📚📚 Read every day challenge - Spring 2022 🌸 🌱

I’ve already downloaded it, so… any time, I guess? :grin:
It’s only 73 pages apparently, but then it was written in 1937, so I don’t expect these pages to be especially easy.

Maybe not yet then… Of course there would be no pressure anyway (I didn’t even expect a schedule as such), it’s just fun to read a book in parallel with others, even if it’s not in an organized book club setting. The way it happened with 三毛猫ホームズ for example, everyone reading at different speeds and doing their own thing, but still updating on their progress and thoughts, was fun and very casual, I thought.


Ooooh opening that was so dangerous, they all sound really interesting rip :joy: more things to add to my ever-growing list of games to play haha.


Noice! :grin:

Yes, that’s why I picked it in the first place - totally ignoring that it’s old and potentially difficult to read :woman_facepalming:

That sounds like a good idea actually! So let’s start :joy_cat:

I’m currently still reading 穴 but if I push myself a little I might be able to finish it over the weekend. Also I have read about 1/3 of 糞尿譚 already so that will give you enough time to settle in and to start reading. (I think I will read the first part again but it shouldn’t take thaaat long, hopefully.)

Nonetheless, I would suggest setting up a book club thread for it (just a single thread should do as there are no chapters iirc, or maybe just very few?) because there are a bunch of things that I found confusing and it might be better if we could discuss these separately, is my feeling. Also there are quite a number of persons involved in the story, and it might be good to keep track of who is who. (I’m keeping lists of those persons anyway, and if I can find it again I will add it straight away.)
I could set up a thread (and probably turn it into a wiki so that everybody can contribute).

What do you think?


Sounds great!

I’m also interested in your impressions on 穴, when you get the time :slight_smile: Both difficulty- and interest-wise.


Alright, I will set it up tomorrow night latest (together with the other book clubs).

Difficulty-wise: It’s a bit of a mixed impression that I have. The first few pages were a bit of a struggle because of several layers of direct speech right at the start (which is still my nemesis :sweat_smile:) and it took me a while to get used to that, but I feel like I improved a lot in that regard. Also of course sometimes there are a bunch of unknown words, but other pages just fly by without many lookups.
So it’s not exactly easy, but I still think that L38 on Natively is pretty much overrated. Maybe L33 or something would be more appropriate.
Oh, and now I remembered what I struggled with in the first part as well: There are lots and lots and lots of details. And I somehow thought that they all might be important and somehow unconsciously tried to take them all in and tried to memorize them? (I guess I read too many detective stories recently :joy_cat:) That was extremely mentally exhausting in the beginning. When I realized it, I tried to let go, and that made it a lot more digestible.

Interest-wise: It’s just very crazy. I’m more than 2/3 in and I still have no clue at all. Which is pretty interesting in its own right :upside_down_face:


June 2nd!

Chapter 65 of Yotsuba today - cute as always :slight_smile: It was a Jumbo chapter, and I always enjoy those.
I’m not sure what to read tomorrow, I’m going out with a friend so it will probably be a day where I only have a little bit of reading time!

(Home Post)


Thanks! This more or less chimes with what I was expecting. A very crazy story and medium difficulty language-wise. I have 穴 on my to-read-soon list too, and it would probably have been next in line, but now 糞尿譚 took priority. I looked at the first few pages by the way, and it seems the lack of discrete dialogue results in pages that are more or less solid walls of text, much like the beginning of 告白. A little intimidating at first glance, but I’m sure it will be no problem. What difference can a few white spaces make, after all? :sweat_smile:


Oh yeah, absolutely. Also these walls of text are just a very long single sentence more often than not :joy_cat: I never craved for the start of a new paragraph as much as I did with this book :grin:

That’s the spirit! :+1: We got this :sweat_smile:


June 2 continued

To feel a little less dejected, and since it was pouring rain outside (and I love listening to the sound of rain), I ended up reading chapter/act 22 of Sailor Moon. Feels like going for Yotsuba& would have been a more cheerful making choice, but sometimes it is better to push through.

