📚📚 Read every day challenge - Spring 2022 🌸 🌱

I finished 浦島太郎. After retuening from the Palace of the Dragon King, Taro finds that his house is gone, and so is his mother. He asks a man where his house is. The man answers that there used to be a house there, but that was 100 years ago. There hasn’t been a house there since. Taro says, “One hundred years?.. One hundred years?” He looks around and realizes there is notheing left for him but the beautiful box the younger princess had given him. He opens it and a white smoke comes out. Taro becomes a very old man, and then disappears. No one understands what happened.

New Words:

煙 smoke

何も nothing at all

Here’s poor Taro:


When does the next Reading Challenge start? I’m ready to start again!


I finished this week’s book club assigned reading of 海辺のカフカ and am happy to say that chapter 2 was far more interesting to me than the prologue and chapter 1.

I probably going to have to buy 心霊探偵八雲 book 1 though as I doubt at this point I’ll finish it before the free read period is up.


Summary post :bookmark:

May 29th :cherry_blossom:

・薬屋のひとりごと 2 (79% → 84%)

Finished chapter 18. Was going to read more but had some issues with procrastination / executive dysfunction. Literally “just” had to go get my suitcase from 3 meters outside my room :upside_down_face: Took me all day.

Thoughts on this chapter: Roses blooming out of season. Maomao did a big ganbaru keeping watch over the roses in the sauna and raising them. I love it when people are passionate about what they do. Just… please don’t overdo it to the point of collapsing :joy: :eyes::sweat_drops:

Expression: 種明かし (たねあかし).
Meaning: revealing of how a trick is done; disclosure of a secret; exposure; explanation


Summary post

Today’s been a disruptive day, but not in an awful way. Lots of issues prevented me seeing my mother when I meant to a little while back, so she visited for a bit today. Lost a little sleep getting up for that and then my reviews pushed late in the day etc but I read 5000 characters, which I’ll consider good enough since I’m noticeably a little mentally slower and one section was full of tons of new words. Turns out reading about underwater martial arts and the associated techniques, written to intentionally be over the top, isn’t easy in a foreign language!

Uhh, the rest of the time was a whole lot of 鬼ごっこ (tag). The route is a bit of a grind but I’m so close! The end is in sight kind of! I finished last challenge wondering just how many months I’d be devoting to Summer Pockets, but now I think next challenge should begin with me in the midst of something else.

I’ll grant that Shiki’s visual design is kinda cute, even if I’m still not a fan.

New word I want to share: 醍醐味 (だいごみ), it means the real pleasure of something (or apparently in other contexts, delicious taste / Buddha’s gracious teachings). I think it’s cool for that concept to have its own word. I also think, by pronunciation, my brain immediately jumps to thinking だいごみ sounds like “giant garbage” so maybe that contrast will be a useful way to remember, haha.

Oh! Also I learned ひふみよいつむなやこと which is kind of a fast way to count 1-10? Based on the first mora of ひとつ, ふたつ, etc. I have no more context than that it was used as kind of a cheaty fast count in tag, don’t have the energy to dive more than my lookup that told me what it even was, heh.


Summary Post

May 29
Final Fantasy VII

Didn’t read yesterday again, oopsie. I’m managing to destroy the end of the challenge :joy: . But on the other hand, I’m doing quite a bit of daily listening lately despite neglecting reading a bit. It’s honestly giving me a lot of momentum, I’m happy about my listening skills at the moment, they’ve certainly improved.


Day 58?

  • ジョジョの奇妙な冒険

152- end (19something)

Good through the end and I started reading at a decent time! Funnily enough my plushies happened to fall while I was reading, so I almost got hit by The World, DIO, and Jotaro while reading about them lol

On to volume 14!


If I remember correctly, rather than yelling it was physical violence. In the early part of the manga, it mostly happened in flashbacks and off-screen. I’m finally watching the new anime version and I’ve reached season 2. So far, there has not been much yelling. The loudest character so far is Kyo and he is the typical tsundere but with martial arts skills.


May 29

I read one of the level 3 graded readers while waiting for a friend to hop on a call. The story was about shiitake mushrooms: what they are, what it takes to grow them, and who was involved in cultivating them in Ooita-ken. Pretty neat!

Friend and I started watching Belle through YouTube. Kinda only half paying attention but when I’m not looking at the screen, I can at least follow along with the Japanese audio.

Where even was I in my graded reader count?
Edit: two more level-1s came out over the course of the challenge, so I read them real quick too.

