おじさまと猫 (Ojisama to Neko) Chapter 3 Discussion

Here is the Chapter 3 Discussion Thread!

We have a vocab sheet .

Shoutout to @Sarabrina for starting this book club and @frayderike for starting us off with such a lovely vocab sheet.

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Page 13

出会えたこと

Anyone have insight on the potential + past + こと construction here? Best guess: “[the matter of] being able to meet by chance” as opposed to simple 出会うこと of “[the event of] meeting by chance”

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If potential is “to be able to meet”, then I’d say past potential would be “to have been able to meet”.

This is conveyed as a concept of “to have been able to meet” by having it modify the noun こと (which is used for a “conceptual thing”). This then allows the concept to be used as the が-marked subject (since only a noun can be the subject).

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My crops have been watered and my skin cleared after the sheer heartwarming-ness of this chapter. I missed how he got his name the first time I tried to skim this chapter last year.

So the ふく is definitely from 幸福 (happiness/blessedness), but what about the まる? I had assumed this part was 丸 (circle) because he’s a chunky kitty. However I saw this listed under 丸 on jisho.org

  1. suffix for ship names; suffix for names of people (esp. infants); suffix for names of swords, armour, musical instruments, etc.; suffix for names of dogs, horses, etc.

So ふくまる is like “hap-baby/happibaby?” :pleading_face:

Any other insights, nuances, opinions, thoughts on the namegiving?

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Love the way he got his name!

According to this book https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Things_Japanese “The probability is that two distinct words— maru and maro —have flowed into one, and so got confused. […] The word maro, on the other hand, is an archaic term of endearment.”

So it could also possibly be 幸福 combined with a suffix of endearement. :cat:

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I was thinking it was ふく just as the noun 福 rather than 幸福.
Jisho has 福 as

Noun

  1. good fortune; happiness; blessing; good luck

Given that it reminded me of maneki-neko and he’s kind of spotty in a similar way. So I came up with lucky round or in the more causal baby talk way ‘my lucky chunky floof’.

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that’s so much cuter than my idea :pleading_face:
Although seeing three of those 4 end in “y” makes me want to say “my lucky chunky floofy” <3

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Gah the cuteness just doesn’t end :sob::sparkling_heart: and now I can finally stop calling Fukumaru “the cat” in these threads :sweat_smile:

I assumed this too! Like he’s a little ball of happiness/fortune :pleading_face: but knowing how much word play there is in Japanese, it’s probably a mixture of round 丸 and suffix 丸

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Any ideas about the first names old man is mentioning?

ブチタ - I feel like I’ve heard this before but I don’t remember / don’t know what it could mean

マメ助 - I found that まめ can be used as a prefix for “miniature; tiny​”, so maybe the meaning of this one is something like “tiny helper” or “tiny rescuer” (like Fukumaru being someone who saves old man from being lonely?)

おむすび - pretty sure this means rice ball (similar to onigiri), with that black spot on his head, Fukumaru’s head does look like a riceball!

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ブチタ seems to be related to Fukumaru’s spots (kanji 斑). I’m not sure if it’s a similar cliche to name a pet “Spot” in Japan.

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