🔊 🎙 Listen Every Day Challenge - Winter 2023 ❄ 🧤

:headphones: :desktop_computer: :sound: :snowflake: January 26

This time I listened to Teppei for beginners episodes #30 and #31, and I also finished watching the 2nd chapter of 受験のシンデレラ with subs.


Jan 27, Fri of Week 5 of Winter Q1 2023 :snowman::snowflake:

So-matome N3 Listening Ch.4 [5/5]. End of chapter exam. I didn’t do very well regarding numbers. The next (last) chapter set has 5x summary quizzes.

吾輩は猫である. This one is included in 聴き放題, and of course the text is free. What remains is whether I like the audio or not. First track, listened 3 times, first audio mostly, second read along, third listen. Dictionary is on hover in second read along (no pause). Along with the second track, the first chapter is around 50 minutes.

ガラスのうさぎ [6/18]. This one has text, but physical book only. Not so expensive, but I have to wait 4 weeks. (Ordered from my local Kinokuniya website.)

Maybe I should keep 聴き放題 alive.


:snowflake: Day 27, 27th of January :snowflake:

:headphones: Back to my Home Post

Episode #37 of PiroPito Minecraft. Feeling fatigued and without the ability to put effort into Japanese. I’m gonna blame the weather; we had snow one day and then 10+°C another day.

I also listened to some random Japanese gaming videos (I think it was Gartic Phone?) but only for a minute. I think I either have to listen to it without looking at the screen (treat it as a podcast) or have something to watch that’s interesting enough while not understanding what it being said.


January 27 :headphones: :film_strip: :arrow_forward:

Two episodes of ミステリと言う勿れ, two youtube videos, several essays from Read Real Japanese. To various degrees of comprehension. :eyes:


:snowman: :snowflake: January 27 :snowflake: :snowman: :speaker:
Home Post

Comprehensible Japanese, Intermediate, Halloween episode :shinto_shrine:

I listened to it a bit distracted while putting together my dinner. But I followed most things except when cooking stole all my concentration.


Enjoyed the movie so much so I’m posting right after watching it :rofl:

I didn’t get chance last weekend to watch anything, I had hoped I might get some free time on a weeknight, but that didn’t happen, but anyway… THE MOVIE

I watched 雨月物語「うげつものがたり」, I think it’s just called Ugetsu in English.

It’s from 1953, so it’s pretty old, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but this was really good. It’s based on an old tale, about a potter and his family set in wartime mid-16thC Japan. He, and his brother-in-law, get so over taken by their own dreams that they forget that which they already have - their families and the lives they live. Really guys, you should have just listened to your wives right at the start, they spoke a lot of sense. I really question the guys’ logic at times :sweat_smile:

Really atmospheric soundtrack.

Japanese-wise I thought this was going to be pretty hard, but it wasn’t too bad! I could understand the women, they spoke clearly. But the guys, they had that slury talk that is hard to understand, but I understood more than I thought.

Amusing to see the differences in cinema today and then, guys could be shown shirtless, but even the very glimpse of the tip of the bare shoulders of a woman is absolute ダメ territory, so she had to be shown off screen and we just had to imagine that she was in the hot spring too :laughing:

Also no blood, blood is also ダメ, and people die from being lightly dabbed with a sword.

There’s another old film available, so I should hopefully be able to watch that one tomorrow.


Some modern crime shows also seem to follow this, except replace sword with ‘stabbed by a pen’ or even more commonly, ‘being pushed down stairs to a sudden, bloodless death’.


January 27th

Today I listened to Lesson 18 of JapanesePod101’s Upper Beginner Season 1.
Again, it focused on some types of announcement you might hear on trains, and also talked a bit about transitive and intransitive verbs.

(Home Post)


Today’s videos included a 12.5 minute news video about a scouting/patrol airplane, which my husband wanted me to look up. He’s an airplane geek and this is one of his favorite planes. It was actually a pretty interesting video, and they made it so normal people can watch it and not just airplane geeks.


I dabbled this but haven’t finished. The first book mentioned though, 汝、星のごとく, which I think @omk3 might have been considering? I think it came up in the cover discussion in any case.

He says he likes it, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard him say he doesn’t like a book. A friend of mine read it though and the first phrase that came to mind for her was 中二病 :joy: It’s apparently a very tropeish type of love story that’s super common in Japan. Which, people love their tropes! 本屋大賞 is allllll about the tropes. But I suspect you wouldn’t like it, and I suspect I would hate it as tropey love stories bore me to tears.



Ah, thanks for that, it really looks like I’d hate it then, just like I had suspected from the summary. It was on so many different reviewers’ best-of lists though, I started wondering. It was even nominated for the Naoki prize.
And yes, I’ve never yet seen anyone say they hated a book, but I had assumed that they only review the books they liked in the first place? :thinking:


I would normally think so for lists like “best 10 mysteries” or “top books I read in 2022” but this is a video of all the 本屋大賞 award nominees and I’ll be shocked if he has anything negative to say about any of them. Not done yet though. Shock me Masaki!

I wonder if it’s tied to the over the top anti-defamation laws of if that’s over stated.

Good to know the truth is always a defense, right? Well, in Japanese libel and slander cases, the truth won’t necessarily help you. Instead, it all comes down to reputation. (The Japanese word for defamation is meiyokison 名誉毀損めいよきそん, which, when broken down, literally means “damaged honor”.) Even if a published statement is 100% true, it can still be considered defamatory if it irrevocably hurts the subject’s reputation and oftentimes the question of truth doesn’t really enter the equation. For example, in 2012 a Japanese man discovered that when he put his name into the Google search bar, it autocompleted results that implied he had a criminal record, and this man argued these autocomplete search results were severely damaging his reputation.

so maybe I just need to listen closely for not-quite-as-ringing endorsements to pick out the bad ones :joy:


Another thing to consider is “follow the money”. I’d expect all the book-recommending youtubers with high throughput to have some sort of affiliation with a publisher or somesuch…

Oh yes I learned about that recently as well :cold_sweat:

OMG hard pass :joy_cat:

Yes. Or rather “cringe me to tears” in my case.

Luckily at times there have been really good books among the winners (and the follow-up list) as you can see in The Honya Taishou 本屋大賞 Reading Challenge, but unfortunately it’s not a given and one has to be careful. It’s a prize for popular books, after all, which doesn’t necessarily mean good books.


But I need to say again that this specific one was nominated for the Naoki prize too. Surely the criteria should be different there? And it’s been on several best of 2022 lists, that had almost nothing else in common. Very strange overall.


That’s indeed quite interesting.

EDIT: It doesn’t seem to be too unusual to have love stories among the prize nominees; I found this on the wikipedia page of 千早 茜, the other Naoki winner in the last round: “Atokata won the Shimase Award for Love Stories and was nominated for the 150th Naoki Prize, but did not win.”
But then again, there are love stories and love stories… :thinking:

One would hope :sweat_smile:

But then again, we don’t know what else was on the long list. :thinking:

Which led me to the question “How many books are there to choose from?” :joy_cat:

And down the rabbithole you go :-)

In Japan, around 70,000 books are published per year, and I found one breakdown by category:

I think “Liberal arts” does not apply to our bracket, so I guess we are looking at “General” here? So around 35,000 per year, i.e. around 17,500 per 6 months (which is the timespan the Naoki and Akutagawa prizes look at). But it’s not clear to me at all how many of those are manga, for example. Or light novels. But in general, if we cut out all those, I feel there is not such an incredible number left… :thinking:


Here’s an excerpt from the thesis I had linked several posts above when we were talking about the literary awards. It’s mainly about the Akutagawa selection process, but I assume the Naoki must be similar:

Hidden for size

The process has remained the same since the beginning of the Prize. Usually, around the beginning of March, twenty-four editors, all staff of Bungeishunju Ltd., are chosen to sit on the twelve-member selection committees for the Akutagawa Prize and the Naoki Prize. Twelve editors are chosen from the book publishing division, and twelve from the literary magazine division; they will serve for six months. They receive an official written appointment and a small allowance known as a yomidai or “reading fee.” For the 79th Akutagawa Prize, Okawara acted as head of these committees. First, he collected about 1300 qualified works from sixty general commercial literary magazines and 410 dojin magazines
(non-commercial literary coterie magazines) published during the previous six months.
Meanwhile, the general editorial affairs department of Bungeishunju Ltd., sent out a survey to approximately five hundred literary experts, including the ten judges, asking for recommendations of works written in the previous six months. Thus, each editor was assigned to read about sixty works in addition to their regular duties. However, they were allowed to recommend the works of their own clients as prospective winners. Once a month the members had a meeting in which they eliminated those works that did not fit the criteria.
Then, as now, the final nomination list was determined via discussion, coordination and debate among panel members. The 79th Akutagawa Prize survey had a response rate of sixty percent. If a judge recommended a particular work, it would remain on the final nomination list.

(Hope it’s okay to quote so much. Source: https://open.library.ubc.ca/media/stream/pdf/24/1.0072484/1)

I checked and it’s in third place in his top books of 2022. He actually seems pretty impressed by it in that video. There must be something more to it than meets the eye, but I’ll still avoid it, I think.

Yes, I actually think that they try to have something from several different genres (unlike the Akutagawa which is “pure literature”), that’s why there’s always a mystery nominee for example. I’ll see if I can find a source.


Jan 28, Sat of Week 5 of Winter Q1 2023 :snowman::snowflake:

ガラスのうさぎ [7/18].

吾輩は猫である Ch.2 (Track 3). Maybe I am thinking of dropping this series already. A track (half chapter) is just too long to listen more intensively. For another series, listening while waiting for the physical text (probably re-listen then).

So-matome N3 Listening Ch.5 [1/5]. Doing the whole 5 parts of the exam feels too much for me, so I might not pass in reality; but let me slowly do practice test for now.

Off-topic book award discussion

Oh, thanks for quoting! I wanted to go back to your post and read up on it, but I couldn’t get around it yet :cry:

Wow! I bet every time a book like 地図と拳 with its 600+ pages is published, everybody goes like :rage: :weary: inside :laughing:
Given that the prize covers the periods December to May and June to November, and the shortlists come out some time in December, that’s pretty amazing. But probably they will already start selecting books during the year, not only when the time period is over. Which would mean about 10 books per month - still a lot, but much more doable, I guess.

Oh yes, that sounds plausible, given it’s a popular literature prize. (It should represent the popular genres, then, indeed.)


Interesting that you can win the Akutagawa for something published in a doujinshi…


The specific description of the selection process is from 1978, so maybe things have changed? The doujinshi have a long history dating back to 1874 according to Wikipedia, and they were mainly self-published literature collections back then it seems.