Progress on Tadoku graded readers
44 / 44 level-zeros
14 / 14 level-ones
10 / 10 level-twos
2 / 18 level-threes

I want to try a smorgastarta some day. I’m so intrigued by them. And the other cakes you mention sound divine. :yum:


May 29th (Calendar Post)

少女漫画主人公×ライバルさん => 101 pages (104 min)

Almost half-way through the last volume!

Fun panels :tm:

#Oops 主人公さん

Surprised 主人公さん

Scared-outta-her-mind 主人公さん

おしゃれ ライバルさん

おしゃれ 主人公さん


Blushing 主人公さん round 3

Plotting-something-evil ライバルさん

Evil-smile ライバルさん

Interesting expression I ran into:


The planned start date for the Summer Challenge is July 1st! But if you’re feeling motivated to continue reading daily beyond the “official” end date of this challenge (May 31st), you’re more than welcome to continue posting in this thread through June, until the next challenge starts ^^


Does the challenge usually run 2 months on, 1 month off, 2 on, 1 off, and so on?


Yep! That’s what we’ve been doing so far, seems like it’s been working pretty well


May 29 :cherry_blossom: Home Post

I just read some more 海辺(うみべ)のカフカ today. I’m still enjoying it; right now it’s a lot of exposition sort of stuff which is to be expected, but it’s been really manageable difficulty-wise so that’s good! I look forward to seeing more of what’s actually going on :eyes:


Day 59 :heavy_check_mark: :izakaya_lantern:

夜市 ~ 82-100% :tada:

I wrote before how I hoped I would get to finish 夜市 before the challenge was over, then the very next day I just went and finished it all - more or less inadvertently! The story picked up quite a bit towards the end. There were some wild developments, and I just couldn’t put it down.

Thoughts on 夜市 (no spoilers, but there are some descriptions of the stories' structure and general nature

I’m very torn on how to rate the book. This second story for example, it started well for me, slowly building tension and mystery, then got somewhat meh in the middle, then towards the end it all came together in a wild and very satisfying (for me) way. Like @NicoleIsEnough had said, it didn’t feel like a short story at all. It was more of a novella probably. A lot of things happened over a long period of time, and I don’t feel like we needed to explore the characters or the setting more than the length of the story allowed.

I think my problem with the book was expectations. I went in expecting mild horror, a world populated with strange creatures, a creepy, mysterious atmosphere. The beginning of both stories seemed to hint at exactly that kind of content. Then, when the characters actually entered the fantasy worlds described, that atmosphere was, surprisingly, gone. We were just in a slightly different world, with some rules that don’t apply to ours - but there was no actual sense of wonder, no feeling of unspeakable things lurking in the corners. There were weird creatures aplenty, but they were in the background mostly, more decoration than anything else. And there were a couple of macabre moments, but again, nothing worse than I’ve seen in regular fiction. To me it felt more like fantasy than anything else, and not even particularly dark fantasy at that. At the end of one story, the author/narrator comments that this wasn’t a growing-up story. But I disagree. If I had to decide a genre, fantasy and coming of age would be what I’d have chosen.

Another thing the author did that defied expectations: Both stories started with what we thought as the main character (first person narrator even, in the second one), and as we get invested in them the focus suddenly shifts to someone they meet later on. These someones have fascinating back stories that get gradually revealed, but for the longest time their stories feel like an unnecessary diversion from the protagonist’s story instead of something the reader should be interested in. A strange way to frame things, I thought.

So did I like the book? Not particularly, as I was reading it. I liked the beginning of both stories, loved the final part of the second one, but most of the time I was reading them rather indifferently. However, now that I’ve let them sink in for several hours, I’m finding I’m still thinking about those worlds the author built. They’re fascinating. The idea of them maybe existing just outside our perception is tantalizing. Why am I more fascinated by the idea of them than when I was actually reading about them? I can’t quite put my finger on this.

Two more days left on this challenge, today and tomorrow! I think I’ll dedicate these to maybe finishing ゲゲゲの鬼太郎, the only book (other than book clubs, which have their own timetables) that I still haven’t completed during the challenge. There are still four stories left (84 pages) so it might be doable if things don’t get in the way. We’ll see.



I think what happened was I conflated the SxF book club with the 海辺のカフカ book club, and since SxF starts on the 18th, I ended up thinking they both started next month.

Maybe it’s just because 身体 is the first word I learned for “body,” even before 体, but I’ve never understood why it’s always got furigana the first time it shows up even in books that use little furigana. I see it so often, it’s difficult to imagine it’s a particularly uncommon word or anything. Is it just because からだ is a unique reading for the kanji, which would otherwise be read しんたい?

Anyway, I read 4 more pages of 海辺 today, finishing the prologue. I also read ch 3 of ボーイミーツマリア.

We get some more of Taiga’s backstory this chapter. When he was 9, his mother fell ill and died, and his father wasn’t there at the hospital when she did; he’d sent Taiga ahead alone while they were walking there and went to see someone else, Taiga assumes. That’s at least part of why he doesn’t particularly get along with his father, and it’s when he realized that heroes don’t exist in real life.

Return of The Idiot Thinker. (He’s just been asked if he likes Arima as a gal or as a guy. Arima’s really cute when he dresses as a girl, but when he’s acting, he’s really cool. He can’t choose!)


asdfghjkl he’s so dumb. His nickname has gotten worse and longer yet again, and he’s just like, “Huh? What’s that, that’s cool. Sounds strong.” I love this idiot. The drama club advisor also gives him the nickname 不思議君, which is much less of a mouthful.

And now we’re heading into Arima’s backstory and trauma, which we’ll be getting next chapter, which I plan on reading tomorrow. Not particularly looking forward to that, but to the developments afterwards, absolutely. I’m actually kind of surprised I like this story as much as I do, considering (blurred for sensitive/potentially triggering content) when Arima was a child and being forced to live as a girl by his mother, he was betrayed by one of his teachers whom he’d thought was his friend who turned out to be a pedophile, was raped by him, and then was very nearly mutilated with a knife by him too. And that monster did go to jail for it, but he was allowed to go watch one of Arima’s performances, which only compounded his trauma. I do love how Arima has a complicated relationship with gender (and is quite possibly nonbinary) and how Taiga accepts him regardless, simply and wholly, but I still don’t go for stories with that sort of thing.

Some vocab of note

うなされる [一, intransitive] to have a nightmare. to make a noise during a nightmare.
あろうことか [expression] of all things
過小評価 (かしょうひょうか) [四字熟語, noun, する verb] underestimation; undervaluation
タンマ [noun] interrupting a game; time out
懲りる (こりる) [一, intransitive] to learn by experience; to learn one’s lesson; to learn the hard way


At the end of last week (Sat-Sun), I read JoJo and watched Yuru Camp.

Regarding watching and listening, Yuru Camp appears to follow the first chapter of the manga very closely, but not exactly the same. Later, I found subtitle files on Kitsunekko; but not sure how legal they are… Death Note’s in on Kitsuneko too.

Still, subtitles, whether displayed in real time, or read later, feel very strange, unlike speech clouds in manga. (And Yuru Camp, in particular, read small texts too.)

And OP, ED songs aren’t in subtitles.

I also tried reading on (やま)(なし)(けん) (and Japan’s geography in general), and (しょう)(); but it still appears I am not the level to really read it yet. Nonetheless, Wikipedia isn’t really read by articles, but rather interlinks of articles.

I will write the whole month’s reflection later, after the month really ends. (Who knows what I will do in the last two days.)

That’s what I found strange at the time of writing 3 months’ plan. I’m glad it now got explained.

Personally, I’ve got my own plans, like weekly/monthly/trimonthly plans/reflection/revision. I wouldn’t take a break as long as 1 month. And ensuring daily isn’t really for me (but isn’t bad at all, also quite similar to clearing up WaniKani reviews too).

May 30, Mon :cherry_blossom: calendar post

Week 10 of Spring 2022’s planning

  • Committed, and paced - for the sake of discussion
    • Death Note :notebook: Vol.2 Ch.16 (last chapter of the vol)
    • Night Cafe :shrimp: Ch.8 The truth is I tested, and still found it a little hard.
  • Committed, with マイペース(my=pace)
    • JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Part 2 - finish vol.2/4 of the part in monochrome = vol.5 overall - invasion of the training ground (4 chaps)
    • 1+ sentence structure’s grammar
    • 1+ verb form’s grammar, compounds, comparison and usage
    • Watch 1+ episode of anime (probably Yuru Camp S01-E02)
    • 1+ documentary. Maybe about Yuru Camp.
    • 1/4 of WaniKani Context Sentences - Level 2’s Breakdown = 20 vocab, 60 sentences
  • Considered
    • WANTED! Story 3 ((いっ)()()(こう)) - I just want to finish this book, and perhaps, 1 chapter per week.
    • Read それでも歩は寄せてくる to 75%

I will probably start SPY X FAMILY reading-and-watching, as soon as reading club starts (two more weeks).


