📚📚 Read every day challenge - Spring 2022 🌸 🌱

Late again, but let’s do a recap of Week 2 of the challenge:

  • Read this week’s chapter of 夜カフェ (bookclub)
  • Read 3 weeks worth of かがみの孤城 and caught up with the bookclub (!!!)
  • Read 3 chapters of 佐賀のがばいばあちゃん (still catching up with bookclub)
  • Played ~3h of バリアブルバリケード

Not too bad considering I got sick toward the end of the week and had to take it easy for a couple of days. I’m hoping to fully catch up with bookclubs this week.

In other news, I randomly started Dragon Quest XI in Japanese since it’s available through Game Pass, and played for about an hour. My original goal learning Japanese was to play JRPGs so it was interesting being able to do that. I’ve never played a DQ before and it’s not even my console so I’m not sure I’ll be able to/want to continue but it seems pretty beginner-friendly with the furigana and everything.

Hey! I voted for Orange since I’m reading it right now (reading volume 5 at the moment). If you are looking for an overarching story this is a good choice, plus the vocab and situations are still everyday life so it’s not too difficult. It’s a pretty emotional story and you really feel for the characters (or at least I do), if that’s your thing. It took me some effort in the beginning, but right now I can read with barely any lookups.


First I want to thank everyone for voting. :blush: I appreciate it.

So first I will comment the results so far and then make some replies. (I’ll leave the poll open for a few more days and will definitely consult it again before I actually start reading my next pick. Thereby giving time for those who maybe don’t read the thread every day. I see you. :eyes:)

What I'm reading next (most likely) decided by your poll votes!

I almost didn’t include Yotsubato nor Aria, and Yotsubato is in the lead with 61%. I guess that isn’t so surprising when considering how many people probably have read at least one volume of that vs most of my other options.

Then Zenitendou with 44%. I’m definitely interested in digging into more book-books, so I think I might slot it higher on my next-to-read list than I first intended. (This also means I will go and dig for this among my books. All my books/manga in Japanese are in boxes still because I don’t have shelves to put them on :sob:)

Next option that got quite a few votes was Sailor Moon, and then Orange/Sailor V. If I wasn’t in the middle of an arc of Sailor Moon, or close to the end of an arc I’d probably pick that up in a heart beat, but right now I am far from every day vocabulary of school situations.

After this, my thinking is this: read volume one of Yotsubato to ease into fully native material again with no restricted grammar/vocabulary. And since it is fairly episodic (every chapter is self containing, at least mostly as far as I understand?), I should be able to stop after one volume and read something else if I want something with more story.

Then I’ll have to decide between continuing Sailor Moon or reading all of Orange (I can’t see myself not reading all of it at once), I could always just finish the current Sailor Moon arc and then read Orange. Zenitendou is also lurking among these options.

@Scylie Maybe we saw @Sylph mention it?! We aren’t hallucinating. But perhaps only bad at remembering where we read that someone was reading something? :thinking:

@Daisoujou Sounds like if I read Yotsubato, I might even be able to have a harder read on the side (or the other way around, Yotsubato being my easy side read). That could be another reason to start Yotsubato so I can have it as an easy reading slot. Also congrats on the JLPT practice test, those kinds of tests are so tiring, partly because of the very strict (and weird) format.

@Sylph You’re selling me on Orange for sure. Just to fully ease myself out of graded readers, I think I’ll do a volume of Yotsubato first, after that I’m probably gonna dig in.


So started the last booklet in the last Ask Graded Reader I own. I’m almost done and I’m so relieved because this booklet is reminding my why I picked to read these things—I wanted to get them read so I never had to look at them again. :joy:

The last 3 booklets spoiled me, they were so good. 坊っちゃん (上下) and the telling of the 47 samurai. Enjoyed both so much.

And now I have ローマの休日… The premise is pretty good: 19 yo princess of unnamed (probably European) nation is going on an Europe tour. The story mentions going to London, Amsterdam and Paris, but our story starts at the last stop of Rome. By now the princess is tired of same old same old, probably saying the same pleasantries and discussing the same meaningless things with people for the fourth time. So she runs away during the night to have her own adventure in Rome.

Well, that premise sounds like fun, so far the execution started okay with some what is wrong with people to then lead into boring.

Spoiler details of the start to this story

So the princess leaves the first (Italian) diplomatic shindig and is preparing for bed with a Countess companion/older woman (servant-ish?). After the princess lays down in bed the Countess starts going over the schedule for the next day (serious? How is that gonna help her sleep?) and the princess is so bored/tired/exhausted with these kinds of events that she starts crying and telling the Countess to stop. Well, the Countess thinks this means the princess is sick, so she gets a doctor. Who says “well, she is indeed sick, lets give her sleeping pills”, and I’m like… whut just happened? … So they inject? her (at least that was the translation of the verb used! But I think they meant sleeping aid/pills).

Anyway, they leave and after the princess has slept for a short while, she wakes up and this is when she does her escape. Yay! Except, the sleeping aid is still in her system so after a short while she falls asleep on a bench. Now enters the male lead, a 30 yo American reporter who works in Rome and is perpetually low on funds (partly because he gambles them away). He finds the princess and for the next few pages, he gets her in a taxi, takes her to his home and lets her sleep there. And this takes several pages and aren’t interesting in the least. Down right boring.

And that is where I left off for the day. I hope the story picks up when the princess finally wakes up again…

I also spent time moving around the boxes with my manga/books so that I have easy access to all the books I had in the poll, and also to some others (like Fruit Basket) so if I change my mind about what to read next, I have all the likely candidates fairly easily reached. But since everything was crammed into a corner with a slopping ceiling, my back was a little mad at my weird lifting of boxes with books. Haha. :sweat_smile:

Well, it is done. xD


Since you have easy access to your poll options, what I’d do in your place would be I’d read the first page/paragraph of several of them, and see which one I want to continue reading right there and then. That’s what I’ve done in the past when I had piles or unread books and was unsure where to start - it was a good way to see what I was in the mood for at that particular moment.



I fell asleep yesterday before I could post this, so I’m just finishing it up and posting it as-is:

I just figured out today why, when I saw 珠 the other day I thought it was a type of red (it’s actually “pearl; gem; jewel”). 朱 is “vermillion” or “scarlet.”

Also, I love the “糸言糸” construction that appears at the top of some kanji, like the outdated form of 恋 and 変, and one I stumbled upon today, 欒, which apparently means “chinaberry tree; round; harmonious.” It’s just so pretty. 戀 doesn’t seem to be one of those old/alternate forms that still sees some use though, unfortunately, but I still wanna use it in something at some point.

Yeah okay I think Heroes is becoming a hyperfixation. I actually had to fight to get myself to read クールドジ男子, and it’s a Mima chapter. Mima. What universe is this.

I read the 描き下ろし ch 18 and the short extra at the end, finishing vol 3! Also I skimmed quickly through vol 4, and it looks like they go to a festival during one chapter, and also— beach trip!!! I’m so excited.

Mima's bonus chapter!

The color of the pages this time is more of a mauve, probably because it’s about him and Igarashi. It’s also the color of his flashback pages. I like this color better than his usual one, but tbh I’m not much of a pink person.

That’s not your mouse… (笑)

(Also, he looks good in pale pink.)

We learn explicitly that Igarashi is a novelist who will also sometimes write songs for band(s) that he’s on good terms with (no name(s), so I dunno if there’s more than one or not).

Aw, when Mima and Igarashi run into each other that evening, they both almost call each other by their given name before correcting to surnames + さん. And Mima’s started calling Igarashi “Motoharu” in his head now that he knows who he is. I hope they start using given names again at some point.

Hayate, Shun, and Souma walk through the park Mima and Igarashi are sitting down in while taking Sakura for a walk after their shifts. Hayate had her leash but underestimated her strength, so instead of being pulled along behind her, he accidentally let go of it. At least she didn’t go far though. It doesn’t seem she’s met Mima before, so I doubt it’s that she recognized him and shot off to greet him, but that would be cute if it were the case I guess she’s just a plot device here (and an adorable one at that).

Oh my gosh, Mima slips and calls him “Motoharu” once without realizing it before he’s calling him “Igarashi-sensei” again and heading back to work before Igarashi can even get past his surprise. Looks like given names are a definite possibility!!!

Wow I’m dumb. I literally only just realized today that the cover of the volume is the color that corresponds to the character who’s on the front (at least on the actual cover, since the jacket has multiple characters), who is the character whom the volume’s first chapter follows. 1 - Hayate (blue); 2 - Shun (yellow); 3 - Mima (pink); 4 - Souma (green). I’m assuming vol 5 will be Igarashi (purple).

I spent most of my time playing DQ Heroes though. I think I’m starting to get the hang of it better. Except for the names of monsters, items, and equipment. I know a lot of them in English, but quite a few of them are different from the Japanese, so there are a lot of things where I’m like, “A what-a what now?” and then I open the details page (since in this game, even though a description of the item appears to the side when it’s selected, it doesn’t show an image of it) and I’m like, “Oh, it’s [insert item].” I feel like keeping those straight is almost more difficult than the new words I come across…

I met Terry!

I also met Jessica and Yangus, though they haven’t joined up yet.

Terry ♡♡♡ Kamiyan’s voice is a good fit for him.

I learned that Lightning Slash is called 稲妻雷光斬. Lightning Lightning Slash lol. Also that 雷 can also be read いかずち (with いかづち being an outdated reading). I was just thinking that this game had also used かみなり for it before, but actually that was ゼルダ無双…

Not reading, since they’re only spoken, but I’ve been trying to pick out what your selected character says on the victory screen upon stage completion. There are a couple that I’m pretty confident about!


I’m kind of annoyed that DQXI has furigana. That one probably would have been the easier option then than Heroes! Furigana… manual-advance cutscenes… Oh well, I’m entrenched in Heroes now, so I won’t be switching just yet.

Some vocab of note:

酒場 (さかば) [noun] bar; pub; tavern; cantina
市街地 (しがいち) [noun] town area
闘技場 (とうぎじょう) [noun] arena
一刀両断 (いっとうりょうだん) [四字熟語, noun] cutting in two with a single stroke
心する (こころする) [する verb; intransitive] to take care; to be mindful; to be attentive
笑止 (しょうし) [noun, な-adjective] laughable; ridiculous; pitiful; contemptible; absurd
純度 (じゅんど) [noun] purity (of a substance)
おいら [pronoun] written in kanji the same way as おれら, this is a masculine singular personal pronoun
臨機応変 (りんきおうへん) [四字熟語, noun, な-adjective] adapting oneself to the requirements of the moment; playing by ear


:tiger2: :books: Tanuki Den (aka Homepost): Date 20220517 :cherry_blossom: :raccoon:

Tanuki Scroll XLVII: 月から降った餅 :waning_gibbous_moon:

Read today’s folktale, from Okinawa prefecture!

About a god who drops mochi cakes from the moon at the same time every night.

:seedling: Japanese found in the tall grass :seedling:

New Things

搗き立て「つきたて」- Freshly pounded/made - like a mochi

Forgotten Things
輝く「かがやく」ー To shine


May 17, Tue :cherry_blossom: calendar post

Week 8 of Spring 2022’s progress

I’ve read JoJo and Yoru Cafe, and felt that there are some interesting things regarding vocabularies.

  • ()()(げん) fourth dimension
    • The text is しかも血管の壁と一体化している部分もあるのです…… まるで四()(げん)の知恵の輪です , that is, 四 has (just a little more) special reading, but it isn’t Furigana’d. (Not like Araki put reading on everything required, he only put on like half of text…)
    • Example sentences in Jisho and Akebi are just…
Example sentences

The second example might be OK, though.

  • 売る Jisho is underdone this time, and isn’t enough to understand the meaning. I found out later on that Wiktionary is more satisfactory.
    • Goo JE and Kotobank Android App (which also has JE) helped.
    • to build up reputation
    • to betray (a country)
    • to oblige into (pick a quarrel, kindness)
      • ケンカを売った
      • (おん)を売る
  • (かな)う in Jisho and JJ (Goo), it is lumped together with 叶う to have wish granted. This makes Anki flashcard creation with Kitsun (via Jisho API) and some Android dict apps more difficult (will not be separated from 叶う due to unified JMdict entry); however, it’s not a problem for Yomichan and Akebi.
    • Nonetheless Goo JE decides to separate the entry - 敵う, 適う
    • And Wiktionary too.
    • (どう)()(かな)う to suit a purpose
    • (かな)わない to be no match for
  • (かい) oar (of a boat) - such a short word, and uses Kanji (new for me) in text too. IME on Linux (IBus + mozc) refuses to enter this one…

More than SPY x FAMILY on Netflix, I have found JoJo (up to Stone Ocean; and Battle Tendency is also a ROUNDABOUT), and Death Note.

  • Though, SPY x FAMILY is the only one I can promise I study on.
  • For JoJo, I want to catch up, and need to choose either reading or watching first, not both.
  • Death Note might be interesting, but now it’s not time. If there is a subtitle, I can read fast enough to have some chance; though I don’t exactly understand fast enough.

Curiously, about JoJo character’s naming, I wonder how JoJoWiki found out the reason for the name? Interviews with the author? Perhaps @DIO-Berry would know…

I am a little sorry that I looked up the character of その’s name in English and namesake. It’s basically a spoiler without scrolling.


Mostly this, yeah. Sometimes a few chapters are pretty directly connected, but that’s more of a technical correction than anything meaningful for you because every volume break provides a pretty natural stopping point; it’s only mid-volume that they do that.

Yep, Yotsubato should be really good for that use.

Thank you! Yeah I was exhausted by the end, wasn’t prepared for just how many times I was going to have to deal with a whole page long piece of writing in order to answer just one single question. And the test had me almost constantly feeling uncertain between 2 answers even on stuff I knew, because it’s really made to catch if you know something “well enough” but not entirely (which is basically all my knowledge haha), but I guess I did decently despite how it felt.


I figured as much, and it actually makes me more likely to like Yotsubato. When every story is just one chapter, it doesn’t give as much room to sometimes tell bigger stories. :slight_smile: Good to know that those never happen across volumes though, that I appreciate mightily.

JLPT testing quality digression

Many questions that that happens on are specifically written to hinge on a couple or only one sentence/phrase to find the correct answer. Basically making you a detective to figure out what this very bad communicator tried to actually convey.

These kinda “haha tricked ya!” questions on test I find to be especially worthless, because the likelihood of these situations happening in reality (without being able to ask for clarification or later context (in case of a text) making the meaning clear) are infinitesimal.

I find so much of it poor at actually testing language skill. Reading texts and answering questions about them especially should be about comprehending the text as a whole, not catching you out on this one sentence in the middle that showed the reversal while the rest is written to be ambiguous for the sake of making that one sentence critical to understanding the whole piece.

Instead of testing you on language, it seems to test you on how well you can understand poorly communicated messages.

Alas, when it comes to school things (such as tests and similar) I feel like school have forgotten what they are trying to actually test, and I’m left being the only rational one between me and school. xD Hubris, I knew thee name.

Edit: Just making the post smaller by using a detail tag.

Adding onto my little JLPT digression

Oh absolutely. Totally agree with everything you said. The listening is worst for that. They have a mini section that tests overall comprehension of a whole conversation by basically just asking about the whole idea, and I got a perfect score on that section. But a section a little before it? I felt like I understood everything, answered with reasonable confidence, and got something like 4 out of 5 wrong heh. Part of the listening section is designed in that way where the conversations are this unnatural little maze designed to at some point use every word in the answers. Sometimes they change their minds in the dialog and if you miss that one line, oops. Totally aggravating.

So yeah, whole comprehension is the way to go. I guess their sorta rapid fire answer section was interesting as well – basically people say one sentence then you have 3 choices for what’s a natural response. Felt like it at times tested some subtleties of communicating in Japanese but in a good way. I did well on that section too but I have to say it was stressful. For some reason it takes me a moment to really zero in my focus on Japanese listening so when operating on single tiny sentences, I had to try to focus so hard to not let half of the prompt just pass me by.