About half way through the 40 page chapter I started to remember how much (or rather how little) to look up during enemy monologues to understand a bit more than just the gist (but not full comprehension). Just focus on some verbs, and a noun if it keeps showing up. Also, they all kinda sound the same? I’m gonna take over the world, blah blah blah, this how it will be done, blah blah. I’d forgotten how little they actually add to the story. >_>

Also, it is funny how mentioning there is an enemy monologue in a chapter isn’t really a spoiler because almost every chapter have them. :joy:

One confusing thing I kept ignoring was that I couldn’t remember who was who among the enemy, but I also figured it probably didn’t matter.

So, I’m back on the Sailor Moon wagon, and reading the chapter did also remind me of the fun bits with it. And it is very nice to know all grammar more or less, and only have vocab be the unknown things.


Vocabulary was a struggle for me with the series as well.

As things stand, there are still over 4,000(!) words from the series that I don’t know. But if I focus on only words that show up at least five times, then it’s a more manageable 600-something words left.

Maybe I’ll be vocabulary-ready to re-read the series in a few years! (Too bad the colorized version was dropped after only two or three volumes.)


If there’s going to be an informal book club thread for that book, I’ll at least keep an eye on it then! If I start feeling up to it sometime I’ll give it a shot. Reading with others is definitely fun; I just have so much on my plate.

Summary post

Today has been really good! Keeping the update brief again because the weather has been nice and part of why I have less time is going out for long-ish walks. I’m having a few other health flareups that are annoying, but I don’t get so exhausted these days from simple walks, so that’s a good sign I’m building myself up a little in one way.

What I’m particularly happy about is for whatever reason I just felt pretty good to go with reading from the moment I started. I hit 10,000 characters which isn’t that new for me, but from watching the time, I did it in 2 hours (with a few short distractions even). I have a ways to go to get to what I want, but for me, that’s great speed. Hitting 5000/hour today is probably about the best I’ve ever done; the amounts I usually post these days come after closer to two and a half or three hours spent. Note again that I do have voice acting for half the lines, and some other help, which saves a lot of time by sometimes skipping over having to recall kanji readings on my own. Regardless, bit by bit, it’s all becoming much more natural over time. There are moments it’s almost automatic at this level, when it isn’t throwing weird words at me, which feels extremely good.

Simply because it’s a more unique image to share, enjoy this shellfish talisman with an おむすび painted on it, haha.


:confetti_ball: Spring 2022 Reading Challenge Completion Post :confetti_ball:

Completion: 51 / 61 days (83.6%)

Work done:

  • Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun → About 25h, but there’s not too much text in this game, it’s mostly gameplay.
  • Final Fantasy VII → 48h.

Thoughts on spring 2022's challenge

Sadly I missed too many days this time due to being sick for a week and whatnot. But anyways, fourth challenge in, that marks officially one year (not exactly, I took breaks in between challenges) of regular Japanese reading. To be completely honest, I have no idea how much exactly I’ve improved, but I certainly feel that I have. If I look at my completion posts of previous challenges, I went from reading Satori Reader, some NHK Easy News and some Final Fantasy III in the summer challenge; Satori Reader, Final Fantasy XIV (that I considered very hard and eventually changed back to English), some Stardew Valley and some of Recettear in the autumn challenge, to reading my first full book 君の名は , some 50 pages of 星の王子さま (that managed to kick my ass in different ways to be fair) and several NHK articles (no longer NHK Easy News) in the Winter challenge, and finally playing Final Fantasy VII this time, a story heavy JRPG, while following it just fine with a very comfortable amount of lookups.

I like to write these conclusion posts because I can see the improvement based on what I was reading at different points in time. I remember FFXIV being really, really exhausting, to the point that I didn’t think it was worth my time because the constant lookups completely drained my energy every time I played, so I dropped it. Nowadays, when I’ve set the language to Japanese again, I don’t get the same impression, it doesn’t bring me down so much as it used to, so that definitely is an improvement and I would be so thrilled if I’m finally able to take it up as a learning resource. I went from Satori Reader to reading 君の名は , which was really fun and motivating. From Final Fantasy III 's very simple language to Final Fantasy VII 's complex and deep story. My brain must have definitely been doing some work in between my occasional complaining of no progress :smile: . That’s encouraging.

