I also have a hard time getting into short stories, but it seems that in Japanese literature they are simply everywhere!
Admittedly, I recently read a short story that actually felt very wholesome to me in a strange way; it felt more like a full book than a short story. But that’s pretty rare for me - maybe I only read two or three other short stories where I had that same feeling.
Riiight? To be honest, I really enjoyed that style.
Also, I liked the second story much better than the first one, so I can highly encourage you to read that one as well at some point!
Actually, the Kurosawa movie mixes two Akutagawa short stories, one is called 藪の中 and the other is called 羅生門 - らしょうもん
(The first story is about the events in the grove and the second one is about the events at the gate.)
Oh, I didn’t know that actually, thanks! I wonder how hard it would be to read the original…
(L30 according to Natively. So, not that bad at all)
Edit: Just noticed there was much more to your post than what I saw initially! Yes, I do intend to read the next story right away, I can’t easily leave a book once I’ve started it (please disregard that in this challenge alone I’ve restarted two books that I had started before and then paused ).
Out of interest, which was the story that felt like a full book? They are a rare breed indeed!
I own them already, for that exact reason but I dared not look at them yet…
Plus, they are of course available on Aozora as well.
If you want to read the original-original, brace yourself: 芥川龍之介 藪の中
And this is the modernized (in terms of kanji and kana) version: 芥川龍之介 藪の中
Noice! Please keep me / us posted how you like it
The story that made me fully aware of the existence of such short stories is the middle story from 沖で待つ (I found that book to be very interesting, with three totally different short stories actually) but now that I think about it, I’d say that the second one from 夜市 also felt pretty much like this, and maybe also the second story from キッチン? (I read it some time ago so not really sure about the last one…)
Recently I got some recommendations for short story collections, so I was thinking I might want to mix them one-by-one into my usual reading, so that they are more like nice snacks in between books instead of a full book of just short stories. Let’s see how that will work out…
Yeah, I think I’ll wait a little before tackling that
Oh I will, there’s no stopping me
That’s the book with the full-hiragana story, right? Hmm. Putting it on my list for later.
I read キッチン ages ago in translation. I don’t think there was a second story in the translated version, but I’m not sure. Might be worth rereading in Japanese at some point.
This sounds like an interesting experiment. I’m normally a one-book-at-a-time person - as long as I like the book I’m reading I can’t turn my attention elsewhere until I’ve finished it. But now with the book clubs and this challenge I’m in the strange situation of juggling several (5 if you include the manga) books at the same time. It’s weirdly distracting. Thankfully not all of them are equally engaging or I would have gone crazy.
I’m sure this fully depends on the edition at hand. In the book I own, there is a second story called “Moonlight Shadow” which is what I was referring to.
Can totally relate! Sometimes I’m okay with reading several books in parallel, and sometimes it feels so draining that I need to finish one early or let it trail behind. (Like, at the moment I let がばいばあちゃん trail behind but I hope I will manage to catch up again before the club finishes.)
Plot development: Maomao’s father has been identified Turns out slimy military dude who has been bothering Jinshi lately is her dad. I call him slimy because he is annoying and seems to have ulterior motives. Jinshi informed Maomao that this person wanted to meet her and her reaction was priceless. Just a ton of facial expressions of disgust, not necessarily pointed towards Jinshi but her reaction was so extreme that he couldn’t take it and just told her “I’ll decline the request for you”. Thing is, she officially belongs to Jinshi since he literally bought her from the brothel head mistress. And that made her dad kinda pissed because seems like he’s been trying to convince head mistress to let him have Maomao since more than 10 years ago and finally succeeded in convincing her. (Maomao is currently 16 years old or so). What kind of childhood has this girl been living… I need to know
Expression of the day: 鳶に油揚げをさらわれる
“To have one’s fried tofu snatched by a black kite (a birb)”.
