よつばと!Vol 1 Discussion Thread (Beginner's Book Club)

Ah. That clarification makes some sense. I colloquially translated it as, “[My dad] says people you don’t know are bad.” Which when you think about it, disparaging 99.9999999% of the population, I suppose would be a pretty bleak perspective on life. If it’s “Don’t follow people you don’t know.” I presume that fits with the story line better. This is a case where I wish the kanji would be used to help disambiguate. Thanks for clarifying both @Kumirei and @ChristopherFritz. Very helpful.


Considering how many kanji there are out there waiting for you to spend years learning, it can be just a touch bittersweet to think, “I wish they used kanji here”, y’know?

You’ll find that 「[verb]て + いく」 and 「[verb]て + くる」 come up a lot, and in such usage, the kanji 行 and 来 are typically not used.

On the 言 side, you will also see 「(sentence)と + いう」 and 「(sentence)って + いう」 (often without the kanji), but those are used when someone is quoted.


よつば folks,

Page 16.


This seems like a relatively simple sentence to translate right up until they turn ある into the negative form. At which point it makes no sense to me anymore. I want this to be, “Over there by the utility pole there’s a net?” But the “there is not a net” is confusing. What’s going on with that part of the sentence?


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It makes more sense if it’s the father talking and he’s asking, “Isn’t there (is there not) a net over there by the utility pole?” But the second sentence in that speech bubble indicates that it’s the girl talking.

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This is not a negation of the contents, it’s a phrase ending similar to “isn’t it?” in English. “There is a net, isn’t it?” In this context I guess she wants to soften her explanation as she is talking to an older person.

This is the relevant entry in Jisho: https://jisho.org/search/じゃ無いか (she throws in です for politeness)


What a fabulous idea! I’m totally new here and happy to see the thread is still a thing. What a fantastic manga, right?

Sooooo, quite surprisingly, I can’t find any discussion on the most confusing thing I’ve seen in this manga so far. It’s in story 4 “よつばとテレビ” when Jumbo is tossing accusations at the dad because young 美少女 Fuuka is there.

Jumbo: あんた何才?
Fuuka: 16歳です
Jumbo: 未確認飛行物体発見!
Dad: おちつけ!

So, what’s with the UFO thing? Is there some colloquial meaning I’m not getting here? Sounds like the dad is telling him to chill out about it. So what’s up here?

And why am I not finding any other questions on this topic lol? (because I don’t know how to internet?)

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Hes basically saying because fuuka is such a 美人 and only 16 years old to boot its the same as spotting an ufo (meaning what a rare and exiting encounter). (“I spottet an UFO”).
Just a silly reply from jumbo. He often jokes around like that


あ、なるほど! I guess I could have drawn the same conclusion, just wasn’t sure if it had some specific alternate meaning.

Yeah Jumbo is the shizz lolol. When he asks the mom for a car lololol.

Welcome to the Yotsuba bookclub @delrey28. Great that you’re reading along and have questions!

Please use page numbers! Yes, you said it is in chapter 4, but it just saves everyone a lot of time and effort if you can use the page number. And, to help in future searches, it is best if you put the page number at the very top of your post. In this case, it is page 131.

When searching the threads, the best way is to hit the search button on the top right of the screen, click “search this topic” and enter the page number (“page 131” for example). This gives much better results than entering other terms. It also shows why putting the page number is so important, as it helps future readers like yourself.

And don’t forget our weekly live readings! We’re currently on volume four, and you’re very welcome to join us!


page 43.

I came here to ask the exact same question. And while scrolling through the thread to see if there was any answer, I realized that it’s 風香 that’s speaking. Thanks @_Marcus!

This is a common thing with me. Trying to figure out who is speaking. Especially when I only partially understand the sentence.


I’m fairly sure there was an answer, but it appears that at least one user’s posts in this thread have been deleted…

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Page 43

Ah yes, that was me almost 3 years ago… now I’d know right away that it wasn’t Yotsuba speaking, because (1) the speech uses kanji and Yotsuba never does, and (2) I can see it is not a complete utterance but continues in the next two bubbles, which shows who is speaking.

(Although, actually, in volume 1, chapter, 1, on page 6, Yotsuba does use kanji. It’s like the author didn’t quite settle on the way he’d write her speech at first or something, so this could have been the same - except for context. Given the next two bubbles, it just has to be Fuuka speaking and asking Asagi to “get this child”! lol!)

Oh no, that’s awful. Seems like a user called “arjoykanji” left and took all his posts with him. (Glad I wrote down all the answers in my book!). I see I also deleted a post or two back then as they were full of mistakes, but I soon learnt to keep them up as mistakes are useful!


It’s sad how quick Jumbo goes 180° on the 美 part as soon as he meets Asagi. Poor Fūka :sweat_smile:

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On my second reading of Yotsuba I noticed this little detail on page 139:

I tried to figure out why she was sprinkling salt and found this:

In fact, I know people who when they have an unwelcome visitor to their home, throw salt over their threshold when they leave! (source)

I guess Jumbo dropping that 美 really got to her.

Horrible pun

(•_•) I guess you could say
( •_•)>⌐■-■
(⌐■_■) she was feeling salty


Afaik, it’s to fend off evil spirits.

(Oh, it does say on the article.)

Page 76

Sorry to ask a question from way back in volume one again, but I did a search and couldn’t find the answer, and it was something that came up in the (other) Yotsuba live reading group this morning…

Dad has just come out of the toilet which has a broken lock and is talking to himself:


こりゃ - これは, as for this
さっさ - promptly; immediately; quickly; without delay
と - this is my question… see below!
交換 - replacement
した - past tense of する , to do, in past form to go with the next bit…
方がいい - should, had better (used after past tense form)
な - sentence ending particle

“[I] should replace this right away”

My question is about the と.
I see in Jisho that さっさ is an “adverb taking the ‘to’ particle”.

What does that mean? If it needs と then why not just just call it さっさと? Are there occasions when さっさ, meaning quickly (as opposed to its second meaning of “indifferently​”) doesn’t use と?

Any ideas? And thank you!

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I don’t know the etymology of さっさ, but I’m sure it an onomatopoeic or mimetic word. Some onomatopoeic and mimetic words can take the particle と. Of those, some can also be used without it. I’ve never seen さっさ without と, though.

This is very much “haven’t learned yet” territory for me (haven’t found any good resources on it yet). Thus, I’m really not much help here =(

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That is very helpful, thank you so much Christopher! Nice one! :smiley: :+1:

Half of what I am going to say is speculation on my part, and the other half is knowledge I got here and there, mostly from the excellent Tofugu article, and some from when we were reading Zenitendou with the bookclub and someone gave us an interesting intro to onomatopoeias (I’ll try to find that and edit this post tomorrow with a link to it, when I have more time to look for it).

So, regarding the origin of さっさ. I believe this comes from the sound of feet running, usually represented by さっさっ. The fact that this sound represents running feet eventually evolved into the idea of something happening promptly or quickly.

I kind of picture this as an emperor saying “do this!” and a servant would go running “さっさっ” immediately to get it done.

Now as to what the と represents. When an onomatopoeia can be applied to a verb, it’s pretty common to be connected to such verb by the と particle.

This is different to onomatopoeias that affect other types of words, like onomatopoeia that work like adjectives (example, ほかほかの 肉まん, where the ほかほか is the onomatopoeia for “steamy” and is modifying a noun, like an adjective would).

Now, as to why と is used. My understanding is that this と that can get attached to many onomatopoeia is probably a derivate of the quotation particle と. It’s like how in English you could say something like 「With a “whoosh!” the wind suddenly opened the door」. You can see how English can quote onomatopoeia sounds too.

So さっさと部屋をきれいにした would be something like 「In a “sassa!” I (quickly) cleaned the room」. Obviously “quickly” is a way more abstract concept than the sound of the wind, so the translation looks weird at best, but the idea is the same. It’s just that the Japanese have managed to imagine sounds for things way better than other cultures I guess.

As to whether it’s possible to see さっさ by itself. I have never seen it used by itself ever, but my personal experience is hardly proof of anything. However, I can understand why the dictionary would separate さっさ from と since と is actually a particle, even if using them separately is extremely rare.

EDIT: Here’s the post from the Zenitendou bookclub I mentioned before where a bit of how onomatopoeia can be broke down is explained:


Returns only さっさとs.