📚📚 Read every day challenge - Spring 2022 🌸 🌱

I use yomichan and so I would (actually still do!) copy out unknown words to a google doc / evernote / notion (I’m fickle). Then each time I came across them again I would hover to see the reading and meaning. At the end anything I hadn’t absorbed and was something I could see myself caring about went into Anki. Now I’m even looser about adding things to anki, but I still put unknown things into docs for easy reference. I also make lists of characters along with their name readings + roughly who they are. Ex, this is from 遅刻してきた幽霊:



Personally, my strategy has always been mining full sentences into Anki at near i+1, sentences with just the word in question unknown (I actually break the i+1 rule kind of a lot and I feel like it’s helped me learn “bonus things” that aren’t crucial to my understanding of the point of the sentence and the mined word but I let them sit there for passive exposure, but I think it’s good for people to feel out what works for them). There’s no real way to quantify what parts of my methods have been more or less useful, but I want to say that that opportunity to reread sentences that I know I understand when reviewing did a lot to kickstart my understanding of how Japanese grammar works, and of course gave some context in which that word makes sense.

That said… the downside here is that when you’re new, finding suitable sentences is REALLY hard. I was using Satori Reader, specifically tailored for learners, and even then I’d go through a full day of reading and maybe mine 5 words. And I had to not be too picky about what those words were because, wow, I found a sentence that works haha. This was a result of me constraining myself both on the sentence not having an overwhelming amount of unknowns AND not using kanji I didn’t know yet, which made it particularly hard… but yeah. That’s the downside to sentence mining when you’re that new.


:tiger2: :books: Tanuki Den (aka Homepost): Date 20220402 :cherry_blossom: :raccoon:

Tanuki Scroll II: 恩知らず :bear:

Read today’s folktale, from Kyoto prefecture!

About a man who gets lost in the snow and is surely to freeze to death, a bear comes along and he prepares for a higher degree of certain death, but to his surprise the bear leads him back to its burrow where it’s super cosy and warm. He goes to sleep on the bear for four days. :rofl:

Then when he gets back to the village, because he is an ungrateful sod, he takes a hunter to where the bear is… how could you?? :sob: But it’s okay because くまくん catches on and rips the ungrateful man in half and all is well again.

Moral: “たとえ相手が動物でも恩知らずな事をすれば、あの男の様になる”

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

New Things

恩知らず「おんしらず」ー Ungrateful
凍える「こごえる」ー To freeze (your body); to become numb. Similar to 凍る 「こおる」, but こごえる has the nuance of it being you (or someone’s body) that is the thing being frozen. Here in the story it was part of: 凍え死に 「こごえじに」ー which means to freeze to death.

Word that is there to be confusing
止まる …easy enough, means to stop moving, or to come to a stop. と-ま-る.

But it can also be 止まる - which means to remain (somewhere), to stay, but this is read とどまる. And it can also be written like: 留まる (which is the first kanji suggestion to pop up when you write とどまる, well at least on mine it is.), 停まる or 駐まる… but then, plain old とまる can also be written like these. Best to just write it in kana, like it is here in the story.


I’ve been so spoiled for the last little while with すべてがfになる which has a full character list with name readings and basic character info at the start of the book and now moving to 三毛猫 where they don’t even give furigana the first time names appear it’s a real shock :sob: definitely need to make a names list!


Hmm, I’ve been highlighting new names as I read so I can sort of easily find them again, maybe I could make a list and post it here?


4月2日 - Day 2

Weather conditions: There’s no more rain, only snow falling and piling up.

Today I read:

  • 聲の形 #5 (47-62%)
  • 博士の愛した数式 (8-11%)

I picked up volume 5 of 聲の形 even a few days before the challenge. It was quite a while in general since I read manga (I’ve been focusing on 君の名は。and コンビニ人間 in the meantime) and, oh my, what a difference it was. :sweat_smile: I even had a sort of mixed feelings because I couldn’t fully enjoy the story (partially also because I know it already) and don’t find reading it as rewarding as reading a book for the first time.
That’s why I think I’ll focus more on 博士の愛した数式.

博士の愛した数式 talk

I’m still at the beginning, but it seems like the book is going to be much denser and more slow-paced than コンビニ人間, which might make it more difficult to read, however I’m getting kind of なつかしい reading it as I remember my high school days filled with maths. :joy:


Ah, thanks so much! My handwriting tends to be ugly af (no matter the language), so I am glad to hear this is legible :cat2: The character is ん - admittedly I did have to go back to the book to double check :sweat_smile: Thanks for pointing that out, I’ll try be more careful with my んs.


Hey, happy to hear that we have another reader! It’s a great book, I love it.
Please feel free to make use of the book club threads, and please ask questions there as well - I think many of the participants are still watching the threads and will be happy to help.


Just curious, have you read anything else by her? Wasn’t familiar with the author, and no doubt the book you all are talking about is good as well, but looking into her has me really eying 密やかな結晶 now. :eyes:


@sycamore @pocketcat @basilsauce
and whoever else is reading 三毛猫ホームズの推理, I’ve added a list of names from the book in my home post, to be completed as I keep reading. Feel free to correct me if you see any wrong readings, for some I had to choose randomly among several possibilities.


