Month: August 2018

Japanese Immersion: film, anime, magazine and news!

I am quite happy with my immersion in Japanese this week! I watched the film 『ちょっと今から仕事やめてくる』and several episodes of 『ちびまる子ちゃん』. I also spent a lot of time reading and translating the magazine 『趣味の文具箱』. Finally, I started reading the news again. 『ちょっと今から仕事やめてくる』 This film by Izuru NARUSHIMA 成島 出 (なるしま・いずる) is an adaptation of the novel (same title) by Emi KITAGAWA 北川恵海 (きたがわ・えみ). While I loved the novel I have mixed feelings concerning the film. As long as the film follows the novel, I found it quite okay. The actors are good, the setting is good, the slight deviations from the novel are good too. I loved the scenes at Takashi’s workplace, that really convey the daily’s nightmare to work there. The end of the film is however completely different. While the novel mainly focuses on Takashi, the protagonist, the film wants to give more place to Yamamoto, the other character. At some point, it leaves the novel behind to follow its own step and add new scenes to the story. This is where I felt like watching a …

Book Review: 『のほほん絵日記』by さくらももこ

This is not the post I planned to write today (I thought I would post in my “currently reading” section), but I heard on Monday that Momoko Sakura had died from cancer on the 15th. I thought it would be appropriate to devote this Wednesday’s post to one of her books. Momoko Sakura is well known for her manga 『ちびまる子ちゃん』but she also wrote a lot of other books and 『のほほん絵日記』is one of them. I bought and read it some time ago but for some reason, never wrote a review of it. 『のほほん絵日記』is a collection of short illustrated journal entries. Initially, these entries were written for a Suntory campaign made in 1999 for their のほほん茶, a product which is, I think, discontinued. I don’t know how Momoko Sakura’s work was integrated into the campaign, but she made 48 entries for Suntory. Later, she decided to collect all of them in a book and added 40 more entries. She describes, in the postscript, how she spent three nights and two days in a hotel in Atami with …

Monthly Review: August 2018

August, or summer in general, is not a good time to study… at least to me. I have struggled with books and haven’t read as much as I should have. I blame my lack of productivity on Korean summer heat and hope that writing this monthly review will put an end to this Summer curse, chase away my laziness and put me back to study! Books Do you sometimes have moments when you don’t feel like reading at all or start several books and feel unsatisfied with them and unable to go beyond the first 20 pages? August has been this kind of month to me. First, I started 『往復書簡』by 湊かなえ (みなと・かなえ)and loved it but was disappointed to find out that it was a collection of short stories. I stopped after the first story and decided to start another book instead, one from my reading challenge list. I picked up 『悪と仮面のルール』by 中村文則(なかむら・ふみのり). I haven’t even talked about it on my blog because I only read around 20 pages before deciding that this book was not …

Japanese immersion: listening to the film Only Yesterday on iBooks

I am very happy this week because I have listened to a lot of Japanese thanks to the film Only Yesterday directed by Isao TAKAHATA. I am a fan of Ghibli films and I have several of them on DVD. The problem is that I don’t always want to sit on the sofa for two hours and just watch a film I already know very well. I thought that it would be cool to have only the audio on my phone and be able to listen to it as if it were an audiobook. This is what I have done this week, and it worked like magic. First, I listened to it a lot, and secondly, I felt improvement! My favourite Ghibli films to learn Japanese From my experience and point of view, the film Whisper of the Heart directed by Yoshifumi KONDO is perfect to study Japanese through films, even for beginners. It is generally easy to understand what the characters say, they talk about daily life, school, books… personally, this film encouraged me …

Book review: 『ちょっと今から仕事やめてくる』by 北川恵海

To get back on track after a small break, I picked a book I expected to be easy: 『ちょっと今から仕事やめてくる』by 北川恵海 (きたがわ・えみ). I have already read another book by Emi KITAGAWA, which I liked very much, but I liked 『ちょっと今から仕事やめてくる』even better. I have only positive things to say about this novel, and I can only heartily recommend it to any Japanese learner (because it is easy to read) and anyone struggling with his work. The story As the title suggests, the novel is about quitting one’s work. The protagonist, Takashi AOYAMA is a young salaryman, who has been working for his company for 6 months. He spends most of his time at work, comes home only to sleep, has no friends, no girlfriend, no free time and only waits for the week to be over. Now it is time to write something like “Then he meets a guy named Yamamoto and his life changes”, but it would give the impression that the novel is a kind of candid pursuit of happiness when it is much more than that. …

Back to study mode!

I am back, after a two-week break from writing my blog. Even though I promised myself that I would continue learning Japanese, I almost did nothing to learn or be immersed in Japanese during these two weeks… Some say that taking a break from time to time is not a bad thing and some say that you should not take a complete break and continue to be in contact with your target language. I tend to think that a complete break is not the end of the world in itself and can even have positive effects. However, because it is hard to get started again, it is maybe best to avoid such complete breaks, just to be on the safe side. But as I did a two-week break anyway, I don’t have another choice than to get started again. I gathered some tips that help me get back on track: Look for emulation First of all, I read blogs or watch YouTube videos by people who write/talk about language learning and how to stay motivated …

Japanese Immersion: August week 1

Would you consider this week to be the last week of July or the first week August? 🙄 Writing this “Japanese immersion” post makes me realise how much immersion does not happen naturally to me. I really have to make it happen or the week passes without me doing anything in Japanese apart from reading books. Music I have been looking for artists to listen to in vain. I have spent some frustrating time on Youtube, but nothing really caught my ear (apart from “Horololo” by EXO-CBX, but that may be because I am used to hearing K-pop, and it immediately sounded familiar and catchy…) I think that generally speaking, Jpop is not for me, but I can occasionally find things I like, so it is worth searching! I ended up listening to jazz, an area where I am rarely disappointed and found the band Bohemianvoodoo. This is exactly the kind of jazz I like to listen to, especially while studying: Musical experience: 100/100 Study background: 100/100 Japanese immersion: 0/100! Gaming Channel The only thing …