Month: September 2020

Inhae reads the news: September 2020

Note: I haven’t been able to translate all the extracts I chose by lack of time. I also found the articles rather difficult to read and quite long for most of them. I got discouraged more than once, not being able to understand the articles by simply reading them. Even after looking up words, some paragraphs remained obscure. Either I misunderstand grammatical patterns, either they hint at references I don’t know, or I just don’t understand what the author is trying to say. In any case, I still have a lot of work to do before I am able to read the news in Japanese… Topic 1: Abe’s resignation The biggest news of this month is of course Abe’s resignation as Prime Minister. Let’s first study articles of August 29th, the day following Abe announcing his resignation for health reasons. Yomiuri: 首相退陣表明 危機対処へ政治空白を避けよSankei: 首相の退陣表明 速やかに自民党総裁選を 「安倍政治」を発射台にせよMainichi: 安倍首相が辞任表明 行き詰まった末の幕引きAsahi: 最長政権 突然の幕へ 「安倍政治」の弊害 清算の時Tokyo: 首相退陣表明 「安倍政治」の転換こそ Useful vocabulary: 辞任 じにん resignation 持病 じびょう a chronic illness 潰瘍性大腸炎 かいようせいだいちょうえん Ulcerative colitis 退陣 たいじん resignation.Apparently, this word is mainly used for the military (decamp) or for the Prime …

Book review: 『誰も知らない死刑の舞台裏』 by Shoji Kondo

Introduction Title: 『誰も知らない死刑の舞台裏』 (だれもしらない しけいのぶたいうら)Author: Shoji Kondo (近藤昭二)Published by 二見レインボー文庫 (Futami Rainbow Bunko)292 pages. Shoji Kondo is a journalist, author and scriptwriter. He is the representative of the NPO法人731部隊・細菌戦資料センター, an NPO that works on revealing the atrocities committed in Unit 731, as well as establishing Japan’s responsibility and build a better relationship with China. (source) Review I have been wanting to learn more about death penalty in Japan since I learnt that death row inmates are informed of their execution date the very morning of their execution. I was very shocked when I read this for the first time, I had to double and triple check online, because it just did not seem possible to me. When I found out that the family of the person executed was notified of the execution only after it had been carried out, I was even more shocked if possible. I know that public opinion in Japan is massively for the death penalty, but at the same time, it seems difficult to find information about the system, like the daily …

Review: monthly magazine ニュースがわかる

In this post, I want to talk about an online magazine that can be great for language learners who want to practise reading in Japanese or who want to get into reading the news in Japanese. 『ニュースがわかる』 is a monthly magazine for secondary and high school readers published by Mainichi. The entire magazine has complete furigana and many illustrations/pictures in colours. Articles are mainly about social, political issues but you will find a bit of everything, including culture, environment, science… The subscription for the digital version costs 255 yen per month (490 for the paper version), and each new issue comes out around the 15th of the previous month. Once you have subscribed, you can read the digital version of the magazine either on Mainichi website or by using the app (available on Google Play and the App Store). You can see the table of contents for each issue here, and you will find information about the digital version here. I subscribed in July, so this is my review after reading 3 issues of the …

Book review: 『白馬山荘殺人事件』 by Keigo Higashino

Introduction Title: 『白馬山荘殺人事件』 (はくばさんそうさつじんじけん)Author: Keigo Higashino (東野圭吾)Published by 光文社文庫 『白馬山荘殺人事件』 is one of Keigo Higashino’s first novels. First published by 光文社 in 1986, the book got its first 文庫 edition in 1990 and got a new re-print this year (2020) with a new cover design and a bigger font. Review The more I read Keigo Higashino, the more I think that I like his earlier writings the most (with the exception of the Kaga series, for which I find that the books get better and better). Based on the books that I have read that date from the late 80s and early 90s like 『白馬山荘殺人事件』, 『仮面山荘殺人事件』 or 『回廊亭の殺人』, I find that the story is mainly focused on solving the murder and revealing the truth rather than going deep into the characters’ life or feelings. All three novels set their story in a remote place, with a limited number of characters and even if the end did not always convince me, I found these novels extremely engrossing. Later writings seem to expand the story in terms of …