📚📚 Read every day challenge - Winter 2022 ☃❄

Not quite the same (as it’s definitely not a set phrase), but this reminded me that I came across what has to be for me the longest string of kanji in a sentence I could actually read:


to break it up into words

英語: Overview of the case of suspected kidnapping for ransom of a high school girl


Edit: And I came across 開口一番 literally just now while reading the same book, so thanks for that :smiley:


February 26 :snowflake: Home Post

Played a bunch of 999 today! Things are really starting to happen and I have no idea what to believe anymore :joy: Very curious to see what’ll happen :eyes:


Oh man so many things happened. It started out with a really sweet scene comforting 四葉(よつば) and an existential crisis about the Theseus’ ship paradox :joy: so classic 999 really.

I finished a puzzle section and 淳平(じゅんぺい) was upset about the lack of fanfare lmao

Later we went to investigate the E deck which in theory should have been flooded but turned out not to be so we encountered a lovely フグ:

I still definitely don’t trust (むらさき), but I do really like her :joy: Sometimes 淳平(じゅんぺい)'s sense of humor is also just exactly me:

I can just see myself in that situation like “idk, die probably” lmao me too dude

Things got pretty brutal… (pretty notable spoilers ahead) ニルス is (theoretically) dead? The descriptions were super rough as always and it was a generally emotional situation, but I’m definitely skeptical. It’s been made very clear that once the explosives go off the bodies are completely unrecognizable outside of any bits of clothing and things that may remain, and I feel like that’s a very intentional fact :eyes: Honestly I’m still not convinced he isn’t working with ゼロ, plus the fact at least two others must have been involved for this to happen? Very suspicious indeed

Fun language thing! We were talking about whether ゼロ was responsible for what happened, and I had to decide whether I thought they were on the ship with us. I said no since I figured they had people on the inside, but 一宮(いちみや) made a pretty compelling argument otherwise:

It makes a lot of sense! If they were talking about a ship they weren’t on, they’d have used その! It’s the sort of thing that seems super obvious in retrospect, but it’s pretty cool!

Basically I’m still really loving 999 and it’s really due to this challenge that I’m playing it all, so thanks for the push! Onward :muscle:

Some words

さかのぼる - to go upstream, to go back (in time), to trace back to
(いぶか)る - to wonder, to suspect
したり(がお) - self-satisfied look
自嘲(じちょう) - self-deprecation
(わら)にもすがる - to grasp at straws
猜疑心(さいぎしん) - suspicion (of others)
ともあろう(もの)が - of all people

Oooh that makes sense, I kinda got that vibe! Thank you :grin:


Home post

Day 56:

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 and one page of 擅长捉弄的高木同学.


Yesterday I finally found the time to play a good chunk more of Persona 4! It was really fun, and contained two instances where my Japanese knowledge was quite literally tested. The first - the persona 4 games will sometimes have your character or one of their friends get asked a question in class which you then have to answer. Yesterday’s question was about Keigo (specifically 謙譲語 :scream:)… but I actually got it right!

Felt pretty good about that, however I fell back down to earth with the next quiz type thing, which I was completely clueless about and just had to randomly guess and it ended up being about plants that appear on Japanese money. Which yeah, I would never have got. But to be honest, I,'m really enjoying things like this about persona 4, it feels really kind of grounded in the character being a Japanese high school student in a way that I’ve not seen in many other games. Lots of fun cultural trivia and tidbits that you get to pick up while also battling monsters and solving a mystery!


Update February 27

  • Finished それでも歩は寄せてくる chapter 51
  • Animal Crossing. ~2hr. After considering winding down on the game I decided rather to ditch my current play style to focus on constantly talking to characters and redecorating my island. I have trouble with give and receive verbs pretty often. Having many item exchanges as part of the core game-play these verbs are in constant use. Spoken in 8 or so personality types.
    I had been ‘playing the game,’ and often skipping dialog boxes to get things I no longer need, faster. I don’t need anymore resources in the game. Now I can just redecorate and chat up the Animals.