It’s kinda funny how the whole expression wasn’t mentioned, only referred to by the words とんび and 油揚げ. Was fun to realize what was going on. One smol victory :3
I read two chapters of Shirokuma Cafe today. I especially enjoyed the second one, which had information about how to tell the difference between a King Penguin and an Emperor Penguin. I didn’t know the differences before, so it was fun to be able to understand it in Japanese
I’m reading ジョンさん日本へ, and read 8 pages, the first chapter. This is the first book I’ve read with actual chapters, but there are only two. The reading is getting denser in this book and it has a lot of dialogue. But so far, I can still read it and without a lot of difficulty. I’m reading easier because the vocabulary has been repeated a lot by now, but I’m still amazed that I am holding my own! Great motivation!
This book is about a young man, John, who goes to Tokyo to study Japanese. He sits beside a young woman on the plane and they both are reading manga. Then they see that they are reading the same manga. John sees Mt. Fuji and loves the sight. When the plane lands, they go their separate ways. The girl gets on the train to go home, and pulls out her manga, but discovers that she has picked the boy’s up by mistake. The boy goes to phone someone and sees that he has the girl’s manga. That is the end of Chapter 1.
I was reading at about 2am again. Yesterday my order of the JoJo Hyakunin Karuta (世界 edition) came in and I was super excited to read most of the cards (I skipped Part 6 and 7 cards to avoid spoilers) but I was really surprised because it came with a game cd! It has an electronic version of karuta. I’m going to try playing it on an old work computer because it says it requires a flash player. It was really exciting to open the box because it’d never been opened before despite being over 10 years old. It was so nice to remove some of the plastic and know that I’m the first person to exam it since it was packaged.
As for why I stopped at page 51… I meant to only read a page or two, but then the topic was Dio and to my surprise, there was a diagram with some… family history. I was so chuffed by the way they had Dio-> 殺害、殺害、殺害、間接的に殺害 that I was able to stop for the night. You could apply those labels to almost all of the character deaths in JoJo though. I know that people have compiled charts lol.
I read chapter 1 of Kiki’s. I had printed off the vocab list for the first chapter, expecting it to take a while and then I breezed through the whole thing lol. Guess I’ll print out chapters 2 and 3 at the same time.
I also mailed in my MEXT application today!
I must’ve quadruple-checked everything 50 times but at a certain point there was nothing left to do but mail it in. Fingers crossed I get the invitation to interview, but for now I’m celebrating by eating some brownies I bought for myself lol.
@NicoleRauch@omk3 If either of you need short story reccs I love short stories so know some quite good ones. It definitely takes skill on the part of the author to make one truly compelling.
Also today was full of traveling, but I was able to read quite a bit! I left off yesterday with around ~25% of 心霊探偵八雲 done and sit at just over 50% done today. It’s honestly a lot of fun, and I saw on Natively that @basilsauce had reviewed another of the author’s works and I largely agree with their assessment although for a different book! The main difference here is the vocab doesn’t seem very spread for the book I’m reading. A small handful of ghost words and school related words, but otherwise common words and quite a few repeated phrases.
My books are supposed to be getting here on Thursday! I can’t wait. I wonder if I’ll get ハイキュー!! done by then, since I wanna at least finish that before I start ボーイミーツマリア. Also TIL NatsuYuu has 3 novels, so those have been added to my list now too. I’d say I gotta increase my reading speed, but I don’t actually know how to do that… Just keep reading, I guess.
Amazon has been reccing me オールドファッションカップケーキ for a while now, and I finally got around to checking it out and reading the preview. It seems it’ll be good, and the art’s nice. And it’s got an age difference, and they’re both adult-adults! 39 and 29. So that’s nice too. I also read the preview for 春と夏となっちゃんと秋と冬と僕, a ４コマ by the same author that looks cute.
…Maybe I should be adding all the books I find to my 読みたい本 list on Bookmeter, but I have so many on my wishlist that aren’t at this point that it just feels like a pain. I’ve mostly just been adding books to my 積読本 list as I get them. I might get better recs though…
Thinking about my old laptop which could convert into a tablet reminded me that my mother gave me her old iPad forever ago, which I’d never touched because I have no need for a tablet. So I found that and charged it up and decided to try using that to read book previews. Definitely much easier than on my laptop. Still got nothing on actual, physical books, but it’s better than the computer. Anyway, after switching to the iPad this evening, I read about half of the 鹿の王 preview before getting too tired to continue; I’m turning in early tonight.
