あん 👵🏻 - Week 3 (Intermediate Book Club)

あん :older_woman:t2: Week 3

Week 3 8th of July 2023
Start Page 26
End Page 38
Chapters 5 and 6
Pages 13
Previous week Week 2
Next week Week 4
Home Thread あん

Vocabulary

あん Vocabulary Sheet

Please read the guidelines on the first page before adding any words.

Discussion Guidelines

Everybody should feel free to post and ask questions–it’s what makes book clubs fun! But please do not post until you are familiar with Spoiler Courtesy!

Spoiler Courtesy

Please follow these rules to avoid inadvertent ネタバレ. If you’re unsure whether something should have a spoiler tag, err on the side of using one.

  1. Any potential spoiler for the current week’s reading need only be covered by a spoiler tag. Predictions and conjecture made by somebody who has not read ahead still falls into this category.
  2. Any potential spoilers for external sources need to be covered by a spoiler tag and include a label (outside of the spoiler tag) of what might be spoiled. These include but are not limited to: other book club picks, other books, games, movies, anime, etc. I recommend also tagging the severity of the spoiler (for example, I may still look at minor spoilers for something that I don’t intend to read soon).
  3. Any information from later in the book than the current week’s reading (including trigger warnings that haven’t yet manifested) needs to be hidden by spoiler tags and labeled as coming from later sections.
Instructions for Spoiler Tags

Click the cog above the text box and use either the “Hide Details” or “Blur Spoiler” options. The text which says “This text will be hidden” should be replaced with what you are wishing to write. In the case of “Hide Details”, the section in the brackets that is labelled “Summary” can be replaced with whatever you like also (i.e, [details=”Chapter 1, Pg. 1”]).

Hide Details results in the dropdown box like below:

Example

This is an example of the “Hide Details” option.

The “Blur Spoiler” option will simply blur the text it surrounds.

This is an example of the “Blur Spoiler” option.

Posting Advice
  • When asking for help, please mention the page number, and check before posting that your question hasn’t already been asked. As the threads get longer, it becomes more convenient to use the Search function, which is located in the upper right corner of the forum. It is the magnifying glass which is near your profile picture! The best way to search is usually to type part of the sentence you are confused about, and select “in this topic”. This will show you all posts within the current thread which has that string of text.

  • Be sure to join the conversation! It’s fun, and it’s what keeps these book clubs lively! There’s no such thing as a stupid question! We are all learning here, and if the question has crossed your mind, there’s a very good chance it has crossed somebody else’s also! Asking and answering questions is a great learning opportunity for everyone involved, so never hesitate to do so!

If necessary, include an explanation of any discrepancies in the Ebook page numbers from physical page numbers. If there is an easy shortcut for some ebook versions to relate back to physical page numbers, it would be worth it to include it as a third bullet here, or if you want to use chapter page numbers instead of volume page numbers, as is the case with some manga. For example:
Example

For the Kindle version of this manga, the page numbers and the location number are always 3 apart. If you subtract 3 from the location, this will give you the accurate page number!

OR

Please use the chapter page numbers, instead of the volume page numbers. These are located in between the panels!

Proper Nouns

Feel free to add to this as new characters / places get introduced throughout the book.

Name Reading Notes
辻井千太郎 つじいせんたろう Main character
吉井徳江 よしいとくえ Main character

Participation

Will you be reading along with us this week?

  • I’m reading along
  • I have finished this part
  • I’m reading this book after the club has finished
  • I’m still undecided if I will join
0 voters

If you’ve already read this book but are still going to join the discussion, please select “I have finished this part.”

Don’t forget to set this thread to Watching in order to stay up to date with the discussion!

3 Likes

I guess I can get things started.

I finished reading this yesterday, but just getting around to writing about it now. I enjoyed it OK, but my understanding of what was going on was a bit vague. I may go back and re-read the chapters again, but I don’t feel like I missed anything too important – details mostly. I kind of want to push on going without re-reading unless discussion here suggests that I’m totally lost (plus I’m juggling this and two other books).

My very brief summaries:

Chapter 5

It seemed like he couldn’t sleep and was having some nightmares (or probably more accurately, day dreams, while he couldn’t sleep). I can’t actually recall the details of them now, since it was a long two days ago that I read Ch 5, but sounds like he was getting scolded in one by his grouchy boss – stress about justifying to her why he hired Tokue, maybe?

Chapter 6

Lots of vocab words here that I needed to look up. I understood that they were boiling/steaming/mixing Azuki in order to make the bean paste. It was clearly a long and rather intricate process.

I think a few times it suggested (maybe it outright said it, but I didn’t exactly follow) that Sentaro had previously tried and failed to make his own bean paste – it would either burn to the bottom of the pan if heated too quickly, or turn to mush if heated too slowly. Something about Tokue’s technique here avoided the issue, but I didn’t catch what.

:smiley: as I mentioned, I just read through and kept going, freely ignoring details, as long as I didn’t feel totally lost. At the end of the day I’m not making my own bean past, so the precise process didn’t seem too important to me.

If I re-read it, I’ll try to follow-up on my post.

3 Likes

No, not about Tokue. His boss doesn’t know about Tokue yet. It was about a former hiring of a student who was caught smoking in the shop. Sentaro spent the night with thinking about the pros and cons of hiring Tokue (and finally decided not to tell his boss and to hide her from his customers).

In chapter 6 the exact method of making あん is not so important. What matters is that Sentaro recognizes that Tokue’s long and laborious way to prepare it herself produces a much better あん than the one he has been using until then.

4 Likes

Thanks! Sounds like I wasn’t too far off. I basically got Chapter 6, but maybe I need to go re-read Chapter 5 (which I think was much shorter anyway).

I read this week’s reading yesterday. I’ve been writing down all of the words I don’t know and the definitions, so I might add some contributions to the vocab list, though I’m not sure if anyone is really using it.

Chapter 5 Discussion

If I remember this chapter correctly, Sentaro has to wake up early to meet Tokue at the shop and thinks back on the previous day she worked there and other things about the job. Their exchange on page 28 of the ebook made me laugh where Tokue said:

店長さんがお客なら、並んででもこの店のどら焼きを食べたいと思う?

And Sentaro said “あの…いえ”
That shows how confident he is in the store…

It was also funny on page 30 when it was saying that people were complaining about getting sakura petals in their dorayaki.

Chapter 5 Question

On page 30, it says:

たまに、焼成中の生地に紛れ込む。

This means that the batches sometimes get mixed up while they’re being fried and he ends up passing out ones that aren’t baked all the way, right? The more I think about it, the more confusing 焼成中の生地 is to parse, but I’m thinking in this sense, 生地 is just the batter…?

Chapter 6 Discussion

There sure were a lot of cooking terms to look up in this one! I was tired, just reading about all the work that Tokue put into making the bean paste!

5 Likes

I would appreciate if you did - I’ve been writing down the words too, but it’s quite a lot for me (it’s the hardest book I’ve read so far) and I keep running out of time to actually add the words to the actual list, but I’m still hoping to be able to do so perhaps next week.

Chapter 6

This one has been quite challenging to read and I’m not sure I get 100% the who An-making process, but Tokue sure is a hard worker!

2 Likes

I haven’t read the chapter so I have no context to know what is being mixed with the dough, but yes, 焼成中の生地 is just the dough in the process of being baked/fried or whatever he does to it.

By the way, there is no option in the poll for “I’ll catch up soon”, so I’ll use this post to say that that’s what I’m planning to do. I still haven’t bought the book so I’ve only read up to the middle of chapter 4 (everything that is included in the sample basically), but I’m hoping to get it soon and continue reading with you all! :slight_smile:

4 Likes

I added the words I had written down from Chapter 2 onwards into the list. Of course, I was only thinking about words I didn’t know while creating my personal list, so there might be some valuable terms missing at the moment.

I’m taking this bookclub as an excuse to start practicing reading definitions in Japanese and writing them down, so I can definitely keep adding stuff for the subsequent weeks! ^^

1 Like
Chapter 5 Thoughts

Sentaro sure stresses out a lot. No wonder he’s very dependent on alcohol. If I remember correctly, he was drinking whiskey in this chapter? I hope he gets a chance to relax soon.

This line on page 28 「しかも婆さん、最初のイメージとは違って意外と口やかましい」made me laugh because it’s very telling of the culture. You humble yourself asking for a favor, particularly women do what they can and appeal to get what they want. And then when they get it, they’re in control.

The housewife often has that image, for example, being the 奥さん or the woman of the house. Nice to see Tokue still has it. Once she’s given the okay to make the あん, she’s going to make sure it’s done the right way!

  1. Sentaro doesn’t have the pride to make the あん the right way, but he’s careful not to set himself up to fail. How do we know he still cares about his job? Why do you think he does? And what scenes in the book prove this?

As much as Japanese people enjoy their sakura, it would still gross them out to have foreign particles (they did not order) touch their food. If they were more positive, they could see it as a free sakura dorayaki version vs. a plain version. :stuck_out_tongue:

5 Likes

I thought this was the explanation for how the sakura petals were getting mixed into the dorayaki - initially we only know that the customers complain, but here we learn how this happened.

3 Likes

I bought the book and caught up! :partying_face:
(in fact technically I was never actually behind, hehe)

I really liked chapter six and all the love 徳江 poured into the beans that “せっかく came all the way from Canada” :joy: I also appreciated all the detailed descriptions of the process. I’ve tried making あん myself (I love the taste so much!) and I liked it fine, but my method was sloppy to say the least, and 徳江 would definitely be shocked by my lack of respect and attention. I have much to learn from her.

5 Likes

That makes a lot more sense! I thought it was like the dorayaki was getting sakura petals in it and on top of that he doesn’t always cook it all the way. Looking back, that’s all the same paragraph, so that’s what was getting mixed in. Thank you!!

3 Likes