removed entries and double-checked the 20% poll results. It seems that the poll always rounds down but like you said they both got 20,6% in Poll 10 so let’s keep them in for the time being. We should just calculate the 20% results ourselves and decide based on that. So the bottomline is: both stay in this time, and only 1リトル goes out. :+1:
I’ve also added some text to describe all of this. Please feel free to adapt as you see fit!


:cry: Sad times.


another interesting book…

I was browsing my local Japanese bookstore, and I stumbled upon a whole wall dedicated to 天気の子, so I’m going to nominate it in hopes we can all read it together. I haven’t seen the movie, but check out this cover…






Longing to escape his island home, a boy named Hodaka runs away during his first summer of high school to find a new life in Tokyo. As rain falls for days on end and Hodaka struggles to adjust, he meets a girl named Hina who holds a mysterious power: With a single prayer, she can part the clouds and bring back the sun. But her power comes at a price, and as the weather spirals further and further out of control, they must choose what future they truly want for themselves.

Written concurrently with production of the 2019 film Weathering With You, this novel comes straight from director Makoto Shinkai, the mind behind 2016’s hit your name.!


Physical: | cdJapan
E-book: Bookwalker | EbookJapan

Personal Opinion

I’m interested in this book for the intermediate book club, because of how popular the movie seems to be. I think it’ll be great motivation to first read the book together, and then the reward is watching the movie.

I’ve also analyzed the difficulty level of the desciption on the back of on a 1-9 difficulty scale (lower beginner to upper advanced). It fits right in with this group’s reading ability.

Source Level Rating
JReadability Lower Intermediate 4.0
NagoyaObi Diff Lower Intermediate 4.0
NagoyaObi Grade 7th Grade 4.8
Average Lower Intermediate 4.3

Pros and Cons for the Book Club


  • Similar difficulty level to the current 君の名 book
  • Popular, so most likely a compelling story


  • Might be too similar to the last book, so people could want a break
  • Not much furigana (although that is a plus for some)


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


@Wildjinjer - I clicked on your image to see what level you were, and I read that we have a similar dream! I also want to restore and old minka (in Japan) and host artist retreats there.

So - hello to a fellow old Japanese house lover!


Super cool!!! I hope our dreams come true. Do you have a location in mind?

Do you happen to have an instagram? That’s kind of where I keep track of people. Mine is @jinjermarkley

Also, I only read about half a page worth of the sample pages, so my “minimal effort” vote might be inaccurate. But the first half page didn’t have any unfamiliar kanji, and only a couple of new Jukugo, which is easier than the book clubs I’ve done so far!


I have a tentative location in mind - Teshima Island. It’s a mixture of artists and local people, and the Teshima Art Museum is perhaps the best art installation I’ve ever seen. It was truly magical. Naoshima, Teshima’s neighboring island, gets a lot more attention, but I think Teshima is where it’s at. That said, I’m also open to other locations. I want to rent a car and drive all over Japan and make sure I find the place that feels right.

What about you?

Also - I followed you on instagram. Your artwork is astonishing. I love the form of your portraits…I feel like you really capture people well.

My username is @kusuri8. I don’t often post, but it is a good chronicle of my life. Most of my own art installations are for private events and are interactive and theatrical…so a bit hard to show online. But you can see the tail end of one on my instagram, where I brought a tree by sailboat to a floating event in the middle of nowhere. I built a swimming dock that people could jump off of and relax under the maple tree. It was called the Swimming Tree. We later planted the tree in our front yard, so I see it everyday as a reminder. That tree has traveled the world!


Love that floating tree idea!!
I have never heard of Teshima. I will try to visit next time I go, which is supposed to be this summer.
My sister lives in a small village north of Niigata, and I wanted to buy a house somewhere around there. Partly because then I could see my sister way more often, but it’s also extremely beautiful, full of hot springs, and I’ve heard that it’s hard to get people to sell a building to you if you don’t have local connections, so having a sister to vouch for me might be a good thing. I hope.

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Yesss… hot springs are key! That’s really exciting, and I agree that it will be much easier with your sister’s help. When do you think you want to do all this?

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I’ve just came here to nominate this コーヒーが冷めないうちに after months without reading books due to work load :crazy_face: but luckily you’ve just did it.
When will it be the next poll?


I was looking through the nominations and saw that くま クマ 熊 ベアー is free right now (at least on Amazon). I also read the first review, which was pretty funny.

EDIT: okay, that’s just a limited time free version, but the full version is like 110 yen right now. The first three volumes are at that price apparently.