Unlike to the other states, it is winning prizes with authority that you need to to be a real writer in Japan. Of course you can be an essay writer if you are famous in some territories or genres. However, it seems necessary for you to win an important literature prize in Japan if you really want to be a fictional writer.
There are several important literature prizes. The most famous ones are “Akutagawa Prize” and “Naoki Prize”. Former prize is thought to be the most important literature prize for pure literature, and the latter is for entertainment literature in Japan. These are the most important prizes so that you could be immediately become famous when you win the prize.
As for the Akutagawa Prize, you can receive a special watch and 1,000,000 yen as an option. Once you win the prize, everyone would call you as Akutagawa Prize winning author or like that. I’m fond of reading the prize laureate fictions, but I have no idea how can you get the prize. The winners are people from very young to very old. When you really get the literature and describe with a solid fictional world, maybe you would receive the prize.
It’s one of my foolish dream though. I hope someday I can win it.
Reading books. When you hear this phrase, what would be your reaction? Actually, my reaction was differ from when I was a teenager. I thought reading books or new paper and watching NHK (Japanese kind of BBC) are worst boring thing in my life at that time, and I simply couldn’t believe why adults are enough to be bare with such super boring look things. For instance, each letters in both books and newspapers are shockingly small for me at that time, and any TV program of NHK looked so serious that I unconsciously thought the personalities were AI robots (AI could do better, actually. Then I thought).
Time passes, and people can really change. One of the great meaning of education is sometimes described as this “changing”. Now I really owe my professors who have taught me because thanks to them, I changed so much, and now I can’t imagine the life without reading books (but watching NHK still…) . In my opinion, the first ten books you try to read will the hardest experience in your book life. The way to finish your book seems climbing Mt. Fuji or Everest. But somehow, you bare with reading, reading and reading. At last, when you finish reading 10th or 9th books, you would realize, “I had totally misunderstood about what reading books is!”.
A philosopher once said, “Ultimately, reading books means reading yourself”. And I totally agree with it. By improving your reading skill, your skill to live with clear thoughts or meaning would improve too. You can get words that can describe or explain your confused imagery of your mind. Everyone must be translator in terms of translating your own heart into your mother language. So, yeah, reading books is great. And this is thought to be one of the best my life changing event so far.
Since I was a university student (my major was English Literature), I read a lot from the time (actually not that much though…). However, after becoming a high school teacher, I couldn’t easily find the time to read, and had been frustrated about that. But now I became 29 and I could get the pace of work, the frequency of rearranging my room has much decreased for now. And I could finally find the best timing for reading books in my daily life.
First is after a supper. You feel full stomach and feel dull to wash the dishes, than I put them in the kitchen sink, and put some water in the dish. Then, you can start reading books with satisfaction. Sometimes it lasts for 30 minutes to read, or 2 hours to read.
Second is while talking bath. Soaking half of the body in warm water, and reading with drowsy feelings. My ideal time is for 20 to 30 minutes because you would feel really dizzy at that time.
Third is just before sleeping. With a warm light of your bedside lamp, you can read any books and that would definitely makes you fall asleep within 15 min.
However, sometimes you find yourself so tired in a weekdays and maybe you would have many schedules to do for weekdays. So, for such people like me, the true best timing for reading is Saturday and Sunday. Cancel any schedules and let’s read for all day. You could read 3 books if you really love to read in a day. For somebody, only Saturday and Sunday seems a bit sad and not enough. But, man, the desire for reading would rather decreased if you are free everyday, I think for myself.
Anyway, thank you for reading as usual, and have a great reading life.
Living in the northern part of Japan, which is called Hokkaido prefecture, the most frequently asked question for you is “Do you live in Sapporo?”. Holy crap. Hokkaido is the biggest in Japan out of 47 prefectures. Therefore, Hokkaido has the land as large as three ordinary prefectures. Sapporo is recognized as the capital of Hokkaido, but it doesn’t mean everyone from Hokkaido lives near around Hokkaido. Like me, I live in a very country side of Hokkaido and it takes about 5 hours drive to access Sapporo (30 min. flying from the nearest airport).
So, everyone asks me about Sapporo but actually, I don’t know much about Sapporo. I was once very surprised that some of my Tokyoite friends had never been to some very Tokyo symbolic places. I said “Why you don’t go there? So many TV shows featured the spot!” Then he or she just says, “I don’t know but it seems very crowded and am too lazy to go there” or like that. Now I can understand them if I think about Sapporo.
The reason why I’m writing about Sapporo tonight is because I came to Sapporo with my family as a winter holiday trip (and to celebrate my mother’s happy retirement, which should have done in 2021). People are wearing masks as my living place, but there are simply more people, more diverse people there. Every shop staffs seems more polite and kind compared with my neighbor shops, tastes of restaurant or stands are felt sophisticated. So, every time I came to this kind of urban area, I could feel a bit updated. You can see a lot of things different from your ordinary days. Take a look at curry rice for example. Do you see which is urban curry rice?
You see? The latter one is Sapporo’s. Even my way of taking photographs seems so sophisticated. These are the very symbolic photos which shows the difference between urban and country so clearly. You know? The difference is such an apparent.
But I don’t care which you prefer or not. I love both of curry, and I feel we are living in the age of hybrid, meaning you don’t have to choose just one side, but you should enjoy both and respect each other’s good sides. Hybrid is not just about Prius but us.
