はなものがたり: LGBT+GSRM Book Club

hana
はなものがたり

Synopsis:
Hanayo, who lost her husband of many years.
Yoshiko is single and runs a cosmetics store.
Two people who have walked completely different lives meet, are attracted to each other, and get to know each other because of her grandmother’s present.

Schedule:
第1話 10/13/2023 Pages 001-035
第2話 10/20/2023 Pages 035-063
第3話 10/27/2023 Pages 063-095
第4話 11/3/2023 Pages 095-127
第5話 11/10/2023 Pages 127-End

(Book club as a whole will “start” reading the section on the date listed)

Level: With a cursory look through chapter 1, I think this intermediate. Hanayo has a way of speaking that might trip people up, turning many r kana into ん so just be prepared for that I guess. Kanji looks mostly simple.

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Just a quick comment here since I just started reading ch 1 - pretty sure the main characters speak in Kansai-ben. Not too heavy of an accent (at least to my beginner eyes) but definitely may trip people up. I found this article (Kansai Dialect Guide: Basic Grammar & Words To Boost Your Japanese) and skimming through Kansai dialect - Wikipedia somewhat useful.

Edit: found a useful index: Kansai-ben: 2. Kansai Grammar Index

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Beautiful thank you. I could tell it wasn’t what I was used to but I didn’t have any way to place what it was.

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Thanks so much for setting this up! Just to make sure I’m not confusing things, the date given on the schedule for each chapter is the date we should finish that chapter by, right? So, we should finish chapter 1 by October 20th, etc?

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そのとうり、exactly.

I updated the schedule to list the end page this will hopefully be less confusing.

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Looking forward to reading this!

@amagi Would you be open to considering having the dates be start dates instead? I think it would make sense to not have strict deadlines, so people can read slower if they want to, and continue to discuss previous chapters later on.

If you’d prefer the end dates though, I think it’d be a good idea to explicitly state in the first post that the dates listed are end dates so people aren’t confused, since book clubs generally list start dates

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I didn’t know that. That’s fine with me. I think people should feel free to ask questions any time even if they read it a year later.

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What a heartwarming first chapter! It’s nice to see an older woman depicted so sympathetically in manga (or in any kind of media really). :blush:

Chapter 1 comments

It was cute to see Hanayo so immediately smitten by Yoshiko!

(p.13; sorry for my blurry eReader photo)

I liked the term 金魚のフン (p.14) for a person who’s a hanger-on. The mental imagery of a piece of poop trailing behind a goldfish is so good. :laughing:

The Kansai-ben was tough! I’m glad I’m also currently reading 舞妓さんち with the BBC, so I can really get more familiar with it. Had to split the week’s reading over two days since I was burning out reading it; this is definitely on the tougher end for me. :sweat_smile:

A fairly reliable strategy I used for Kansai-ben I totally couldn’t understand and couldn’t find in my dictionary was to google “(term) 関西弁” and it almost always turned something up, thankfully.

I also spent an embarrassingly long time trying to google what “西田はな代” was, before figuring out it was the main character’s name. :upside_down_face:

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This was very cute!

Ch 1 Comments

Fave panels:

Their first meeting was indeed v cute!

Love how Yoshiko is so elegant and put-together but has a mouth on her, go supportive grandmas :smile:

It sucks that Hanayo’s husband and son were so critical of her putting on makeup in the past but I’m glad she’s getting another chance to start expressing herself now :smiley: I guess once you marry and have kids you’re just expected to be “the wife” or “the mother” and devote your time to your family rather than yourself (especially in traditional Asian families). Gender roles :expressionless:

This is definitely on the more difficult side for me (especially since I’m just getting back into Japanese after a couple of years’ hiatus) and I had to look up a lot of stuff but I’m glad I can get a lot from context!

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I’m scared now! But I’m glad it’s cute.

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I still have a couple pages left of the first chapter (I only skimmed them before falling asleep) but this is so sweet! Hanayo’s story is already making my heart warm and achy at the same time.

I second that the Kansai-ben is a challenge, but it’s one I’m looking forward to as we keep reading. Huge thank you to @kuirin for the resource links! I was using my downtime at work yesterday to read through the entire Kansaiben website, haha. I read the first chapter without looking up any dialect stuff, but I think I’ll go reread over the weekend and stop as many times as I need to reference the grammar index until I have the hang of it.

Chapter 1 spoilers + personal notes

Yess this was so cute!! And also a mood. I am always Hanayo–smitten and vaguely intimidated. :laughing:

Also, Yoshiko’s whole reaction to the lipstick conversation (if I understood that scene correctly) was great. :lipstick:

I’m really intrigued by Hanayo’s history with her deceased husband and the related emotional journey, am hoping we see a lot more of that. In general, I love stories that center elderly protagonists, and the exploration of the idea that there are still stories to tell! And not just about things that have already happened, but the adventures they’re having at that age! Life’s not over til it’s over!!

As for the Kansai-ben, I’m very inspired to use this manga to learn more about it. I live in an area where a lot of people speak in Kansai-ben, but besides a few phrases I haven’t really picked it up. Even just scrolling through the grammar index, I found a lot of things I recognized, even if I hadn’t understood them at the time. Or things I didn’t even known were Kansai-ben. :joy:

Anyway, all that to say, I’m glad this manga is motivating me to finally familiarize myself with the dialect properly.

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I forgot to share last time but Sweet Pea reminds me of this song

chapter 2

Les Parapluies de Cherbourg!! I wasn’t expecting a French movie in this manga. Mad respect for Jacques Demy and his craft though. Also, if you look up the romantic plot, there might be connections :eyes: there’s a lot more going on in Parapluies but I think societal commentary in foreign media is lost on most people who haven’t experienced that time/place.

Also, really loved that she was checking out the other woman even as a teen/adult(?). And the support of the granddaughter?? Neighbor? I can’t tell if the connection is familial or just Japanese language trends if that makes sense

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I definitely assumed it was familial. I thought it was her father’s funeral. But also men as child rearers can be a little distant so I can see why she’d be like Mom you gotta go be happy now.

But there are often nuances I miss for sure. I’m just letting this wash over me since it’s kansai ben anyway. I don’t want to confuse my learner by obsessing over understanding it.

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The thing is, if it’s familial, then why hasn’t she shown up in any flashbacks yet? I also know at least one of my Japanese friends calls her local udon shop husband-wife duo mom and dad although they’re not related

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I am totally with you, it just never even crossed my mind until you said it, so it would involved rewriting my brain lol.

Found an online article that said she’s actually her granddaughter.

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Thanks for looking it up! I don’t know why it hadn’t occurred to me that it’s a google-able question.

It’ll be interesting to see how much of her relationship with her grandma is influenced by her relationship with her dad.

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I had also assumed granddaughter; I think my brain just went, “at funeral + speaking to grandma very casually/affectionately + young adult-looking = granddaughter” and didn’t think any deeper. :laughing: Good to have confirmation! I’m very nervous about missing details while reading this…

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Just to be sure, this is supposed to be 11/03/2023 right?

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Yes. Updated. I got confused when I was switching them from deadlines to start days.

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Thanks for sharing! What a nice song

Chapter 2

I thought it was funny that on p.39 Hanayo says “ご出演お疲れさんです” to her husband’s altar for his appearing in her dream. :laughing:

Question for p.52, bottom left panel:
“まさか綾子さんに うちを重ねて…”
I’m guessing from context that Hanayo is saying that maybe (Yoshiko thinks) Hanayo resembles Ayako? But the only definitions I was able to find for 重ねる are “to pile up” and “to repeat many times over”, which don’t seem to fit. :thinking: Does anyone have an idea of what it actually means in this context; did I misunderstand something?

I’m looking forward to seeing the clothes Hanayo’s granddaughter made for her!

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