No, not yet, although I would like to sooner rather than later… Therefore I proposed 人質の朗読会 in the Intermediate club (not sure whether people will like that one, though).
I had also set my eyes on 密やかな結晶 but it’s 400 pages and that’s too much for the Intermediate club :woman_shrugging:
But you could propose it for the Advanced club if you like!

A few others have also read 妊娠カレンダー (it has won the Akutagawa Prize and therefore allows its readers to tick off an entry from the challenge ^^).


April 2nd was a sleepy day for me. Kinda, I’ve passed out around 2pm. I think the very good Spanish wine I drank yesterday during dinner with my colleagues was a bit too much :sweat_smile: Or it was because the winter made me go into hibernation mode - it is snowing since yesterday. Which is quite unusual for where I live, to say the least. In other words, jokes were made about our much delayed Christmas party/dinner (due to Corona, other sicknesses and shenanigans) in April having snow of all things.

Anyway, I did the translation for yesterday’s page, and the one for today’s, as well as reading it first.


Neat vocabulary

頭にきてる - to get mad, to be highly offended, to get pissed off - Mnemonic maybe: Heat comes to the head when getting mad? (I know, not the best but if it helps me remember it, so be it)
虚を衝く - to surprise someone - Mnemonic maybe: A short surprise visit today (きょinstead of きょう) for Tsuki.
戸惑う - to be confused - Mnemonic maybe: You got the wrong door, you got lost and are now confused

Also, pocketcat inspired me to make an account on Natively. Looks like a great site even though I was shocked to discover that 探偵ガリレオ is considered to be Level 33. It doesn’t feel that hard. I mean, I have to look up a lot but grammarwise it’s doable?


My answer won’t be very helpful to you, but I thought I’d still say that I’ve read two of her books in English translation, many years ago. The first one was the Diving Pool, and while I remember no details at all, I remember liking it so much that I had to seek other books by her. I read the Housekeeper and the Professor next, which I also liked, but it was very different in tone. I may not have read her in her native language (yet) but I do recommend her as an author.


Thanks! The book club was actually one of the reasons I bought the book, as I was not yet confident in reading something totally on my own. I certainly will read the threads!


Oooh that’s interesting! I came across a webpage that recommended the “10 must-read Japanese books ever” or something when I started venturing into thinking about reading Japanese books (of course they talked about the English translations, but I was of course interested in the Japanese originals), and it also mentioned the Diving Pool, but I couldn’t for the life of me figure out its Japanese title, so I thought that it’s maybe a short story collection that only appeared in English in this form? Do you know more about this?


When I read my first novel last summer I thought I was going to learn words as I went…Reader, I did not learn the words as I went. There were too many of them.

I read from paper books and look up words in the takoboto app on my phone, and then add Every Single Word I Do Not Know to one of my lists. I have a huge long list of general words and then some specific lists for animals, plants, things to do with the body and food. Every couple of months I export these lists into my flashcards app (I use Flashcard Deluxe rather than Anki) and then slowly learn a few more as and when I have the time.

When the general list is exported into my flashcards I whizz through and put all the words where I know the kanji already into a ‘quick wins’ list for when I’m feeling lazy and the rest got stuck into the big long pile of ‘words I will learn one day’ that I try to learn a few of each week.

I’ve been surprised how often I’ll remember the context where I first saw a word when I come to learn it, so I think there’s more memory-making involved in this process than it may seem at first.


Day 2 - Calendar

Read the 7th chapter of 夜カフェ today and it was so fun? Well, it was about cooking, of course it was fun. Somehow I like to learn vocabs about cooking and ingredients and so one. True with English and true with Japanese as well.
Anyways, I always give the whole chapter a quick read before I “decipher” it. Though it starts to actually feel more like reading very slowly. So I “deciphered” only 4 pages then I got distracted by the movie ジョゼととらと魚たち. I don’t regret it though. It was a nice watch.


It seems you’re right, the book is a collection of three novellas, and this exact collection doesn’t seem to exist in Japanese. ダイヴィング・プール seems to be included in 冷めない紅茶, and the other two stories, 妊娠カレンダー and ドミトリイ, in 妊娠カレンダー.


April 2nd!

I read this weeks BBC assignment of 夜カフェ today, which was 9 pages of text.
It took me a long time, but mostly because I’m still getting used to reading vertically, and having a lot of text, since I’ve only really read manga before this.

There were a few instances of me looking up words that were written in kana because I thought I didn’t know them, and then realizing I did know them once I saw the kanji. So I started typing some of the kana-heavy sentences into a google doc when I was having trouble with them so that my IME would automatically convert some of the kana to kanji.
It wasn’t really any faster than looking it up on jisho - but it felt a bit less frustrating than looking it up and then being cross with myself for not recognising it from the kana.

(Home Post)


Finished the story I started yesterday and was a bit surprised by the ending, until you know, I actually read the title of the story みみなし芳一ほういち, and then I felt a fool. :joy:

Could have figured out what would happen pretty early if I actually read the title before reading the story.

Well, one more story in this booklet. That I will read tomorrow (or start at least).