📚📚 Read every day challenge - Winter 2022 ☃❄

I just discussed the topic of 過労死 - かろうし - death by overwork - with my language partner the other day, and that’s an even more distressing word in my opinion. BTW he said that it’s slowly getting better in Japan, but it’s still a thing.

Today was sauna day again! I read the Little Prince (two chapters and a bit because one of the chapters was so short). Then I also read this week’s assignment of 笑わない数学者. It’s such a crazy story! I can hardly fit all the details in my head :face_with_spiral_eyes:


Oh for sure. That one I even knew prior to starting Japanese because of how the work culture is. It’s tragic. Glad to hear it’s improving at least, I had no idea.

This one is more like, I have to imagine the history of the word comes from some sort of awful time where that was more common.


Day 36!
I read the last chapter and bonus chapter of Volume 4 of からかい上手の高木さん.
It was another super cute chapter. I love the art in this manga, the characters have such expressive faces. I’m looking forward to starting the next volume with the Off-shoot book club next week - and hoping we keep reading together since I’ve already bought volumes 6 and 7 too :slight_smile:

(Home Post)


I was immediately thinking overwork and also Tuberculosis, which is a huge thing in Asia up to today, and whenever I look into authors from 100 years ago or so, I find that so many of them died of Tuberculosis at a very young age, which is also really tragic, I think.


Summary post

February 5 update:
Read chapter 12 of よつばと! today. This chapter was a bit harder than usual to follow at times for some reason (granted that I mostly avoided looking up vocab) – not sure if it’s any different or I was just tired. The thing that caught my attention today though was how deceptive the chapter covers sometimes are, and this time is was used as a storytelling device of an unusual sort.

The chapter is about going to the pool, and the cover features Asagi in a swimsuit. Some of the chapter follows Jumbo having Yotsuba arrange that Asagi goes to the pool with them, seemingly successfully. This matches the expectations set by the cover – only to break them the next page as it’s revealed that she went to Okinawa. This turn of events was certainly unexpected for Jumbo, but even more so for me, the reader with false assumptions :joy: And the cover didn’t even lie per se – Okinawa is surely a great place to wear a swimsuit :grin:

Nice touch from the author! It never fails to amaze me how much thinking goes into minor details in great works, and how much impact on the overall experience this ends up having.


Summary post :bookmark:

February 5

本好きの下剋上 8
Progress: (49% → 58%)

Had a calm and chill morning. Did a super read, very satisfying :eyes: :sparkles:
Also, this book threw all the words for “taste” at me… :durtle_durtverted_lvl1: あじ、味わい、風味、yeah.

(Posting after midnight is kinda scary, I thought I had missed a day when I saw my last post was the 4th but today’s date is the 6th… :flushed: )


Is this Tearmoon Empire? I just read this in English! What level is it in Japanese, beginner, intermediate or advanced?

Also, do you have a link where I can find the book digitally?


February 5 :snowflake: Home Post

Oh man 999 is breaking me down, it’s all that exists :joy: The mental battle between wanting to obsessively play something to find out what happens but also being mentally exhausted because reading Japanese is hard… what a ride.

I still have too much to say about 999

I know some of you guys have talked about how reading like gory descriptions hits harder in Japanese because you have to actually pay attention to the words, but man is that accurate. When it was talking about number nine getting blown up from the inside and his body being just everywhere… oh boy. Descriptions like that don’t usually get me that bad but it’s another world in a language you’re not fluent in :joy: A couple examples if you’re curious:



Like you’re making me actually think about those words and what they mean?? Yikes :joy: Very powerful.

But it’s all been really interesting! I’m attached to all the characters which feels like a bad idea but what can you do :man_shrugging: It started making me actually make decisions and oh the panic that gripped me lmao, everything feels so weighty. サンタ continues to be my favorite, shocking absolutely no one:

Bold, very bold :joy: I still like 四葉(よつば) and ニルス a lot too, very precious and I was right!! ニルス is weirdly like, mysterious wholesome? Idk but I’m intrigued.

I also ended up on a whole tangent about Japanese Braille for, uh, reasons, and it’s super cool actually! It’s really systematic, and there’s also somewhat ways to represent kanji though that quickly got complicated and lost my brain cells though they tried their best. It’s really interesting though!

(むらさき) is an enigma, I really don’t know what to make of her at this point :joy: I can never tell if she’s joking or serious, she’s an adventure. Like I ended off my session with her talking about the Titanic being cursed because it was stolen from an Egyptian pyramid?? I really didn’t expect to be talking about the Titanic or mummies in this game but here we are:

I’m learning to expect anything and everything.

