First day of the challenge in the books! My spouse and mother-in-law are playing cribbage behind me, so my concentration wasn’t the best.
I read one story from the collection, titled 「冬の気配」. I started reading this book for the advent calendar event in December, but I ended up falling behind on the whole thing… Going forward, I’ll aim to read two stories per reading session.
This one was predictable but sweet. The premise is that, after an accident leaves a young woman with brain damage that costs her the ability to see, her boyfriend tries to prove to her that he still wants to be with her despite her newfound disabilities. She decides to give him one chance by requesting he bring her something wintery that is readily apparent to her. He ends up doing something that reminds her of the day they first started dating, and she realizes that she doesn’t want their relationship to end, either.
I think one of the challenges for a story collection like this is writing something that’s fully satisfying to read despite the short length. I don’t think this story hit that sweet spot for me.
After lurking for a while in the previous threads, I’m really excited to be joining the challenge this year! As of now, I have never read a single manga or book in Japanese so I hope this challenge will put an end to that! Yes, I’m Level 59 and haven’t read anything. I have formally studied grammar, though, so hopefully it won’t be too rough.
As well as reading some manga, I want to start regularly using the Aomi Japanese app I bought the past year. It’s an app that’s supposed to help you practice pitch accent in Japanese–you listen to a recording of a single word or phrase then record yourself repeating it in the app, and it shows you visually how your pitch accent compares. While it doesn’t correct you on actual pronunciation of vowels and consonants, I hope that just by repeating what I hear I’ll improve my pronunciation regardless. It also teaches onomatopoeia, slang, loan words, and idioms, all of which I’m lacking in. It works with a spaced repetition system, and has a gamified approach like Wanikani so it might be appealing to some of you, as well~
While the ideal goal, of course, is to do both everyday, as long as it more days than not, I think I’ll be satisfied!
Aomi Japanese (Speaking Practice)
n o t h i n g
What did I read?: にわにはににん
How much did I read?: 37 pages
(Completed Prologue: 庭師の仕事, Started 1st Story: 水槽屋敷)
How long did it take me?: 1 h 32 min
The book I will be starting with is にわにはににん by 中野シズカ! (That title’s so fun! XD)
It’s a collection of manga short stories which all are on the theme of gardens. I thought that starting with a short story collection would be good since when I’ve finished what would ordinarily be just a chapter’s worth, I could say, “I’ve finished a whole story!” Gotta motivate myself somehow! XD Will probably also be good since I’ll be reading pretty slowly, and having fewer characters and events to remember as I go through will be helpful.
While I technically did read 37 pages, the entirety of the prologue had no words except for sound effects, and quite a few of the pages in the first story were pretty sparse in words. So it wasn’t that much reading. But I still learned a few new words! There is also no furigana, so that’s, uh, fun. Though I actually don’t mind that much, since Wanikani has helped me out a lot in that respect, and I don’t actually want to lean on the help of furigana too much.
The Prologue was about a gardener maintaining a Zen garden while evading the attacks of sentient pine needles??? Random, but I thought it was neat how he could turn the strokes in the sand that represent water into actual water that he could drown the needles in. I’m only part way through the first story, so nothing to say about it yet except that the background art is really nice~
After breezing through reading yesterday I managed only 4 pages of 半落ち before my brain gave up. I maybe shouldn’t have waited so late in the evening to read a rather difficult book. I need to catch up on the ユージニア reading so probably should have done that instead but oh well! Tomorrow!
This is my first time commenting in the wanikani community forum so hopefully I am doing this right Anyways, I figured this is a great opportunity to try to be more consistent I with my reading practice. I seem to be able to read more succinctly in my head verses when I read out loud (I end up getting all tongue tied) so I am hoping that’s something I can work on slowly improve upon with this challenge.
As I dove into my first day of reading for the year, a surprisingly common situation came up.
First, from volume 1 of 「夢みる太陽」, I encountered:
It took a bit of searching to discover this is 一目惚れ.
Good to know. Probably will never see it again.
Time to jump into volume 13 of 「名探偵コナン」.
What are the chances that I’d start a new series that uses a not-so-common word that appears in volume 13 of another series, and oh yeah I read both pages with that word within maybe ten minutes of one another?
Apparently, the only other time I’ve encountered this word written this way in manga was in 2019, in volume 1 of 「怪盗セイント・テール」. Since I read that mostly without look-ups (due to knowing the material already) to build up my reading and comprehension speed, I would have glazed over this word back then.
If you find you struggle even while knowing the words and grammar, keep going! It may take time to build up the pattern recognition that will allow you to understand sentences without carefully processing them.
Day 1! I actually managed a pretty significant reading day today; I finished chapter 2 of BU$TAFELLOWS it continues to be a wonderful/emotional time. Really I’m setting myself up to suffer, I’m gonna miss all the characters over the next like two weeks restraint!
Then I just… really felt like playing Breath of the Wild? So I started a new game in Japanese and that’s been fun, I forgot how nice it is to just explore and such. It’s also fun to see how it’s all presented in Japanese, and it’s mostly at a chill reading level for me thus far so it was a nice time. Another project to throw in whenever I just wanna relax with a game I suppose
The writing style of this book is my favourite out of the Japanese novels I’ve read so far. It’s more difficult than I expected, considering the Natively reviews I’ve read about it all say the language is easy and it’s graded similar in level to かがみの孤城. But perhaps I just need to get used to it!
I saw the movie a couple of years ago, which is why I’m progressing faster than usual. The writing so far has been easy to digest. However, it’s not gripping enough for me to sit still and read for a prolonged period of time. How do you guys build your reading stamina?
This book came highly recommended by a Japanese native as an “easy read.” The writing to me is much harder than コーヒーが冷めないうちに, even with furigana, and it’s just thick and daunting. I’ll give it a few more pages but it may be one of those books that I abandon early and add to my list for when my Japanese gets better.
Read some more ハイキュー！！ today. It was an easier time than yesterday, thankfully. The font size is still abysmally tiny, but at least the words make a little more sense… I’m considering adding the words from my spreadsheet to Anki but 1) I’m so burned out on SRS, and 2) figuring out Anki seems like something I want Future Me to deal with. For now I’ll just gaze longingly at my spreadsheet…
Some life stuff
While I was not reading during the fall, I was job hunting. After two months of unemployment, I finally managed to get a new job It’s a full-time, permanent position and I start tomorrow. I know it’s going to be hard to combine work with studying but I refuse to turn into a person who can’t have hobbies outside of work. I hope to do my readings while cooking/eating dinner, before I inevitably pass out on the couch. From experience, it’s a terrible idea to do it before bed.
I also watched the movie, was enthralled, and started reading the book with the reading club, but I found the writing style so bland and off-putting that I dropped the book during the first chapter.
So I would say, for building stamina you need some motivation. Either it is “I am absolutely determined to read x pages / y amount of time no matter how boring it is” or it is “It’s so good / I need to know what happens next, I can’t put it down”. Both are totally valid for me (and I’ve applied both to various degrees). If neither applies but you still want to read the book, you can read another book in parallel (like you seem to do), and if that still doesn’t cut it, then maybe defer it altogether?
OMG lol! I recently explained the French counting system to a few Japanese friends (in case you don’t know that: For numbers between 70 and 100, the French somehow lost their marbles and turned counting into an act that you need a maths degree for, e.g. they have the “number” four-twenty-ten-nine which means 4 * 20 + 10 + 9 = 99 ok that’s admittedly the most convoluted example but still ) and they were like oh! and ah! and incredible! - I should have known this example back then, it would have put things more into perspective
Hey! It’s been a while! How have you been?
Haha this week I found ユージニア equally brain-frying as 半落ち - for entirely different reasons though. Curious to hear what you think about it
Eyyyy, congratulations! I hope you absolutely smash your new gig! I usually wake up an hour earlier to get some reading done. Like you, I haven’t had much luck reading before bed during a work day.
When you find answer, let me know.
Hi, Nicole! <3 The latter was how I felt with おいしいごはんが食べられますように, which is probably why I overestimated what I am actually able to do. I guess for these books, I’ll have to Pomodoro technique my way through them until I can no longer stand the content. Sometimes I feel bad for the money wasted but then again, life is too short to be wasted on bad books!
Card Captor Sakura volume 5 – progress report Yesterday: Began reading volume 5, finished chapter 19, stopped at page 47. Today: Continued up to page 70.
Small read today. (Disclaimer: you will hear that more often from now on ).
Turns out that chapter 20 is the school play chapter. I have fond memories of it and it started on a funny note with Shaolan being completely upset over getting the role of sleeping beauty. Come now, Shaolan, you look great and so does Sakura as the prince because Tomoyo did a good job on your clothes.
And speaking of the latter: thanks to Tomoyo, wing(wo)man and problem solverTM, Shaolan became determined to see this through after all because she made a comment that him not playing his role would make Yukito sad.
Congratulations on your new job! I hope that you will have a comfortable work environment and friendly coworkers.
The gushing has returned. And I love it!
–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Word or expression of the day:
演目 - (えんもく) - programme (musical, concert, theatrical etc.)
公平 - (こうへい) - fairness, impartiality, justice, objectivity
阿弥陀籤 - (あみだくじ) - ghostleg lottery, ladder lottery (Now I know what these charts that were used in the Dragon Ball tournaments are called.)
Thank you very much! I’ve considered getting up earlier since I’m a morning person. First I need to check if my work hours are flexible - maybe I can start early and leave early. Should be easier to squeeze in some reading then. I hope we can both find the perfect balance!
You got it!
Thank you! They seem pretty cool so far, so crossing my fingers!
debated between 3月のライオン and 蟲師 and chose 蟲師 mainly cos there’s fewer volumes but ooooh boy it’s turning out harder than i thought it would. i (naively) thought it was just gonna be loads of words i didn’t know, which it is, but there’s also some grammar i don’t know and a writing style which i’m struggling to parse in places. managed about 20 pages before my brain gave up, might try some more later.