Summary Post

February 21 ー February 23

  1. さわやかな酸味が特徴 宮崎の特産「日向夏」の収穫体験
  2. 双子のパンダ生後8か月に 氷で遊ぶ映像公開 上野動物園
  3. 観光客に電動キックスケーター貸し出し 熊本 八代

Time for another brief update. My schedule has finally taken a big hit due to a little decline of my mental health lately. I was hoping to keep reading even if a short article everyday, but I was not in the mood at all and decided to take a rest altogether that I might prolong until the end of the challenge at this point; it’s undecided yet. But yeah, I was starting to feel guilty and very strained after reading very, very late at night before bed, for the sake of keeping the streak going, but it wasn’t sustainable and didn’t take long until it backfired, naturally. So that’s when I decided to drop the pressure and take a little break until I get a little better, so I can come back with more energy to keep learning :slight_smile: .

In these two weeks I’ve accumulated a backlog of 400 SRS reviews, so that’s what I’ll hopefully be doing these next few days. I’m also thinking that I’ll probably start a video game soon, though I’m not sure which one yet, but I’m considering either Final Fantasy VII or Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I’ve played both already, but a long time ago, and never in Japanese other than a bit of BotW. We’ll see!

I think personally I’ve started to see these threads as a “study log” of sorts, a place where I meet up with other people reading their things and creating a small corner together. So it doesn’t bother me any more that I miss days towards the challenge, which is a big milestone for me considering the mentality I started with last year, when missing a day was highly demotivating. But at the same time, I still need to keep a healthy balance, because if I stop seeing it as something to work towards, I know that I will start feeling much more complacent and comfortable with missing days, and that won’t get me anywhere. Well, it would, but to a spot where I’m not content with my pace, like I was before the Winter challenge. Going too slow is highly demotivating for me, and I was really happy with my pace this time, reading for an hour each day. I felt it was achievable and I was learning a lot of vocabulary. So balance is key, I feel; achieving that sweet spot between taking care of yourself to not overexert and burn out, and push yourself where you can still work diligently and consistently. That balance fluctuates on a daily or weekly basis so it’s definitely hard for me to know where it’s at at all times.

So there’s that! I’ll be back soon, regardless of the challenge being over :3

Until then I’ll be lurking and slapping you all with my likes in the shadows.

:raccoon: :raccoon: :raccoon:


The challenge is over soon anyway. So don’t feel bad about taking a brake. Take it slow for a month and come back for the next challenge with slightly adjusted mindset (like you seem to already have) and you will be doing fine.


So I read this article at the near beginning of the challenge (Jan 9): 「推しを嫌いになりたくない」と思った日のこと | DRESS [ドレス]

And I wrote:

This article kicked my butt. I spent close to an hour on it and there are still some vague parts for me. I’m going to bookmark it to read again at the end of this challenge to see if it’s any easier. Probably just not having to look up all those words will help a bit!

Tomorrow is actually the end of the challenge, but tomorrow is also a workday and I’d rather do something like this at a more leisurely pace.

Thoughts on re-reading:
There are still some sentences that confused me, for example:


I was lost on what 愛ゆえのエゴ was, wasn’t in my dictionary and seemed sorta philosophical which is definitely not my wheelhouse in Japanese. Ended up finding this which helped. I guess…having a ego or reluctance to part with something because of a love for it, possibly too much love. I guess.

I felt like I understood the majority of it this time around, but there were definitely a few sentences here and there (like the one above) where I felt I was missing some sort of context. I think culturally I may be missing something too, and that’s always a frustrating feeling as those gaps are the hardest to fill in.


Day 58!

Started Volume 4 of Yotsuba today, and read the first chapter. Super cute as always.
I have a rotten cold, and the next chapter looks longer and more text heavy than most Yotsuba chapters, so I’m not going to try to read that one today.
I’m saving it for tomorrow instead.
I’m quite sad that its going to be the last day of the challenge! I’ve had such a lot of fun :slight_smile:

(Home Post)


Summary post

February 27 update:
Just as expected, I had very little time for reading again, so I read another page of the eighth story of きまぐれロボット. Due to the time constraints I also limited my lookups, so I feel like my understanding is a bit vague. I’m considering re-reading the whole story from the beginning tomorrow.


:tiger2: :books: Homepost - Tigerdate: 20220227 :books: :raccoon:

Tanuki Scroll LVIII: 二月の桜 :cherry_blossom:

Read today’s folktale from Ehime prefecture!