I think I’m sufficiently braindead for now so that’s a wrap for the day, but I’m very ready to see what happens next :eyes:

Some words

どこ()(かぜ) - showing no concern at all, devil-may-care attitude (you know this wasn’t used for who I would’ve thought, funnily enough)
ドクロマーク - skull and crossbones
格闘(かくとう) - hand-to-hand fighting, scuffling
最果(さいは)て - the farthest ends
()(この)む - to do something by choice
いわく()き - with an interesting history

Congrats, that’s awesome!! :grin:

Aw yay I’m glad my nonsense is enjoyable!! :joy: Definitely recommend if you like mystery-puzzle-type visual novel things, it’s been a lot of fun. Seeing your posts I’ve been side-eyeing Persona 4 sitting in my steam list too, one day… and congrats on 世界から猫が消えたなら! Accomplishments all around :tada:

For real, I guess it’s something about the encouragement and the consistency but this has been such a transformative reading experience! Anything I’m doing now would’ve seemed crazy a month ago which is just wild :joy: I love seeing everyone crushing their journeys!!


Summary post

Day 36: February 5th

Time spent: 16 min
Today’s color: 臙脂色 (えんじいろ) - dark/deep red

A color of passion :rose:

Good words
  • ほの暗い (ほのぐらい) - obscure; gloomy
  • 情念 (じょうねん) - sentiments; passions
  • 艶やか (あでやか) - glamorous; charming; beguiling; bewitching; beautiful; fascinatingly elegant
  • 臙脂 (えんじ) - dark-red pigment; rouge
  • 諸説 (しょせつ) - various opinions; various theories​; various rumors
  • みだれ髪 (みだれがみ) - disheveled hair; unravelled hair
  • ふつふつ - simmer; bubble out; flow out​
  • 煮えたぎる (にえたぎる) - to boil; to be boiling hot; to be on a rolling boil

まいにち暦生活 日本の暮らしを楽しむ365のコツ
Time spent: 7 min

Today’s reading was about 雪像 (せつぞう) - snow sculptures! Specifically the yearly festival in Sapporo, which actually starts today! This festival is definitely on my list of things I want to experience some day.

What else did I read?
Nothing…have some other stuff I gotta prioritize for a day or two >< It do be like that sometimes

Yay!! Congrats! :partying_face: :tada:

That’s pretty darn awesome! :tada: I hope one day I’ll be able to say the same, it takes me months to read any novel right now but hearing that you made so much progress gives me hope that I might get there someday :muscle:

Yesss I love how active and lively this thread has been! It’s nice to see everyone having fun and reading all the things :heart:

I will take full responsibility for the Tanuki Cult Cuteness Brigade that I inadvertently started :raccoon: :crown: :sparkles:
But the rest was all you! :heart:


I’ve only ever seen people say they feel words less in a non-native language so I’m glad I’m not the only one for whom it still hits hard! I remember quite some time ago I was reading a news article about a man who jumped in front of a train and there were some graphic details about the scene and I felt sick just reading it.

I’ve also heard that it’s been improving. I mentioned to a tutor kind of offhand that when I visited Tokyo in ~2009 my impression was that so many people looked quite grim, but when I visited Osaka in 2019 I didn’t get that impression at all. I thought maybe it was a Tokyo vs Osaka thing. He commented that when I was visiting Tokyo it was kind of the peak era for ブラック企業 but that it’s changed a lot since then and that might have been why I had the impression I did.


Yes, I’ve read it in English as well (amazing translation!) and it’s one of my favorite book series!

Level Answer

I’d say it’s doable at intermediate. I read the first volume when I was at around level 20-30ish in WaniKani with around N4 grammar, and it wasn’t really enjoyable until halfway through, to be honest. (I’d also only read two volumes of manga beforehand, so I was clearly quite impatient. :joy:) It took me around 6 months to get through it, reading a few times a week. I’d recommend getting several volumes of manga under your belt before reading it. The second volume is much better since I’m working towards N3 grammar and am in the 40s in WaniKani. I’d recommend waiting until level 30 or so so you have more kanji under your belt. Having read it in English has been super helpful, though! The Japanese version is loads of fun to read, so definitely get a sample from Amazon and see how hard you find it! I’m really enjoying reading it, so do let me know if you start it! :grinning:

I’ve been reading it through Amazon.jp on the kindle app. Here is the link.


Booklive is an option.
The first few volumes are heavily discounted until tomorrow by the way.


Update February 6

  • それでも歩寄せてくる vol 4 chapter 46. 3 pages… not enough time today.
  • Time spent on Mr Driller that could probably have been spent on real reading practice
  • Animal Crossing. Got my KK Slider live.

Just a busy day. Pretending to be a good homeowner. Fulfilling family obligations to holiday celebrations that could not take place on the intended date due to … complications.


Summary Post

Day 36: Today I read 8 pages of よつば&!


Summary post

I read a few pages from the Junior Aera current affairs middle school exam prep book. It’s getting less hard. I’m surprised at how quickly that’s happening, but I guess that’s because I was really weak at reading news articles.

And I finished 暁のヨナ (Yona of the Dawn) volume 4. Manga is also hard for me, more than children’s novels. I have trouble with the lack of context, incomplete sentences, weird spelling, and no punctuation. I might be bad at visual cues but I wonder if this manga is worse about it than some others? Because although I haven’t read much manga, I don’t think I had nearly as much trouble figuring out who was talking until I ran into this one. I had so much trouble figuring out which characters were speaking, sorting out the word/phrase breaks (no punctuation), and what words the spelling was supposed to be referring to, that I read a few chapters of volume 2 while watching the anime, so I could hear how the voice actors read it. That helped. By volume 4 I’m still not sure I’ve figured out the visual cues, but at least I’ve picked up on some of the speech quirks of the main characters, so I’m less likely to be confused when there’s a speech bubble placed in between two characters with no pointer, or in a panel with no characters at all.


Home post

Day 35:

日本語: I read some of ミステリークロック and some of 機動強襲型令嬢アリシア物語1.


中国語: I read an intermediate entry on Mandarin Bean, one page of 擅长捉弄的高木同学, and a bit of 孩子最爱读的中国民间故事.


I finished my first manga in Japanese! I’m very happy that it happened to be Pokemon Special. If you’re thinking about reading the manga, you can read my review on Natively. I also went ahead and read the remaining chapters of 絶叫学級 転生, so that makes two finished manga in one day!

2月6日 ~ Day 37 / Back to Home

Pocket Monsters Special Vol 1 (page 200 of 200 - chapters 13-14 - finished)

There was a scene in chapter 13 where Red is at Mr. Fuji’s house and they show a picture of Green’s Dodo including one where it was born and it showed him hatching out of an egg. Since there was a lot of suggestions of a 2nd gen in the manga, I finally looked up dates to confirm if the manga preceded the games’ (and even the anime’s) confirmation of a new 2nd generation, and I realized this:

  • Episode 46: ふっかつ!?かせきポケモン! where the gang finds a Pokemon Egg in the anime was originally aired in May 1998
  • Pokemon Gold and Silver games were originally released in Japan in November 1999
  • Pokemon Special manga was originally published in Japan in March 1997

which means the manga proceeded the 2nd generation games as well as the anime suggestion of a 2nd generation with Togepi’s existence. Now it makes me wonder how much the author was in the know about the games or if he just took creative liberty and assumed Pokemon came from eggs. Either way, it’s pretty interesting to me.

Now for the chapter summaries…

Chapter 13: Red gets caught in the rain and looks for shelter as he enters Shion Town. He’s looking around trying to get people to help, but they all avoid him seemingly on purpose. Red notices an old man (Mr. Fuji) praying in front of a Pokemon’s grave and learns details about the town - people come to the area to bury their Pokemon and pray for their spirit, but lately evil spirits have been appearing at the tower, and so everyone is on their guard.

Mr. Fuji invites Red to his home and shows him pictures of a Dodo that recently passed… and Red notices a picture of Green with it. Mr. Fuji confirms that this is Green’s Pokemon and he had come just before it was laid to rest, but he hasn’t been back from the tower for the last two weeks. Thinking something must have happened to him, Red goes after him and encounters terrifying apparitions of Pokemon that should have been laid to rest but are manipulated by occupying ghost Pokemon. Red realizes that if he escapes the fog, he can escape their attacks but is then attacked by a controlled Green and his Lizard (Charmeleon).

Chapter 14: Green’s attacks are top notch and difficult to beat. With Ghos’s orders, he attacks using Fire Spin(?) and ends up enveloping himself and his Pokemon in the flames which wears off the hypnosis he was in. Freed from the ghost Pokemon’s control, Red has his Fushigidane suck up all the air and fire a Solar Beam to break a hole in the tower which causes the ghosts to flee. Green comes to and offers a half-assed thanks and heads upstairs to find the guy who controlled him.

Kyo (Koga) appears but his real body is outside of the building. He orders his Arbo to attack the children nearly burning them with its acid attacks. Green thinks of a strategy and quickly heads back downstairs, having Red follow him. He uses one of the apparition Pokemon’s body’s as a decoy for Arbo to attack before ordering Lizard to tear it in half. Out of Pokemon to defeat the children, Kyo has no choice but to withdraw and Mr. Fuji thanks them (specifically Red) for their help in clearing the tower for them.

Although Green is still a little rough around the edges, he does come around a little in the these last two chapters, foreshadowing potential character development in future volumes. I think it’s particularly sad that he had to lay one of his Pokemon to rest, so I’m sure he’s not feeling 100% either, and then to have Kyo attack him while he was down… I do like seeing how he and Red teamed up in the end. Even if they don’t really get along, they still make a good team covering each other’s weak points.

Vocab for Reference - New words are bolded

疑心暗鬼・ぎしんあんき・suspicion will raise bogies; once you suspect something, everything else will look suspicious; jumping at shadows​
供養・くよう・memorial service for the dead; holding a service
寿命・じゅみょう・life span
墓・はか・gravesite; tomb
老人宅・ろうじんたく・old person’s home
霊・れい・soul; spirit; departed soul; ghost
幽霊・ゆうれい・ghost; specter; spectre; apparition; phantom​
様子・ようす・state; state of affairs; situation; circumstances
噂・うわさ’・ rumor; report; hearsay; gossip; common talk
恐怖・きょうふ・fear; dread; dismay; terror; horror; scare; panic
信頼・しんらい・reliance; trust; faith; confidence
見向きもしない・みむきもしない・taking no notice; ignoring; not even looking at
きちんと・properly; accurately; exactly; precisely; regularly
直前・ちょくぜん・just before
数か月・すうかげつ・several months
暴く・あばく・to disclose; to divulge; to expose
雨漏り・あまもり・roof leak
霧・きり・fog; mist​
操る・あやつる・to manipulate (a person, public opinion, etc.); to pull the strings; to control from the shadows; to mastermind
立ち込める・たちこめる・to hang over; to shroud; to enshroud; to envelop; to screen
範囲・はんい・extent; scope; sphere; range; span
さえ・(if) only; just; as long as

防御・ぼうぎょ・defense; safeguard; protection
拉致・らち・taking captive; carrying away; kidnapping; kidnaping; abduction
ガス状・がすじょう・gaseous; gasiform
絶つ・断つ・たつ・to suppress; to eradicate; to exterminate
気体・きたい・gas; vapour; vapor; gaseous body
すり抜ける・すりぬける・to slip through (a crowd); to weave through (e.g. traffic); to pass through; to make one’s way through
吸い込む・すいこむ・to absorb; to soak up
肺活量・はいかつりょう・lung capacity
超ド級・ちょうどきゅう・superlative; extraordinary; mega; outstanding
一先ず・ひとまず・for now; for the time being; for the present​
塔・とう・tower; steeple; spire
何階建・なんかいだ・how many floors
団三幹部・だんさんかんぶ・Three Team Executives
前線基地・ぜんせんきち・frontline (military) base; forward base; outpost
立体映像・りったいえいぞう・stereoscopy; three-dimensional vision
部下・ぶか・subordinate person​
崩れる・くずれる・to collapse; to crumble
突き抜ける・つきぬける・to pierce through; to break through
見抜ける・みぬける・to be transparent; to be penetrable
誘い込む・さそいこむ・to entice; to tempt; to invite someone to join in

絶叫学級 転生 1 (page 173 of 192 - chapters 4 & side story - finished)

第4章 宇宙人間・The Alien Human
後ろの光子ちゃん Hikaruko-chan’s Back (Pages)・怨霊・The Apparition

If you read chapter 4, be prepared for some images. This story felt Twilight Zone-esque to me. I’m not quite sure how to interpret the ending - does she become an alien spy? and were those doctors aliens or taken over by them too? - but I’m glad I didn’t drop it like I thought of doing.

The little side story in the end about the newbie apparition-in-training Hikaruko-chan is cute, and it’s the only part of the manga where Yomi gets involved (not just narrating a story). From this section, we learn that Yomi makes people’s wishes come true in exchange for their lives in return. Does she succeed in this chapter? You’ll have to read and see!

