📚📚 Read every day challenge - Winter 2023 ☃❄

I don’t have any issues accessing the page from the US, so I couldn’t test it, but I can recommend Proton VPN, which is generally regarded as safe and reliable, and which has a robust free option.

Japan is one of the free locations, and I, uh, far exceed 500 MB of traffic per month :no_mouth: (I can’t stand watching pro wrestling with commercial breaks, so I got it to watch the American wrestling company AEW through their streaming service on Fite, which is only available internationally…).


No, you’re right about that! I meant to add a little note to the end regarding ぼく being more commonly used by females than あたし being used by males, and I think there’s a logical explanation for it so I’ll expand on it here.

may contain rants

For sure ぼく pops up a lot in strong feminine characters typically with masculine or androgynous personalities or traits. Sometimes it’s used as a technique to sort of trick the reader.

The first example that pops into my mind is Kino from キノの旅. So it totally makes sense to have female police officers using ぼく without it affecting their sexual orientation. Just a technique by the author to help define their character.

On the flip side, I’ve never seen a man in Japan (Japanese national or otherwise) use あたし that wasn’t a comedian. Then again, I guess it all depends on the context because even females using あたし is only heard when 1) she chooses to use it 2) when she’s speaking in a non-formal situation.

If there are guys who are comfortable using that pronoun, they’d probably be doing it in front of their friends or in another situation that permits it. But since masculinity is also a core piece of the average Japanese man’s existence (it’s common to hear variants of 女の子じゃないから、泣くな!or お前は男でしょう??), it wouldn’t be very easy for them to adapt a very feminine pronoun without being looked down on or people making the assumption “he just swings that way.”

(Sorry the link doesn’t work for you) but that’s why one of the commenters mentioned they would be uncomfortable if they heard it. ぼく is gradually becoming more common place thanks to media so it wouldn’t be creepy to hear a female speaker use it. But I can confirm from personal experience that many of the older generation (typically Showa-era born) do find even find females using ぼく weird if not uncomfortable.

Some of it is like the equivalent of Americans shaking their heads at the younger generation for their Tik Toks and weird lingo. Some of it is the older generation miss old Showa-era/early Heisei-era Japan (the good ole days where you could smoke anywhere you want) and all the new changes shock them (what?? Young people aren’t going to nomikais and becoming alcoholics? How are we going to sell our overpriced sake?).

Some of it is genuine fear that Japan is going to disappear because the low birth rate has become a big problem and now the LGBT are supposedly going to contribute to the issue (because it’s not like there are bigger issues like the little financial support available for families - education in Japan is especially not cheap!).

I was actually very curious about what kind of character you’re reading about because it definitely is intriguing due to the rarity. The only character I can think of off the top of my head is the transvestite in Tokyo Godfathers, and I don’t even remember what pronoun was used either. .

Anyway, mind dropping the title of the book you’re reading? :wink:


The title is no secret, it was in my original post asking about the pronoun: 狐火の辻
I still fear I may have misunderstood something, because there’s a lot of dialogue where it’s not clear who is speaking. (The speaking styles are distinct, I’m just never 100% sure which person uses which style, and that’s partly because of that あたし throwing me.)
I don’t know much about the character (yet?). I’ll be sure to let you know if something comes to light that explains this あたし (or if it turns out to be some huge misunderstanding on my part). :sweat_smile:


Home post

2 月 6 日
からかい上手の高木さん Volume 1 Chapter 5 :smiling_imp:

As promised in my last post, I went through chapter 5 again using the vocab and grammar notes from ABBC. I feel like a broken record thanking the previous participants of that Book Club every time I finish a new volume. I learned so much as usual, especially from the grammar questions and answers. Some of you are participating in this forum so thanks again everyone!



It happened. I ended up with no access to my book, at the end of a day with no time to read :frowning: I thought it was the end of my reading streak. However, while being grumpy about this, at some point I realized I don’t always have to read the same book and managed to sneak in 5 or 6 articles of NHK news (the easy ones). Ha!

