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History/Literature

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RE: History/Literature

Postby Harisenbon » Tue 02.07.2006 1:44 am

AJBryant wrote:
Makes for great train-reading. :) One of the great things about Japanese paperbacks is the size. They really *do* fit in your shirt pocket, and take up very little space.


Yeah, although I drive to work at current, I'm changing jobs soon and will probably be training to work every day. I'm looking forward to the hour alone with my book every morning and night. =) Even now I try to make a point of it to carry at least one fluff novel at all times.. ;)

************************
As for book recommendations, if we're going to do Nastume Souseki, I recommend bocchan only because it's the most well known. I will worn people that souseki's books are not written like modern Japanese, and can be very hard to follow (bocchan has no quotations marks for people's speech, for example).

For short easy books, I would recommend something like Murakami Haruiki's 羊男のクリスマス, which is only about 50 pages long.

If people are interested in short humorous essay books, I'm particularly fond of Sakura Momoko's series of personal essays. Each essay is about 10-13 pages and there are about 10 to a book. Easy to read, and very enjoyable.

For people who not afraid of squirm-enducing 気持ち悪い stuff, I would recommend アッシュベイビー or へびにピアス. Both of which were written by 18 year old girls who just won the Japanese literature awards for young authors.

Anyone who feels like beating themselves against a book that even Japanese people give up reading, I can kind of recommend 遠藤周作's (Endou shuusaku) 沈黙(ちんもく). I'm only 29 pages in, but it's seems like a interesting book so far.

Anyhow, those are my recommendations, but I'll read anything. ;)

What if Clay could get the books for us, and we order them from the order site of the Japanese page? Then we could be supporting the Japanese page while we studied. Would that be doable?
Last edited by Harisenbon on Tue 02.07.2006 9:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: History/Literature

Postby Infidel » Tue 02.07.2006 4:25 am

Lets keep our first book relatively modern and short and even better, from an author that doesn't write wierd. Let me and other newbies get our feet wet first before diving into the "good" stuff. The good stuff might leave me in the dust.

Oh, and you are sticking with ones freely available on the internet right?

My reading speed is REEEAL slow in Japanese. In English I'll blaze though a book a day. :(
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RE: History/Literature

Postby InsanityRanch » Tue 02.07.2006 9:33 am

I like Harisenbon's recommendations of short (~50-page) "novels" (novellettes?). The first "book" I finished was the independent, final story in the book _Kitchen_ -- this was called Moonlight Shadow (in katakana English) and had different characters than the rest of the book. It was about 50 pages long.

For personal essays. I've read a couple by Sakura Momoko, and she is quite a lot of fun. There is also a book of short humorous essays with English explanations called _Read Real Japanese_. That was my "one handed reading" (no dictionary or pencil required). I really liked Yoko Mori and Seiko Ito -- would love to read more of what they wrote.

I'm also a fan of Akutagawa Ryuunosuke's short stories, though that is not precisely modern Japanese. BUT, many of the stories are very concrete and carry the reader along. They are also available (all of them?) online, with furigana.

I don't mind buying books if they are made readily available (the Japanese Page store sounds like a perfect solution.)

Maybe later, when everyone has a few readings under his or her belt, we could tackle something like RINGU? <g> Longer, no furigana, but definitely gripping. In my experience, something that grabs the reader is easier to read than something that uses "easier" language but is also easier to put down.

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RE: History/Literature

Postby richvh » Tue 02.07.2006 12:12 pm

Shibakoen wrote:
I vote for Yume Juu Ya by Natsume Souseki! Here's an url http://www.speaking-japanese.com/bio_soseki.html where you can find audio versions of four of the stories in mp3 format. If you can find all of the stories on the web for free somewhere, let me know. I bought the book that these stories were compiled in and I really like it. But, since only these four stories were included in that book, I'd like to find all of them.


