Brilliant! Thank you emucat! And thank you again for everything you did for this bookclub. It would have not been the success it has been without all your work. I really appreciate it. Thank you so much!


No, I made a mistake somewhere and we finished a day or two early! Good thing really, I can start working on Shirokuma!

@Micki… can you do the final paragraph for us? After all, we’ve been relying on your wonderful and wonderfully consistent translations for months now! It would be so good if you could finish the book for us!

Page 141 - the final paragraph!

After all the unexpected topics in this book it seems fitting that we finish with the obscure sport of curling!!

I also love the fact that Scotland is such an obscure concept for 8 year olds in Japan that it always has to be referred to as part of the UK…

そこが 平らな 川の 石を、こおりの 上で すべらせる あそびを ヒントに イギリスの スコットランドで 生まれたと いわれています。今の ルールは、カナダで できました。

Curling. Played by sliding a smooth river stone over the ice (with a hint?), it is said that this game originated in Scotland in the UK. Today’s rules were established in Canada.


Thank you so much Micki! And thank you so much for all your work in this club! You have taught and inspired me so much, and many other people too I’m sure, and all with great humour and patience! I am deeply grateful to you Micki!


And with that, I’m off to bed!

It’s dangerous making a list of names in case I accidentally leave anyone out, and there have been so many wonderful people making so many great contributions to this club over the past 4 months that it would be simply impossible to name everyone anyway. So let me just thank each and every person who posted to this thread. We have created something that has been fun, supportive, fascinating and useful both now and for long into the future. Thank you!

See you all soon in the Shirokuma and Yotsuba threads!


Marcus, this book club has been amazing. Thank you for setting it up and picking a book that worked so well. I was stuttering along so slowly with the translations at the start of this book and I have learned so much along the way.

I’m making my first trip to Japan the first two weeks in April along with my wife and kids. Maybe you could recommend a good tour company in Tokyo…?


Brilliant! lol! With your Japanese, you ought to be guiding me! The first two weeks in April, wow, that is Peak Tokyo right there! You’re going to have a great time!

And for your next books, I’m sure you won’t forget, I’m sure it’s top of your list… have fun in “Book Off”!


Perhaps: Has its origins in several countries, but the sport as we know it today was established in Scotland, UK.

Glad you could join us for the last page! Not too rusty there! Here was my effort…

Water polo. At first this was a game similar to soccer using the feet to carry the ball in the water. Later, it changed to a game where the ball is carried in the hands, and developed rules similar to nowadays.

And now onto しろくまカフェ. Just read the first chapter on the train up from London, it’s going to be a very different read…


@marcusp Thank you so much for moderating this delightful book! There was so much packed into it with one surprising thing after another. Good call on this one.

Of course you’ve been moderating continuously since last July with にゃんにゃん and earned a well deserved break for awhile. おつかれさま!

I think one of the things which really made this group unique was the page by page translations being posted daily resulting in every sentence in the book being translated over more than a 4 month period. Pretty remarkable when you think about it.

I think this method really helped everyone out by showing that our own individual translations which we may have assumed to be correct were actually incorrect or needed improvement. Sometimes we can think that our own translations are correct and therefore there’s no need to ask any questions about it. This method also seemed to foster discussion of various grammar issues by examining every sentence in detail.

This all started with @emucat’s translation of the very first sentence 外国にも、おすしはあるの?He along with @Luacat kept it going daily for a long period until @Micki carried it to the end along with others joining in here and there to help out. A real community effort! I think one of the notable accomplishments in the annals of Wanikani history.

My thanks to everyone. You’ve all help me out immensely on this marathon journey.

My special thanks to @Belthazar. I started out learning the language on Textfugu several years ago and I have to tell him and everyone else what a tremendous help he was to me on the Forum there. He was a big help to not only myself but to hundreds (maybe thousands) of others as well. He basically was and still is the Forum there. No one else comes close. And of course he continues to help out me and others here on the Wanikani Forum years later. So I just wanted to say to you @Belthazar if you ever wonder if all your effort in helping out dimwits like me is appreciated or not, believe me it is. Thank you!

This is my 5th book group in a row so I’ll be taking a break after this. Sorry if I said anything to offend anyone. (I’m an American but please don’t hold it against me.)


I think you missed the third line: されていますが、

So I think it is: せかいの いくつかの 国が はじまりと されていますが、今のような スポーツとして 成立したのは イギリスの スコットランドです


Aww, thanks.

I’m not sure I’d be too impressed at my continued presence on the TextFugu forums, though, because they’re basically dead…


I agree with that. I hadn’t been in a book club before and I was surprised when I looked at other bookclubs that it doesn’t normally work like that. There was also something about the size and structure of this book that really lent it to line by line translations.

I can understand why Marcus didn’t try and thank everyone by name as there have been so many contributors it would be a shame to leave someone out. But as well as @marcusp and @emucat who really led this club with so much effort and good humour, we should thank you @trout, @Belthazar and @Saruko who all contributed so much. You all answered lots of difficult questions and spotted subtleties in the translations that others of us hadn’t seen, and hung in there to the end.

@Luacat did an awesome contribution with 100+ posts. @icenando with a monster effort to catch up and get involved again. @leebo often dropped by with a helpful comment (including when he was gently summoned by Emucat!). And when I was catching up with the early chapters there were lots of helpful posts by @zuzu. Finally, it was great having @frayderike joining us late on as our numbers were thinning!


We should also give @marcusp an award for most eloquent translation…


This party needs some food! How about some
sushi :sushi:
rice :rice:
maple syrup :maple_leaf:
surstromming :canned_food: (oops, looks like someone put the wrong label on that can!)
something in a bowl :bowl_with_spoon:
and gum :candy:

It’s been great reading this book with all of you! And I don’t think I would have gotten nearly as much out of it if I had been reading on my own. Thanks @marcusp for making the selection and organizing it, and thanks everyone for making it a really enjoyable experience!


Amazing job everyone :slight_smile: I’m sorry I couldn’t make it to the end for this one, no doubt I will re-visit this book in the future. I’ve learned a lot from all of you.

Hope to see you for しろくまカフェ as well. Been trying actually study some grammar in the run up to this instead of just making it up as I go. :stuck_out_tongue:


I just finished the book. I haven’t been able to keep up with the one page a day schedule, so ended up reading bigger batches here and there instead. Once back on track I read all comments up to that point, so I have read every single comment! And they helped a whole lot! Great job all who contributed with translations and notes!

There are so many comments that reading all of them takes longer than reading the book :rofl:
" There are 2684 replies with an estimated read time of 321 minutes"
I think their estimate is a bit low, since we are picking apart and doing grammar =P


The なぜ?どして?bookclub is now complete, but this thread will remain open for post-bookclub discussions.

Questions regarding vocabulary, grammar, translations, and so on are still welcome at any time. Please check first before posting that your question hasn’t already been answered. The easiest way to do this is by clicking on the search button, clicking the “search this topic” box, and entering the page number.

Likewise, if you post, please add the page number to the top of your post.

Opening Post
Section one
Section two
Section three
Section four


Even though I joined really late, it was a great experience for me! It was the first time for me reading an actual Japanese book and reading together with others. A big thanks to everyone! I really wish I stumbled upon the forums sooner, then I could and would have joined earlier.
I learned a lot about grammar just in a few days. Translating sentence by sentence may not be common for other book clubs but with naze doushite I think it worked well. It’s not like a manga or novel with an actual plot you can discuss. I think with these, sentence by sentence translations might get really tiresome as well as engergy-sapping and you might end up not enjoying the read at all.

Now I’m off to reading all the stuff before I joined (so everything before page 114). So if you see someone liking your old posts in this thread, it’s probably me :wink:


Bonus page 142, part one: About the Author. With bonus furigana:



Born in 1945.


Completed a Master’s degree at the Tokyo Gakugei University* Postgraduate School of Education (Master’s in Education).

*This appears to be its official name in English, but a direct translation would be “Tokyo Liberal Arts College”.

民間みんかん研究所員けんきゅうしょいん公立小学校こうりつしょうがっこう教員きょういん三十四年さんじゅうよねん定年退職 ていねんたいしょく あと川口短期大学かわぐちたんきだいがく教授きょうじゅ東京学芸大学とうきょうがくげいだいがく非常勤講師 ひじょうきんこうし として、教員養成 きょういんようせいたずさわってきた。

Member of a private research institute; after teaching at a public elementary school for thirty-four years until compulsory retirement age, became a professor at Kawaguchi Junior College; as a part-time lecturer at Tokyo Gakugei University, was involed in teacher development.


Research theme: The lifestyle costs of education, the foundations of learning.

(Whew, that took a while. Gonna have to do part two later.)