おばちゃんたちのいるところ 👻 (Intermediate Book Club) ・ Week 12

Week 12 21 January 2023
Story 14 and 15
End page 221
Page count 10+7
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Vocabulary

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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.
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Participation

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3 Likes

Story 14 is another riffing-off-a-rakugo one: this is a summary of 三年目. Personally I feel like the short story spoils the punchline of the rakugo joke more than the rakugo spoils the short story this time round :slight_smile:

Story 15 is related to the rakugo 乳房榎. That link is to a plot summary; since it’s not a for-a-joke-punchline rakugo I think the summary probably has lost most of the atmosphere and pacing, though. There was also apparently a 1950s black and white film version of it in the horror genre. Youtube has a 6m30 retelling of it by the actress Megumi Ogata.

4 Likes

Story 14:

I loved 汀さん’s unexpected militancy :fist:t2: I also liked that we got to see three different perspectives within the same story. I personally thought reading the rakugo first enhanced my enjoyment of the story, so thanks @pm215!

4 Likes

I finally caught up with the readings!! Yay!!

Story 14:
I liked this one! I enjoyed the three different perspectives and how everyone was really chill about the afterlife and treating it as a ‘new’ life. Imagining a ghost stealing caramel popcorn and watching movies is amazing. Sometimes I really feel this line myself: 私のスタイルにようやく時代が追いついた。遅いよ。
This too もうすっかり寒くなったけど、私はまだまだアイス派だ。 I love ice cream in winter!

Story 15: This one was just depressing. I didn’t enjoy it and there was no twist or revelation or any interesting development connecting to the other stories…but maybe that was the point? I hope Enoki’s resin did have powers so all those babies didn’t get sick!

5 Likes

Story 14.

It took me a while to realize there was a change of perspective, I thought that the use of 俺 was just part of her new punk personna :see_no_evil: And then later I again took a while to realize that it was the second wife talking. Nice story, and funny how they’re so cool in the afterlife, and not particularly eager to associate with the people from their living days.

Anyone know when it was a tradition to shave a dead person’s head?

The rakugo was very funny, even if it was spoiled by the story.

7 Likes

Story 15.

I liked this one a lot, even though おきせ’s life was nothing but tragedy. I really like the idea of this tree minding its own business, swaying in the wind, when suddenly there comes a time when all sorts of women flock to it for help, then disappear again as seasons change. For the longest time, I thought エノキ would be a tanuki for some reason, but a tree makes so much more sense.

3 Likes

The thing I liked about story 15 is that the character expounding this very rationalist “there’s no way tree sap could be mother’s milk, what are they all thinking?” viewpoint is … a sentient tree :slight_smile:

4 Likes

Story 15:

I liked how we could see the tree slowly coming to empathise with the women the tree considered a nuisance at the start :grin: Took me a little while to realise Enoki was a tree though. At first I thought it was a person with weird lumps :joy: But once it occurred to me to look up what 榎 actually means, it all clicked into place.

4 Likes

The funny thing was that I looked it up immediately, yet still thought it was just a name until the very end. :person_facepalming:

3 Likes