Author: Inhae

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 …

Book Review: 『わたし、定時で帰ります』by Kaeruko AKENO

Presentation Title: 『わたし、定時で帰ります』(No working after hours!)Author: Kaeruko AKENO 朱野帰子Published by 新潮文庫 This novel has been adapted into a TV drama featuring Yuriko YOSHITAKA. It started airing in April this year (2019). Setting As the title suggests, this novel is a story about work and workplace. The protagonist is Yui HIGASHIYAMA, she is 32 years old and works for a web company. She is known for always leaving her work at six while most of her co-workers work after hours. Things get upset when a new boss comes in Yui’s team. Review I absolutely loved this novel, it is without a doubt one of my favourite reads of the year!  If you like novels about working life or want to get insights into a Japanese working place and working style, this novel seems perfect. I have never worked in Japan or in a Japanese company, so it is hard to tell if what the novel depicts is close to reality. But I enjoyed reading it, I think that I did learn a lot of things thanks to …

Quick Update

Hello everyone! I just wanted to apologize for not posting lately, but I have been sick last week, and I still feel tired now. I still want to make a quick update of my reading progress, and of course, the JLPT. I had to take a break in my JLPT preparation last week, but in any case, I don’t expect to be fully prepared for the test of July (my real goal is December). I wish I had time to learn more vocabulary, but oh well… I have written a review of the textbook So-matome Grammar N1, but I still need to work on it a little. I have finished two novels: I absolutely loved 『わたし、定時で帰ります』by Kaeruko AKENO (朱野帰子), it provides fascinating insights into the Japanese workplace, shows how hard it is to leave work before your colleagues but also introduces several characters who all have their reasons to work after hours. 『ガーディアン』by Gaku YAKUMARU (薬丸岳) is exactly the kind of genre fiction that I love reading. It is suspenseful, easy to read, and it …

Book review: 『模倣の殺意』by Sin NAKAMACHI

Presentation Title: 『模倣の殺意』(The Plagiarized Fugue)Author: Sin NAKAMACHI 中町信Published by 創元推理文庫 Sin NAKAMACHI (1935-2009) was an author of crime fiction. 『模倣の殺意』was first published in 1973 under the title “新人賞殺人事件”. In 2004, 創元推理文庫 brought this mystery novel to the public again and gave it its present title. Setting An introductory chapter sets the facts: A man called Masao SAKAI dies on July, 7th at 7pm. He was an author of crime fiction. His death by poisoning looks like suicide but two persons are not convinced and will investigate. We follow these two characters, the chapters alternating between one and the other. Review: Excellent mystery! I didn’t know Sin NAKAMACHI before, and I bought this book because the obi said “これはすごい!”. I must learn not to let myself be too influenced by such promotional phrases, but in this case, it was true: this book was really good. First of all, the book is an excellent mystery novel with all the elements you would expect to find in good crime fiction. However, as the obi suggests, Sin NAKAMACHI goes …

JLPT Journal: Grammar done, starting drills!

I can’t believe that the test of July is in a little more than one month. My real goal is to pass in December, and I am taking the test of July as an exercise. Nonetheless, I cannot help but feeling excited (stressed) for July, and I am focusing on making vocabulary and grammar drills. So-matome Grammar: DONE! I have finally finished the So-matome textbook for grammar. I had planned to finish it in May, so I am very glad to say that everything went according to plan. I am aware that the So-matome textbook is not enough, this is why I will also study with a Korean textbook: This Korean textbook is very thorough. It has a lot of example sentences, and it has a strategical approach, showing you the grammar in the context of JLPT questions: I still don’t know if I will buy the Shin Kanzen for grammar or not… I remember that the Shin Kanzen was a little overwhelming for me when I took N2. More than once, I felt discouraged when …