Title: 『霧のむこうのふしぎな町』 (きりのむこうのふしぎなまち) Author: Sachiko Kashiwaba (柏葉幸子) Illustrations: Hiromi Sugita 杉田比呂美 Published by 講談社 in the collection 青い鳥文庫. 210 pages
Aoitori is a collection of books for children. This book has complete furigana and targets primary school readers: 小学中級から. A lot of kanji words are written in hiragana only, the font is rather big, and there is a lot of space between the lines.
『霧のむこうのふしぎな町』 inspired Hayao Miyazaki who wanted to make a film adaptation of the novel. This project was dropped, but the novel influenced another story: Spirited Away.
I decided to read 『霧のむこうのふしぎな町』 mainly to read something easy in Japanese, but the story was great. The book builds its own world and leaves a strong impression on the reader.
In the story, Rina is sent by her father to spend the Summer holidays with someone he knows in a place called 霧の谷. Rina arrives in a strange village, where she will have to find her place, work and make friends.
I really loved the atmosphere and the setting of the novel. The characters are interesting, and the story engaging, though it has a repetitive pattern that is typical of fairy tales or some stories for children. I found that the first half of the book was more engrossing than the rest, but I enjoyed reading it until the end.
There are some elements that are very similar to Spirited Away like the necessity for Risa to work in order to be able to stay in this world. However, the two stories are completely different, even though there are similar patterns here and there, do not expect to read another version of Spirited Away.
I chose this book to read something easy, but I ended up reading one of the major works of Japanese literature for children.
Writing this post each month greatly helps me to improve my reading level by forcing me to read news articles and go out of my comfort zone. However, it also takes me a lot of time because I tend to add more topics as they come out. From this month on, I will limit myself to one news a week for the first three weeks of the month.
Apart from the coronavirus and the repercussions of the state of emergency on people’s lives and the economy, the major news this month was the amendment on the Public Prosecutor’s Office Law.
Week 1: Emperor Naruhito marks first anniversary of enthronement
On May 1st, I expected all newspapers to have an editorial about the first anniversary of the Reiwa era. I was surprised to find that only the Yomiuri Shimbun and the Mainichi Shimbun had done so.
Yomiuri and Mainichi both mention that the imperial couple had visited the prefectures hit by typhoon Hagibis last year and directly met and comforted the victims, like the former imperial couple used to do.
However, the coronavirus makes it impossible for the couple to meet and talk to the patients and people affected by the virus.
However, with the infection spreading, it is impossible [for the imperial couple] to meet and encourage directly the patients and the medical staff working in the field.
National events related to the imperial family and international meetings have also been cancelled or postponed.
This year, imperial events have been hit by the spread of the coronavirus*.
影を落とす is translated in my dictionary as “to cast a dark shadow” which I find a little too dramatic for simply cancelled or postponed events. I don’t know if 影を落とす has a lighter nuance in Japanese or if this meaning was intended.
*This translation has been suggested to me on Twitter, it is better than what I wrote previously!
Week 2: Revision of the Public Prosecutor’s Office Law
All of our left-wing newspapers (but not Yomiuri nor Sankei) have written an editorial about a government bill aiming at extending the retirement age of public prosecutors.
The editorials were published on the 11th or 12th, at a time when the bill was discussed at the Lower House. The revision bill states that the retirement age of prosecutors could be extended from age 63 to age 65 with the cabinet’s approval.
These discussions have given rise to a huge public outrage with millions of tweets, including several tweets from celebrities, criticising the government’s decision (＃検察庁法改正案に抗議します). Not only the timing is ill-chosen with the coronavirus still killing people, but critics also point out that this revision will give the Cabinet the possibility to decide which prosecutor can stay in office longer.
House of Representatives (Lower House). Abb. for 衆議院
the Ministry of Justice
the Public Prosecutor General
evasion of the law, barely within the letter of the law
Hiromu Kurokawa (黒川弘務)
Chief of the Tokyo High Public Prosecutors Office – 東京高等検察庁検事長, also abbreviated as 東京高検検事長.
Close to Abe’s office. He was allowed to stay in function as chief of the Tokyo High Public Prosecutors Office after he turned 63 in February, 2020. This will allow him to become prosecutor general (検事総長) – that is, Japan’s top prosecutor – when Nobuo Inada (稲田信夫) retires in Summer of this year.
Mainichi is the first newspaper to have written an editorial to criticise the amendment, on the 11th. It does not mention the public outrage on Twitter, contrary to Asahi and Tokyo who published their article one day later, on the 12th.
