📚📚 Read every day challenge - Winter 2022 ☃❄

When I read「スズナ」, Suzuna from Maid Sama! came to mind. She’s the protagonist’s little sister and she does have a dull personality. I wonder now if that’s why the mangaka gave her that name?

Also, I went to the sauna today and had to take a paperback book with me

You can read in a sauna? Wouldn’t the book get wet?


Summary post

Day 7: January 7th

Time spent: 28 min
Today’s color: 黄支子色 (きくちなしいろ) - a 優しい yellow

The name of this color comes from gardenia - gardenia is more commonly written as 梔子, it seems like, but 支子 also can mean gardenia and can be pronounced the same way (くちなし). The color is made with coloring from gardenia fruits. Today’s mystery is why gardenia fruits are “the fruits that don’t open their mouths” (口を開かない). Rumor has it that this is where the name comes from (because くちなし also equals 口無し). I’m…I don’t understand though. Do other fruits open their mouths when they’re ripe? What is a fruit mouth? I thought maybe it was an expression but google is proving unhelpful at the moment. What does it meaaaannn

Anyway, while I didn't get to the bottom of that, I did learn some other stuff
  • 色名 (しきめい) - color name (is this a repeat? I can’t remember)
  • 赤黄色 (あかきいろ) - yellow with a tinge of red; orange yellow
  • 熟する (じゅくする) - to ripen; to mature
  • 称する (しょうする) - to take the name of; to call oneself
  • New usage of とか - at the end of a sentence, to mean “I hear that …; people say that…; rumour has it that …”

まいにち暦生活 日本の暮らしを楽しむ365のコツ
Time spent: 8 min

Today’s reading was on 七草粥 (ななくさがゆ), which is rice gruel traditionally eaten on the 7th day of the new year containing the seven plants of spring (七草 [ななくさ]). The 7th day of January is 人日 (じんじつ), one of the 5 annual festivals (五節句 [ごせっく]). Also learned that 松の内 (まつのうち) is a word for New Year’s Week festivities.

What else did I read?
Nothing, I was short on time today :sweat_smile:


:rofl: Glad you mentioned what the seven plants of spring actually were, I was going to look it up because I was interested to know, but I ran out of time. Now I don’t have to! lol

Hey, welcome back! :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: Idk if you remember me but I remember you from forever and a half ago lol, hopefully this is not weird :upside_down_face: In any case, glad to have you join us!


Ok so this intrigued me so I googled too. I found this article which says the following


Which is like when the fruit ripens (熟する) they don’t split open (裂ける), so they don’t look like they have mouths. This is a pic of the fruit when preserved/dried if it helps:

For comparison an image search for 裂けた実 gives me these:



Ohhh I see, that makes a lot of sense! I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a fruit that opens like that when it’s ripe before, so that’s probably why I was confused xD Thank you for solving the mystery :grin:


Well I don’t read in the sauna-room itself, sorry for my poor wording :sweat_smile:
The sauna I go to is hot and dry, though, so theoretically one could read in it :thinking: but what I usually do is I go to the hot room (the “sauna proper” if you want) for a bit, and then have a cold shower and chill in a warm pool for a bit, and then I take a rest in a comfy chair or a sun lounger or something, and then I start the cycle again. It’s only during that rest period that I read actually. But I usually refer to the whole building where all of that takes place as “sauna”, hence the confusion, I guess.


1月6日 ~ Day 6 / Back to Home

I spent more time writing on this day, so I only did one question.

なぜ?どうして?みぢかなぎもん (1年生) - page 43 of 183 (4 pages):
Question 9: “Why does “magic tape” (Velcro) stick to each other?”

Wait a second, Velcro is a name of brand of a product, not actually what the product is called??

The narrator introduces us to “Magic Tape” the brand similar to “Velcro” which is a hook and loop fastener that you can detach and reattach with ease. How convenient! You can find them on shoes, clothes, and other everyday items.

The way it works is each fiber takes on the shape of a key, the hooks one one end attaching to the loops on the other end. When they come together, the loop gets caught and because it fits perfectly with the hook, it sticks well.

Long ago, a man in Switzerland, while walking his dog in the mountains, noticed that burdock seeds were stuck to his clothes and the dog’s fur. Thinking it was strange, he checked under a microscope and his findings became a new tape invention. In Japan, this magical tape is made in a company called Kuraray, and called “magic tape.” Apparently this is when this product was first put out in the market.

It was an interesting story and not something I would’ve asked myself. But I did a little research after reading because I wasn’t sure if I understood the last sentence correctly about Kuraray being the first company to produce this hook and fastener magic tape thing. It looks like the company started in 1926, but from my quick search, it doesn’t say when they started producing Magic Tape.

Velcro doesn’t have a clear year written either, but the Swiss man patented his invention in 1955 and commercial production soon started in the 1950s. It would be interesting to know more, but I don’t really have the time to do a really in depth search. (As I’m typing this, baby is waking up too lol.)

Already Learned Kanji

重ねて・かさねて・once more; repeatedly
くっ付く・くっつく・to stick to
使う・つかう・to use
合わせる・あわせる・to join together
引っかかる・ひっかかる・to be caught in
昔・むかし・long ago
連れる・つれる・to bring along
気が付く・きがつく・to realize
思う・おもう・to think
調べる・しらべる・to investigate
売り出す・うりだす・to put on the market

New Kanji

抑える・おさえる・to subdue
引っ張る・ひっぱる・to pull
剥がす・はがす・to detach
繊維・せんい・fiber; textile
輪っか・わっか・ring; loop of rope
牛蒡・ごぼう・great burdock

1月7日 ~ Day 7

Pocket Monsters Special Volume 1 - page 10 of 200 (5 pages)

I found my copy of volume 1 of the Pocket Monsters Special manga, and it was a nice break from the other book I was reading so I decided to switch over for some variety.

I remember being frustrated before that I had to stop and squint read the furigana because there was a lot of kanji I still didn’t know at the time. But I read 4 pages at this time, and it went a lot more smoothly with only a handful of words that I absolutely didn’t know or a bunch of vocab I did know but just didn’t know the kanji to. Considering the manga is rated about a 23 on Natively, it makes me feel more confident in my knowledge knowing that I’m not struggling at all reading even though I expected to struggle a bit.

Impressions of the first few pages… I was a little surprised to see that Red was so full of himself calling himself 俺様 and what not. I don’t remember him having such a big head in the English version, but I haven’t read it for so long and maybe I’m just letting my impression of him from the game get in the way. It was always Green that seemed to have that attitude in the games, so that impression just stuck with me.

Vocab for Reference - New words are bolded

弾く・はじく・to repel
捕まえる・つかまえる・to capture
怯む・ひるむ・to flinch
孫 ・まご・grandchild
教わる・おそわる・to be taught
留学 ・りゅうがく・studying abroad
敵 ・てき・opponent

1月8日 ~ Day 8

Pocket Monsters Special Volume 1 - page 20 of 200 (10 pages)

I got to read up to a new section this time. A few words that I’ve never heard before appeared and some others that I’ve heard and generally understand the meaning but couldn’t come up with an English equivalent mostly came up. But by reading them in context and looking them up, hopefully, they’ll make their way into my regular vocab soon.

Red encounters Team Rocket who’s looking for Mew and runs into Green who seems a lot more mature than Red (apparently he studied abroad too, which means, where exactly did he go to study? Is Johto considered abroad to Kanto in the Pokemon world?) Thanks to his encounter, Red is gradually realizing that he’s not as great as he thinks he is. He didn’t have a kind opinion of Professor Oak before, but he has no choice but to ask for his help now!

Vocab for Reference - New words are bolded

しめしめ・I’ve done it!
戻る・もどる・to return
力量・りきりょう・ability (furigana written as レベル)
見切る・みきる・to see everything
自滅する・じめつする・to self-destruct
一面・いちめん・whole surface
焼ける・やける・to burn
放っておく・ほっておく・to leave alone
了解・りょうかい・roger that


Oh, so sorry to hear that! I hope there will be a chance of healing for you at some point…

Wow, I’m deeply impressed! Great work :tada:

Ouf, I’m sorry I let you down on this one :pensive: But you know, all those interesting books kept flooding in, and so I kept prioritizing them…

It’s really not that difficult, I think you could try reading it straight away :slight_smile: But if you’d like a little bit of a stepping stone, I just recently discovered that the Japanese translation of The Little Prince is really easy to read (so far - I’m three chapters in, and each chapter is only 4-5 pages) and the language is amazingly beautiful.
I’m assuming you know the story already? If not, that would be an extra strong point :wink:

Here is a little teaser for you

The first page:

The first page of chapter 3 which I think is really beautiful language-wise:

Also, I learned a fun vocab word from it:

不時着 - ふじちゃく - literally something like “untimely arrival”, but it actually means “crash landing” - oh the Japanese language is so polite :joy_cat:
(Fun thing is, this word appeared in my Japanese class shortly after I learned it :rofl:)


Day 7: January 7

  • 君の名は。page 46-49
  • からかい上手の高木さん page 50-120

Weekly check in for January 8th:

Read this week:

  1. 五兵衛と津波 (Taishukan Graded Reader - Level 3) 100%
  2. 海幸山幸 (Taishukan Graded Reader - Level 3) 100%
  3. よだかの星 (Taishukan Graded Reader - Level 3) 100%
  4. 梨とり兄弟 (Taishukan Graded Reader - Level 3) 100%
  5. 天狗の鼻 (Taishukan Graded Reader - Level 3) 100%

This got off to a much stronger start than the previous Read Every Day Challenge, mainly because I’m keeping things simple rather than expecting myself to finish a chapter of a literary novel every night. I’m two books away from finishing the Taishukan Graded Reader volume 3 (which comes with 7 books around N3 level) and found that my reading speed has picked up a lot since I last tried to read these books a year or so ago. That’s exactly the kind of progress I want to see as these were taking me 2/3 sessions, now I’ve blasted through most in as little as 15/20 mins.

One day in the week I was extremely busy so didn’t get to pick up a graded reader and instead read the lyrics to an unfamiliar song I was listening to on the train. Must remember to do little things like this when I’m busy as it all counts as reading practice in the end.


I read the last two pages of an Animal Crossing manga in the maganize ぴこぷり, and six pages out of the magazine, ちゃお.



うわー (also うわっ、うわあ、うわ)-------yikes; oops; eep; wow; aargh


Of course I remember you! (that you didn’t change your avatar helps of course XD)
Thank you, it’s nice to see people I “know” here again.
Here’s to hoping I’ll stick around this time XD Third time’s the charm, right?


I’m not familiar with the manga but that wouldn’t surprise me! I’ve seen it a few times in anime/manga were a character with a plant (or animal etc.) name has characteristics of it.

It happened again :joy:

I had to look up a few of the English ones too, never heard of a few of them.


Sorry for the late update :disappointed_relieved: The last 3 days were really busy and I could only afford a little of my reading time. Settling into school and managing my Japanese is a little hard so I’m a bit lost :frowning:
I read my first NHK news article without using any other help so yay :blush:
I also finished reading Komi CANT communicate but I need to analyse it

Good luck everyone!


Home post

First day done, I read a couple pages of よつばと! and posted my interpretation/translation attempt in my study log.



Day 8 — Read pages 137-139 of Kiki. I, uh, wasted a lot of my time at home today doing nothing useful, or I could have read more :pensive:

To motivate myself a little more, I’m going to set myself a goal of getting to page 200 in Kiki before February. Perhaps I’ll even be able to finish it by the end of this challenge if I succeed in that, but I’m not sure I’ll have enough time in February. I’ll see.

Mini goal for tomorrow: read five pages of Kiki!


Be careful about setting your goal too high (although 3 pages every day still seems doable). When I’m not satisfied with what I’m accomplishing, and try to accomplish something by setting a (higher) goal, it works really bad when I am not able to accomplish my goal. I don’t know if it is the same for you, but maybe it is something to think about.

If you are doing less useful things and want to read more, maybe it’s a good idea to have you book/kindle/reading device with you to the place that you usually don’t do useful things. I have my book with me on the couch all day, so when I want to read, I don’t have to stand up to search for it (yes I’m lazy xD). That and consistent morning routine really helps me read a lot more.

I don’t know if this is helpful for you though :sweat_smile:


Summary Post

January 8
君の名は , 9 pages.

Random words
  • 修繕 = しゅうぜん repair, mending.
  • 戦友 = せんゆう comrade in arms.
  • 感心 = かんしん admiration.
  • 無関心 = むかんしん indifference, apathy.
  • 仕業 = しわざ deed, act.
  • 塞ぐ = ふさぐ to block the way, to stand in the way, to stop up.
  • 涙ぐむ = なみだぐむ to have tears in one’s eyes.


Today’s reading was a blog post from 昼寝ネコの雑記帳 titled とってもお利口なSiriちゃんだ.

Some words I looked up

放電 - to lose battery charge
桁数 - number of digits/chars
稚内 - Wakkanai, a city in Hokkaido.
閲覧 - reading for information
容量 - volume/capacity
重宝 - handy/convenient
不可欠 - indespensible
視野に入れる - to keep an eye out for; to consider

This started out talking about how the author’s Fitbit battery kept losing charge too quickly, they got a replacement from Fitbit, same issue happened and Fitbit declined to send another replacement. From there it turned into fawning over the Apple ecosystem (after getting an Apple Watch to replace their Fitbit) which didn’t interest me much, but did give me some good vocab and examples of expressing opinions naturally, so really nothing to complain about I suppose.


This is awesome! I like the flow! lets try it


:tiger2: :books: Homepost - Tigerdate: 20220108 :books: :raccoon:

1 week (+1 day) of reading! :books:
I was too preoccupied with the healthy plants yesterday that I didn’t even notice it’s been a week already

Tanuki Scroll VIII: おいしいおかゆ :bowl_with_spoon: & キツネの恩返し :fox_face:

First is a world folk tale (a Grimm’s tale) about porridge! so much porridge

I think this one’s aimed at smaller kids than the usual stories on here since I found it rather easy. Which is a nice reminder that my reading has actually improved!

Small reflection that ended up not being so small

I enjoyed the Summer and Autumn challenges (a lot) but I’m enjoying this one even more as it feels my reading has improved quite a bit (big thanks to these reading challenges!! :grinning:). It doesn’t take me as long anymore, so the stories are making a lot more sense, since I don’t have to keep checking and rechecking the same words all the time, and I’m catching on to some of the puns and nuances a bit more.

I did keep up with my reading after the Autumn challenge but didn’t read anything during the Christmas-New Year period and it feels like my Japanese ability has magical incubated itself in the downtime (that or it’s the magic power of the sake I had at new year). Well, my reading has improved at least, I’m still bombing the reviews I have left on WaniKani but I think that’s more due to the words left are ones I never come across and just, you know, those words that for some reason your brain refuses to learn because reasons.

It actually feels like I’m making headway on this whole Japanese thing.

ANYWAY back to the reading!

The second story was another short one, a folktale from Yamagata Prefecture, about a fox who tricks people but ends up getting caught and sees the errors of its way (after getting threated to become fox soup).

☆ Learnings ☆

New Words

騙す「だます」ー To deceive, to trick. (I feel I should have seen this by now with all the fox stories I’ve read, but if I have I really don’t remember it)
村はずれ「むらはずれ」ー Outskirts of a village / the edge of town