Author: Inhae

Currently Reading: 『ビブリア古書堂の事件手帖』by En MIKAMI

I know that I should not be starting a new book right now, but this is what happened: I started watching the drama 『ビブリア古書堂の事件手帖』and I liked it very much. Then I learnt that the drama was an adaptation of a light novel by author En MIKAMI (三上延). Some days later, I found this very novel in a bookshop, piled up on a table. The reason why the bookshop made a pile with a novel published 7 years ago (2011) is because there is now a film adaptation of this story. It was released in Japan on November, 1st. If you like solving mysteries in second-hand bookstores, you have the choice between reading the light novel, watching the drama or watching the film. It would be interesting to make a comparison of the three, but I am not sure if I want to watch the movie. I think that I will read the book first and certainly watch the drama afterwards. Having read the book before, I should be able to understand the drama better. My …

Monthly Review: November 2018

I cannot believe that November is almost over… While I have more or less completed my goals for November, I do not end the month with a feeling of satisfaction. 😕 Let’s see how far I went in my November Goals: First of all, I completed my reading goals. I did start the novel 『リカーシブル』, but I only read a little less than a third of it so if I want to finish it this year, I will have to read a lot in December. I read one short story of 『往復書簡』and two of 『探偵倶楽部』, and I think that I will finish both in December without problem. As for the other goals, let’s say that I have lacked motivation and did my best in spite of it.  I have written in Japanese only half of the month. I did well during the first two weeks of November, only skipping some days, but then I started skipping more and more days and last week was not a success, to say the least.  As for Japanese History, …

Film review: 『犬に名前をつける日』by Akane YAMADA

『犬に名前をつける日』(official website) is a “documentary drama” by director Akane YAMADA (山田あかね) that was released in Japan in 2015. It features Satomi KOBAYASHI (小林聡美) and Takaya KAMIKAWA (上川隆也). Akane YAMADA is a film director for the television. When her dog dies in 2010, her friend and mentor Nobuko SHIBUYA (渋谷昶子) suggests that Akane YAMADA should make a film about dogs. This is what triggered the project, and 4 years of shooting and more than 200 hours of film later, the documentary drama 『犬に名前をつける日』was born. 『犬に名前をつける日』is mainly a documentary on people who work to rescue dogs and cats, but it is also more than that. We follow a television director, Kanami KUNO (久野かなみ) who lost her dog and starts a documentary on stray dogs and the people who help them. But while the protagonist’s story is based on Akane YAMADA’s own life and work, her role is played by the actress Satomi KOBAYASHI. When I saw the film, I thought it was a traditional documentary, and I was convinced that the person I saw on the screen …

Currently Reading: 『リカーシブル』by Honobu YONEZAWA

『リカーシブル』by Honobu YONEZAWA (米澤穂信) is the last novel on my reading challenge list of 2018, and I want to read it before the end of the year. It took me two weeks to go through the first pages, though. I knew that to finish this book before December, 31st, I had to start it in November. This is the reason why one of my goal for the month was to start and ideally, read half of this book.  I started 『リカーシブル』at least 5 times during the past two weeks, and could not get into it. I was even thinking of giving it up altogether. But I think that these repetitive failures were due to my state of mind at the time rather than to the novel itself. These past two weeks, I haven’t worked much for my Japanese and starting a new novel felt like a daunting task.  What helped me overcome this state is this post by Ten Thousand Hours that gives great tips to start reading books in Japanese. Even after reading several …

Back to study!!

After two weeks away from Japanese, I now feel the urge to study again! The last two weeks, I was more interested in other hobbies, and I have left my Japanese studies almost untouched. This break has been a good thing since I now feel a new motivation to learn Japanese.  So I will start with a one-week challenge to get back on track. I will transcribe a short Japanese text into French every day for seven days. I already started yesterday, and as I was both idle and motivated, I made two transcriptions:  First I worked on an article from Mainichi. It had been weeks and weeks since I opened the Mainichi website…The article I chose was an easy one, about the idol industry in Japan and the lack of regulations, even when minors are involved.  Then I worked on the novel 『こころ』by Soseki that I had also left untouched for a very long period of time. One chapter is only 2-3 pages long, so I transcribed a whole chapter.  Except for one or …

Currently reading: 『探偵倶楽部』by Keigo HIGASHINO

I still have three books to read this year to complete my 2018 reading challenge and 『探偵倶楽部』(たんていくらぶ) is one of them. It is a collection of five short stories, featuring the mysterious “Membership Detective Club”. I already read the first two short stories and I plan to read the third one in November. The membership detective club is a detective agency composed of only two persons: an unnamed detective and his assistant. They work for wealthy and selected persons. The interesting feature of this book is that little is known about this detective, not even his name (as far as the first two short stories are concerned.) The stories seem to focus more on the staging of the murder and the events afterwards. As a reader, we follow the characters involved in it, but at the same time, we never quite know who did it, which makes things very exciting. I read the first short story at the very beginning of the year, but I found it rather difficult at the time. The writing was …

Taking a break… but not completely!

I have already mentioned it on Friday, but I am not studying at the moment. This does not mean, however, that I am doing nothing in Japanese! I think it is necessary to stay in touch with your target language on a daily basis. If you don’t want to or cannot study for a long period of time, try to define one or two short and easy activities that you will perform every day no matter what. It might take only 20 or even 10 minutes to do, but at least, you will have worked on your target language on a daily basis. I try to always keep good feelings attached to my target language, and I don’t want to feel the burden of mandatory homework on it (this is why I prefer to learn on my own than in a classroom.) If I am more interested in other things than learning Japanese, and if I skip my study sessions to practice these other activities, I will inevitably feel guilty. As a result, Japanese will …