Regarding Harry Potter, I finished chapter 15 / 17 in the meantime. The end is in reach. Recently, I tend to read faster, ignoring more of the words and phrases I don’t understand. I would like increase the look up rate a a bit again, but let’s see how it goes.

Happy reading!


Feb 6, Mon of Week 7 of Winter Q1 2023 :snowman::snowflake:

  • ふしぎの国のバード Vol.1 Ch.2 江戸(えど).

Last chapter was 横浜(よこはま), so Yokohama pidgin. This chapter is 江戸(えど), and waiting for a passport.

  • 一度読んだら絶対に忘れない日本史の教科書 Ch.1 Part 弥生(やよい)・古墳(こふん)

Compare with China, the Three Kingdoms; and afterwards.

  • うたわれるもの
Words of the day
  • チラシ = flyers; leaflets. I am not sure about English, but in my native language, it is similar to Kanji counterpart, 散(ち)らし.
  • ニタリと(.) = smirking
  • ぶつくさ言(い)う = to mutter. 呟(つぶや)く + ブツブツ.
  • やり抜(ぬ)く = to carry out to completion = 遣(や)り抜(ぬ)く
  • やり遂(と)げる = to carry out to completion = 遣(や)り遂(と)げる. Similar to above.
  • 後(あと)じさる = to retreat. Also, 後退(あとじさ)る.
  • 嗤(わら)う = to sneer at; to ridicule. Has Furigana. Probably like 嘲笑(あざわら)う.
  • 蚤(のみ) = a flea. Has Furigana. 蚤(のみ)の市(いち) = flea market.
  • 蓑(みの) = straw raincoat. Has Furigana in context.
  • 憔悴(しょうすい) = emaciation; being worn out. Has Furigana.
  • 息災(そくさい) = (praying for) good heath
  • 寛大(かんだい) = generous; tolerant; broad-minded
  • 羨望(せんぼう) = envy. First Kanji from 羨(うらや)ましい.
  • 物(もの)の怪(け) = (vengeful) ghost. No Furigana.
  • 雨具(あまぐ) = raingear
  • 雨期(うき) = rainy season
  • 手提(てさ)げ = can be carried by hand / handbag
  • 精米(せいまい) = rice polishing
  • 道(みち)のり = itinerary; path = 道程(みちのり). I remembered this one as 道(みち)の里(り).
  • 街道(かいどう) = a highway; also a highway to success
  • 旅路(たびじ) = journey
  • 難航(なんこう) = difficult journey
  • 調達(ちょうたつ) = procurement; provisioning
  • 必需品(ひつじゅひん) = necessities
  • 雑貨(ざっか) = miscellaneous goods
  • 行商(ぎょうしょう) = peddling; hawking
  • 荒物屋(あらものや) = variety store
  • 常連(じょうれん) = regular customer
  • 居留民(きょりゅうみん) = residents. 居留(きょりゅう) = residing; settling in
  • 卿(きょう) = Lord; Sir. No Furigana
  • 公使館(こうしかん) = legation, where diplomats (公使(こうし)) stay. Smaller than 大使館(たいしかん) = embassy?
  • 焦燥(しょうそう) = impatience. The writing reminds me that dots can have different directions, and hook or not can have variations.
  • 皆目(かいもく) = (not) at all; entirely (not)
  • 渡世人(とせいにん) = gambler; person without a legitimate job
  • 打(う)ち首獄門(くびごくもん) = beheading followed by mounting of the head on a pike in front of the prison. 打(う)ち首(くび) is beheading.
  • 席(せき)を外(はず)す = to be away / to slip off from a meeting



Day 35
I finished the third volume of Tsugumomo. After that I read maybe one third of chapter 17 of the Monobeno visual novel.

2691 pages read 17309 to go


You can also plug the URL into archive.org and ask it to archive it, which will produce a page readable from anywhere, like this one.



Yesterday I just played some more きみのまち ポルティア. I tried unsuccessfully twice to romance Arlo. Which is probably for the best though because there’s apparently a quest you’ll get soon after you start dating him (and if you don’t accept or complete it in time, you never get it again) that requires you to go to the Eufaula Desert, which I don’t have unlocked yet, and you’re apparently supposed to be able to jump across the river on a mount at a narrow point, but I couldn’t figure out how to do it. So I’ll be trying again after completing the bridge.

The personal pronouns are a little inconsistent in this game. Most characters use 私, except for Antoine who uses アタシ (he’s an effeminate gay (bi?) man—he’s a romanceable character, but I’m playing the male builder, so I don’t know if he’s also romanceable regardless of your builder’s gender like the other romanceable characters. Would be cool if he is bi though, as that would mean he doesn’t fit the stereotype!), but there was one character (don’t remember who) who used 僕 in one dialogue but then 私 in another immediately afterward, and there was no reason to switch. Arlo used わし once, which I gotta tell ya was a little wild coming from a twenty-something, but it may have been a typo since yesterday at one point he used わたし.

I definitely feel like I’ve seen 俺 used before, but I don’t remember which character(s) used it, so I’m not sure if there are any inconsistencies with that too lol


home post

6th feb

again, didn’t intend to read a whole volume of manga, but here we are. しまなみ誰そ彼 vol 2 was too good for me to stop halfway through! art is lovely, characters are really really nicely done, and the themes are handled well imo. i still wish all the names had furigana tho

words that stuck out: たげる (shortened form of てあげる), 言い回し (いいまわし, phrasing, expression), 似通う (にかよう, to resemble closely), and 抜け出す simply cos i know i’m gonna confuse it with 抜き出す at some point down the line

i believe that character used あたし


:spiral_calendar: Day 36: February 5th :closed_umbrella:

spacer:girl: からかい上手の(元)高木さん Volume 11 (10% ➨ 17%)

spacer:tangerine: orange Volume 6 (64% ➨ 81%)


:raccoon: :books: The Tanuki Kotatsu Reading Den :snowflake: :raccoon:

February 6th
新書太閣記 progress: 07.31% // Volume I: 84.74% :horse:

Managed to finish two chapters today.

Words found under the kotatsu

襤褸「ぼろ」ー Rag; scrap; tattered clothes; defect; shabby; run-down
金子「きんす」ー Money; funds
じゃじゃ馬「じゃじゃうま」ー Restive horse; unmanageable person
夕立雲「ゆうだちぐも」ー Cloud that appears when rain falls (cumulonimbus cloud)
(Cumulonimbus cloud as a word is: 積乱雲「せきらんうん」)
愚図愚図「ぐずぐず」ー Slowly; dawdling; lingering // (Mostly seen as: グズグズ)
天稟「てんぴん」ー Natural talents
後塵「こうじん」ー Trailing dust; dust left by someone rushing ahead
惣領「そうりょう」ー Eldest child; first born; child who carries the family name
揶揄う「からかう」ー To tease; to make fun of; to poke fun at
鹿毛「かげ」ー Fawn (colour); bay (horse colour)
草履取り「ぞうりとり」ー Servant in charge of carrying footwear (for Lords etc.); sandal-bearer

Character Name List

Probably some spoilers, but this is a historic novel, so can spoilers really exist for things that have (for the most part) actually happened :thinking:

Volume I: 1535 - 15??
(Currently 1554/5)
日吉「ひよし」- Hideyoshi (as child)
Nicknames: 猿「さる」/ 針売り「はりうり」
Name serving Nobunaga: 木下 藤吉郎「きのした ときちろう」

木下弥右衛門「きのした やえもん」- Father
– – 乙若「おとわか」- Old friend (serves under 織田)
筑阿弥「ちくあみ」ー Step-father
大政所「おおまんどころ」// also お奈加「おなか」ー Mother
おつみ - Older sister
小竹「こちく」- Baby brother
加藤清正「かとう きよまさ」// also 弾正「だんじょう」- Ojisan (only distantly related (before marriage))
– Married to: おえつ (sister of お奈加)

Friends & Acquaintances
仁王「におう」- Big kid friend
於福「おふく」(Nickname - full name: 福太郎「ふくたろ」) // 楊景福「ようけいふく」(Chinese name/birth name) - Timid kid friend (older than Hideyoshi)
– 五郎大夫 「ごろ だゆう」// 祥瑞「しょうずい」(Chinese name) - Father
– 梨琴「りきん」- Mother
捨次郎「すてじろう」- Previous servant to 五郎, later the adoptive father of 於福, and owner of a tea ware shop - and employer of, and master to, Hideyoshi

Hachisuka Clan
蜂須賀小六「はちすか ころく」(also 正勝 「まさかつ」) - Head of the Hachisuka clan
– 七内「なない」- Younger brother
– Married to 松波「まつなみ」
– – 亀一「かめいち」- Son

稲田大炊助「いなだ おおいのすけ]
青山新七「あおやま しんしち」
長井半之丞「ながい はんのじょう」
松原内匠「まつばら たくみ」

国吉「くによし」- Gunsmith/blacksmith
渡辺天蔵「わたなべ てんぞう」- Deserter - Nobushi (Nephew to Koroku)
難波内記「なんば ないき」- Spy disguised as a Komuso
仁田彦十「にった ひこじゅう」- Subordinate

(蜂須賀正利「はちすか まさとし」- previous head of the Hachisuka clan)

Saito Clan
((questionable) Alliance with the Hachisuka clan)
斎藤 道三「さいとう どうさん」- Head of the Saito clan
– 斎藤義龍「さいとう よしたつ」(also: 高政「たかまさ」) - Son

明智 光秀「あけち みつひで」(common name: 十兵衛「じゅうべい」) - serves under Dosan
– 又市「またいち」- Underling / foot soldier

堀田 道空「ほった どうくう」- Chief retainer
弥平治光春「やへいじ みつはら」- Retainer (cousin to Jyubei)
– 明智光安「あけち みつやす」- Father
春日丹後「かすが たんご」- Military commander

Oda Clan
織田 信長「おだ のぶなが」- Leader of the Oda clan (Married to the daughter of Saito Dosan)
– 卯月「うづき」- Nobunaga’s faithful, old horse :horse:
– 織田信秀「おだ のぶひで」- Father and previous leader of the Oda clan
– – 織田与三郎「おだ よさぶろう」- Younger brother

Retainers (Under Nobuhide rule):
平手 政秀「ひらて まさひで」
– 五郎左衛門「ごろうざえもん」(nickname: 五郎左「ごろうざ」) - First son
– 監物「けんもつ」- Second son
– 甚左衛門「じんざえもん」- Third son
林 秀貞「はやし ひでさだ」(common name: 新五郎「しんごろ」)
青山 信昌「あおやま のぶまさ」(common name: 与三右衛門「よそうえもん」)
内藤 勝介「ないとう しょうすけ / かつすけ」

市川大介「いちかわ だいすけ」- Archery master/instructor
平田三位「ひらた さんみ」- Master of military strategy

Shiba Clan
斯波義統「しば よしむね」- Head of the Shiba clan, at Kiyosu castle

Imagawa Clan
今川義元「いまがわ よしもと」- Daimyo

松下之綱「まつした ゆきつな」(common name: 加兵衛「かへい」)
飯尾豊前「いのお ぶぜん」
多賀能八郎「たがのう はしろう」(nickname: 能八「のうはち」)

Takeda Clan
太郎義信「たけだ よしのぶ」- Commander
(Married to the daughter of Imagawa Yoshimoto to tie the clans)

上泉 信綱「かみいずみ のぶつな」(also: 上泉 伊勢守「かみいずみ いせのかみ」) - Founder of the 新陰流「しんかげりゅう」school of Kenjutsu
– 疋田小伯「ひきた しょうはく」- Disciple
– 神後五六郎「かんご ごろくろう」- Disciple

塚原 卜伝「つかはら ぼくでん」- Kensei; legendary swordsman

Historical People
  • 阿倍仲麻呂「あべ の なかまろ」ー Japanese scholar & poet (700s)

  • 白楽天「はく きょい」ー Chinese poet (Bai Juyi / Bo Juyi) also known as: 白楽天「はく らくてん」in Japan. (Late 700s)

  • 道元「どうげん」(or 道元禅師「どうげん ぜんじ」ー Japanese Buddhist Priest, writer & poet (also known as 栄西禅師「えいさい ぜんじ」) (Early / mid 1200s)

  • 空海「くうかい」ー The one and only Kukai or Kobo Daishi - a Buddhist monk. Posthumously given the title of: 弘法大師「こうぼう だいし」born as: 佐伯 眞魚「さえき の まお」(late 700s / early 800s)

  • 源頼政「みなもと の よりまさ」ー Prominent poet and warrior (1100s)

  • å¹³ 重盛「たいら の しげもり」ー Military commander and court noble, claimed to be an ancestor of Oda Nobunaga (Mid-1100s)

  • 桓武(天皇)「かんむ(てんのう)」ー 50th Emperor of Japan, claimed to be an ancestor of Taira no Shigemori, thus ancestor to Oda Nobunaga (Mid-Late 700s)



5 Feb

かがみの孤城(下) 82% → 96%

Unfortunately had to stop before finishing!

6 Feb

かがみの孤城(下) 96% → 100%

Aaand finally finished the novel :partying_face: I loved the second half. I can say this is the first Japanese book to make me shed tears, lol.

My speed definitely improved a lot from when I started the 上 book. I also had to look up a lot less words in the 下 one, even being able to read it without a dictionary (though I used the Bookwalker dictionary quite often in the last chapter).

From now on I’m going to continue reading 世界から猫が消えたなら!


:snowman_with_snow: :snowflake: February 6 :snowflake: :snowman_with_snow:
Home Post

Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild :shield:
BU$TAFELLOWS :moneybag:

Last night, in a listening effort, I started a new playthrough of the Legend of Zelda - Breath of the Wild, hoping there was a bit more voice acting, but apparently I remembered correctly that there really isn’t much. xD So mostly it will be reading if it is Japanese practice at all. I have a feeling the memory cutscenes have audio, but first I have to get to the stage where I unlock those.

I’ve been wanting to replay this in Japanese partly because BotW 2 (or Tears of the Kingdom, same thing different title) is coming out this May. (Anyone beside me that is probably gonna have to earmark something like 100+ hours in May and through the summer to that game? xD) I guess I want to see if I can play the next one in Japanese, but only if I feel like my comprehension will be 95+%, which from what I’ve seen so far is looking unlikely. But that’s fine, not everything that could be Japanese practice, need to be. ^^

And yeah, so I played a bit more BotW today, just some reading practice today, not a single line spoken. Also quite a bit of text that disappears by itself in old-style Japanese so I didn’t have a chance to read it in time. (Another reason I’ll go English for BotW2 almost assuredly.)

I also made sure to have extra time to play Bustafellows today and… I didn’t play as much as I should have. Finally got to another choice in chapter 2 and I think I quit right before the next choice coming up, but my brain was starting to get fed up. I think I did a bit better about looking up less, but still so far behind… :sob:


:bookmark: Home post // Feb 6 :snowman_with_snow: :snowflake:

・薬屋のひとりごと3 (20% → 21%)

Just a short read due to busy.


February 6th (Day 37) :snowflake: :cat2:

Home post :books:

I’ve finished the second half of chapter 4 and read the first two pages of chapter 5 of 1Q84 Book 1 前編 :3


February 6th

:snowman: Home post :snowflake:

Aria: the masterpiece volume 3 – progress report
Yesterday: Read up to page 273, finished chapter 27 and ‘special navigation’ 27.5
Today: Continued up to page 184.

Didn’t have a very productive day and the same applied to today’s reading. :sweat:


Sounds great to me – I’ll keep both options in mind when I find the time to watch my first Zootr tournament. I’m certainly looking forward to the chaotic ones, though. I may watch one or two standard ones and then jump into one of these. In terms of my knowledge about the game, I don’t think I’ll need to do any extra research as I think I know Ocarina of Time like the back of my hand by now (watched plenty of play-throughs ‘live’ and online, and played it myself several times). :wink:

You mentioning playing BotW in Japanese just reminded me of my poor attempt:
I tried using BotW as a bit of reading practice myself around two and a half years ago. It was my third play-through and I wanted to do a Master Mode run in Japanese to test the waters on how much I could understand. I’m was (and still am) at a beginner to pre-intermediate level meaning that the first two hours with the old man doing the expositions on the plateau and all the weapon names and descriptions already kicked my butt and made me utterly exhausted from all the looking up. I kept it in Japanese, took a lot of screenshots for future reference and reading practice but I didn’t look things up after the first 5 hours anymore and didn’t understand almost anything as a result. Maybe one day I can go back to it or its sequel and understand most of it. :smiling_face_with_tear:

I hope that your play-through will be enjoyable and that you will understand a lot – even if it’s not 95%. :slightly_smiling_face:


Word or expression of the day:
入り組む - (いりくむ) - to be or become complicated​


February 6th!

Today I read a chapter of Orange. This series continues to pull on my heartstrings!

(Home Post)


:chocolate_bar: :love_letter: 2月6日 :love_letter: :chocolate_bar: (Home Post Link)

With all the ヨルシカ talk recently, I was digging around online and found out that they have a new album coming out in a few months, and that the title of this album comes from an older short story! So, of course, I went and found it on aozora and worked my way through it. The album title is 幻燈 (げんとう)and it comes from the opening line of やまなし. I’ve seen some people translating this as ‘magic lantern’ like a literal magic lantern, but I think in the story it makes more context as being a projector slide used with one of these. We have two very different vivid descriptions of how the surface of the water reflects light and objects at different times in the year, the first being in the summer with bright dazzling daylight and flower petals, and then in the winter with moonlight.


  • やまなし (宮沢賢治) - After reading through it once, then watching a video with narration/illustrations, and then trying to pick apart a few particular spots that weren’t quite making sense to me, I think I understand most of the things that are happening, but I don’t quite understand the “why” if that makes sense? There’s some allegory here that I think I just don’t know enough to connect it to (which seems to be the same experience for some of the reviews on bookmeter lmao). I did also find a paper talking about the significance of the works of 宮沢賢治 as either zen buddhist parables or extremely veiled political allegory, but I don’t have access to the journal :smiling_face_with_tear: Of course, I’m also curious how this is going to relate to the themes of the album when that comes out, but that’s not for another 2 months. It does contain what i’m fairly certain are some made-up words, so be warned if you want to check it out
  • 三ツ星カラーズ ch 3 - starting to kinda figure out the speech styles (and catchphrases) a bit so this one felt a bit easier. I like how much weird jrpg terminology 琴葉ちゃん uses
  • 新完全マスター pg 12+13 - thankfully mostly stuff i’ve seen before today :sweat_smile:
  • i might do some 夜カフェ later but やまなし kinda took it out of me for today

Word of the Day
クラムボン ー literally no one seems to know what this means. clam boy? but what does it refer to? seems to be anyone’s guess ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


:performing_arts: Home :it:

February 6th

start - 15

I fell asleep at my kotatsu (several times?) and was just exhausted yesterday. Looks like a busy week ahead >-> not sure how much time I’ll have for reading.