Vocab for Reference - New words are bolded

無限・むげん・infinity; infinitude; eternity
支配・しはい・rule; domination; control
日常・にちじょう・everyday; daily; ordinary; usual; routine; regular
試行錯誤・しこうさくご・trial and error​
拒絶反応・きょぜつはんのう・(organ) rejection;unthinking dismissal; strong reaction (against)
成分・せいぶん・ingredient; component; composition
食塩・しょくえん・table salt
重曹・じゅうそう・baking soda; sodium bicarbonate
てゆーか・って言うか・っていうか・or rather (say); or better (say); or perhaps I should say; or, how should I put it; I mean
乗り気・のりき・interest; eagerness; enthusiasm
ノアの箱舟・のあのはこぶね・Noah’s Ark
動画・どうが・video (esp. digital); video clip; clip
削除・さくじょ・deletion; elimination; erasure; striking out
乗っ取られる・のっとられる・to take over; to capture; to seize; to commandeer; to occupy; to usurp
接続・せつぞく・connection; attachment; union; join; joint; link
人類・じんるい・mankind; humanity
移住・いじゅう・migration; immigration
先住民・せんじゅうみん・indigenous people; native people; aborigines
呼吸・こきゅう・breathing; respiration
進歩・しんぽ・progress; advance; improvement; development
転任・てんにん・change of post

怨霊・おんりょう・revengeful ghost; apparition
生業・なりわい・occupation; calling
住人・じゅうにん・dweller; inhabitant; resident
一人前・いちにんまえ・fully fledged; established; qualified
以来・いらい・since; henceforth
関して・かんして・in relation to
無関心・むかんしん・apathetic; indifferent
下半身・かはんしん・lower half of the body
生者・せいじゃ・living person; the living
成仏・じょうぶつ・going to heaven; resting in peace; dying (peacefully)
教官・きょうかん・teacher; instructor; professor
見逃す・みのがす・to let pass (a matter); to overlook (e.g. a wrongdoing); to turn a blind eye to



WOOHOO I FINALLY FINISHED KIKI!! After ten months, omg. I didn’t update yesterday, but I read pages 228 to 239, nearly finishing Chapter 10… you know how when reading late at night you get so sleepy you decide to ‘take a nap’ before continuing? Or maybe it’s just me? Well… I fell asleep lol, and never finished the last two pages. So I read pages 240 to 265 today — nearly in one sitting, only taking a short break to update my study log! I’ll only be getting 6 hours sleep tonight, but no regrets.

My first ever novel :partying_face: I’ll definitely be reading the rest of the Kiki series at some point, but as I won’t have much time over the next few weeks for now I’ll just continue reading Zenitendou as something easier, and also enjoyable.

Even though I struggled through each page at first, and focused more on progress rather than the simple pleasure of reading, I can say I did enjoy Kiki. Even from the beginning of the story the descriptions are gorgeous, and each chapter is so wholesome. Since I read the book over a ten-month period, it’s almost like I grew with Kiki :joy:


I’ve been meaning to ask, but where did you buy 擅长捉弄的高木同学 and 孩子最爱读的中国民间故事? I’m also learning Mandarin and they seem like they would be nice to practice with. Thanks!


:tiger2: :books: Homepost - Tigerdate: 20220206 :books: :raccoon:

Tanuki Scroll XXXVII: 甚兵衛(じんべえ)とキノコ :mushroom:

Read today’s folktale, from Fukui Prefecture!

About a man meeting a group of mushrooms that tell him they hate miso soup, he tells them he hates Koban (old coin of currency - 小判). So, because he’s mean, he pours miso soup on them the next day (poor little shroomies), they uproot themselves and run away.


That night the shrooms smash down his door (the word the story uses is: やぶる - to kick down, so you know these guys mean business). They surround him and throw koban at him until the floor almost gives in.

He wakes in the morning a rich man and lives happily ever after.

☆ Learnings ☆

New Words

甚兵衛「じんべえ」ー Informal traditional clothes for summer, like a kimono, but short sleeve. (Also a name)
八升芋「 はっしょういも」ー Another name for ジャガいも: Irish potato. Doesn’t seem to be a very common word at all.

New Kanji Form
海苔「のり」ー Nori, today is nori day! Eat all the nori!

Nice one, congrats!! :partying_face:
Another success for the thread!