Among other points, Mainichi points out that the Cabinet will be able to retain in office public prosecutors according to their needs:
But if the Cabinet or the Minister of Justice judge it necessary, [a public prosecutor] would be able to remain in office for a maximum of 3 years, even after they reach the mandatory retirement age.
If a [public prosecutor] can stay in office for a long period of time according to the government’s convenience, it may affect the public prosecutors offices.
This last sentence is difficult to translate. I am not even sure that I understand it correctly. I don’t know how to translate 検察組織. I also don’t know why they would say 役職定年や定年 in the previous extract. It certainly refers to two distinct things, but I don’t know how to translate it here.
The article ends on a strong condemnation of the timing:
It is intolerable to rush the approval of [the amendment] by mixing it with discussions around coronavirus measures.
I am tempted to add “intentionally mixing it”. I know that 紛れる can either mean that something is mixed in or among something, or that a state of confusion is intentionally used to do something unnoticed (for example: 騒ぎに紛れて逃げる). I think that it is this second meaning that is implied in our sentence, but I don’t know how to say it in English.
Asahi opens its article on a strong criticism, underlying that this amendment is against the separation of powers and the basis of democracy, thus echoing some of the criticism on Twitter.
If this bill is passed, deciding who remains in office and who leaves will be entrusted to the judgment of the current government. It throws away the efforts to achieve the separation of powers after the war and annihilates the independence of the public prosecutor offices.
I feel that 積み重ねてきた suggests that it took time and efforts to achieve something, so I added the word “efforts”, but I don’t know if it is correct.
Similarly to Mainichi, Asahi mentions the case of Hiromu Kurokawa, who was allowed to stay longer in office in January of this year. Abe said at the Diet that this amendment would not lead to arbitrary personnel decisions by the Cabinet. Asahi points out that this is exactly what happened in the case of Korukawa.
But isn’t it Abe’s Cabinet of the time who postponed the retirement of the chief of the Tokyo High Public Prosecutors Office (that is, Hiromu Kurokawa)?
The article ends on a similar note than Mainichi, saying that コロナ禍で人々は検察庁法どころではない.
Tokyo’s article is even more focused on the public reaction to the amendment. It says that:
With gatherings forbidden because of the coronavirus, [protests] took the form of an “online demonstration” via social networks.
The article also mentions that this amendment goes against the separation of powers, and that this should not be a priority now. It uses an interesting expression that I didn’t know to qualify this amendment:
We must prevent the approval of a bill that takes advantage of the State of Emergency, like a thief at a fire.
Week 3: Abe delays the bill on public prosecutors retirement
On Tuesday 19th, all our newspapers devoted their editorial to the same topic: Abe has decided to delay the enactment of the bill discussed in news 2. The media outrage was so strong, that it forced the government to step back, something rare in Japan politics.
If a public prosecutor decides not to prosecute a politician, people might end up thinking that they did so out of consideration for the government, even if their decision was based on solid evidence.
To explain the public outrage and criticism surrounding the amendment, all newspapers mention the Kurokawa case (see news 2). Right- and left-wing newspapers use different wordings to link the Kurokawa case with the amendment. Left-wing newspapers clearly state that this amendment looks like a way to set things right in the case of Kurokawa.
As Tokyo points out: 東京高検の黒川弘務氏が検事長の職のままでいることに「違法」の疑いが持たれている。
There are suspicions that prosecutor Hiromu Kurokawa staying in office as Chief of the Tokyo High Public Prosecutors Office is “illegal”.
and then: むしろ検察庁法改正案は「後付け」で黒川氏の定年延長を合法化する狙いだったとされる。
This amendment on the Public Prosecutor’s Office Law is seen as a post-facto way to align the extension of Kurokawa’s retirement age with the law.
We cannot get rid of the suspicion that [this amendment is a way to] legitimate post-facto the Kurokawa case.
Yomiuri does not say that the amendment can be seen as a way to legitimate the Kurokawa case, but only that it looks like it:
[The amendment was criticised because] it looked like a way to give consistency to this extended retirement age (meaning here, Kurokawa).
Then Yomiuri adds that the suspicions concerning the real purpose of the bill have arisen not because extending Kurokawa’s office might have been illegal, but because the government did not give enough explanations about why they took this decision.
As for Sankei, it says:
No matter how much the government insists that “the amendment of the Public Prosecutors Office Law has no relation with the case of Kurokawa”, it could not gain understanding.
All our left-wing newspapers are unanimous in saying that Kurokawa’s special treatment must be withdrawn:
Before we start discussing the amendment, Kurokawa’s extension must be withdrawn.
And it is also necessary, of course, to withdraw the decision of the Cabinet of the end of January (meaning, the decision to extend Kurokawa’s office).
It must be withdrawn at once. (here again, meaning Kurokawa’s case).
That’s it for this month’s post, but I cannot not mention that Hiromu Kurokawa announced his resignation over a gambling scandal. The news came out on the 21st, just two days after our news 3. Hiromu Kurokawa has played mahjong for money with reporters of a newspaper during the state of emergency. Of course, there are editorials about this resignation, and I am tempted to study them, but I will stick to my “one news a week” rule!
Title: 『ぼくらの七日間戦争』 (ぼくらの なのかかん せんそう) Author: Osamu SODA 宗田理 Illustrations: はしもとしん Published by 角川 in the collection 角川つばさ文庫 390 pages
First published in 1985, 『ぼくらの七日間戦争』 is the first novel of the series ぼくら. I am not completely sure, but I think that the series follows the same characters over the years, as they grow up. In 『ぼくらの七日間戦争』, the protagonist Eiji and his classmates are in first year of middle school. We apparently follow them through their middle school and high school years in the series (see Wikipedia).
Tsubasa is a collection of children’s books. 『ぼくらの七日間戦争』 is targeting primary school readers: 小学上級から. The book has complete furigana and there is a note at the end mentioning that it was partially rewritten to make it easier to read.
『ぼくらの七日間戦争』 was adapted into film in 1988. Last year (2019), a modern anime adaptation was released under the title 『ぼくらの7日間戦争』 (note the change in the title from 七 to 7).
When I read children’s books in Japanese, I usually get bored very soon, but I loved 『ぼくらの七日間戦争』. I was genuinely interested in the story, and the plot even surprised me several times. It is an engrossing adventure for children that adults can enjoy, too.
In the story, Eiji and his classmates who are all in first year of middle school, decide to create their “liberated area” (解放区), a place for children only where adults’ rules do not apply. After all, 「おとなたちのやることに満足してるのか？」.
It is Eiji’s friend, Toru Aihara, who introduces the term 解放区, a word he heard from his parents who participated in the students protest of the Yasuda Auditorium in 1969 (安田講堂 – やすだこうどう). But for Eiji and his friends, the 解放区 is a place of resistance against adults’ (parents, schools and even the police) authority rather than a political engagement.
This “children vs adults” topic is the main theme of the novel. I found that the story was entertaining, with a lot of action and things going on, but it also contains an interesting message. Maybe this a book that children should give their parents to read.
You can read the first 60 pages of the novel on the publisher’s website (ためし読み)! I recommend that you try reading it to test the Japanese level and see if you like the story.
I listened to the audiobook while reading, and it greatly improved my reading experience. Kengo Takanashi’s (高梨謙吾) narration is simply amazing. The background sounds and music build the atmosphere of the novel and make it easier to picture the scenes.
I haven’t watched the anime adaptation, but from the trailer, I would say that it is a very free adaptation. In other words, if you have watched and liked the anime, this does not necessarily mean that you will like the book.
If you are interested in the story of the anime rather than the original novel (which is definitely more for children), there is a novelisation also published in the collection Tsubasa under the title『ぼくらの７日間戦争』 (again, you can read the first pages on the publisher’s website). I have never tried it myself, but I think that watching an anime and then read the novelisation is a good way to get into reading books in Japanese.
Welcome to my reading journal for May 2020! As usual, I will talk about the books that I have finished since April 15th and the books I am currently reading. In my reading journal, I focus on the Japanese level of the books and my experience of reading them as a Japanese learner.
Books I finished
『無人島に生きる十六人』by Kunihiko Sugawa (須川邦彦)
Inspired by real facts, this novel tells the story of the 16 crew members of the Ryusui maru, who grounded near Pearl and Hermes Atoll in 1899.
This was clearly a difficult and not very interesting book for me. Not difficult because there was a lot of unknown words, jargon, or references to things I didn’t know, but because there was a lot of descriptions that I didn’t find super interesting.
The problem is not as much vocabulary than concentration. There were words that I am not familiar with, but these were not words that I would usually need to look up to understand. I could guess their meaning from the kanji and/or context. The problem is that I didn’t really like this book (I’ll talk more about that in my review), so I was not able to give it the attention it needs.
『ぼくらの七日間戦争』is easy to read, but it is still a long book with a lot of vocabulary (contrary to 『霧のむこうのふしぎな町』, see below). This means that it is a good book for intermediate readers above N3, but maybe not the best choice if you are N4 and looking for a first book you could use to practice reading.
There are furigana in this edition (Tsubasa, Kadokawa), which makes it easier to look up words. You can also buy the audiobook version which can help you understand what happens (sometimes, just hearing how things are said helps to understand nuances, like the mood or intention of a character in a dialogue). I listened to the audiobook while following with the book, and I enjoyed it very much.
『霧のむこうのふしぎな町』by Sachiko Kashiwaba (柏葉幸子)
The young Rina is sent away by her father to spend the Summer Holidays far from home. Rina travels alone and after crossing a thick fog, she arrives in a mysterious place...
『霧のむこうのふしぎな町』is a children’s book published in the collection Aotori (Kodansha). Books in both Aotori and Tsubasa collections are classified in three levels. 『ぼくらの七日間戦争』is meant for 小学上級から whereas『霧のむこうのふしぎな町』is targeting younger readers: 小学中級から.
As a result, you can say that 『霧のむこうのふしぎな町』is easier to read than 『ぼくらの七日間戦争』, but I personally found the latter easier to read. As strange as it might sound, I find any book by Keigo Higashino easier to read than 『霧のむこうのふしぎな町』.
The main reason is that I find fantasy more difficult to read than realistic novels. Fantasy is a genre that I love in films, but that I rarely read. In fantasy novels, I feel like anything could happen, and I cannot rely on expectations when reading.
The second problem is the number of kanji words written in hiragana. There are kanji of course (all with furigana), but some words that would normally be written in kanji are written in hiragana instead. It is certainly easier to read for Japanese children, but it really gave me a headache.
For beginners, the reduced number of kanji can make the text look easier, but from my own experience, I would say that it can also slow down your understanding of a sentence. It is harder to say where words start and stop, what is part of a noun, what is a grammatical structure, and so on. Analysis of a sentence can be more difficult if there are fewer kanji.
Another thing to note if you are a beginner, is that the novel reproduces the way people speak in its text, for example writing ごと instead of こと or がら instead of から. But this is true only for the characters appearing at the very beginning of the novel, so you should not let this discourage you.
『霧のむこうのふしぎな町』is really a great story that is worth reading, no matter your age. If you are looking for children’s books or books rather light on kanji to practice your reading, this is a good choice because you are not only practicing your Japanese, but you also read a major piece of Japanese children’s literature. I personally find children’s books often harder to read than genre fiction like mystery novels, but it’s certainly just me…
『いま、会いにゆきます』 by Takuji Ichikawa (市川拓司)
Takumi and his six-year-old son Yuji are both doing their best to go on with life after Yuji’s mother’s death one year ago. But just as the rain season starts, a miracle happens…
I found this novel very easy to read. If you are looking for easy novels in Japanese, 『いま、会いにゆきます』 is a good candidate.
There are a lot of dialogues. In particular, the dialogues between the protagonist and his six-year-old son are very easy. Of course, this does not concern the entire novel, but this kind of easy dialogues appears regularly.
The story is a beautiful one, there is nothing difficult to understand in the novel, there are very few characters, very few descriptions and a lot of easy dialogues… If you have watched the film (either the Korean or Japanese adaptation), it will be even easier to read the book.
Even though this kind of story is not usually my cup of tea, I enjoy reading this novel and was able to read it very quickly. I think it’s a great book for Japanese learners!
『僕はイエローでホワイトで、ちょっとブルー』 by Mikako Brady (ブレイディみかこ)
Mikako Brady talks about the first year of middle school of her son in Brighton. The daily adventures and challenges she and her son overcome together are an occasion to talk about social issues like gender identity, racism or poverty.
I would say that this book is not difficult to read, but if you are looking for an easy nonfiction book, I don’t think that this one is the easiest you can find.
Mikado Brady writes for a Japanese readership, so she explains several characteristics of the English educational system, society and even some politics. Maybe I am mistaken, but I found that some of these passages might be difficult to read or discouraging if you are not used to reading books in Japanese.
Some parts of the book read like a novel, with dialogues and things happening (easy to read), and some parts are explanations about English society or characteristics of the school the author’s son is going to (more difficult). The chapters are short (around 15 pages each) and focus on a different topic. I really appreciated the format of the book, the chapters being short enough so I can read one entirely in one reading session.
If you are interested in this book, you can read several chapters on the publisher’s website (the prologue and the whole chapter 1, 5, 6 and 8!). The chapters can be read independently, so you can first read the ones available online and then decide whether you want to buy the book and read the rest.
This book is not exactly what I was expecting, but I find it very interesting and cannot get enough of it. I will be sad when I finish it.
『運転者』by Yasushi Kitagawa (喜多川泰)
Life is not easy for Shuichi: problems at work, worries about money, worries about his daughter, worries about his aging mother… Then he meets a mysterious taxi driver and something changes.
Not only do I love this story, but I also find this book very easy to read. I would say that to me, this is the easiest of all the ones cited in this post.
Depending on your level, the beginning can seem a little difficult at first, because the book explains things about the protagonist’s work and salary. But apart from the beginning, I am not finding any part that could be considered as difficult.
There are also many dialogues, and the ones between the protagonist and the taxi driver are relatively easy to read.
This is the kind of books that you can read very quickly. It is also very short (only 239 pages). I have only read about one third of it, so my opinion might change later, but for now, this is a book that I recommend. The only downside is that I could not find a pocket edition so I had to buy the bigger, hardcover format, which was much more expensive than a pocket of this length would normally be.
If you are wondering why I was so set on buying this book, it is because I was impressed by the number of excellent reviews it has on Amazon. Not only this book, but all the books by this author! I chose the story that I found the most attractive to me, but I am very interested in reading Yasushi Kitagawa’s other novels.
And that’s it for this month’s reading update. I am only reading two books at the moment, but I will soon start a third one! In theory, I am also still reading 『BUTTER』 by Asako Yuzuki (柚木麻子), but in practice, I am not… There is nothing wrong with this book, but I put it aside for too long and don’t feel like picking it up again…
Title: 『錦繡』(きんしゅう) Author: Teru MIYAMOTO 宮本輝 Published by 新潮文庫 270 pages
First published in 1982, 『錦繡』is certainly one of Teru Miyamoto’s most popular novels. It was translated into English by Roger K. Thomas under the title Kinshu: Autumn Brocade, and into French, Le Brocart, by Maria Grey.
『錦繡』 is an epistolary novel (only composed of letters). Aki and Yasuaki were once a married couple. They meet by chance, ten years after their divorce and start to exchange letters.
『錦繡』belongs to these books that I loved so much, it is difficult to talk about them. Apart from “you must read it”, I don’t seem to find anything to say.
I cannot remember the last time a novel affected me so much. I kept thinking about the story and the characters even when I was not reading the book. I identified easily with the characters, and I was emotionally involved in the story right from the beginning. Some letters were so full of emotions, it often took me a while to go back to my real life after I had close the book.
This is a short novel, but there are some long descriptions and almost no dialogues. However, it was not as difficult to read as I expected, and it does not belong to the books that I find challenging in terms of Japanese level. Being able to read『錦繡』in Japanese is extremely rewarding to me. I had a look at the French translation (1994) (you can read the first pages on the publisher’s website), and I personally don’t like how it is written in French. I am glad that I can read Teru Miyamoto in Japanese.
I heartily recommend 『錦繡』, I cannot imagine someone reading and not loving this book. If you are not sure whether your Japanese level allows you to read this novel in Japanese, you could read in parallel: use the English translation to help you understand the text, while still enjoying the original version in Japanese.
I will say it plainly, I did not like 『ファーストラヴ』. Even though it won the prestigious Naoki Prize, this novel clearly has flaws to me.
The plot of the novel is about the young Kanna who was arrested for the murder of her father. Our protagonist is the psychologist Yuki Makabe who is writing a nonfiction book about Kanna.
The plot surrounding the murder was interesting and clever. I enjoyed seeing the investigation unfold and this is what kept me reading.
However, I found that the characters had no depth at all and were not interesting. This is particularly true concerning our protagonist, who is also the narrator. I already mentioned it in my reading journal when I first talked about this novel, but it just did not feel like this book is written from the first-person perspective, and it took me a while to get used to the author’s writing style.
At some point, I even started to seriously dislike our protagonist Yuki, and reading became a chore. I couldn’t see what made her apt to write this book about Kanna. We don’t see her work on it or even think about it in a professional way, and I never thought that she was particularly good in her field. More than once, I found the questions she asks clumsy and irritating.