About an old man’s dying wish to see the sakura blossoms again, and they bloom early on a cold February day just for him.

☆ Learnings ☆

New Words

満開「まんかい」ー Full bloom (especially for cherry blossoms)
負んぶ「おんぶ」ー Carrying someone on your back; Piggyback


Any of you having life get in the way or otherwise getting busy are still doing great just for hanging in there; the dropout rate on this language is so high (for good reason). You can do it :heart:

Summary post

I’m tentatively experimenting with my idea of funneling Wanikani time to reading and Anki. It’s going to take a little bit of time for my Wanikani reviews to really significantly drop, but all the same, I pushed a little more today. I haven’t been timing myself, but I read ~6500 characters and ~580 lines!

I’m very glad I picked this route; the writing style is so comfortable now. I look up words, but I feel little to no strain at all with reading, and it’s only the occasional line phrased in way that throws me off. Those happen daily, but they’re never THAT bad. Definitely big progress since starting the challenge.

With no context at all, enjoy this image that looks like 紬 introducing herself as a superhero, or something.

I like how the VN has transitioned from “summer vacation is going to last eternally this is great” to “oh no summer vacation has an end and it’s approaching.” Pretty much sums up every vacation I had as a kid, haha. I never quite had these island adventures, but this game captures the spirit of that time really well.

Turns out there’s a verb for having a nightmare / making a noise during a nightmare: 魘される (うなされる). That’s neat.

On the other hand, I went back to Zoo 2 for a couple pages last night and still really struggled, ended up putting it down on a sentence that was totally losing me. This particular story is rough. I may have just been too tired, but it’s the ego check I expected it to be back when I started reading a book on the side :stuck_out_tongue:


Like always I was lazy and just read 60 pages あさこ vol. 4.


Summary post :bookmark:

February 27

Progress: 93% → 100%

Oh man, what a cliffhanger! I expected the scene play out to the end, but it didn’t. Not the main plot, but the sub plot :eyes: :eyes: If we can call it that, hehe.

Good book! I enjoyed it :3 If you’re interested in good mystery book, I recommend :eyes: Not just this third book, but the other Saikawa & Moe books so far too. Join the book clubs~ :sparkles:

(Saikawa & Moe home thread)

Progress: 0% → 3%

Not much reading as I only got through the first two pages of the first chapter. There were some photos and “teasers” at the very beginning, so I read the few sentences that were on those pages.

So many new words! I realized I didn’t have time to explore them all, so instead of rushing I decided to leave it for tomorrow.

Y’know, I’m not ready for this challenge to end :durtle_durtverted_lvl1: I just started new book!


Summary post

Day 58: February 27th

Time spent: 10 min
Today’s color: 鴇色 (ときいろ) - pink (wing colour of crested ibis)

Named for the feathers of this lovely bird, which used to be quite common in Japan but is now very endangered :frowning: (It was actually was considered extinct in Japan for a period of time, but it has since been reintroduced)

Good words
  • 野鳥 (やちょう) - wild bird​
  • 残り香 (のこりが) - lingering scent; lingering fragrance; residual aroma
  • 飛翔 (ひしょう) - flight; flying; soaring
  • 風切り羽 (かざきりばね) - flight feathers
  • いたるところ - everywhere; all over; throughout​
  • ありふれた - unsurprising; trite; commonplace; mundane; hackneyed; garden variety (of)​

まいにち暦生活 日本の暮らしを楽しむ365のコツ
Time spent: 5 min

Today’s reading was about citrus fruits - 柑橘 (かんきつ).

What else did I read?
Amount read: 26 pages
Time spent: 28 min

ナニカ has so many fun abilities xD Like honestly, what a handy little being to have as a friend.

