This went a little better today, but still had to look up a lot of words I do like descriptive words though, like I enjoy the exposure to more complex descriptors/language than the ones you typically get in textbooks and such. It adds a richness and dimension to “the world in Japanese,” if that makes any sense at all.
紅梅 (こうばい) - red-blossomed plum tree; red Japanese apricot
濃 (のう or こ) - prefix meaning “dark” (as in a dark color)
聴色 (ゆるしいろ) - permitted color (a color that the “common people” can wear)
Time spent: 21 min
Today I learned about 初夢 (はつゆめ) - the first dream of the year. Apparently, there are some auspicious omens you can see in your 初夢, as expressed in the following phrase: 一富士二鷹三茄子 (いちふじにたかさんなすび). It means “best is Fuji, second is a hawk, third is an eggplant” One explanation for the is that ナス (eggplant) = pronunciation of 成す, meaning to accomplish; to achieve; to succeed in, which is my favorite explanation because wordplay xD
What else did I read?
囀る鳥は羽ばたかない Vol 1
Amount read: 11 pages
Time spent: 45 min
Went better than yesterday, but I can’t shake the feeling that things are just constantly flying over my head with this manga. Now I’m only 2 chapters behind They are pretty big chapters though
I wrote this post before scrolling down lol, guess we all get to learn about this twice today xD
I also did not dream of anything last night I’ll join you and @rikaiwisdom in the void
Fun fact! This word can also mean ‘deep’ (like a deep flavor - 濃い味) or …heavy? not sure the English word. If someone has rather ‘intense’ features, I guess. Article on 濃い顔 - you can skim the headers and it’s basically all you need to know.
It’s one of the words in Japanese I find super interesting because it doesn’t translate cleanly into English but the concept it’s conveying makes perfect sense.
I decided to stop reading 地球星人 because I want to read it with the same pace with the book club, and started reading 嫌われる勇気 instead.
Total page: 8
Time: 25 minutes
Book content (Warning: Spoiler)
The book format is a dialog between a philosopher and a young man. The philosopher will introducer Alfred Adler’s psychology from their dialog.
The book starts with a claim from the philosopher that “people can change”. The young man doesn’t agree with this. Everybody keeps wishing they could change. Everybody is wishing they could be different. They wish they could change exactly because people can’t change. That’s his argument.
To support his argument, he brought up the case of his hikikomori friend. His friend wants to change. His friend wants to be able to go outside, but every time he tries to do that, he starts trembling, he starts feeling pain. He can’t change.
The philosopher argued that he can’t go outside because he doesn’t want to go outside. His past (whether it’s abuse, bullying, etc) doesn’t turn him into what he is today. Us human act with a goal in mind. In the friend’s case, the goal is “to not go outside”. Because of this, whenever he tries to go outside, there will be things happening to support this goal, e.g. uneasiness, tremor, physical pain. It’s not “He can’t go outside because he feels uneasy”, but “He feels uneasy because he doesn’t want to go outside”.
The philosopher then went on saying that the past does not define what we become. The meaning that we give to the past is the one that defines our life. Whatever events that happened in our past, we can choose what meaning we want to give them.
Still keeping my reading small so I don’t get overwhelmed. Read page 1 of the Naruto manga. Really like that they have furigana in the book for kanji that I don’t know. I did recognize 分 and 今, although I still needed to use a translator to understand the sentence as a whole. I’ll definitely need to focus on learning grammar soon.
Sorry to hear about your manga. I’ve had DHL deliveries a bunch of times from Japan to Canada (routed through the US) with no problems. Maybe they filled out the shipping/duty information incorrectly?
(Amazon Japan is a great place to order from as well, if you haven’t already. Those are delivered by Fedex here, not sure about the States).
なぜ？どうして？みぢかなぎもん (1年生) - 4 pages (per question):
Question 3: “Why are rocks laid out under railway tracks?”
The narrator points out you can see rocks laid out under railway tracks at railway crossings and at the station’s home and ponders why that is so. Well, since trains are very heavy and go really fast along the railway and ground, it takes a lot of power so the rocks are used to help moderate that power even just a little bit.
The narrator provides an example of carrying something heavy - the more people that help carry the thing, the easier it is to carry. That’s because when many people are helping, one person isn’t burdened with the whole load. In that same way, when many rocks are laid under the railroad, the train’s weight is somehow supported. The rocks act like a cushion for the impact of the train on the ground and railroad and helps moderate the work the ground and railroad have to put in to supporting the train.
As for one part of a Bullet Train, they don’t lay rocks underneath but use a slab of concrete instead. That’s because a Bullet Train moves so fast that it can cause the rocks to fly off, so using concrete lessens accidents and vibrations.
Overall, I got the general idea of the explanation but had a hard time translating exactly due to subject confusion and not being used to seeing かかる used in another situation other than “taking something such as time.” If you look up the verb, there’s actually a lot of meanings for it. I got kind of overwhelmed and a little unsure of which meaning it was being used as sometimes. It was also my first time seeing the verb 敷く so I got confused when seeing 敷かないで and confused it for しか無い when looking it up initially. (This is why kanji can be really helpful!)
Already Learned Kanji
和らげる・やわらげる・to moderate - Had no idea of this reading for 和
持ち上げる・もちあげる・to lift up
人数・にんずう・number of people - This word was actually written in kanji with furigana, but I sometimes forget the reading when encountering it in WK.
分けあって・わけあって・for some (unspecified) reason
新幹線・しんかんせん・Bullet Train - Since I know the first and last kanji, I’d like to think I could recognize this word out in the wild.
敷く・しく・to lay out
地面・じめん・ground - I know the first kanji but don’t recognize the second one.
掛かる・かかる・to take (something)/to depend on - I’ve never seen the kanji but it looks like it’s rarely used.
荷物・にもつ・luggage - Know the second kanji but forgot about this reading.
板・いた・slab (of concrete)
Question 4: “Why do Jizo statues have red bibs?”
What do you think?
The narrator asks the reader if they’ve seen those Jizo statues with red bibs along the roadside and invites them to inquire why they have them. The narrator first explains that Jizo statues originated from Buddhism. From a long time ago, people valued the Buddhist’s way of thinking that all life is important and must be protected.
Along the roadside that anyone can pass, people pay their respects by offering a prayer as they’re passing by. From then on, it was said that the Jizo statues would offer protection so when women bore babies or when raising them, they would offer a prayer to the Jizo statues to keep them safe. The red bibs that Jizo statues have are the same as what babies use, which signified their prayers that their babies would be kept safe.
Flowers and dango offerings as well as paper cranes and toys were placed before the Jizo statues. When babies died, their red bibs were tied around the Jizo statues in hopes that they would be guided to the land of paradise (Sukhavati or Amitabha’s Pure Land, according to Buddhism).
There was only really one sentence that I had trouble with because there were two words that I wasn’t sure of the meaning of (I assumed おがん was a polite way of referring to cancer and おかれ was a polite way of referring to a man). (I’m still waiting for my husband to wake up from his nap so I can confirm the real meaning, but I think I got it now.) Otherwise, I thought it was a nice story and it answered a question I had once or twice while living in Japan. Since religion is something a little complicated of a concept for little kids to explain, I’m surprised that it was explained in a way that was simple but easy to understand for that age range.
Already Learned Kanji
要る・いる・to be necessary
考え方・かんがえかた・way of thinking
古く・ふるく・a long time ago
通る・とおる・to pass through
生む・うむ・to give birth
連れる・つれる・to bring someone along
涎掛け・よだれかけ・bib - It literally means something that catches drool.
道端・みちばた・roadside - Actually not too difficult to guess since the left kanji does mean road.
於かれましては・おかえれましては・in respect for
拝む・おがむ・to assume the posture of praying
折り鶴・おりづる・folded paper crane
玩具・おもちゃ・toy - I don’t think I’ve ever seen this written in kanji.
Queen’s Quality page 105-135 (end of ch 3 and part of ch 4)
I love it when I get around 80-100 pages into a manga and suddenly reading seems to be so much easier! Most of the common words in the manga came up enough for it to stick and around this amount of pages I’m beginning to get used to the writing style of the mangaka I think I will only finish the first volume this week of Queen’s Quality and read the rest later, so I can just enjoy it instead of speeding through the other four volumes in two days besides my fulltime job xD
Home post Day 1 - 3 log
Only been reading yotsubato so far
Day 1 - pages 3 to 17 - 6 cards added
Day 2 - pages 17 to 29 - 4 cards added
Day 3 - pages 29 to 50 - 5 cards added (first chapter finished)
I’ve really been wanting to get the most out of yotsubato this time as previously I always read it in a more extensive reading sort of way rather then an intensive one. So now that I’m back learning again I’ve decided to fix that so I don’t feel like I’m missing out on easy to learn vocabulary.
I’m doing this by putting words (with context sentences) in to my anki so I’m taking a bit longer to read things then i normally would. But plus side is, is that there are words that I swear where not there before!
I’m hoping I get to a volume I haven’t read before (by or before the end of the month) so things get a bit more interesting.
Anyway that’s all for the update. Hope everyone’s reading is going well!
I still love that film so much. Last time we were in Tokyo (May 2019) I finally got to to the steps and literally had to queue up to take photos there! Since it went onto Netflix I’ve been able to start watching it with the japanese subs, which is super helpful.
Day 3 complete!
Today I read the wikipedia article for 平林都 (basically the Miss Manners of Japan) because last night I somehow stumbled into a YouTube rabbit hole where all the big personalities had videos with her. I started with this one where she visits a butler themed cafe.
Day 3! 銭天堂, pages 17-28. I’m honestly surprised how easy this is to read. I’m still using the vocabulary sheet very frequently, but the grammar’s a lot simpler than Kiki and I can speed read in some places.
Tomorrow I’ll finally start reading Kiki again.
取り消す = とりけす to retract, to take back something said, to withdraw.
冤罪 = えんざい false accusations.
I keep remembering the scenes from the movie as I read, which is cool, but I’m also wondering if it’s not counterproductive to dissecting the meaning of some words . I see myself skipping words because I know what is happening from remembering the movie, but I need to hold myself or I think I won’t learn as much ^^ .
I’m not used to sitting to read in Japanese one hour everyday and while I’m enjoying it a lot, going slow while comprehending as much as possible, I see myself thinking “when is this over!?” a few times throughout the hour . Which is weird because once I was done these previous two days, I felt like a bit later I actually wanted to sit and read a bit more. But I don’t want to burn out, so I’m limiting myself to not reading more than my current amount for now. I know it will backfire when I’m not feeling as willing.
Ok I’m in, starting today. Last month I bought volumes 1 and 2 of Fruits Basket from Amazon Japan. I found the book club thread about it to follow along with. Four pages a day is my goal and seems sustainable. I’m excited!