Japanese reading report

This week I read 川柳少女 vol. 1. I’d gotten it for free on Honto a while back, and I honestly started reading it because one of my recent WaniKani vocabulary lessons was 川柳, which I knew I was going to leech unless I could build some association with it in context.

The basic premise of 川柳少女 is that the main character, 七々子, has difficulty talking (is it just me or is this almost a genre of its own?) and so writes out everything she wants to say as a 川柳, which is basically a comedic haiku. Since I haven’t read much Japanese poetry, this was an interesting introduction, even if the poems featured in the book aren’t always quite well-formed. I looked up more words than usual this week, though I had less trouble with the actual 川柳 than I expected. I probably won’t continue the series right away (I still have a backlog to work through before I buy any new books), but I’d certainly recommend it to anyone else.

Due to a family emergency I was away from home for four days this week, and finding time to read was pretty tough. I haven’t yet had time for my weekly movie so I’ll update this report a little later tonight.


Once I got back into town I had about an hour to walk until I got home, so I took advantage of that time to listen to another 1.5 episodes of HKBK, which (as usual) oscillated between comprehensible and incomprehensible. It helped that the first episode was about Pixar movies, so I was able to follow along decently well; they talked about the differences between cell animation and CGI, which movies they’d seen and what they liked or disliked about them, and so on. The next episode was about ブルボン, and about all I got out of that one was that it’s the name of a candy company. I’m sure if I was more familiar with the company ahead of time I might have had better luck, but it is what it is.

I just finished up watching Miss Hokusai, and…to be honest I have no idea what to make of this movie. Being a period piece, it has a lot of dialogue that might as well have been gibberish. Apparently “Edo dialect” used やす instead of ます; many of the characters use おいら (but the main character, Oei, uses おれ despite being a woman); and there are a few courtesans who also have a peculiar way of talking which was hard to follow.

Moment-to-moment I didn’t feel like I was keeping up with anything that was happening, but at the end of the movie I realized that I’d somehow managed to understand the basic story, even if a lot of the intricacies were likely lost on me. Nonetheless, it was enjoyable and input is input.