I’ve been wondering about how can I make it so that I can keep doing these challenges indefinitely without inevitably burning out at some point. I mentioned about wanting to experiment with doing the next challenge with no checkbox calendar. My reason for this is because I would like to move from two months of work and one of break, to regular, “uninterrupted” reading throughout the year. I plan to read and keep posting through June, and we have the next challenge right after in July. If I’m being honest and realistic with myself, there is no way I can read every single day of the year without occasional tiny breaks, but at the same time I don’t want to take a whole month off. I would like to be able to take a day off if I need it and not put too much pressure on missing challenge days. Of course, the goal would still be to read every day, but I feel like the checkboxes kinda change my focus from “read everyday” to “check boxes everyday”. In a sense, it wouldn’t be a “read every day” challenge for me any more, but technically if you miss a day at all you would “fail” the challenge already, and we all know that’s not really true because you just keep going. My goal with these challenge threads is not to complete a challenge per se, but to read consistently and improve my Japanese in any way I can through reading. I don’t think taking a day or two ultimately hinders that goal, in fact I think it might end up being a positive strategy. So in conclusion, I might change my personal approach to the challenge from “read every day” to “read as much as energy permits in this period of time”. I think that’s a much more realistic goal for me going forward. Occasionally I just really need that one-day rest to recharge my batteries and I end up not taking it because I don’t want a missed day on my calendar (which I always have anyways, the only challenge I achieved 100% was summer’s). I’m hoping that taking that timely rest also allows me to be more productive and read more overall.

Also I would really like to track listening as well as a secondary thing. It kinda feels like hijacking the thread a bit, though, so I will post them in a summary box apart from all the reading. It’s just so that I have a way to keep track of it in some way. It’s nice to see how much I’ve done once the challenges end, it’s helpful to me. I kinda treat this thread like my study log. I’ve been avoiding making a study log thread for myself because I don’t want all the focus of a thread being on me. I very much prefer it when I participate in something where the focus is more global, like here.

I’m not sure of what I’ll be reading next challenge. I still have some of Final Fantasy VII left but it’s likely that I finish it this month. After that I might start the Zero Escape games that I bought some weeks ago. It’s also likely that I start Final Fantasy VI (I should probably stop using Roman numerals to avoid confusion :joy: ). Other options are Zelda Breath of the Wild, Code Vein, Bravely Default and possibly FFXIV again.

Thank you all for the participation, interesting conversations and overall amazing atmosphere as usual <3

For the ones taking a rest until the next one, enjoy the relaxation! And for the ones continuing, I’ll see you around :wink: .


A heartfelt thank you to everyone who replied to my aside on 人間失格 - I appreciate it. :heart: I do expect it to be an emotional read for me, on top of the already heavy subject matter.

On the topic of 糞尿譚 – I’ll also keep an eye out for the book club thread. It’s no secret I love old Japanese literature despite how mind crushingly confusing it can be at times. A bit sad this one doesn’t a have a 朗読 on YouTube as those are a lot of fun. It does have an Audible reading, though, if anyone is interested in that. Personally I didn’t find the sample compelling enough to spend a credit on it.
Aside from 海辺のカフカ and whatever we end up reading in the output-practice thread (which I’ve had no time to reply to, ack!) I don’t have any books that are urgent for me to read, and am not taking the JLPT (not even offered where I am this time of year) so I’m happy to go with whatever schedule works for others.


I just learnt the highlighted word in my lessons today so now it’s even more reinforced in my memory.

Oh, it was raining by you too? Was it raining in the whole of the Western Hemisphere today or was it just a coincidence that two places far apart had pouring rain weather today? (I’m assuming that you don’t currently reside in the Caribbean region, though.)



My brain feels blah today, and all of… whatever the beginning of ch 2 of 海辺のカフカ is certainly wasn’t helping, so I only read like a page and a half. I don’t like military stuff, and I have zero interest in reading military documents in English, much less in Japanese. It appears I’m the opposite of everyone else in the book club: I liked the prologue and ch 1, and I don’t like ch 2 at all so far. That’s gonna be real slog to get through, one which I am not looking forward to at all. Looks like I’ll be falling behind.

Still wanting to read and needing something easier, I finally picked up vol 4 of クールドジ男子 and read ch 19. Hayate, Souma, and Shun all go to the theater to watch the latest film adaptation of Igarashi-sensei’s works (I dunno if it’s his latest novel, or just his latest one to be adapted), and they even run into Igarashi himself afterward! Souma and Shun don’t really read, so they don’t really care that Igarashi is an author (beyond “Oh, you wrote the original work? That’s cool”) and are just like, “Oh, you’re Mima-san’s friend? Then you’re our friend, too!” Hayate, meanwhile, considers Igarashi-sensei to be one of his favorite authors, so he doesn’t really know how to deal with meeting him, much less being so friendly with him so simply, much less being called by his given name by him!

When they first saw them talking, since Igarashi’s back was to them, Souma and Shun thought he was a woman trying to pick up Hayate lol

Some vocab of note:

逆ナン (ぎゃくなん) [noun, する verb, slang] women picking up men. It comes from the colloquial sense of ナンパ that means “picking up/hitting on women.”


The military vocab is frontloaded and it’s largely not necessary to understand the bulk of the chapter. I think you may warm up to it by the end. :crossed_fingers:


Okay, good. The katakana actually barely gave me any trouble, but having to look up what felt like every other word (some I’d tried to skip over, but then they showed up again, and I was like, “all right, wellp, looks like I’m looking you up after all”) was exhausting. And I hope you’re right about me warming up to it. :crossed_fingers:


I thought I had absolutely zero interest in reading a Japanese VN because I don’t have any interest in the medium in English, but I have to say, some of these legitimately look really good to me… :sweat_smile:. The first two in particular both look like stories that I would pick up myself haha. Summer Pockets had nice art, but the heterosexuality of it all was such a hard sell for me, I wasn’t tempted at all. If you start posting about one of these others, though…

I’m still holding off a bit on truly diving into games. The first one I’m planning on attempting is the 大海原大海原 RPG, which I already have downloaded and everything (it’s free, but installing Japanese RPG Maker games on a non-Japanese computer is a pain in itself, as it turns out). But I’m waiting to start it until I’ve finished the manga, and you’ve all seen how slow my progress on that has been :sweat_smile:. At the rate I’m going, I might be finished with Minna no Nihongo and WaniKani by the time I start the game.

The main issue that I have with VNs is that I hate repeating sections of the game over and over, but I also am a bit of a completionist, so I feel compelled to try multiple routes, which means having to repeat sections. But maybe if I’m using them as language practice, I won’t mind the repetition as much? :thinking:


Glad to be able to pique your interest, haha. As much as I’ve enjoyed Summer Pockets, it’s not without its dips into anime style… well, being more horny that it has any reason to be. In the large scheme it’s not even that frequent, but despite no sexual content it sure wants to indulge in references here and there. Elements of that would make it a hard blind recommend anyway.

VNs can have their vices like that. But really I mention all that to say, both of the first two have Steam releases, so I can see reviews there (people on VNDB are very likely to overlook a lot of things…), and it’s encouraging that it seems like fans of boy’s love or yuri seem to think they handle that side well. Never know if such things would end up… fetishistic or anything, knowing how the medium can be, y’know? Which I should point out, Flowers has no sexual content, but it appears Hashihime does. Just in case you are ever interested – I of course don’t really know the degree it reaches, but I always want to warn people since some VNs can be outright pornographic.

Honestly, most visual novels incorporate a smart skip button that will go right past any text you’ve already read, just stopping for choices or any parts that have become different. I’ve not done any outright rereading at all in Summer Pockets (though it has… something going on across routes that has caused some parts to be very slightly altered and made me reread those, but even they were pretty short).

Anyway, I’ll definitely be interested in how the 大海原大海原 game goes when you get to it!


June 2 :cherry_blossom: Home Post

I finished this week’s reading for the 海辺(うみべ)のカフカ book club today! I just had chapter 2 left, so I also immediately faced the brick wall of government and military terms and was like “oof there’s no way I’m getting far with this today” but luckily that part was pretty brief and once I got past it… ooooh :eyes: And so before I knew I’d just read the whole chapter so that’s cool! So far so good, diving straight into the advanced book club hasn’t murdered me yet :joy:

All of you guys looking into/reading 人間失格(にんげんしっかく) is super cool but also terrifying lmao, serious literature from like seventy years ago?? That feels so far above my pay grade at this point, but like also :eyes: Everyone here is so powerful, love to see it :muscle: