Book Update

Since my last book post, I’ve read the following:


This is a series of short books from the 70s featuring Japanese folk tales.  I thought this was going to be more difficult than it was, but I managed to get quite a lot of it.  I think they re-released a lot of these recently (there’s an anime based on them) so I may try to get more.  Japanese folk tales are always entertaining, and this seems to be a good series.

One Piece, Volume 7

We get some of Sanji’s backstory here and the fight with Don Krieg’s boys goes on.


The true story of a cat abandoned in the returns box of an Iowa library – didn’t realise it was translated or non-fiction (ish) when I bought it – via on online book shop.  An entertaining story and my first full length Japanese book – i.e. not short stories.  Slow going, mainly due to lack of time to read, but worth it.


Film: Love My Life

This is a rather sweet story about two young woman in Japan (don’t think it ever says where) who are in love.  One decides to tell her father and discovers some rather surprising things about her family.

The story makes me feel that Japan is pretty behind Western Europe in attitudes to homosexuality, or may be just openness in personal relations.  Still, nervousness about coming out is universal, even for those of us with extremely tolerant family and friends, so this still strikes a cord.

Watched with English subs as the DVD I have won’t let me turn them off.  I tried to ignore them as much as I could, and think I got a reasonable amount of the Japanese.

Manga: One Piece, Volume 6

This volume was a bit of a mixed back – a lot of fighting, which is pretty easy to understand, but somewhere in the middle I got a bit muddled about why Sanji was so keen on giving the pirates food.  (I know why, from the anime, but I’m not sure if that was explained here or not.)

I do have this in an English translation, so am semi-tempted to read the English now to check how much I got.  I think they’re fairly literal translations unlike the last book I tried where the translations were so different as to almost be different books!


Film: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

I was pleasantly surprised by how much of this I got as the last time I watched in Japanese I didn’t have a clue.  Watched with Japanese subs (again a different translation than the dub) though I didn’t pay a huge amount of attention to them.

This is quite a long film (2.5hrs) and I watched it in one go.  I think that’s a good way to do it if possible, as it gets easier to understand things as the film goes on.  I have the next four films (and may get the rest) and plan to watch them soon, to take advantage of being familiar with the stories and general sets of vocabulary and expressions involved.

At the beginning of the month, I only really planned to watch 5 films this month (which would be enough to keep me on track, but not get ahead).  Given it’s only the 10th and I’ve watched 5 already, I can clearly get a fair few more done.  I do plan to watch some more in German and Dutch this month, but will aim for at least another 3 Japanese films.

Book: レベル別日本語多読ライブラリー レベル1、vol. 3

As with volume 2, this is pretty straightforward stuff.  Some nice stories in here, including why there’s no year of the cat in the Chinese Zodiac and a story about a horrible old woman who cuts off a sparrow’s tongue – well, it’s really the story of her nice husband who’s friends with the sparrow and not judging a book by it’s cover.

That’s the end of the level 1 books.  I don’t have any of the level 2s yet, but plan to get some when I next order from bk1.


Manga: One Piece, Volume 5

The main team is starting to form with the addition of Usopp and Sanji’s first appearance.

Again, this is pretty straight-forward reading, with the only real trouble the pirate cooks at the end who seem to talk in a rougher style than most of the other characters, and one of the servants at the manor whose language is much more elevated.


レベル別日本語多読ライブラリー レベル1、vol. 2

A nice selection of five stories covering folk tales, Japanese traditions as well as some more modern stories.  This set uses a max of 350 different words and is very straightforward for me right now.  There are occasional words I don’t know (one was お地蔵さま who is a Buddhist deity) but the grammar is straightforward.  As this is for adult learners, the stories are simple without being too childish.  There is also an increased use of Kanji compared to the kids’ books, though there were still odd words where I know the kanji but it wasn’t used (the 達 in 友達 for example).

I was going to count this as one whole book, but think I’ll only count it as half.  I’ll read the next volume to make up the book, but back to manga first.

次の本:One Piece, 巻五.