かがみの孤城 Week 1


I think we’re getting there :sweat_smile:

Yes, you’re right. I only got this after I wrote that response, and forgot to get back and change it.

Isn’t it this grammar point: https://jlptsensei.com/learn-japanese-grammar/て欲しい-てほしい-te-hoshii-meaning/ - “I want you to”? (This of course doesn’t clarify who “I” and “you” are in our case :joy:)
Plus we also have three different options for 聞く. But I made up my mind and finally asked Google, and it seems to mean “I want you to listen.” - so she wants to talk about things. Which makes the most sense from context, as @Belerith will hopefully agree :grin:

I think it would have to use 【JLPT N5】文法・例文:〜が欲しい | 日本語NET at some point.

I was of the impression that 気がする is only used for things that come from the “outside” (i.e. having an intuition about what’s going on in another person) but I checked 大辞林 and apparently that’s not the case (it says そのように思う。感じられる。). So it can mean she has an idea about her own feelings.
But I don’t see that at this point in the sentence she’s already at the stage of “unsure about wanting to meet”. Instead, I rather think (because the sentence in brackets qualifies the 気) “she has a feeling that she wants to talk about lots of things”.


as far as I know,(が・〜て)ほしい is like 〜たい in that it’s exclusively used to express what the speaker wants (in the case of 〜てほしい, it’s what the speaker wants someone else to do)

I’m not quite sure what you mean, but が needs a noun so it wouldn’t make sense to use がほしい. just realised I made a typo, it should have been ほしがる. 〜がる is the standard way of talking about other peoples feelings…

I agree that “had a feeling” is the most natural translation. to me that implies a certain degree of uncertainty (compare “she had a feeling she wanted to…” to “she wanted to…”) :stuck_out_tongue:

the way I interpreted it, she wanted to meet them, but then started to second guess herself since she’s been avoiding them (and now she probably feels guilty).

oh god, this reminds me of that time I was unemployed for a year. it’s all so painfully relatable :fearful:


For what it’s worth, I agree with denzo’s interpretation for page 29. I was too tired to answer the question yesterday, but my answer would have basically been the same. Kokoro had a feeling that she really had a lot she wanted to talk about (wanted them to listen to), but them making a fuss about her would be awkward/unpleasant so it became that they didn’t meet.

(Wow, translating 気を遣う sucks.)

It’s really cool how much conversation there has been for the first week’s reading. I know it always decreases later on, but hopefully there’s still a lot. I remember with 狐笛のかなた there was virtually no conversation in the last several weekly threads, so it would be great to not have a repeat of that.


I wasn’t originally planning to read this book partly because the cover screemed a bit too YA for me (not that I have a problem with YA - I read a ton of it in my teenage years and early 20s, just not as relevant to my life anymore), but the good reviews swayed me. I was amused that one of the English advertisment taglines I spotted for this book was “Convnience Women with a fantasy twist” - there might be some truth to that, but mostly I suspect its a way of saying “Youu remember that other Japanese you liked? This is also a Japanese book!” lol.

In terms of difficulty, this is really hitting the sweet spot between being too easy and too hard for me. Not too many vocabulary look ups, and a healthy mix of portions I can breeze through and sentences that I have stop and take the time to pick apart. One thing I found a bit challenging is how the narrations switches from third person, to kind of first person (i.e. using free indirect discourse à la Jane Austen)? Not that its hard to understand necessarily, just that my brain seems continually surprised everytime Kokoro is talked about in the third person. Anyone else have that?

Everybody has done a great job of asking all the questions I had, so nothing from me. Just wanted to post to express reading solidarity with others!


:rofl: My favorite is how just about every game and movie is “reminiscent of a Ghibli film”. I mean, there also might be some truth to that given the studio’s influence. Seeing コンビニ comparisons is actually a nice change of pace!

I’m also excited about the level of participation! And it’s coming from a group of only 27 as opposed to the hundred or so that might start a pick in the BBC. I don’t ask nearly as many questions as I should and I learn a lot more when I ask/answer/read.

I’m only 8 pages in but so far I really like the writing style (maybe partially because it’s easy :slightly_smiling_face:). If this week is any indication, then reading this along with 地球星人 might just be bookclub nirvana. Hopefully the content sparks the same level of discussion that we’ve seen on some Murata picks.


can’t say I noticed anything like that when I was reading it :thinking:

I’m pretty sure most of it is just in third person (but it’s harder to tell because so much gets omitted) - I had a quick skim through and I was more suprised by the bits in first person that were inline (e.g. 私は、みんなに気を使われている)

japanese narrative does seem to align more closely with the character than in english though, so it doesn’t feel out of place to me…


quote=“denzo, post:108, topic:54196”]
so it doesn’t feel out of place to me…

I didn’t notice it either. I suppose it fits right in since everything is completely from her pov anyway. :slight_smile: ​Are there more places than the one already quoted in this week’s part?

I considered it might be to show that she directly thought this in that moment. At first the fact that this part was in present tense seemed to support that, but then right after we had some 3rd person sentences that also we’re in present tense. I guess it’s just not such a strict rule in Japanese.


Thank you everyone for the insightful answers to my questions!


I haven’t gone back to read the sentence in context so I don’t know what position I’d take on the whole, but I don’t think it has to be ほしたがる if something speculative comes afterward, like と思う or 気がする. たがる gives distance, I feel like, with not assuming you know for sure what the other person wants, but with 気がする already providing that distance, I think it can be ほしい even for someone else.


Yes, I think so to. But I also think that for this sentence @denzo’s interpretation fits best and the ほしい is describing Kokoro’s own feelings.


I see where you’re coming from. Something like らしい works, but 気がする somehow feels too personal to me… Like it’s talking directly about your own experience? I dunno, I guess 気がする doesn’t really give me a sense of distance. It’s very うち, so to speak and I can’t say I’ve ever come across it used the way you’re suggesting. I’d be interested if you have an example of it though


Someone started a list of name pronunciations, but I can’t find it. Could an administrator add that to the first post of this thread, pretty please?


i can’t edit the first post, but it’s in the home thread. first post of that is probably a better place for it


It feels like forever since I’ve read from an actual book in Japanese (tough year would be an understatement), but I have more time now and I’d been interested in this book so hopefully I can keep up with a bookclub again.
Finished this week’s reading yesterday. Felt harder than usual, probably since I’m out of practice and there were a lot of jumps in the narration, but I’ve enjoyed it and I think it’ll get easier quickly.

This part was really sad and brought back old memories, but I’m really curious to know more about the story. Pretty excited to be reading again! And there seems to me a lot of participation which is always nice.


Thanks, I’ve bookmarked it!


To close off this week I just read this week’s part in the English edition.

Here’s how the translator (Philip Gabriel) handled some of the sentences that were discussed.

Regarding the bit at the start where Kokoro’s body is rigid: in the translation the curtains are drawn (so not pulled back) and Kokoro hears (not sees) the the truck. The full sentence in the translation: “She’d never listened to it so intently - on a weekday, in her bedroom, curtains drawn, her body rigid”, but I think he’s also taking some liberties there.

Regarding the part where Kokoro says 「行けない」he translates the 精一杯 bit as ‘Kokoro was finally able, with great effort, to mutter a response’.

Regarding the 申し訳 on p. 21, he translates it to Kokoro feeling awkward about the スクール’s name.

By the way, the translator interestingly added that the School is ‘a sort of children’s counselling centre and alternative school’ (an explanation that is not in the original).

Regarding the ほしい on p. 29, the translator also attributes it to Kokoro: Kokoro feels that there is so much she wanted to say (but ‘making them feel obliged to come over made her uncomfortable’ - I think the translator also had trouble translating 気を使われている :upside_down_face:).

I also learned that I had misread the part before it: her old classmates did not abandon her, Kokoro refused to meet them :man_facepalming:

Regarding the bit at 6% about the floor plan of Tojo’s house, the translator chose to say that Kokoro got the impression that it had been designed with Tojo’s family specifically in mind.

Regarding the 身を屈めて bit at 7% the translator writes that Sanada was crouching down (watching Kokoro from below).


Not surprising that the translator had to add something. How do you differentiate them in English when 学校 and スクール are both “school”? It’s an interesting choice though.


Yes, quite understandable. He also explicitly adds that everyone refers to the alternative school by the English word ‘School’. I think he’s probably going to call it “the alternative school” to make the distinction clear.


Yay! This is what made sense to me, because it is in てform, so, not modifying じぶん


I have a question about the following sentence from page 16 of the two volume set.


Is it saying something along the lines of: she remembered the first time that she stayed home past 11 o’clock on a weekday morning? After trying a couple times I still can’t sort out the grammar of this sentence.