There is also a mechanism that I very often dislike when it appears in mystery novels: when the author deliberately retains information concerning the main character’s past only to create more mystery to the reader. To me, the real mystery is the one that both the reader and the protagonist do not know. If there are constant hints about a previous relationship between two characters, but if the account of it only appears late in the novel, I feel frustrated and ultimately lose interest. The relationship between two characters in 『ファーストラヴ』is presented to the reader in this manner, which I found irritating.
As a result, the parts of the novel that were not about the case were very boring to me. I just did not care about the characters. Even the murder case, which was interesting in itself, suffered a little from the character of Kanna, who I did not find interesting either.
When I read crime fiction, I never expect the characters to have a deep or complex personality or to be allotted long descriptions. I am easily satisfied with credible characters and a good plot. But in 『ファーストラヴ』, I really felt that something was missing.
Another thing that I did not like in the novel is the way different scenes succeed one another without anything binding them together. It looks like nothing happened between two scenes. I mean, just a sentence is enough to link two separate events or even just localise events in time. In 『ファーストラヴ』, it was sometimes hard to tell when a scene took place. Was it the day after the previous part? several days after? what had happened in between? Some scenes that were not directly related to the case felt pointless and unconnected to me, they come out of nowhere and lead nowhere. I found this particularly annoying, and I thought several times of putting the book aside for good.
I have watched the trailer of the NHK drama, but it did not make me want to watch it. However, I will keep an eye on the film adaptation. As I said, the plot was good, so I think that it could be great on screen.
Maybe I was expecting too much from this novel because it won the Naoki Prize…? It is rare to read mystery novels that satisfy me 100%, but even if the end was not so good, even if I saw flaws here and there, even if some events were not credible, as long as it was entertaining I consider that the novel has done its job. If I had fun reading a mystery novel, I will write an overall positive review and just mention the things that I did not like. But I did not even enjoy reading 『ファーストラヴ』…
This will be a short post because I haven’t been doing much non-bookish things in Japanese during April.
Watched the series『あなたの番です』
I watched the drama 『あなたの番です』and it was such an entertaining crime series!! (official website)
There are 20 main episodes. For lack of time, it took me almost two months to watch the entire series 😅.
I loved everything in the drama, it is an engrossing murder mystery, with room for deduction and sometimes spine-chilling scenes, great characters and good acting. It also remains engaging and suspenseful throughout the 20 episodes. I highly recommend it if you like detective/mystery/crime drama. I haven’t watched many J-dramas, but this one is clearly my favourite.
I rented the drama through my Korean TV subscription, and I did not have access to Japanese subtitles. I am very glad, however, to see that I could follow the whole series without English nor Japanese subtitles, and watching all the episodes was a great listening practice. The only thing that I found difficult was to remember the names of all the characters, but thankfully, the drama often reminds you who is who by displaying the name of a character when they first appear in an episode.
Highly recommended to lovers of crime fiction!
Animal Crossing diary
Animal Crossing remains a good source of daily immersion, and I am still writing my Animal Crossing diary, though not every single time I play. Even though writing a diary using the game is much easier than writing from scratch, I did reach a point when I felt that I was not progressing at all.
In my previous post about the diary, I said that using the dialogues in the game allowed me to overcome the impression that I was always writing the same thing. It is true to some extent, but I must admit that, after some weeks, I had fallen into the trap again: always using the same structures, always using the same grammar, always using the same words…
This is why I asked myself if I could not get inspiration from outside the game. I found exactly what I was looking for: there is an Animal Crossing New Horizons diary on the site dengeki online.
The diary entries are written by different authors, they are short and easy to read, and it is also interesting to read different contributors and different writing styles.
I am using this online diary to improve my own writing and get inspiration in terms of grammatical patterns and expressions. I am also learning some new words, but using this online diary is mostly a way for me to learn how to use what I already know. There are grammar points and structures that I have studied and can understand, but that I would not have thought of using myself.
Sometimes, I just copy one or two structures but still write my own sentences, and sometimes, I copy whole sentences in my own diary, just changing one or two things or adding personal thoughts.
Left is a study notebook where I wrote down the dengeki online text to study it. There was nothing difficult this time, so I just underlined structures and words I would like to use more often. Right is my Animal Crossing diary. I wrote down many sentences without changing much in them but tried to add some personal elements too.
My writing is still at a beginner level (as I said in my previous post, I never really worked on my writing before), but I am confident that using this method will help me to progress!
This is it for the non-bookish things of April!
My monthly challenge for April was (I publish my monthly challenge on my homepage):
And I have completed it! The 5 books I finished in April are: