Not an update. Just something to come back to later.
Unfortunately I have to leave the idea of maintaining the streak. I was not able to read anything neither yesterday nor today, and I’m sure it will stay the same for the next few days. Its literally the worst timing to have a choke in a life, for sure.
Oh and as additional annoyance, I’m away from my notebook, I just had an absolutely atrocious review session with mobile app but I’m hellbent on maintaining at least the reviews for now.
Weeeell, and here I thought Manga weren’t really my preferred reading material:
I feel like I could read a volume a day, but want to pace myself on purpose (I have a tendency to binge and then suffer from not getting other stuff done, oopsie ). We just talked about it in another thread, but ハピネス isn’t really text heavy and does a lot of story telling through the visuals, so I’m a bit unsure how much Japanese practice it really is. But then again, who cares. I’m having fun and I’m still reading a lot more Japanese text than I usually would
Early update today, because I just couldn’t stop reading before I finished the book!
Overall I’m really happy with this book. It had mystery, suspense, twists, humour, and an awesome cat - what more could anyone ask for? Some complaints I had during reading were actually addressed within the book and they were handled well after all, at least in my opinion - nothing felt too far-fetched or too out-of-left-field, yet there were twists and surprises till the very end. I was indeed absolutely right in my deduction so the (semi)final twist wasn’t really surprising, but it was a complex book with many moving parts, so knowing something ahead of time didn’t spoil the fun at all. (I wonder how the clue was handled in translation - the book isn’t translated into English, but there are translations in other languages out there.)The rest of the revelations all had also crossed my mind at some point, but only fleetingly, so while they weren’t shocking as such they were still surprising. I’d happily read more of the 三毛猫 series, and more 赤川 in general. I really liked his style of writing too, although I understand that it differs a lot in other books of his.
Fun words and expressions
未練がましい - not knowing when to let go, unwilling to resign
焼きもちを焼く - to be jealous
一巻の終わり - the end of the line, the end of the road (“finish in one volume”)
疑いを抱く - to harbour suspicion
口を滑らす - to make a slip of the tongue, to blurt out without thinking
頭を抱える - to be at wits’ end, to be perplexed
猿ぐつわをかます - to gag someone
くぐもった声 - muffled voice
手が込む - to be intricate, to be elaborate
危ない橋を渡る - to walk on thin ice, to take risks (“to cross a dangerous bridge”)
とぼける - to play dumb, to play innocent
目をつぶる - to shut your eyes, to pretend not to know, to ignore
狂言 - farce between noh plays or as an interlude of a noh play, trick, ruse
金目当て - doing something for money
陥れる - to trap (into a difficult situation), to lure (into a trap), to frame (for a crime)
目を盗む - to do without being seen, to do behind someone’s back
巻き起こす - to create a sensation, to give rise to controversy
柄にもなく - out of character
宙に浮く - to be unsettled/undecided/unfinished (“float in the air”)
きまりが悪い - embarrassed, ashamed
If I do find some more time today I guess I’ll use it to catch up with the book clubs, and then from tomorrow I’ll need to decide what to read next.
In particular for Night Cafe , not too hard when I focus on vocabularies, keeping some intricacies / grammars for later. (I don’t really look up vocabularies either, just make a list.) I will probably re-read. Though, I will need to move on quickly, as Ch. 4 have started.
As for a vocabulary list, I have just learnt to send Yomichan to Anki today; which is more convenient than Akebi, as I am on a laptop with keyboard and touchpad, and full version of Anki; as well as when a vocabulary is added from Yomichan, I can immediately edit in Anki and add additional notes. (When the vocabulary already exist, I edit or add tag, to move it to the top of the “modified” list.)
My biggest recommendations from what I’ve read of him so far are おやすみ、夢なき子 and 夜警. The first book has much darker themes, but it was so good I couldn’t put it down. The second one is less dark and has some supernatural elements.
Also you weren’t shocked by 片山’s sister stealing his money for an abortion?! That hit me out of nowhere.
Thanks for the recommendations, I’ll definitely check them out. I don’t mind darker themes, but I’m not sure about supernatural elements, it really depends on my mood and how they’re handled. I’ll read the samples and see, I guess, but that’s for later. It’s still fairly early in my Japanese reading journey, so I want to mix up writing styles as much as possible to keep me on my toes.
Okay, I never predicted that, but I didn’t spend much thought on that particular small mystery either. It didn’t shock me though. It was obvious there was something going on with her, and I’m just glad it wasn’t anything darker than that (because of course, (ending spoilers!) having your lover be revealed to be a serial killer and then committing suicide (not clear if she witnessed that too) after you just aborted his baby is not all that bad, right? . I guess the body count was so high that after a while I started being surprised only when people survived.
Just kind of reread more and tried to make more sense of かがみの孤城 today. Even though I understand what’s been happening so far well enough (I think), I can’t quite get the timeline of the events.
What I think it is so far
The prologue, I assume, is of the time period that is after the story’s ending. The narrator is recounting memories that are yet to happen in the book.
Chapter 1 (五月)
Kokoro is in her room, before attending the new school, having a flashback about a time when she was in primary school, about ミカワ青果’s truck.
She then has another flashback to two days before the ‘present’, which is when she felt like she could go to the school she had visited with her mum. But when she woke up that morning her stomach was hurting. (Not well-written English, just a rough translation. Sorry)
For the next few pages she recounts the interaction between her and her mother that day, and her mother informing the school that Kokoro won’t be able to attend.
Then… flashback to her touring the school?? And then a return to ‘reality,’ where her mother tells her to go to bed if her stomach is hurting.
And then she wakes up at 3pm and starts to eat the bento she was supposed to have at school, and after that, there is another flashback to her and her mother touring the school.