I read ハイキュー!! ch 3-4. Yesterday I didn’t take into account furigana that wouldn’t be a usual reading of the kanji when I was thinking about illegible kanji and illegible furigana, even though this series uses a lot of that “say one thing and give context with kanji” thing. Today I came across 罰 with the furigana ペナルティ and was only able to read it because I already know what the kanji means.
I also played a bit of Heroes today, though it was mostly side stuff, so there wasn’t all that much reading.
Some vocab of note:
極力 (きょくりょく) [adverb] to the utmost; to the best of one’s ability
反省の色 (はんせいのいろ) [expression, noun] sign of remorse; indication of regret
Ok, so I’ve failed at sticking around in general. Things have continued to be a little rough and I shied away from updates because of my hand/wrist problems. They still exist… but here I am for a quick update, shrug. Can’t help it. Currently awkwardly typing with a handbrace. (by the way I’ll just wrap in here that I read and appreciate your post @fallynleaf , much of that matches with what I’ve guessed and how I’ve been trying to treat it).
But hey, I finished another route yesterday, so it’s time to hang out with Shiki. The final normal route of this game until “true route” time, whatever that entails. At this rate it might not take me much more than a week to get started on that. Every day (except one that was particularly rough, and even then I read a few thousand) I’ve been hitting roughly 8000-10000 characters, so doing well for my standards. I do have to say, so far Shiki isn’t making a great impression on me because they play up her kinda crying and running away like a child too much. It’s slightly grating. Meanwhile in what must be bizarre foreshadowing for wherever the true route is going, Umi (the young girl who is nebulously related to the protagonist) has had a few small changes to her speech between some routes, but now, she has reverted to acting like a very young child and speaking in couple word utterences. So like, that’s enough anime little kids tropes crashing in at once! Give me salarymen or something to detox from this.
I think I remember hearing the true route itself is quite long, but one of these days, I’m actually going to be reading another visual novel. That’s starting to feel real by now haha.
Recommendations are always welcome! And our tastes seem to overlap quite a bit, so doubly welcome from you!
The book you’re currently reading sounds like fun too. I had already noticed the one @basilsauce reviewed and had tentatively put it on my (ever growing) list. How prevalent is the supernatural element would you say? It’s strange with the supernatural, I sometimes love it and sometimes it puts me off, and I’m not even sure how to express what it is that makes the difference for me - which is why I generally tend to avoid it another comment from me in direct contradiction to the (heavily supernatural) book I’m currently reading
Well um… I finished ZTD? Really did not expect that to happen today With that I’ve completed my goal for this challenge of finishing the Zero Escape games so that’s pretty wild! ZTD was definitely a different experience; toward the end especially it felt less like “reading” and more like just watching a show with subtitles and pressing buttons sometimes, but I found myself keeping up with the dialogue speed just fine which felt great!
My playthrough took a bit over 33 hours which is so much shorter, wow. A lot of that is definitely just by nature of it having a more set pace what with all the cutscenes, but like… I still paused to look things up and figure them out as I needed to, so that’s a major improvement from the like 80 hours VLR took me, not to mention 999 so that’s really cool! It’s always nice to see clear progress like that
ZTD things bc what even happened today
There was just so much… シグマ and ダイアナ and ファイ and デルタ… especially デルタ, like what?? He was just there the whole time?? I was just flabbergasted when Q (or I guess ショーン huh) turned around and shot him, absolutely baffling. But シグマ and ダイアナ too, that whole set of scenes was wild, these dynamics are so complicated their daughter who’s like the same age as them and their 120-something-year-old cult son, and the different temporal experiences and awarenesses they all have and just… oof it’s a lot
And mind control?? We really just threw that one in huh, as デルタ said his motivations are numerous and complicated and wow I can’t wrap my brain around any of it, I’m sure I’m forgetting about a billion things but it was information overload!! Today was a lot Zero Escape reveals are always like this huh
Now… I’ll have to actually decide what to do next The 海辺のカフカ book club is starting up soon so I have that to look forward to, but odds are I’ll start up another game before long. I still have Story of Seasons if I want a brain break I’m probably looking at AI: The Somnium Files as my next game I’ll pick up, but who knows! I’ve been known to be impulsive with these things haha. We shall see