Sunday Salon: Two Weeks from Today, The JLC4 Ends

It’s a funny thing when you’re teaching, or hosting a challenge, that you probably end up being the one who learns the most. When I began the first Japanese Literature Challenge in 2006 it was to better understand a culture which fascinated me, but also because I’d read not one work of Japanese literature. I knew that by creating a challenge I would find many novels in the genre to read, and I’d hoped to find many book lovers who’d share the journey with me. It was such a fulfilling endeavor that I have hosted the challenge for five years.

This year, I did not give away prizes as I have in previous years. I wanted the joy of reading the works themselves to be their own prize. Plus, the teacher in me finds it very hard to single out a select few for prizes when the list of participants has been many. Apparently, this is copacetic because neither the list of participants, nor the amount of reviews, has dwindled.

I read more Japanese novels this year than I have in any of the previous Japanese Literature Challenges. They are still not enough to quench my appetite. As with eating anything extraordinarily delicious, when I’m reading a fascinating genre I only want more. Fortunately, we have Tanabata’s Murakami Challenge to give us regular doses of Haruki’s work. We also have a JLC4 review site to which we can turn for enticing novels as yet unread.

There are two weeks before the Japanese Literature Challenge 4 officially draws to a close. That gives you time to quickly read one book, thereby fulfilling the challenge requirements, or to pull your thoughts together for any wrap up post you may wish to write. I’d love to know which authors, and titles, were your favorite. I’d love any suggestions for next year.

19 thoughts on “Sunday Salon: Two Weeks from Today, The JLC4 Ends”

  1. Bellezza, it's interesting that you wrote this post because I was just rearranging my blog and noticing that the JLC-4 is almost over. I'd be upset were it not for the JLC-5.


  2. I should start wrapping up! But I hope to start reading Kawabata's Snow Country today, and if I'm quick I'll be able to finish it in time :)Like Suko I'm desperately wishing for another follow-up later this year?! I don't think I can wait till 2012? O_oAnd thanks teach, I've just learnt a new word! 😉 'copacetic'


  3. Sam, me too! I love how much I learn, not only from branching off the curriculum but from the dear children themselves. Every year is fresh and wonderful.Winstonsdad, I look forward to sharing the Murakami Challenge with you! He's by far one of my favorite authors ever.Gnoegnoe, what a perfect read for a mid-January day! I'd like to read Snow Country this winter as well. Kawabata really creates a mood. The next Japanese Literature Challenge comes around in June (so it can be a good six months long). Glad to have shared 'copacetic' with you. 😉 Sabrina, thank you for joining in! I look forward to your wrap up thoughts.


  4. I enjoyed this one. I discovered Kazuo Ishiguro and Ryu Murakami who are quite well known but for good reason. Murakami will be the author I try this year I think.


  5. I'm definitely looking forward to the JLC5. I truly discovering new authors, like Yoshimoto, whose works I might not have read had it not been for the JLC4 – thanks Bellezza!


  6. If there is a Jlc5 you have a conscript in me, Jlc4 was my first blog related Challenge, & still my favourite, this one challenge provided me with a pathway into a nation I was long curious about, through reading & learning about its writers.Thanks.Parrish.


  7. It is so awesome that you created a challenge so you could learn more about Japanese Literature and in the process benefited so many of us with good reading suggestions!


  8. Oh no – not the end…. I just love this challenge, and I hope there's JLC5 too. As for idea's – I think it could be limited to set a theme, but perhaps participants could choose their own theme inside the challenge – like to learn more about Geisha, or Japanese art, or history…. I now I've enjoyed learning more about the Geisha this time round. I'll post my own wrap up soon. Might see you over at the Murakami Challenge…


  9. I fit one more in (a short one) before this finished! yay! I will blog about it tomorrow (if I remember… hopefully). I have enjoyed this challenge very much.. thank you 🙂


  10. No, Rachel, it is I who thanks you. I'm so glad I met you through this challenge; for me, finding others, who love Japanese literature such as yourself, is a huge reward. I've been a slacker hostess this year: no presents and few posts, but I do appreciate your participation.


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