Finished the big chapter near the end of かがみの孤城, so I’m really happy with that! Only one more chapter and the epilogue to go. I’m tempted to just continue and finish now, just like others in the book club have done. :smile:


Summary post :bookmark:

May 17th :cherry_blossom:

・薬屋のひとりごと 2 (20% → 25%)

Finished chapter 4. The chapters in this book definitely feels longer than in the previous book.


May 17

My friend saw Spirited Away for the first time last night, and it reminded me about to check on tickets to the livestream of the stage adaptation.

The frustration thing is that even on vpn, Hulu Japan won’t let me create an account, and without an account, I don’t think I can purchase a ticket through the store.


Anyway, I probably won’t get a chance to read much else tonight (watch me go read something right now) but I’m counting that webpage as enough.


May 17th!

I finished the first volume of ふしぎねこのきゅーちゃん today.
I’d definitely recommend it for anybody who wants something with low text density thats easy to stop and start when you don’t have much time.

I’m definitely going to read the next volume too, but I’m reading quite a lot of different books at the same time right now, so I’m going to try to finish off one or two of them before starting another new one!

(Home Post)


I’m running short on time today, and something’s been really wrong with my wrist/hand, so I’ll keep it short. Read a little over 7000 characters again, so still hitting that goal.

There’s nothing too exciting in the image part here – but I need evidence there were zombies. (Well ok it was a dream :stuck_out_tongue:)

More N1 stuff: “ないとも限らない” (not necessarily).

New word: 蝕む (むしばむ), either “to be eaten by worms” or “to spoil/ruin/affect adversely/etc.” Extremely intuitive word, even the kanji is like bug + eat.


Well, you have to know the word 食む, but when you do, it’s a a free word indeed :slight_smile:


Today was 59% → 64% of モテ薬, if I have more time later in the evening I might read the next chapter as well as it’s also on the shorter side. There was finally a meaningful story development, but it felt like too little too late at this point.

I also impulse bought 硝子の塔の殺人 and read the prologue. Seems like fun, pretty easy writing style so far. I had no idea ガラス could be written as 硝子, though. Throw it in there with 珈琲 and 煙草 :joy:

I feel this so much. I actually primarily have a Viki subscription just to support more dramas being licensed for international viewing since the majority of what they put on their platform is romcoms and I’m just not that into those. They do occasionally have good stuff (they once had Signal and currently have ミステリと言う勿れ!) but overall…meh. :sweat_smile:


Read 10+ pages today!

夜カフェ2 is getting so good! The author, 倉橋(くらはし)-sensei is getting into a much more nuanced perspective on bullying. I love that the wise, fun, admirable aunt straight up says いつもいい子でいる必要もない。 And Ryouma-kun nicknames ハナビ 線香ハナビ (I just think that’s such a cute image and I love it for ハナビ). I think the story really benefits from having backstory from the first book. Also, this is not really a book you can sit down to thinking “alright I’m gonna pound out some pages”. You gotta be ready for the iyashikei vibes haha. In some moods that frustrates me a little, but at other times it’s really nice. I guess that might be why I keep swinging back and forth between feeling like I’m making great progress and feeling like I’ll never make any progress.


Yeah, I think it’s interviews for the more obscure or changed names, like Hol Horse being from Hall and Oates. Some are still unconfirmed I believe, like Holly, but I’m pretty sure hers is from The Hollies, since they’re old enough and a rock band. Others are written the exact same way as their namesake or in a way that matches either the spelling or pronunciation better (like ヴァニラアイス instead of バニラアイス).


I just finished “Hikoichi and the Living Umbrella”. I am laughing. After making “living umbrellas” to make some money, Hikoichi sells one to the Lord. Telling everyone the umbrella would open when it rains and close when it was not raining, Hikoichi fooled the Lord, because, of course, the umbrella didn’t do that! When it rained and the umbrella didn’t open by itself, the Lord complained. Hikoichi said, “Let me see that umbrella. Why, it hasn’t eaten for a long time. It has died.” My FAVORITE Hikoichi story so far!