(Mata Onaji Yume wo Miteita /
I Had That Same Dream Again)
by 住野よる (Yoru Sumino)
Author: 住野よる (Yoru Sumino)
Genre: novel, elementary school, coming of age, fantasy
Great for: Intermediate (JLPT N3+)
Length: 306 pages
あらすじ ・ Japanese Synopsis (from Bookwalker)
English Synopsis (translated by Japanese Talk Online)
A young girl without any friends, a high-school girl who constantly self harms, a woman branded a bitch, and an old woman living the rest of her life in peace. What does “happiness” mean to these women? A story for all the people who want to try things over and “now” never goes as planned.
Why You Should Read また、同じ夢を見ていた (Mata, Onaji Yume wo Miteita)
Yoru Sumino is probably most famous for his novel 君の膵臓を食べたい (I Want to Eat Your Pancreas). And if you’re read this or any of his other novels then a good way to describe Mata Onaji Yume wo Miteita is, it’s a very Yoru Sumino novel.
If you’ve never read any of his other books then allow me to give you a general impression. Sumino’s novels are very (in my opinion) cathartic. They’re normally coming of age stories involving loners. Heart-wrenching stories about what it means to be human and what it means to be alive.
In Mata Onaji Yume wo Miteita the protagonist is an elementary school girl called Nanoka Koyanagi. She’s a smart girl who loves books. And although she doesn’t have any friends at school she at least has a short-tailed black fury friend, an older woman who sleeps during the day, and an elderly woman, who she sees after school.
This story starts off like any other, but then strange things start to happen and the pieces of a puzzle you never knew were there start to fall in place.
I don’t want to say anymore because this is a story you’re best to go into without knowing anything.
Why Japanese Learners Should Read また、同じ夢を見ていた (Mata Onaji Yume wo Miteita)
As the main character is an elementary school girl, and the story is in first person, the grammar is very simple. I’d even say the majority of the grammar is JLPT N4 level. The sentences are also very short, making them incredibly easy to read.
However the vocabulary is easily N3-N2 level, and almost all of the kanji (besides some N1 kanji) do not have furigana. There’s also no version of the book with furigana.
This makes it a great book for people who have passed N3 and are studying toward N2. Or for N4-N3 learners who want to push their kanji and vocabulary study.
There’s also an English translation of the novel, released by SevenSeas! You can see the English edition here: “I Had That Same Dream Again” I suggest reading the English translation if you don’t want to read the Japanese, or are struggling to read or understand the novel.
I don’t know if this novel is for everyone, but I personally loved it. I love Sumino’s novels. Especially as someone who was an outsider and didn’t have many friends, his novels always hit a little too close to home.
He’s also really good at building up tension and sprinkling foreshadow without you even realizing it.
Honestly, a very simple and easy real, with an incredibly deep story.
Other Japanese Novels for N3 Level
Similar Japanese Novels in Theme