Renya brought ナニカ to look at the sakura and honestly this panel is the most precious thing ever :pleading_face:

Good words
  • 馴れ馴れしい (なれなれしい) - over-familiar
  • 気安い (きやすい) - relaxed; familiar; easy to access; friendly
  • かたくるしい - formal; strict; ceremonious; stiff
  • 顔に出る (かおにでる) - to show on one’s face (of an emotion, feeling, etc.)
  • しぶとい - tenacious; tough; enduring; dogged; headstrong; stubborn; obstinate; unyielding
  • 手相 (てそう) - palm reading
  • 満開 (まんかい) - full bloom (esp. of cherry blossom); full blossom
  • 花吹雪 (はなふぶき) - falling cherry blossoms; storm of falling cherry blossoms
  • かゆい - itchy
  • しんどい - tiresome; tiring; draining; bothersome; worrisome
  • 空気清浄機 (くうきせいじょうき) - air purifier
  • だいじょばない - it’s not fine; it’s not OK​ (I don’t know that I’ve ever seen this in a negative, it was quite humorous in context xD)
  • 快眠 (かいみん) - pleasant sleep

February 27 :snowflake: Home Post

I played some more 999 today! It was mostly just some character interaction so that was a good time! Somewhat of a break from the horrors of late :joy: Honestly I played way earlier today and I don’t really remember what happened lmao but it was fun as always!

It’s really wild that tomorrow’s the last day of the challenge, time is really a trip. I’m sure I’ll get a lot more retrospective tomorrow but even now it’s pretty amazing looking back at what we’ve all accomplished :blush: On to the final day!


露出狂(ろしゅつきょう) - exhibitionist, flasher

Oh I went to make my word list and that was it apparently :joy: that’s what you get today


Summary Post

Day 58: Today I couldn’t concentrate very well but I read 4 pages of よつば&!


Home post

Day 57:

日本語: I read a lot of 機動強襲型令嬢アリシア物語1(and finished it) and a bit of ミステリークロック.


中国語: I read an intermediate entry on Mandarin Bean and one page of 擅长捉弄的高木同学.


Can’t believe it’s the last day of the challenge! I kind of feel like I didn’t read that much and then I look back and I’m like, oh yeah, I finished one book and a computer game, read a whole manga and just under half of a kids novel. None of which I could have done this time last year. I also looked back at the Autumn Read Every Day Challenge thread and it took me 6 weeks to read the first volume of それいけズッコケ三人組, whereas I’ve got 94 pages into this volume in only a fortnight. I can’t emphasise enough how much these threads have helped to improve my reading.

Plan is to finish this current novel, which should take around a fortnight, and then I bought a few more kids books off ebay recently that I want to get stuck into. Work should start to ease up after Easter and then maybe I’m going to tackle something aimed at grownups…

I go back and forth with this. I have a really limited amount of time each day and I’m never sure how best to spend it. Reading is definitely improving my Japanese but a lot of the words that I look up, I find I’ve looked up and added to my flashcards already. So I feel like I need the support of SRS to actually get them into my brain but any time I spend on flashcards is time I’m not reading… I’m going at a fairly slow pace on WK but then when I read a book aimed at adults last summer I was massively hampered by my lack of kanji knowledge so then I was like ‘maybe I should just step up the pace on the kanji???’. But then I really struggle to learn kanji out of context. It works best for me when I read a word, add it to my flashcards, learn the word, THEN one of its kanji comes up on WK and I learn it as a kanji and then I learn some more readings for the word. But it’s kind of hard to make things happen that neatly. For the last 3 years I have taken September-December off from doing lessons on WK because it’s my busy time at work and I don’t need that added stress and I can really recommend giving yourself a little holiday from it like that.


Last day! :smile: :sob: :smile: :sob:

I decided to end with a meaning book article, so today was 「心置きなく」とは?意味や言い換え!例文と解釈 | Meaning-Book - nothing really special. Broadly the phrase means to do something with your heart at ease, without reservations, etc.

Here is my final calendar:

I knew I would miss a day, and frankly expected to miss more.
My original goal with this challenge was to get used to reading more explanatory, opinionated Japanese. I wanted to do this to improve my own Japanese writing and speech. I haven’t noticed any particular gains in that area unfortunately, but it’s also something that’s rather hard to track. If nothing else I expanded my vocabulary once more and hopefully somewhere in the recesses of my brain the speech patterns left a mark.

It was a delight reading everyone’s updates be they about the books you were reading (so many first novels! :tada: ), the manga you’re reading, the games you’re playing, or the fascinating articles you’re finding. Even if I didn’t reply to you directly at any point, I read everyone’s entries. :smiley_cat:

Hope to see everyone again in the spring! :hibiscus: :tulip: :blossom: :cherry_blossom: