Month: April 2018

Monthly review: April

I started writing a monthly review last month, and I find it very beneficial. This month, too, I will look into what I have done and not done. Anki I guess that we all experience ups and downs with our SRS, Anki or other… I have been experiencing a total breakdown during the whole month of April. I have been busy at the beginning of the month and spent some days without studying Anki, with the result that I found myself with a huge deck. What happens in this case, is that I stop learning new cards and try to bring my deck to zero during the following days. After that, I was not in the mood to learn new words, and I had no fun at all studying my deck (not that it is very funny at all). I try to get Anki over with as quickly as I can, and I got into the bad habit to dismiss cards I don’t know with the “difficult” button even though I should have tagged them “again”. …

Japanese News: April week 4

I must admit that I haven’t read a lot of the news this week… I also wanted to read articles from Asahi website to compare them with Mainichi. It is hard to admit it, but I stuck to Mainichi out of laziness. I am used to using their app and their website, and it created a kind of cosy area and routine that makes up for the discomfort of reading in Japanese. Even if I were told that another newspaper is better, I would not want to change now. I wonder how many other things I keep doing just because I am too lazy to change…? 😳 Opposition asks for Aso’s resignation Both the Moritomo Gakuen scandal and Fukuda’s accusation of sexual harassment took place in the Ministry of Finance. The opposition is asking for Finance Minister Aso to resign: 麻生氏「進退考えぬ」 財務省、次官再聴取へ. The first sentence of this article is tricky (I had to re-read it several times before understanding it): 麻生太郎財務相は19日(日本時間20日午前)、訪問先の米ワシントンで、財務省の福田淳一事務次官のセクハラ疑惑などを受けて麻生氏の辞任を求める声が高まっていることについて、記者団に「進退は考えていない」と話した。 When I first read it, I was wondering why anything relative to Fukuda should take …

Currently reading: 「放送禁止」by é•·æ±Ÿä¿Šå’Œ

I am now reading one of the shortest books on my reading list: 「放送禁止」by 長江俊和. After 「イノセント・デイズ」 which was a long novel with deep implications, I didn’t want to dive just yet into another long novel. I chose 「放送禁止」 to serve as a recreation. Why I chose this book Among the best-sellers that I saw in Kyoto’s bookshops last December, was another book by 長江俊和 (ながえ・としかず) which title kindled my interest: 「出版禁止」. I was attracted both by the title and the cover, which seemed to be full of mysteries. I finally bought 「放送禁止」instead because it was written previously and I thought it would be better to start with the first title of the “禁止” series, though I didn’t know, and still don’t know if the stories are linked. About the drama, the film and the book I wasn’t aware at the time that “放送禁止” is actually the name of a drama. I thought that the drama might be an adaptation of the book but in fact, it is the other way around. There is also a film. What …

Learning Japan Prefectures

Since I started reading the news in Japanese, I am telling myself that I must learn Japan prefectures. I have finally taken the first step by doing my own map with furigana and English. Why learn Japan prefectures and region? I suppose that Japanese learners who studied Japanese at school or university have gone through Geography classes and have a good overview of the country’s layout. The problem with self-learning is that nobody forces you to learn what you don’t like. And me, I don’t like Geography, so I have never taken the trouble to learn Japan’s regions, prefectures and main cities, though of course, I do know some of them. But then, I was very limited when it comes to reading the news. Every time I saw a prefecture name in an article, I had to copy-paste it in Google to find its pronunciation and see where it was. With all the unknown words I have to struggle with in any political article, it just added an unnecessary difficulty. Worse, I sometimes wasn’t able …

Japanese News: April Week 3

I have decided to stop using the site NHK to write my post because the links get broken very soon. So this time, all the sources come from mainichi.jp. I focused more on politics this week. Demonstration against Abe On Saturday (14th), 30,000 demonstrators were protesting before the Diet building: 安倍政権退陣迫る 森友・加計問題で3万人. On the video, we can hear them chanting “安倍やめろ”. The demonstration was before the National Diet Building in Nagatacho in Tokyo: “東京・永田町の国会議事堂前”. 永田町・ながたちょう: Nagatacho 国会議事堂・こっかいぎじどう: The National Diet Building The article says that the number of 30,000 demonstrators was provided by the organisers: “主催者発表”, but they don’t give the police’s estimation. 主催者・しゅさいしゃ means “sponsor”, “promoter”. The Kake Gakuen scandal The demonstration is a response to the falsification of the documents relative to the Moritomo Gakuen scandal and the recent developments concerning the Kake Gakuen scandal. “森友学園を巡る財務省の公文書改ざんや、加計学園の獣医学部新設計画について当時の首相秘書官が「首相案件」と発言したとされる文書が見つかった問題“ The underlined part summarises the issue: among the documents found recently, there is a citation from the Executive Secretary to the Prime Minister of the time who said that the opening of the veterinary department inside the Kake Gakuen was …

Book review: 「イノセント・デイズ」by æ—©è¦‹å’ŒçœŸ

I have finished reading 「イノセント・デイズ」by 早見和真(はやみ・かずまさ) and loved this novel very much. I found the story interesting, I like the themes encompassed in it, and I appreciated the structure of the novel very much. Some themes of the novel The novel starts with what we call in French a “fait divers” (tragic events like criminal cases that don’t concern politics or international matters). Right from the beginning, the reader is given a position: we belong to the public, we read the news, we nod at what reporters and judges have to say, we attend the trial discretely and rejoice ourselves to be reading such an exciting novel. Or at least, this is how I felt that the novel positioned me. A feeling even more strongly felt because I often read similar events in the news on NHK, whereas the French news portal I usually read rarely reports these “faits divers”. On NHK News, on the contrary, there are a lot of criminal cases that echo our novel, and I started reading the novel and the news on NHK almost …

One year blogging anniversary!

It is hard to believe, but on Wednesday (April 18th) this blog will be one-year-old! 😄 To celebrate, I want to write a post about how blogging helped me to learn Japanese. Positive energy First of all, I love my blog because it is mine, and I am sure that we all feel the same. Having your own personal virtual space somewhere is exciting! I have just finished reading The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing, and I was struck by how the protagonist Anna felt after buying her new notebook: “It gives me pleasure to touch it and look at it, but I don’t know what I want it for” and “I have been sitting looking at the new pretty notebook, handling it and admiring it”*. Somehow, I have always thought that my getting excited about a new “productivity tool” was a little childish. That’s why I was struck to see the same kind of feeling described in a novel that I deeply admire. So yes, even if you don’t have a clue what you …

Japanese News: April week 2

A lot of things happened this week in Japan, and it is hard to catch up with everything! 🤯 In any case, these are the subjects that caught my attention, with a special part devoted to the labour reform at the end. I have also realised that the articles on NHK News web do not stay on their website for more than a week or so 😱… as a consequence, the links are bound to be broken soon 😲. Animals mistreat: 68 cases reported last year In this article 動物虐待で警察が摘発 過去最多の68件, we learn that the Japanese police 警察庁 is keeping statistics concerning the mistreatment 虐待 towards pets since Heisei 22 year, or 2010. Last year, the number of cases reported 摘発された事件 to the police was 68, the most significant number since they started keeping statistics 統計を取り始めてから. This does not mean that cruelty towards animals is increasing, but the number of reported cases is. Notably, people are reporting cases of uploaded video showing mistreatments to the police: 虐待している動画をインターネット上で見つけた人が警察に通報するケースが増えている. 警察庁・けいさつちょう: the National Police Agency 虐待・ぎゃくたい: cruel-treatment, mistreatment, abuse, cruelty. 摘発する・てきはつする: to expose, to …