Author: Inhae

Book Review: 『検事の本懐』by Yuko YUZUKI

About the book Title: 『検事の本懐』(けんじ の ほんかい) The Public Prosecutor’s DesireAuthor: 柚月裕子 (ゆづき・ゆうこ) Yuko YUZUKIPublished by 角川文庫 (かどかわぶんこ) This book is a collection of short stories from the series Sadato SAKATA (佐方貞人シリーズ). This is the second book of the series, but from what I understand, the events described in 『検事の本懐』happened before those described in the first book of the series. As a consequence, I think that starting with 『検事の本懐』is not a problem. Setting Sadato SAKATA is a public prosecutor. Even though most people misjudge him at first, he is one of the best, and those who work with him soon realise it. The five short stories are told from the point of view of colleagues, police officers or journalists who get to work with SAKATA. Review I found this book to be very interesting. It was first of all refreshing to follow the work of a public prosecutor instead of the usual police officers and detectives we find in most mystery and crime novels. While I am used to reading how the police works and conduct …

I passed the JLPT N1!

This is a long post about me taking and passing the JLPT N1 for the first time. I will talk about: my scores, section by section; what I did during my six-month preparation for N1, what was useful and what was useless; why I am going to sit the test once more in December and how I am going to study for it. But first, some context: The JLPT and me I took and passed the JLPT N2 twice in 2017. The following year, I took a break from the JLPT, and I am back now in 2019 for a new JLPT challenge. My idea was to sit the JLPT N1 in December 2019, but I also took the test in July as a warm-up exercise… and I passed! It is interesting to note that the scores I had for N1 this time are very similar to my results of July 2017, when I took N2 for the first time: 2017 = JLPT N2 2019 = JLPT N1 Test 1July Language Knowledge: 34/60Reading: 60/60Listening: 38/60 Language Knowledge: 36/60Reading: 48/60Listening: 37/60 Test 2December …

Book review: 『ケモノの城』by Tetsuya HONDA

About the book Title: 『ケモノの城』(けもののしろ)Author: Tetsuya HONDA (誉田哲也)Published by 双葉文庫 It is the first time I read Tetsuya HONDA, but I know that he is a very famous author of thrillers and mystery novels. I also think that some of his work is translated into English. Setting The police is investigating a shocking case involving abuse, torture and maybe murder. Through questioning and field work, the police tries to understand what really happened in a case where the boundary between victim and persecutor is thin. Review I think that 『ケモノの城』is a good novel with a good story and an interesting investigation. However, I was not expecting so much violence and it was at times difficult to read. A lot of scenes describe physical and psychological torture, and I have several times considered giving up the novel because reading it gave me stomach ache. While you would expect horrible things to happen in a thriller, you also know that everything is fictional. In 『ケモノの城』, the way things were described make them feel extremely realistic, to the point …

Book Review: 『新参者』by Keigo HIGASHINO

About the book Title: 『新参者』(しんざんもの)Author: Keigo HIGASHINO 東野圭吾Published by 講談社文庫 『新参者』is the 8th (out of 10) book of the detective Kaga series (加賀シリーズ). The series feature detective Kyoichiro KAGA (加賀恭一郎). The series spans 30 years, the first novel was published in 1986 (it was Higashino’s second novel) and the last one was published in 2016. Setting Detective Kyoichiro KAGA has just been dispatched to the police station of Nihonbashi. He is a “newcomer” (新参者) in the neighborhood. When a woman is found dead in her apartment, Kaga starts an unconventional investigation through which we get to know the life of several shopkeepers and inhabitants of the neighborhood. Review Keigo HIGASHINO is my favourite author of genre fiction (regardless of the country) and among all the novels and short stories I have read by Keigo Higashino, the books of the Kaga series are my favourites. And among the books of the series that I have read so far, 『悪意』, 『私が彼を殺した』and 『新参者』are my favourites (in this order). Needless to say that I have loved this novel. What I particularly enjoy in …

JLPT N1 round 2: Start!

Since January 2019, I am studying to pass the JLPT N1. My goal is to pass the test in December, but I also took the test of July to gain some practice. It was helpful, but it also gave me a sense of achievement, and it is hard to get back to the JLPT preparation now! After the test of July, I went on holiday, but it has been several days since I came back, and I still haven’t done anything for the JLPT or my blog. This post is long due! I have tried to identify what makes it difficult for me to go back to studying for the JLPT when I usually don’t have to struggle to study Japanese. First of all, waiting for the results (of the JLPT of July) is frustrating. It is hard to get back to the preparation of the JLPT without knowing where I should put my efforts. On the other hand, the results won’t come out before the end of August, so waiting would mean losing a precious month. In January, when I started …

Book review: 『下町やぶさか診療所』by Yo IKENAGA

About the book Title: 『下町やぶさか診療所』(したまち やぶさか しんりょうじょ)Author: Yo IKENAGA (池永陽)Published by 集英社文庫 I bought this book in Japan, partly because I loved the cover, partly because I wanted to read something else than mystery novels. Setting Rintaro MANO, alias “大先生”, is working as a doctor in Asakusa, Tokyo. His prices are cheap, and it is no secret that people come to him to talk about their problems in life rather than to get a medical consultation. We meet Rintaro’s patients and friends, and share their lives and fate through 7 short chapters of around 50 pages each. Review First of all, I loved this book, and I would easily recommend 『下町やぶさか診療所』. However, even though the doctor’s office is a central place in the novel, I don’t think you can call this novel a medical fiction. Rintaro does little more than applying his stethoscope to his patients’s chest. It is true that most of the stories show how people deal with diseases, but it is more about their daily life and moral choices than about the …

Taking the JLPT N1 for the first time!

I have taken the JLPT N1 on July 7th (2019) for the first time, and I was not very surprised by my performance… I think that I might pass, but I also feel that I need the remaining months until December to increase my vocabulary and progress in listening. Report on the July test Vocabulary/Grammar I found that the vocabulary part was not as hard as the drills I have been doing recently. I think that the Korean textbooks and drills that I use tend to be very demanding so that students are well prepared. During the real test on Sunday, I was surprised to see that the vocabulary part was not that hard. I don’t mean that I answered everything right, of course, there were a lot of words that I didn’t know, and I picked several answers randomly. But I also felt that a little more work on vocabulary will be sufficient to ensure a good mark in that section. The most surprising part of the whole test was the grammar section. I felt …

Book Review: 『ガーディアン』by Gaku YAKUMARU

About the book Title: 『ガーディアン』Author: Gaku YAKUMARU 薬丸岳Published by 講談社 Gaku YAKUMARU is a popular author of mystery novels and thrillers. Recently, one of his novel has been a huge best-seller in Korea (where I live). The novel is 『誓約』 , and I have read and liked it. When I was in Japan for a short trip earlier this year, I saw that Gaku YAKUMARU had released a new mystery novel, 『ガーディアン』whose topic and setting was very appealing to me. Setting The story takes place at a middle school, and while the topic of the novel is school bullying, there surprisingly seems to be very little bullying problems in this establishment. We follow several students and professors, in particular professor AKIBA, as the school year progresses and secrets get revealed. Review 『ガーディアン』 is a great school mystery novel. I loved reading it, it was easy to feel involved in the story of each characters, and it was easy to read in Japanese. I am interested in the topic of school bullying in Japan, and I think …