かがみの孤城 Week 1

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Week 1

Start Date: November 6th
Next week

Discussion Rules

  • Please use spoiler tags for major events in the current chapter and any content in future chapters.
  • When asking for help, please mention the page number. If you are reading the ebook version mention the percentage.
  • Don’t be afraid of asking questions, even if they seem embarrassing at first. All of us are here to learn.
  • To you lurkers out there: Join the conversation, it’s fun! :durtle:

Read Aloud

We will be reading on Sundays at 10:30PM Japan time (reading the previous week’s content). Here is the time in your local time zone:



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Why’d you create the thread a week early?

EDIT: Never mind, I see.


@NicoleIsEnough @seanblue Sorry for confusing you guys :pray:


Do we have a reading schedule somewhere?

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Ah! I see-- it’s hidden/summarized.

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What a start. Going in completely blind I did not really know what to expect and I’m already hooked.

The first chapter and the whole situation こころ finds herself in is really heartbreaking, it kind of reminded me of 声の形.

I can’t wait for what this book has in store and it is going to be a tough reading only the assigned parts every week.

As a small suggestion: I think it would be great if the part we are reading could be added to the weekly threads.


Maybe I’m a little early but seeing as it’s the 6th here (and in Japan it’s the 7th) I think it’s alright

So far I’ve read maybe about half the week’s material - definitely somewhat tough going for me, but I was expecting that going in. It’s probably the most interesting thing I’ve tried reading in Japanese so far though, and I’m sure sticking with it will help make it easier. Please bear with me probably asking a lot of questions

And on that note I do have some questions about some sentences so any help with figuring them out would be appreciated - since I’m on the ebook I can only provide a percentage so I’m sorry it won’t be super precise:

Very first sentence of the little prologue bit at the start of the book

So is this just being poetic and sounding like a response to some unspoken thing we’re unaware of, or does たとえば have some different connotations that I’m missing? Like it feels weird to just launch straight into something with たとえば to me, but maybe that’s because I’m associating it to “for example” too much


「国道沿いのスーパーまでは距離があって車がなければなかなか行けないせいか、こころの小さい頃から、週に一度、うちの裏にある公園にミカワ青果の車が やってくる。」
So I think I understand the second part of this sentence well enough, however the first part - up to せいか is more of a mystery to me

Here the part that I’m wondering about is ようで - does this mean that Kokoro isn’t sure her mother went (and is saying that it seems like she did)? Not sure if I’m reading it right and it’s an intentional thing or not

I’m a little confused by the とまでは part near the start of this sentence

Just overall not sure with these - couldn’t figure out the first sentence and the second sentence seems like it’s adding to the first but how so is unclear to me

I’ll continue reading some more tomorrow I think, but that’s all I can handle for today (got up to about 4%)

Also I would like to second the suggestion to put the part we’re reading to in the weekly thread description

This one gave me a bit of trouble as well. Here's how I broke it down.

There’s a sentence, followed by せい (“blame”) and か (questioning). Thus I read this like in English if we were to say “Is it because […]?” (But that’s more of a sense of feeling I get, not suggesting that’s an accurate way of looking at it.)

As for the preceding sentence, I use the て as a good spot to visualize it as two separate clauses:


On the topic of “as far as the supermarket on the national highway”, the comment of “it is distance”. I feel I may be missing on something that gives the impression of it being a long distance, but I read this as essentially saying the supermarkets are far away (and require taking the highway to get to).


なかなか is one of those words that still gives me trouble. Like, I sort of have a vague sense of it, but not really.

From this one, I get that if you don’t have a car, you can’t really go (to the supermarket).

So, it is for these reasons (supermarket being far, and people without a car being unable to go) that the Mikawa grocery truck comes.

I read this the same as you did (so I look forward to anyone who may be able to expand on it). My expectation is that Kokoro doesn’t know her mother went, but based on what her mother said about the person who runs the grocery truck, Kokoro can assume her mother has gone to it.

That confused me until I mentally removed the 、 from it. Then the と attached to the word before it as quoting a sound.

This one is another where I think I kind of have a sense of it, but I’m glad you asked, because I can definitely benefit from anything anyone can say about it.

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国道沿いのスーパーまでは距離があって = The supermarket along the highway is far

車がなければなかなか行けない = Can’t easily go without a car (I’m not sure if there’s a better word for なかなか than “easily”)

せいか = perhaps [the preceding explanation is the reason for the rest of the sentence]
This is the same せい as in 君のせい (it’s your fault / you’re the reason that…), but adding か at the end makes it more a question / wondering rather than a statement.

The prior sentence says that some people say that it’s noisy. This sentence means that Kokoro wouldn’t go as far to think that it’s noisy, but (rest of the sentence).

The と is for 思う. More simply, it’s just 騒音と思わない, but までは is why I added “go as far to” to my translation.

Again, this ties back to the previous sentence:


Back in elementary school, the car was something she’d catch during summer or winter breaks. But seeing it from her room with the curtains drawn on a weekday isn’t something she did. Until last year.

I will add that I find the phrase カーテンを引いて to be confusing. Does it mean to open the curtains or to close them? Googling around indicates that some people think it can mean either way and other people think it only means closing the curtains. How odd.


also liking the book so far, some of it feels almost a bit too relatable.



i feel like i kinda understand what’s being said here, but i’m not sure.
the first clause, what is the mother trying her best to do? to put sympathy into whatever she is trying to grumble? and then cuts it off with a big sigh? or is the first clause the description for how she says her dialogue line?


it sounds like she is pulling a scowl as if trying to figure out where kokoro is hurting, but i don’t get the 自分まで here.

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I think it must be this. I’m pretty sure it’s describing how Kokoro says 行けない, and afterwards the mother sighs.

自分 here is referring to the mother because the mother is the focus of the sentence (the one doing 顔をしかめた). The mother grimaced as if her own body hurt somewhere.


That is an interesting thought, instincitvely I would have said closing. In this case the curtains are closed beforehand 「カーテンを閉めた窓の向こうから」and after that sentence she talks about them like they are closed 「カーテンの布地の淡いオレンジ色を通し」so I would guess in this case it describes the state of the curtains being closed.

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The first clause goes back to こころ saying 「行けない」and that she put all her feelings into that and then her mother reacts by sighing.

To add to @seanblue answer in this case the まで does carry a meaning of even/up to.


Unless it’s describing how they are closed but she briefly pulls them back to get a look at the car. After all, she’s describing how she sees the car on weekdays now. Not sure how she would see it if the curtain was closed the whole time.


cheers to you and @seanblue , i seem to have a hard time sometimes figuring out who is even talked about when no pictures are present.

regarding your explanation

The first clause goes back to こころ saying 「行けない」and that she put all her feelings into that and then her mother reacts by sighing.

when you say, put all her feelings into that, as in, all she can muster right now? so she is basically at the point that all she can muster is a murmur? or is this a real emotional response?
sorry for being nitpicky, just want to make sure.


That all helps a lot, thank you - and thanks @ChristopherFritz too

Follow-up question

I’m still a little unclear with how to interpret the 身を硬くしている平日 part - a hardening-the-body-weekday? or hardening-oneself-weekday? Honestly no idea


I didn’t know either, but I just googled the phrase and apparently it indicates being nervous and as a result your body becoming stiff.

Maybe it’s not modifying 平日 but rather it’s modifying 平日に見るもの? I’m not really sure.


I’m having a hard time finding any answer that satisfies me 100%. It just feels weird mentioning closing the curtain without mentioning it being peeked through/opened.


I don’t really think of it as muster. In my mind こころ is quite distressed and wants her mother to believe her so she puts all those feelings into that 行けない the sentence inbetween really drives this home 「行かないんじゃなくて、行けない。」 her clarifying that she physically can not go.

I would definitely say that in the sentence she says that seeing this van is normally a holiday thing and now to contrast that she talks about her current state: being in that room, curtains closed, her body stiff, that is normally not something that would happen on a weekday

important to mention thatものではない is a distinct structure.


This is definitely my interpretation as well, but I’m missing how it functions grammatically. It’s as if the sentence is missing a comma or a 様子で after 身を硬くしている or something like that. Right now I can only read it (grammatically) as 身を硬くしている modifying something, which doesn’t really make sense.


muster, not as in the word that’s used in the text, but interpreting her mental and physical state so to say.
i just dont know how 精一杯 can be used, like is it always used when something is done at full strength, or something is done as good as possible in your current state.
because つぶやく was used, it doesn’t sound very energetic/convincing to me, if the best she can do is murmur/mumble something.
if that’s the best she can muster, then that’s very telling about how she feels right now.

then again, sometimes i wildly interpret things that seem like they fit, which makes me see sentences in a wrong light, based on that, dunno.