I don’t even know if all this is correct. My mind still isn’t fully connecting the dots. Writing it out has helped though, lol.
Read about Jōruri-ji temple, which is in Kizugawa, Kyoto prefecture.
Japanese found in the tall grass
後期「こうき」ー Latter period; second half; late stage 修行僧「しゅぎょうそう」ー Ascetic monk; trainee monk 庵「いおり」ー Hermitage; retreat 廃寺「はいじ」ー Ruined temple; abandoned temple 中心「ちゅうしん」ー Centre; at the heart of something 重要文化財「じゅうようぶんかざい」ー Important cultural property/asset 梵字「ぼんじ」ー Siddham alphabet 世情「せじょう」ー Human nature; the ways of the world 檜皮葺「ひわだぶき」ー Cypress bark roof
New Kanji 峯「やね」ー Peak; summit (more commonly seen as: 峰)
Places 小田原「おだわら」ー Odawara, Kanagawa precture
People 聖武天皇「しょうむてんのう」ー Emperor Shoumu (724-749 CE) 阿弥陀仏「あみだぶつ」ー Amitabha (a celestial Buddha)
I did quite a lot of reading today! A chapter of Teasing Master Takagi-san, and then also a chapter of Yoru Cafe.
Yoru Cafe still takes a lot of concentration for me to read, but I read this chapter quite smoothly - still took me ages though!
I only read about 5 pages of 魔女の宅急便 but I managed to finish chapter 5.
Needed a break from 魔女の宅急便 today and read about 5 pages of 冷蔵庫との対話. This is the second short story of 齋藤孝のイッキによめる! 名作選 中学生.
So many vocabs I had to look up today. Although I got a good gist about what was going on, so that’s something.
I’ll plan to finish the story tomorrow and maybe read another short story of this book before returning to 魔女の宅急便.
Over the past few days I read Flesh&Blood, the pirate story.
Just finished chapter 1 (~40 pages), and so far I like it a lot.
Some details (without spoilers, I guess)
In the first chapter MC gets introduced, together with his environment and current situation and also - of course - some things he’s struggling with (but so far it all feels pretty genuine and straightforward to me). We also get a quick rundown of British pirate history (I found this a bit difficult to follow with all the katakana-ized names though , but I guess I managed more or less).
So far, no cheesy romance in sight (well, there is one mention of somebody wearing very tight jeans, but that’s as far as it gets for now )…
I also like the language; it feels well-written to me, and it’s varied enough that I need to look up quite a bunch of vocab and also some grammar points, but it is not tiring so far.
Funny word of the day: すし詰め (also written as 鮨詰め or 寿司詰め) - jam-packed; packed in like sardines
This made me reread that part again because I almost missed the fact that the current emperor’s mom was there (titles are confusing). Previous emperor makes me want to cry ;-; Those poor girls. Maomao’s comment was funny tho.
ohhh, unreliable narrator 0: I took it as her being just not very confident in her appearance. But I see what you mean, especially in one of the latest chapters I read where she was like “I’m currently donning a total poker face holding back my facial expression of disgust in front of Jinshi, especially since Gaoshun is also here”, but then we see from Gaoshun’s perspective being like “sigh such an rude expression every time she’s around Jinshi”. Ahh, that was hilarious. (I think you commented on it in the book club threads too.) The discrepancy in the characters’ perspectives, especially when it is this obvious, makes me really appreciate the change in points of view. Even if she’s pretty funny by herself imo, the other characters’ thoughts and reactions really highlight Maomao as a character
Day 23 / Calendar
I’ve read and translated this week’s ABBC book club material today. This took about 1.5-2 hours, the reading itself wasn’t too difficult, so it was a nice change of pace from reading 夜カフェ at 2 pages a day.
I took the prologue to be an actual dream (or daydream) and I still think of it that way, but maybe a different interpretation will become possible later in the book
This is the only part that you got wrong, I think. She does say something about hearing the truck during holidays when she was in primary school, but the scene itself takes place after she has already attended and has stopped attending middle school (こころは学校を休むようになって). The reasons for that will become clear later.
Hmm. Today was ok. I had time and a lot of enthusiasm so I wanted to read a bunch, but I stopped (for now?) at 6000 characters because it was getting harder and I can tell when I’m wearing out. I don’t get so exhausted from reading like the old days (usually) but there’s a point at which I start mixing up or not recognizing more words, I start more automatically pushing Yomichan on everything, etc. This sentence is one the toughest the whole game has had:
As kind of a joke about something totally unrelated, the main character went into this exaggerated sports talk for a few sentences. The grammar isn’t crazy or anything, but that features 6 or new words for me. They even furigana’d that last kanji word, which is rare. I essentially see what it’s saying but that’s basically from looking up every other word then trying to hold all these English approximations in my working memory at once.
I must unfortunately say that the maid outfits arrived today
I think it’s a rule that most visual novels have to throw in maids at some point. I’ve… never gotten good vibes from the whole maid thing Japan has going on. They seem to show up a bunch in these games; I think the maid cafe stuff was probably part of why I stopped Steins;Gate (the VN) years back. I’ll give it another try someday, heh. Here at least there’s no “let me serve you, master” stuff; she just throws this outfit on while helping around the house and it mostly seemed to be an excuse to draw this picture. Anyway, all that aside, Umi has a weird way of holding a glass.
That’s about it from me. I think I’m getting better at reading, bit by bit. There aren’t even too many exciting new words so I’ll just say today’s word is 躊躇 (ちゅうちょ), hesitation. I think I know the verb version 躊躇う (ためらう) well enough by now, but I keep coming across this one so it’s time to finally learn it. Those are some wild, intricate kanji.