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.)


Oh my! That is some serious effort right there!

Thanks for translating this. Perhaps our next book club could be his thesis on the lifestyle costs of education…


Page 142, part two:


To the family


Let’s appreciate “the enjoyment of having many things I want to know”


Editor / Former Kawaguchi Junior College Children’s Department Professor
Niida Yumiko


“When I grow up, I want to be an astronaut. The reason why is because I’ve never seen outer space.”


“When I grow up, I want to be a zoo person. Zookeepers can go places that we can’t go, and play with lots of animals. I’m sure there are hardships too, but now, the places I can’t see seem like fun.”


These are conversations with your fellow second-graders. If you listen carefully, both of these dreams come from curiosity for the unknown.


Sad that the book is over! Thank you everyone for being so supportive. I very much enjoyed the reading and the choice of book! Forever-catching-uply yours!


Good to hear from you again. Thanks for you and @emucat setting up an unusual precedent by doing daily page by page translations. That was quite a surprise and seemed to occur spontaneously. Wish you the best on the next book.


Technically speaking, this could go on ad infinitum if you’d like. :rofl: But thanks for hanging out.


Damn I only just found out about this. Does anyone know if/when you’ll do the next book?


Thanks @betsuts! And welcome to the forums!

Well, the whole thread is here so you can do this book. Every single sentence has been covered, and if you have any questions that haven’t already been answered, you can still post them here!

There are no immediate plans to read another book in the series, and most people at our level are now making start (today in fact) with しろくまカフェ (see you there?). But perhaps one day in the future?

It’s your first post. Welcome to the WK forum!

@Saruko, don’t know if you have the time or are still interested in the note to parents translation but I think maybe we could discuss it now. @Belthazar has already done some work and posted up sentences. Not sure if he is planning to do the rest.

I worked through all the sentences and sorta got the gist but have a lot of questions about them.


In the title, why are there quotation marks? Is it an actual quote or just there for emphasis?


Why does the writer use 所 in one sentence (入れない所), then useところ instead of the kanji in the next sentence (見られないところが) unless ところ (or maybe it’sところが) means something different?


@Belthazar Can you tell me how you translated this as “can become dreams”?
I came up with “both (statements of the 2 kids) are dreams from curiosity of the unknown.”

Aye, he is. Yesterday just wound up being busy.

I wondered that too. Vaguely pondered if this was the variety of ところ that’s actually こと in disguise.

Uh, yeah. Apparently I translated that by completely not paying attention to what I was translating. Think I’ll just go back and change it…

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Sorry, the kids are all on spring break this week, so I haven’t really had the time to sit down with it :sweat_smile:
But maybe on Monday?

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But but but… it’s winter!

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That’s what they said, too, but I guess it’s close enough. At least the weather is cooperating pretty decently this week, anyway.