The full text of 夢叙 is available here in three different formats: zipped text file with ruby (anyone know of a program that will display ruby in 《》 as regular furigana?), ebook (anyone know what reader that format is for?) and HTML.
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RE: History/Literature

Postby InsanityRanch » Tue 02.07.2006 12:38 pm

I don't know how to fix the zipped text, but if you copy and paste the XHTML version into JWPce, it writes the furigana in parentheses (rather than above the moji as displayed on the screen) automatically.
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RE: History/Literature

Postby AJBryant » Tue 02.07.2006 12:44 pm

Unfortunately, my tastes in reading are very specific. Can't stand Soseki. Can tolerate Murakami. Can't stand Yoshimoto Banana. I read random things that pique my interest.

I'd suggest, though, that any "reader gang" not pick a novel but a short story or a collection of short stories. For one, it's less to read. Related to that, there's more "yatta" factor early on for people first launching into reading Japanese prose.

That being said, I'd recommend short stories by a contemporary writer (i.e., someone who writes in a modern vernacular rather than an older literary style).

Tony
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RE: History/Literature

Postby zengargoyle » Tue 02.07.2006 12:48 pm

richvh wrote:
... (anyone know of a program that will display ruby in 《》 as regular furigana?), ebook (anyone know what reader that format is for?) and HTML.


there's not enough information in the《》 style text to properly display furigana. it needs something to mark the kanji that the furigana goes with to be effective. (well, i guess it could find the furigana and search backwards for the kanji that match that pronounciation, but that sorta defeats the purpose and doesn't really allow for odd furigana to kanji mappings)

腕組をして枕元に坐《すわ》っていると

<ruby><rb>坐</rb><rp>(</rp><rt>すわ</rt><rp>)</rp></ruby>

ruby on the other hand is *da bomb*. it works in IE, and there's an experimental plugin for firefox that seems to do just fine. (i just love how it degrades perfectly in browsers that don't do ruby :o )

坐(すわ)

i tried printing to PDF some of the text from the UVA site this morning and that went well, so if anybody is rubyless that can be done for them...

as for ebook... google 'filetype ebk' is your best bet, unless you can find info on the site.
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RE: History/Literature

Postby richvh » Tue 02.07.2006 1:16 pm

zengargoyle wrote:
richvh wrote:
... (anyone know of a program that will display ruby in 《》 as regular furigana?), ebook (anyone know what reader that format is for?) and HTML.


there's not enough information in the《》 style text to properly display furigana. it needs something to mark the kanji that the furigana goes with to be effective. (well, i guess it could find the furigana and search backwards for the kanji that match that pronounciation, but that sorta defeats the purpose and doesn't really allow for odd furigana to kanji mappings)

From what I understand from the introductory material in the text file, the ruby in 《》is for the preceding group of kanji. If not all of the preceding kanji group is covered by the furigana, the first kanji that is part of the group is preceded by | like this:
右|堀田原《ほったはら》とある
In this example, the ruby ほったはら is for 堀田原, and 右 is rubyless.
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RE: History/Literature

Postby zengargoyle » Tue 02.07.2006 1:48 pm

richvh wrote:
If not all of the preceding kanji group is covered by the furigana, the first kanji that is part of the group is preceded by | like this:
右|堀田原《ほったはら》とある
In this example, the ruby ほったはら is for 堀田原, and 右 is rubyless.


ah, i see... i didn't think to read that part :D but it makes sense.

i could turn that back into <ruby> style markup, but that's just ends up the same as the XHTML. what sort of program are you wishing for? (what would make it different than the XHTML in a browser or a pdf?)
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RE: History/Literature

Postby shikamarufoo » Tue 02.07.2006 10:07 pm

Hi everyone
I'm really new to Japanese History/Literature and would love to read some (my Japanese reading w/o kanji is kinda slow). I hope I can get something to read to start to understand Japanese literature. Where should I start for Japanese history? Thanks for your all your help :).
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RE: History/Literature

Postby AJBryant » Tue 02.07.2006 11:09 pm

What kind of things are you looking for? Straight history, historical fiction, or historical literature, or what?

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RE: History/Literature

Postby Shibakoen » Tue 02.07.2006 11:54 pm

Maybe it would be best to suggest different stories for different abilities. For instance, anyone know any Japanese kids books like お休み月ちゃん or something? Murakami would be cool. I like him.
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RE: History/Literature

Postby shikamarufoo » Wed 02.08.2006 12:58 am

AJBryant wrote:
What kind of things are you looking for? Straight history, historical fiction, or historical literature, or what?

Tony

History equivalent to that of learning about US history such as how the goverment formed...I think that would be straight history? Also I'm interested in historical literature.
Thanks for your help:).
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RE: History/Literature

Postby Justin » Wed 02.08.2006 1:22 am

I'd definatly be interested in something like this as well. Recently I've been reading some 赤川次郎 as they are easy to pick up books, fairly short, easy to read, a great way to kill some time here and there. I also picked up 宮部みゆき's "模倣犯" when I was in Japan a few weeks ago, just started reading it here a few days ago, but seems to be rather interesting so far.

As for doing something on here as a group, I'd have to agree with everyone else it would probably be a good idea to keep things fairly short as not all of us have the time to sit down and read for hours a day.

Not for sure if these would be of any interest at all, but here's a few link to some short essays pertaining to some various (geographic) subjects about Japan, followed by a brief overview of recent contemporary history of Japan.

http://ws.31rsm.ne.jp/~toolware/geography/geography.html
http://ws.31rsm.ne.jp/~toolware/history/history.html
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RE: History/Literature

Postby InsanityRanch » Wed 02.08.2006 3:29 pm

Hi, all.

Don't want to seem bossy, but in an effort to help get this show on the road, I've gone back through the thread and made two lists of who's shown interest and texts have been suggested so far. I hope this will help us make some decisions about a text to start with!

Here's the list of participants:

AJBryant: Can read pretty well. Experienced.
fragulistic: Reading level?? Text preference?
hamsterfreak4ever: requests computer texts. Reads at beginning to intermediate level? Some experience?
Harisenbon: Can read pretty well. Experienced. Willing to buy a book.
Infidel: Can read slowly. (Level?) Prefers internet texts.
Insanity Ranch: can read pretty well, just slowly. Experienced. Will buy a book.
Justin: Can read pretty well. Experienced.
Purple Heart: Reading Level? Text preference?
richvh: Reading Level? Text preference?
Sachi: not ready yet?
Sapphiregirl: "not so new at Japanese" Reading Level? Text preference?
Shibakoen: Can read, level not specified. Experienced.
Shikamarufoo: Can read kana only?
zengargoyle: Reading Level? Text preference?

Here are the suggested texts, VERY roughly sorted.

Online:

aozora archive (many short Japanese texts...I think these are out-of-copyright, so not precisely current Japanese.) At this site, stories by both Natsume Souseki and Akutagawa Ryuunosuke are available.

Entire Densha Otoko original 2chan threads

http://ws.31rsm.ne.jp/~toolware/geograp ... raphy.html and http://ws.31rsm.ne.jp/~toolware/history/history.html
(educational website in Japanese)

http://www.his.atr.jp/~ray/stories/ (beginner's level, kana only? children's stories.)

http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/japanese/ ... odern.html (another out-of-copyright source?)

Printed texts:
Bocchan, by Natsume Souseki

Murakami Haruiki's 羊男のクリスマス

Essays by Sakura Momoko

アッシュベイビーby 金原 ひとみ

へびにピアス(could not find this one on amazon.co.jp) There is an English translation available btw -- the only reason I've heard of this book is I saw the translation the other day at Border's.

リング (gotta check author.)

模倣犯 series by 宮部みゆき (look like fairly long books though)

I would like to add the following essayist for our consideration:
アイウエオの陰謀 by 東海林 さだお (文春文庫 is I think the publisher.) It's a book of several humorous essays. If you want to get a preview, a "taste" of them is read aloud in a blog at http://www.voiceblog.jp/kotoba/car13.html

I hope this helps us move forward!

Shira
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