📚📚 Read every day challenge - Winter 2022 ☃❄

I adore Yotsubato, such a nice time. And welcome, glad to have you!

Summary post

Summer Pockets: As always, chilling. Close to 2 hours read today, I think. No doubt everything I’ve read in the last few days combined is meant to take an hour or less for natives, but regardless, they really ease you into the small island life. The heat bearing down, the sounds (and lack thereof!), the missing amenities someone from the city would expect, and on and on. I’m in the mood to chill at this pace, so I’m cool with it. I think I’m nearly on the cusp of meeting my next significant character, but today was all wandering, observing, and thinking. So, a whole day of narration.

Which, while full of words I don’t know, still isn’t so bad. I’m pretty confident that, short of the (I think small) chance of specific characters speaking incomprehensibly, I’ve seen enough to feel like I’m ready for what this VN has. I can tell there are so many more unfamiliar kanji – Ace Attorney favored using a lot of katakana and shied away from more kanji than needed to make it simple to parse – but with Yomichan, it’s no big deal.

Today’s screenshot shows you the lovely nighttime colors, but it’s also a sentence I wanted to highlight. I admittedly had to recheck a couple things that I should’ve learned and still only half-remember, and I know it’s nothing crazy, but it’s one of those times where there’s enough going on in this sentence grammatically/expression-wise that I sort of just took a moment to appreciate that this is totally understandable to me at this stage. I know there’s a lot more to learn, but for where I am, I’m pleased with this.

Coolest new word that came up is チンする, meaning “to microwave,” because it comes from the sound of the microwave timer. I like that.


Just to let you know that there are at least two N2 grammar points in this sentence :joy_cat:


Home Post

Read chapter 13/14 of 時をかける少女. According to kindle that’s past the 50% mark! :tada:
I found chapter 13 a bit confusing but that was because the character herself was confused and worried for a bit, but that cleared up. It also makes sense now why they talked about leaping time AND space as separate in the previous chapters. I’d say the groundwork is mostly laid out, so I’m curious where we will go from here on! :sheep:


Summary post

January 22 update:
Read 5 pages of 時をかける少女 today, i.e. chapter 15. Most of it was more or less Kazuko’s internal monologue, and then, as things finally started to happen, the chapter very inconveniently ended right in the middle of an important conversation. I still decided to stop for today for a variety of reasons, but I feel like tomorrow I might not be as successful at maintaining moderation :joy:

On another note, Death Note book club started today. I read half of this week’s assignment, which wasn’t all that much, to be honest. By the time I got to reading it, the vocab sheet was already populated with a whole lot of words, and this made reading a lot faster than it would be with dictionary lookups. Thanks to those who volunteered to compile it – it’s super convenient!


I just sit down and started reading and without noticing it I read the remaining 150 pages of はじめての虐殺 and finished the first volume.

Even though I finished five manga volumes this year I didn’t even make a dent in my backlog it actually increased because I bought four visual novels and a videogame in the same time frame. What should I read tomorrow continue a series I started or start something new.

Read some more lines from the Demonbane visual novel I didn’t encounter any N1 grammar points yet but lots of N1 vocabulary.

demonbane 1


Haha, I love to hear it, thank you. I think I just have a smattering of knowledge from all over the place, but I’ll take the confidence boost :grin:

It’s the power of learning by just reading stuff! I’m guessing ものの and どころか – the first one I think I posted here about learning not too long ago, thanks Ace Attorney. The latter I distinctly remember from Satori Reader.


Yep, those are the two :+1:

On a more serious note: If that’s your grammar level in general, you shouldn’t be worried about reading any book whatsoever…


Today I read Yotubato and got to the milk delivery saga (chapter 39 and 40). I blew all my old records out of the water by reading 70 pages in one sitting! I just had to know what was going to happen. :joy:




That’s nice and… a little shocking? Hmm. I don’t think I’d exactly consider this sentence a fluke. It’s just, you know, what I explained before was basically the extent of everything I’ve done with the written language. And honestly I’ve only been at this for almost 8 months now, though admittedly I’ve been lucky to be able to dump an extreme amount of time into it. It’s hard to accept that so soon, heh. Feel like this sounds like I’m bragging but I’m just trying to explain my position, haha, nothing like that. Humbled by the amount I still have to learn, and hugely impressed by the people sticking with it who have less time than I do.

Anyway, I guess grammatically, yeah, I’m starting to feel like I “get it” more often than not? What makes me wary is mostly just the high quantity of words I don’t know; I’m not quite level 30 on WK yet and can only cram so many of those in the time I’ve had, heh. And I know that problem takes ages to truly go away, but I guess when my issues in reading do crop up, it’s mainly pushing the working memory if there are too many unknowns to try to juggle, you know?

(and for the sake of balance, just need to mention my listening level remains at “how does anyone do this?” haha)


Home post

Day 15:

I read six pages of よつばと! today :four_leaf_clover::slightly_smiling_face::four_leaf_clover:


This is actually hugely encouraging :slightly_smiling_face: I’m only just starting to read this month but I have this pipe dream of starting to read Harry Potter in Japanese by the end of the year:p So I’ll be rooting for you when you take the step and start reading books :books::muscle:


Oh, I actually am reading Zoo 1 by Otsuichi as well! Sort of a collection of horror short stories. I mostly talk about my VNs and games here at the moment cause that’s the thing I mine and the thing I want to make sure I do every day, but I throw in a few pages here and there. I started that one right after Christmas because a lovely person gifted me a Kindle for this use. :slightly_smiling_face: I did pick it because it seemed to be on the easy end, to be clear!

That aside, best of luck to you as well, I’m very much hoping to see your continued success. And honestly, if you can stick with it, I’m pretty confident you’re going to do great when I see how your Yotsubato attempts are already going. It took me like 4+ volumes of that manga to feel like I was understand anything beyond the tiny utterances, haha.

@MaraVos My side conversation distracted me, but oh what wonderful memories you just hit me with. That part of Yotsubato was hilarious.

Let's collapse this a bit

Yeah, sorry, I did not mean to shock you :joy_cat: And I am by no means trying to push you in any direction! It’s just, I thought maybe you’d be interested to have your current status be put into perspective a little bit. [omg is this even an english sentence lol]

You can’t imagine how much this helps :joy_cat:
Also, being young helps a lot as well as you can simply learn/remember much faster.

That’s not going to go away for a looong time…

WK is great for teaching you kanji but it helps you next to nothing when it comes to learning relevant vocab for reading. The easiest way to learn enough relevant vocab would be through mining the unknown words from what you’re reading (because that’s what will give you the words you are still missing after all). And if you like to read books from different genres, then the process starts all over again with each genre :woman_shrugging:

Can totally relate to that! But you’ll get used to that quickly, and many words appear over and over again and also across many different books. Plus there are of course some stepping stones, e.g. starting with a shorter and/or somewhat easier book, pre-learning the most frequent vocab words (from koohi or from the book’s vocab sheet - whichever is available) or only reading until you hit a certain number of new vocab words, then only continue reading once you learned those words, etc.

Well, you said yourself that you’re not studying Japanese for that long, and listening probably requires as much work as reading, I guess, so it’s no surprise that some areas of your skillset are not yet up to par with some other areas :woman_shrugging: Luckily studying vocab also helps with listening and speaking, so it’s not totally independent after all, but they are different cognitive skills. They will develop when it’s their time, I’m sure.


January 22 :snowflake: Home Post

…Well. I may have gone chaos mode again :joy: Being busy has left me pretty mentally exhausted for 錆喰(さびく)いビスコ lately, so today I decided to take a break (lmao) and check out (かぜ)(つよ)()いている again, see how it felt. And… wow. Like seriously, it feels SO much more readable than the last time I messed with it, and definitely more than 錆喰(さびく)いビスコ has, even as I’ve gotten a bit more comfortable with it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still looking up a bunch of stuff, but like… so much less. It’s honestly wild. (かぜ)つよ always felt like some far-off thing; a 600-something page novel?? Terrifying :joy: So for it to be comparatively “easy”… wild.

So I read like 18 pages :joy: That’s farther than I’ve ever gotten in the past (which is also really crazy to realize, I spent ages on it then haha) and I definitely felt much more comfortable with it than I ever had before. I thought I understood what was going on when I read it before… not so lmao. It’s really just a huge wake-up call; I remember thinking that the sentences in (かぜ)つよ were all so long, but now 錆喰(さびく)いビスコ has ruined me and they mostly feel short. Perspective is everything huh?

Anyway today’s reading was a really cool experience, and now I have more options for prose! Mushroom boys and running boys, what more could I need :joy:

Fun words

渦巻(うずま)く - to whirl, to jumble together
(みみ)()ます - to strain one’s ears
()けずり(まわ)る - to run around, to busy oneself
重力(じゅうりょく) - gravity

Ooh okay, I’ll have to keep an eye out :eyes:

Collapsing my response because I feel like I'm monopolizing the thread a bit

Oh I love the perspective on it; it’s nothing but positive!

Depends on how young almost 30 is on that spectrum, heh. Having this amount of time probably made me sound a little younger than I am but… just particular life circumstances right now. I think I at least got pretty efficient at rote memorization in school so that’s helping, heh.

That’s all very true, and I am mining! Have been ever since I started Satori Reader. I just want to expand, that part of the reason I referenced that is because my personal approach here is to let what I’ve learned on WK for the most part gate what I try to learn. Some words are picked up by exposure alone because I might see them so often, and I certainly make exceptions, but by and large the vocab I mine is kana-only (or “usually,” for now, though I know how that can be a lie…), using the kanji I already know on WK, or using kanji WK doesn’t teach at all. So it sets a bit of a ceiling in what I study right now. I’ve mostly been comfortable that way, but yeah, it does preclude me from learning certain words I’d probably be better off having right now.

Yeah the plan has mostly been to just ramp up the difficulty however feels comfortable, but I may find myself in a book club eventually and that’s always super helpful, too. Haven’t felt the need for pre-learning so far when I read things only in environments where it’s easy to look things up, but it’s nice to know it’s an option.

Yeah, for sure. My weakness is a combination of speed and being too reliant on kanji to trigger my memories of meanings. I try to at least watch an episode of something most days, but because reading builds vocab more painlessly, it’s been my focus so far. It’ll all come together eventually!

Good call to collapse this

That’s still young! :joy_cat: To put it another way, both our current WK levels seem to closely match our respective ages :wink:

And no, I didn’t try to infer your age from the amount of free time you have but rather guessed based on your learning speed :rofl: (and a little bit based on what interests you, but I know that this can vary wildly and does not say anything about age)

It’s a bit tricky to keep the balance between mining too few unknown kanji and confusing yourself with the incredible amount of unknown kanji that are out there, I know that as well… Luckily it gets a bit easier the more kanji you know because you will recognize the phonetic parts which help you guess readings and so on.

Ah, you know, whenever you think you should learn a word, just learn it! No need to worry about that really.

Book clubs are really fun! Not only for helping each other along, but also for speculating wildly about criminal cases and such :smiley:

I realized pretty early on that this is a big issue for me and therefore I studied all my vocab in 3 directions for a long time (from Kanji - for reading, from Kana - for listening and from English - for speaking). The “from Kana” direction gets more and more painful the more homonyms you have in your deck, that’s why I mostly stopped doing this direction, in the hope that I will still be able to make the connection now that I know more vocab. Let’s see! :crossed_fingers:

Or, like a probably very wise person once said, “In the end everything will be alright; and if it’s not alright yet, then it’s not yet the end.” :rofl:

One last bit

Just want to say, overall, I really appreciate you going on this tangent with me! It’s been a nice confidence boost, a way to recalibrate and recognize where my progress actually is (it’s so hard to see it when it happens sometimes!), and full of nice advice. Only one part I wanted to directly say something to:

I might’ve implied too much that this was a problem for me, but it’s a method I’m really liking actually! WK kanji has overall stuck in my head super well, and I find it immensely helpful, even if a word doesn’t use the same readings or general meaning as WK gave its kanji, just to have that data point to hang it onto. Despite the constraints it causes; I think it’s been really beneficial for my learning, and it’s an issue I’ll be bringing to an end by level 60 anyway! And I make the occasional exception – there are some words I knew I’d be seeing a bunch in Ace Attorney that I just sort of crammed prior to learning the kanji here because there was no getting around needing to know them. 凶器 comes to mind, as a level 45, haha.

If anything is an actual problem, it’s that I seem to be the rare person who actually likes WK mnemonics and all, and despite some attempts, I still don’t think I’ve totally worked out how to best memorize words with totally new kanji on my own. I can break down the radicals easily, but struggle to get a mnemonic or other strategy that really ingrains them as well, just yet. A lot are coming up hazy, but I’ll figure it out.


Summary post

Day 22: January 22nd

Time spent: 11 min
Today’s color: 空五倍子色 (うつぶしいろ) - the book and weblio both put this on the black spectrum (薄墨色, 黒色) but I have to say that this looks very brown to me? I guess I can see it as a very, very, very light 墨色, like faded ink maybe.

Named for 五倍子 (ふし) - sumac gallnuts (which are not nuts at all, I found out, but pods made by bugs - the bugs lay their eggs in them, and then once the bugs are hatched, they become hollow and are used to make this color). Apparently it was used as a cheaper substitute or mix-in for 檳榔子 in dyeing (because unlike 檳榔子, it didn’t need to be imported).

Some good words
  • 白膠木 (ぬるで) - Chinese sumac
  • こぶ - bump; lump; protuberance; swelling​

まいにち暦生活 日本の暮らしを楽しむ365のコツ
Time spent: 11 min

Today’s reading talked about フグ! :tofugu: Apparently, a colloquial nickname for puffer fish is 鉄砲 (てっぽう) - which also means gun, I guess 'cause if you get the wrong part, the poison can kill you? xD But that nickname gives rise to some names for some フグ dishes, such as てっさ (fugu sashimi) and てっちり (a boiled fugu dish with ponzu dipping sauce).

What else did I read?
お前、タヌキにならねーか? Vol 1
Amount read: 13 pages
Time spent: 32 min

Read chapter 3 today. Apparently こがね丸 really likes eating grasshoppers - he is also not opposed to eating dog kibble, even in his human form xD I was a bit surprised that we came back to the girl from the first chapter, since the end of the first chapter seemed like a pretty clean wrap-up and the second chapter featured a completely unrelated man/tanuki candidate - I wonder if their stories will intersect at some point :thinking: But I guess the girl went back to being a human for a bit to properly quit her job and get her affairs in order before running off into the mountains permanently lol - what a responsible bean

Good words/expressions
  • これと言って - not worth mentioning (with neg. verb); nothing special
  • いい意味で - in a positive sense of the word; in the best sense of the word; in a good way
  • 人たらし (ひとたらし) - flirt, player
  • 三昧 (さんまい) - being immersed in; being absorbed in; indulging in; doing to one’s heart’s content​
  • カタツムリ - snail
  • 思いのほか - unexpectedly; surprisingly

On an unrelated note, the manga that I preordered has shipped I’m very excited about this manga, can you tell you’ll see why when it gets here

Doesn’t look like it :o It looks like it’s not its own page, at least assuming I was using the index correctly, which…maybe should not be assumed xD I wonder if it’s too “general” of a term to be a page :thinking: I bet it will show up somewhere though


Update January 22

  • Read the Hyakumonogatari that @Zakarius linked to today. Have been liking those.
  • This weeks Death Note book club assignment. 29 pages.
  • First chapter of volume 4 それでも歩寄せてくる
  • Animal Crossing
    • Found an 落とし物 手帳 and thought, “how appropriate, just like Death Note”
    • Remembered to make a song request to KK
    • Went villager shopping and found a decent replacement for the Okapi (named オカピ) that moved out. Some kind of intense looking frog named タイシ. Very pronounced mustache and eyebrows. Reminds me of characters from old Chinese Kungfu movies.
  • ~1.25hrs On もじぴったん. Cleared the remaining two puzzles in the practice category and the first in the かんたんキッズ category. Soo many more word puzzles left! Really enjoying this games dictionary.
practice category puzzle 20

This is the last puzzle of the practice category and is called 眼鏡橋. It wrecked me over the last couple days. The light grey (bridge) squares are normal but the light blue (water) squares take one giant character each. At first I couldn’t figure out how an 8 chain would even be possible. Eventually, armed with しおあじ and かおつき, I completed.

Inspired by the bridge built in Nagasaki in 1634 by a Chinese monk.


Just chiming in to say that I’ve also had pretty good luck with this method! It’s a nice way to sort of gate the flash cards I have coming in so that the number doesn’t get too high (since as a beginner, there is a lot of unknown vocabulary!). It’s also effective because it lets me build on knowledge I’ve already established, which makes those words easier to remember (and also reinforces the kanji I’ve already learned!). It just feels like a more efficient use of my time to build on knowledge that I already have scaffolding for. Besides, the most common words with late WK kanji in them tend to get beat into my brain by sheer repetition, anyway, so I feel like I don’t lose as much by not SRS-ing them yet, because I’m subjecting them to natural SRS, haha.

Also, the only strategy that has really worked for me to learn words with totally new kanji in them is to memorize how to write the kanji in addition to their reading(s)/meaning(s). You might not be interested in pursuing writing, though :sweat_smile:. But it’s a good way to really learn kanji that are particularly troublesome (which for me includes any kanji that I haven’t endlessly drilled in WK).