:tiger2: :books: Tanuki Den (aka Homepost): Date 20220530 :cherry_blossom: :raccoon:

Tanuki Scroll LX: 六助いなり :fox_face:

Read today’s folktale, from Kyoto prefecture!

About a man who gets tricked by a fox.

Since there’s just one day left I’ve been thinking how to continue once this challenge has finished. I thought for June-reading I’d attempt to read “No Longer Human” by Osamu Dazai. Not sure if I’ll continue any updates on here, but I’ll probably still be reading it come the summer challenge anyway.

Perhaps I could leave it for when the next challenge starts but now that I’ve had the thought that I want to read it I’m excited and want to start right away :laughing:

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


「かや」ー Grass used for thatching
祟り「たたり」ー curse; wrath; divine punishment
(think I have seen this one before)


Day 60 :heavy_check_mark: :japanese_goblin:

ゲゲゲの鬼太郎 84 pages, four chapters, completed :tada:

I finished ゲゲゲの鬼太郎 too, which means I completed all books and manga I started for this challenge! Hurray! (Now, what can I start and finish in one day for tomorrow? :thinking:)

These last stories were a lot of fun. Summaries and panels collapsed below:

Beware of mysterious potties in the mountains

Children using a potty in the middle of a field in the mountains are eaten up by a 釜 (small cauldron) and transferred to a whole other world inside it. Kitaro’s hair is sucked up by the cauldron too, and his eyeball for a father gathers up several yokai to help him get his hair back, and save all who are imprisoned in the cauldron. I love these yokai team-ups.

The cauldron in question:

And how it looks in real life (I love the lid):

The dangerous potty:

Yokai help is on the way!

Mermen, squids, and gender(or species) identity

In the next story Kitaro saves a turtle from a merman, but is then eaten up by the merman’s pet giant squid. Kitaro consciousness transfers to the squid (or something) and he’s made to bring the merman huge quantities of fish for eternity. After he rebels he’s sneakily killed by the merman, made into かまぼこ and sold in fish shops, but again the yokai team up to buy all the pieces and revive Kitaro. Kitaro then takes his revenge by dressing up as a …maid, and convincing the merman to have an operation that turns yokai into humans. The merman loves the idea, but when he realizes that being human is no fun it’s too late, he can’t be turned back.

The merman trying to eat the turtle:

Notice that he has two tails/legs:

I love this panel:

Some more cool panels
Cross-dressing Kitaro:

And his speech on sex-change operations (this story was written in 1969):

Power to the people

In the second to last story, the army seeks Kitaro’s assistance because a huge mud monster keeps causing accidents to jets taking off on rainy nights. It is revealed that the air base was built on mud paddies, taking away the villagers’ livelihood, and even a small monument in memory of the dead villagers wasn’t respected. In the end social justice is (sort of) restored.

Strange to see a fighter jet in this manga:

This is the air base in the night rain:

Various officers are speculating on the mud-monster apparition. I wonder whether this one looks a little like a specific dictator on purpose:

A random cat panel that I really liked:

Pleasure sucking yokai

The last one was a little crazier than usual, I thought. Two boys find an unconscious person in the woods and help them (unsure whether it’s man or woman) by getting them to the hospital using their own pocket money, despite their parents’ protests that they shouldn’t inconvenience themselves to help strangers (!). Bizarrely the parents are right in this instance, because the person is in fact a yokai that feeds on people’s pleasure. It sucks all joy out of the air, so that even little things like taking a bath hold no pleasure any more. The yokai also makes some people into his helpers by giving them 色気 (yes, sexual desire)! So Kitaro and Nezumi Otoko end up fighting for the heart of a little girl even younger than Kitaro. Ermm… In the end Kitaro defeats the yokai by shooting his own teeth (yes) onto the yokai’s きんたま. Super weird.

That’s where the yokai lives:

More gender uncertainty:
Returning from work, wondering why there’s no pleasure in anything any more:


I started the last book in Level 1, Set 1. This book has several different stories. I read the first one today,
笑い話. This is a collection of “Funny Stories”. In the first story, a child goes outside at night. He sees the stars and thinks they are pretty. He gets a stick and tries to grab a star. But his father comes out and tells him, “It is useless. The stars are far away. Your stick is not long enough to reach the stars. It is hopeless.”
This was easy reading and no new words.