Just finished reading of “Counterattack of Thirty (Original title: 서른의 반격, 2017)” by Sohn Won-pyung. Walking in a bookstore and this cover illustration captured my eyes suddenly. What an impressive design. The title was actually much more intriguing. I skimmed through the book at once and I found out that the “thirty” means age of 30. In the novel, Ji-hye the protagonist of the novel is around 30, and living unsatisfied ordinary days as an irregular employees. She tries to get a regular job at a decent, stable company in her favorite job territory, but the reality was a bit hard. Then, she somehow worked in the company, but one day there comes a mysterious irregular coworker, Gyu-ok, and he propose an interesting suggestion to her; counterattack against their unfair society. Although these revenge are really tiny prank thing, but they can gradually make a small crack in their unfair daily environment.
The story line would sound familiar to you, but the story is not that simple. The atmosphere of the book seems much like cloudy, and actually, you would finish reading with the same atmosphere of cloudy. However, thanks to the story, we can think the cloudy atmosphere as more positive one when you close your book.
This books tells you the beauty of counterattacks. Due to a development of SNS or ultimate capitalism society, we can easily feel depressed or unpleasant when you look at your tiny smartphone window. You are forced to compare almost everyday, and everyone seems to be angry with a tiny bullshit stuff. People must be extremely busy or boored. We are becoming or more scary for doing a different thing and get criticized.
However, one of the lessons the book told me, it is counterattack that your life really begins. Even though, it is a very small revenge or counterattack, very small objection, that would make a very small but important change in this world. There is a line I love .
Just say “it’s wrong” when you see something goes wrong. At least it can lead the better world.
Counterattack of Thirty (Self Translation)
Now I’m feeling I can totally agree with the idea. Without our objection, everyone tries to make you somebody else. Therefore, why don’t we resist, oppose against unreasonable reality. We are all deserve to oppose something when we are around 30. I’m becoming 29 in this year, and it is my real pleasure that I could read this book at this age.
Now I can tell you a lot of things about the importance of reading books. It’s simply because I’ve read a certain amount of books for now. Before reading, I had no idea how to get smart. The easiest way to get smart (in a serious meaning) is just reading books written by really smart authors. It must be difficult to try to bite such an hard stuff because you had enjoyed chewing marshmallow thing so far. But then, you’ve got a word that can describe your world more vivid and concrete. You can get a new language or colors to describe your view. If you didn’t read books, no matter how you try to think of something deeply, the depth of your thoughts can be a puddle’s one. However, reading books can bring you to the real depth.
There is a quote which I already forgot who said though, I really like. It goes like “When you are reading books, you are ultimately reading yourself”. Reading ability of a passage or article can be measured by certain tests, but how about reading ability of life? Reading books can definitely brush up your skill of reading a real life situation with cool head. Of course, there would be a side effect of reading books. One would be like you would feel lonely when you are reading. Or you would think too much about the world. However, still the benefit of reading books would absolutely outweigh the minor impacts of it.
I’ve loved books for almost ten years now (from 18 to 28). I sometimes thought, if I could find myself as a bookworm when I was a child, I can be a fresh writer around my age. But, people have their own time zones, right? Comparing yourself with others can be insulting your self (maybe said by Bill Gates?). So, I never compare. I just compare myself with past myself. Anyway, I have been very interested writing something for almost ten years (weird coincidence, huh?). So, I try to write as much as I can these days. At my workplace, I write a kind of newsletter, or any documents. At home, I write Japanese diary or this English blog. I wish someday I can live with writing for somebody not only in Japanese and English.
So, now is the time of winter vacation to me, and that simply means I have a lot of time to read books. This is one of the best imaginable luxury; spending all the time for reading books. However, some people have already mentioned, book has a negative side effect as there are no vaccine that never cause any side effect (Anyway, the both are artificial). For example, reading too much makes your character a bit depressive and actually, you get depressed or rather makes you physically and psychologically indoor person.
Why if you work out too much and you don’t get depressed but reading too much? This question seems a bit deep to me. To keep the balance, you have to workout before you hurt your back due to too much reading on the sofa. I should workout. Since the world is much colder these days (I live in one of the coldest prefecture in Japan), I totally don’t feel like jogging outside. There are no kendo practice during this new year holidays. Excuse and excuse. I know, I know. I know I just do the push ups right away, but I am too lazy to put a book aside and do this. But, today…
Writing this article in the midnight makes my eyes really getting heavy. Days are unknown. Coming back to my house, I unconsciously found myself try to clean up one of my rooms which is known as the “chamber of secrets”, where is just a room filled with books I forgot to read. One of the main reasons why I can’t save money is not the cost of owning sports car, but the cost of buying too many books. I don’t know but I’ve bought crazy amount of books so far even I haven’t finished read the most of those books. But, owning books matters to me. Actually, it mattered.
Since I’m becoming boring adult, it is a destiny to say good bye to the books which seems impossible to read with my left relaxing time. So, I said, goodbye. I put books in the cardboards and send the request email to the online secondhand book shop to come and pick my books. I know they are gonna buy with really cheap price. But, it’s ok now.
And now, it is 12:30 am. It took about 3 hours to finish to put the room in order. Finishing clearing up, I somehow feels like my realm of unconscious is also put in order. The funny and metaphorical part of that work was throwing many things away. There was “The Game of Life” in the room. My ex-girlfriend really loved the game, so I ordered it on Amazon about a year ago. Now she has gone, so there seems no reason to keep it in my house. Then, I broke the board game into pieces to put in a garbage bag. I tear the huge box written “LIFE” with a big capital letters. There were fake moneys, card of many occupation with their yearly salary. And I broke everything. I felt like I put disorder in the life. I felt somehow so happy. Anyway, I’ll hit the sack…