Intermediate Japanese Book Club


completely overread your post. Sorry :see_no_evil::see_no_evil::see_no_evil:
but now its maybe clear. its kind of both. propose and hoped to find someone who would reading it with me.
I like the idea of a book club.
but as i said i have clear idea when to start and so :slightly_smiling_face:


Hey guys, sorry I was not active at all towards the end of the last book. And I’m afraid I am not going to be participating in the next one either. I’m moving to China and not just reading Japanese books, but basically all Japanese learning has taken a massive backseat for me - I haven’t done a single review on here in weeks.

It was fun reading these three books with you guys and a lot of your input was really invaluable in both understanding the stories, and keeping up the motivation to continue reading. I hope I’ll be able to pick up studying Japanese again some time in the future (I’m not really interested in learning Chinese beyond a survival level), and I hope there will still be some form of book club to join here if I do so.


I’m sad to hear that you’re taking a hiatus, but I understand that you have to prioritize what needs to get done. Thank you for all you’ve done for the book club and thank you for saying something before going! You’ll be missed! I wish you the best!


Hey guys I’m very sorry for the absence! I have two math exams this week and I’ve been struggling to be extra prepared for it because I really want an A in these classes. So I haven’t gotten a chance to pitch my book and put up the poll. So If you need more time please let me know, ;else, I will put the poll up along with my pitch this next weekend.


Okay so sorry for the delay people, I’'m taking a couple summer classes and they’re supper fast pace to condense a normal terms workload. I didn’t think it would be this hard, but anyway, here’s the poll!
I’m re-pitching my old picks and some other pitches I liked. I tried finding something that wasn’t psychological but didn’t have the time or resources to. I personally really like physiological thrillers, so we should like read one next.

  • ちびまる子ちゃん
  • ドアD (Door D)
  • [ネガティブハッピー・チェーンソーエッヂ]/ Negative Happy Chainsaw Edge
  • アフターダーク/ After Dark
  • ナナブンノイチ/One in Seven
  • バトル・ロワイアル (Battle Royale)
  • スイッチを押すとき (When I push the switch)
  • スピン (Spin)

0 voters

Title: ドアD (Door D)
Japanese Level: ☆☆

Synopsis: Yuna and her 7 university tennis club friends were kidnapped and woke up in an unknown room. With only one locked door, and water filling into the room fast, they must figure out a way to escape before they all drown.

There’s a lever that opens the door. But it only holds the door open while pulled. One person will have to remain.

And this is just the start. Through a series of death trap rooms, and chances of survival slim, each other’s humanity will be tested. Will the group make it out alive? Will anyone make it out alive? And what awaits upon getting through the final door?

First Page

Why it might be a good choice:

  • It sounds interesting, it’s a psychological Thriller. What more you can ask for, am I right?

  • It has a Kindle version

  • And apparently easy Japanese

  • 絶望

Why it might not be a good choice:
“A lot of 山田悠介 (Yamada Yuusuke)’s works get highly criticized online because his ideas can seem a bit outrageous and his writing is way too simple. The fact that his works sell so much despite this negative criticism just fuels even stronger criticism” - the guy who wrote the article describing the book


Title: ネガティブハッピー・チェーンソーエッヂ Negative Happy Chainsaw Edge

Synopsis: This is by the same author as Welcome to the NHK and seems to contain some similar themes. However, it has a Kindle edition and is aimed at a youth audience so ought not to feature some of the more questionable content some people were worried about.

Story is about a high school boy who is riding home on his bike one day and comes across a girl fighting a man wielding a chainsaw. From what I can understand this is not really explained and is more a representation of the boy’s desire to find someone to ‘save’. The two team up and form a bond while the girl continues her nightly fights.

Why it would be a good choice:
[Pretty much the same reasons as Welcome to the NHK (see above)]
Adapted into a live action movie we could watch for comprehension
Youth novel so shouldn’t be overly difficult
Has Kindle edition

Why it might not be a good choice:
Stupid title
Total unknown - I have no more knowledge about this than what’s written on Amazon

Title: アフターダーク After Dark

Synopsis: Murakami’s shortest and probably easiest to read work. Set over the course of a single night and the first (I believe) of his novels not to be written from a first-person 僕 perspective, this centres on two sisters - one asleep in a mysterious room and viewed through a camera, the other out and about in Tokyo where she encounters various unusual characters including a jazz musician and a love hotel manager.

Why it might be a good choice:
Chance to read Japan’s most famous contemporary novelist in the original
Set in Tokyo so good look at a real Japanese location
Set in the real world
Short, one volume novel
Metaphysical aspect should create good discussion
I suspect several people may have read it in English, which will aid comprehension

Why it might not be a good choice:
Some people just don’t like Murakami
Tendency to blur line between dream and reality may be confusing
Lacks ‘excitment’

Title: バトル・ロワイアル (Battle Royale)
Japanese Level: ??( apparently the movie is rated ☆☆ on Japanese levelup)
Genre: Death game
Synopsis: a class of junior high school students is taken to a deserted island where, as part of a ruthless authoritarian program, they are provided arms and forced to kill one another until only one survivor is left standing.
Why it might be a good choice:

  • It’s a classic in the killing game genre, so it should be pretty interesting and engaging.

Why it might not be a good choice:

  • It’s pretty long
  • Unsure of it’s difficulty.
  • No kindle version

Title: スイッチを押すとき (When I push the switch)
Japanese Level: ☆☆
Genre: Psychological Thriller

Synopsis: In order to stop the increase in suicidal youths, a disturbing government project was enacted. Chosen youths are separated from society, sent to facilities and put in general isolation where they are to live out their lives and be monitored nonstop.

Children are given switches, and when pressed, they are able to kill themselves. Their activity, when and what causes them to press the switch, is watched and studied.

Youhei is a new worker at one of the facilities and put in charge of a rare example. 4 children who have bared the isolation for 7 years, and still have never pushed the switch, despite everyone else around them having already done so. After getting to know these children, and their reason for living, he makes it his mission to save them, and get them out of this insane experiment. Will he succeed, or will they give in to the hopelessness of it all and finally decide to leave this world?
First Page:

Why it might be a good choice:

  • Interesting
  • easy Japanese

Why it might not be a good choice:

  • might be a sensitive topic?

Title: . スピン (Spin)
Japanese Level: ☆☆
Genre: Psychological Thriller

Synopsis: 6 young guys who met on the internet, but never in real life, decide hey want to “shock the world.” There plan is to simultaneously hijack 6 buses in 6 cities and head to Tokyo Tower to meet up for the first time.

Shuichi was just fired from his part time job. He also just narrowly escaped after a shoplifting attempt due to his frustration with the world. The store clerk chased him out of the store, but Shuichi narrowly escaped on a bus. A soon to be hijacked bus.

What is the fate of the 6 buses, all the passengers on board, and poor Shuichi.
First Page

Why it might be a good choice:

  • The premise just sounds halarious to me.
  • Should be interesting.
  • Easy japanese

Why it might not be a good choice:

  • ??


I just wanted to mention I’ll be taking a break from the Intermediate Book Club for next book (I’m still reading the current book), which is the reason why I haven’t voted in the poll for the next book. Sorry for not mentioning this earlier!


You guys still even discussing the current book? Last post was ten days ago.


Before we started the book, it was decided to postpone official discussions until the ends of chapters. If people have questions they encounter in the book, etc. they are free to post. This book only has three chapters which means an official discussion a month.

It seems most of the members typically research the parts they don’t understand on their own. It certainly doesn’t make as lively of a thread, though.


yeah, I guess the club is dying. I don’t know what to do about it. But If no one else votes I’ll close the poll tomorrow and put up a tiebreaker poll for one in seven and spin.


Well, we’ll see when we hit the discussion mark.
There were a few people reading along.

I think that a lot of people joined at the beginning of the club, but gave up as it went on, so that most of those who remain do not really need to ask questions. That makes it less lively.


I wouldn’t say that the club is dying. It’s evolving. Like @Naphthalene said, we’ll see how many people will participate in discussion when that time comes. It’s also important to note that as one gets more proficient the need to rely on support groups goes down as well. In other words, some of the higher level people might be opting to read other things on their own time. Another possibility is there are others who don’t think they’re ready to step up to the commitment of reading through an entire book. I’m sure the other clubs have experienced attrition over time.


I bought the current book, but realised that in order to keep up it would take more time than I had available. So I’m sorry but I jumped ship to Kawabata, which is just as difficult for me but I can manage the much shorter stories more easily than an entire novel.
I just voted for Chibimarukochan in your poll because I would like to read it at some point, and I am enjoying reading as part of a group. But to be honest I’ll probably have enough with Kawabata and whatever the Beginner book club is doing.


@LucasDesu @Naphthalene Yeah, I see why there isn’t active in the discussion thread. I was more referring to the lack of votes we received this time around. Anyway, here’s the tiebreaker poll

  • スピン/Spin
  • ちびまる子ちゃん

0 voters


I had a feeling that you might have been referring to the poll, which is why the majority of my answer referred to participating in the club in general. Here’s some additional factors that might be contributing to voter participation.

  1. People may not know we’re voting. This is referring to people who are reading the current book, but aren’t tracking what’s going on. Nothing kills a drive to participate than not having an opportunity to vote. To address this, change the title in the thread to inform people we were selecting a new book. Have we done this in the past? If not, we should start doing that as well. There’s more than one reading group to compete with, which means we have to be more obvious with our activity.
  2. Starting with us can seem overwhelming or a long wait. Specifically with people new to this thread, clicking on it to see 1200+ posts might be enough for people try one of the more recent book threads. Other people may have no idea when we select books and when we do, we select them so early that it seems so far a way just to start. To address this, we should possibly add links in the OP that allow new users to this thread to be moved directly to the newest poll and perhaps have polls a little later so people don’t have to wait more than six weeks to start a book they’ve voted on. (This happened with No. 6. Many people were pumped to start but by the time everything started, a lot of that momentum was gone.)
  3. The book selection is stale. We’re not getting a lot of new books being suggested which means people who don’t suggest a book or didn’t get a chance to suggest a book are probably opting out because there’s nothing they’d like to read. To address this, we should advertise on the thread title that we’re selecting a new book and searching for new members (because new members will introduce new books).

To be honest, it’s not too late. If other people are willing or okay, perhaps we can redo the process in order to bring in more people. What does everyone else think?


All of those points make sense to me.
We may get back some of the people who joined the club at first, but left, as well as getting new members.

So, yeah, I’m okay with redoing the whole process with better advertising. You should probably tag everyone who voted, just in case they don’t check the thread often.


I don’t mind that. All the points you brought up make perfect sense. I think we have advertised it in the title in the past, can’t believe I forgot to do that honestly. :woman_facepalming:t4:
Well, there seem to be no objections so I’ll put it in the title now.


By the way, I think someone wants to start reading SwordArt Online 1 around the time we will start the next book.
(Looking up this thread, it was @SerahShirin)
Since @TamanegiNoKame is also reading it (or finished it already) and I bought the book myself, I think it would be a pretty reasonable recommendation.


I got a question (probably already answered but didn’t find it).
By “intermediate” what do you mean ? What wanikani level is recommended ? I know I don’t have the level yet (vocabulary-wise) but how hard is intermediate ?


I’m not sure where I saw that, but I think by intermediate people mean N3 and above.

Edit: Here’s the post where it was agreed upon:

Somehow, there’s no “advanced” book club, though, but I don’t think there would be enough people to keep it going.


Yeah, I would join in definitely (I am only like 40ish pages in).