コンビニ人間 🍙 Week 1 (IBC Primer)

Week 1 of コンビニ人間


コンビニ人間 (IBC Primer) :rice_ball: Home Thread

Next Part: Week 2


Week Start Date End Page (PB)* End Kindle Location End Percentage Ebook End Phrase Page Count
#1 Jun 17th 11 60 4% おにぎりを並べ始めた。 5

Proper Noun Readings

Name Reading Notes Proof
古倉 ふるくら Main character’s last name Furigana
恵子 けいこ Main character’s first name English version description
菅原 すがわら Part time employee at コンビニ Common reading
いずみ Supervisor at コンビニ Common reading

Vocabulary List

Please note that this vocabulary sheet was created for earlier コンビニ人間 clubs. The PB (paperback) pages should correspond with PB page counts in our schedule, but the weeks and schedule table won’t. This was created for the original IBC schedule. Example: the vocabulary for Primer week one, two and a couple of pages of week 3 will all be under original IBC week 1, so in the week one tab.

Please don’t change this sheet to correspond with our schedule, but do feel free to add to the vocabulary sheet if it is missing something, please read the editing guidelines tab before doing so. :slight_smile: If you are unsure how to add something or which page it falls on, post it in the thread instead and we’ll figure it out together!

Discussion Guidelines

Spoiler Courtesy

Please follow these rules to avoid inadvertent ネタバレ. If you’re unsure whether something should have a spoiler tag, err on the side of using one.

  1. Any potential spoiler for the current week’s reading need only be covered by a spoiler tag. Predictions and conjecture made by somebody who has not read ahead still falls into this category.
  2. Any potential spoilers for external sources need to be covered by a spoiler tag and include a label (outside of the spoiler tag) of what might be spoiled. These include but are not limited to: other book club picks, other books, games, movies, anime, etc. I recommend also tagging the severity of the spoiler (for example, I may still look at minor spoilers for something that I don’t intend to read soon).
  3. Any information from later in the book than the current week’s reading (including trigger warnings that haven’t yet manifested) needs to be hidden by spoiler tags and labeled as coming from later sections.
Instructions for Spoiler Tags

Click the cog above the text box and use either the “Hide Details” or “Blur Spoiler” options. The text which says “This text will be hidden” should be replaced with what you are wishing to write. In the case of “Hide Details”, the section in the brackets that is labelled “Summary” can be replaced with whatever you like also (i.e, [details=”Chapter 1, Pg. 1”]).

Hide Details results in the dropdown box like below:


This is an example of the “Hide Details” option.

The “Blur Spoiler” option will simply blur the text it surrounds.

This is an example of the “Blur Spoiler” option.

Posting Advice

Obs! Do note that the physical version seems to come with zero page numbers (yes, zero, I saw none while flipping through a good portion of the first volume). So alternative means of identifying page might be needed.

  • When asking for help, please mention the page number (if you can), and check before posting that your question hasn’t already been asked. As the threads get longer, it becomes more convenient to use the Search function, which is located in the upper right corner of the forum. It is the magnifying glass which is near your profile picture! The best way to search is usually to type part of the sentence you are confused about, and select “in this topic”. This will show you all posts within the current thread which has that string of text.

  • Be sure to join the conversation! It’s fun, and it’s what keeps these book clubs lively! There’s no such thing as a stupid question! We are all learning here, and if the question has crossed your mind, there’s a very good chance it has crossed somebody else’s also! Asking and answering questions is a great learning opportunity for everyone involved, so never hesitate to do so!


Mark your participation status by voting in this poll.
(Please feel free to update your status whenever you like!)

  • I’m reading along
  • I have finished this part
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0 voters

Past IBC Thread Links

This week is fully covered by IBC week 1. IBC week 1 also covers all of Primer week 2 and part of week 3. But don’t be afraid to check the thread if you feel like it.

Don’t feel like you need to look there to see if your question(s) have been answered before posting here. There is no obligation nor expectation that you will look there first.


Great to be kicking off. I read this in English a few years ago but already so much more enjoyable reading it in Japanese. I really loved the opening paragraph, makes me want to be in Japan in a コンビニ again!

I also particularly liked this sentence on page 8 paperback - スピードが勝負なので、頭はほとんど使わず、私の中に染みこんでいるルールが肉体に指示を出している。It really captures how being a コンビニ worker is such a core part of this woman’s identity.


I feel the same - I’m enjoying it so far. I read it a few years ago (in english), so I don’t 100% remember the story, but I feel like the customer interaction on pages 8-10 (paperback) was something I remember well :sweat_smile: maybe it’s just the opening of the book that really left a strong impression.

I’m personally glad that we are keeping the slower pace, as I don’t have thaaat much experience with reading actual books (instead of manga); the vocabulary is mostly fine, but it still takes a bit more effort to read the whole sentences and to really understand them in some cases. Since we’re keeping it slow, I’m hoping to have time to read the weekly pages and then reread it to solidify a bit more my understanding.


This was also my plan! I read through this section yesterday and enjoyed it quite a bit. The opening paragraph really drew me in more than I was expecting, and I loved the kind of ebb and flow and use of repetition. I did go check the other thread to answer some of the questions I already had.

A problem I’ve noticed I have when reading book books is that if two or more people are speaking back and forth without a clear indication of who is speaking I completely lose track of who is talking :melting_face:


Read this week’s pages in three parts today. 1 page, break, 3 pages, break, 1 page. And I seriously needed the break each time. So glad so many people were interested in this slow paced club!

I have 4 sentences I felt rather iffy on.

Page 10 “sentence 1”
I think I mostly get the overall meaning of the sentence, but I stumble on mainly on one thing. I really don’t understand how 細心 fits in. It also makes me wonder why よう doesn’t need に/な. (Maybe I transcribed wrong?)

Page 10 “sentence 2”
I feel like I get half of this sentence, and then “正常に動いているのを感じる” throws me off. I assume this is poetic language, trying to convey a feeling. But I don’t understand what the sentence really means. を感じる means feeling whatever comes before を, right? And that I really don’t understand. I feel moving normally?

Page 10 “sentence 3+4”
I don’t understand what 自分 is doing at the end of the first sentence, so that has me confused. And I don’t understand everything after the comma in the second sentence. I guess that means in general, I don’t get the meaning of the metaphor thingy going on here. So if anyone can help make comprehensible meaning out of these sentences, then maybe I can start getting the picture of the metaphor. xD

Thanks in advance!


(This is my first post to a WK book club, so let me know if this is not the typical way to post/reply.)

I think I struggled with a couple of these too. But I felt like I got the gist to continue on. Looking and thinking in more detail now, here’s my take (corrections welcome!)

Here’s how I understood the first (I needed to break this one down):

必要以上に観察して => observing more than necessary

不快にさせてしまわないよう細心の注意を払いながら => paying minute attention so as not to cause discomfort

キャッチした情報に従って素早く手を動かす => catching information that comes with a quick movement

My overall take on this sentence is: that they are watching for minute things to react to in the transaction.

The second:


My understanding was something like (my translation attempt): it’s the feeling of the normal movements of morning time in this small bright box (which I assumed the box was the store itself).

And the last one:


I myself (自分) am one of those continually turning gears.


I think I get the gist here, but I’m at a loss to translate it well. My understanding is that they are, this “morning” (not sure why the quotes) continually turning out sales of the world’s goods.


The subject of 動く here is 朝という時間, so the thing the speaker can feel moving is (the flow of) time. If you delete the " 、この小さな光の箱の中で、" clause does that make the sentence structure seem clearer?


This is a style trick called 体言止め, which just means ending the sentence on a noun. It lets the author change up the rhythm of the text a bit (vaguely similar to what you can do with sentence fragments in English I guess), and it draws the reader’s attention and focus to the noun at the end. (My guess is that in this sentence that focusing is part of the point.)

The subtype of 体言止め with “long-relative-clause character name” appears a lot in back-of-book blurbs and manga chapter summaries.


It is there for emphasis. You probably know the “closer to the verb, more emphasis” rule.

自分がその歯車の一つになって廻り続けている。 becomes

and then by using 体言止め author puts further emphasis on 自分
その歯車の一つになって廻り続けている自分 です



Phew, that was harder than I thought it would be after being 80% through Kino no Tabi, which is one Natively level higher. In Kino I can read this amount in one go, here I needed multiple breaks. But then again, I guess I might just need some time to get used to the style.

Also, I could go for one of those ツナマヨ onigiris now…

Reactions to other people

I read that part as “according to the caught information, (I) quickly move my hands”.

My understanding is: “I become a part of the world, continuing to rotate in this time we call ‘morning’.” (“Rotate” because of the gear metaphor.)

I was also wondering about this sentence, and this really helped me. Thanks!


Is that “I raise my face as I hear the small noise of the “kararara” of pet bottles streaming over rollers in the back, to make up for a single pet bottle being sold. Because there are many customers who take a cold drink at the end and turn to the register, my body moves on its own.”?

Sorry for the lack of page numbers. In the app e-reader that I’m reading this in, this whole thing are 1 1/2 pages/screens in total, so there’s not much helpful info I can give.

Question Answer

I would put it like (roughly):
“I raised my head towards the small sound of a bottle being sold and the rustle of the remaining bottles being rolled forward to take its place. Since many customers leave a cold drink for last before heading to the register, my body responded on its own to the sound.”

As in, I’d say the 代わり in 代わりに奥にあるペットボトルがローラーで流れてくるカラララ is about making up for the one sold, with the rollers being the system to make sure there’s always an enticing drink at the front of whatever is holding these.
And the last bit about the body moving on its own is saying that it’s like, a pavlovian response: because many customers leave getting a cold drink until last, that means that this sound (of a customer getting a drink) often precedes them coming to the register, so the protagonist is conditioned to be attentive when she hears it.
I’d also mention just in case that a ペットボトル in this case would be in English a plastic bottle (from “PET bottle”, PET being a kind of plastic), so it would be referring to a water bottle or other drink sold in such bottles.


oh cool! I’ve noticed this a lot before and kinda assumed that was what was happening here, but good to know it has a name

This is also the impression I got from this: a purely conditioned response after having so many customers do exactly the same thing.


First, thanks for all the replies! I’m quoting some of it below to comment on it or just give thanks, but even if I didn’t quote a certain part of your messages, they were all helpful in their entirety. :smiley:

Ah, yeah that makes sense. It’s so weird. Because when I first learned の and how it worked (a few years ago), I was like, that’s easy peasy. And then sometimes in the wild I’m just scratching my head and feeling like a dummy. xD

Ah, now I understand that too. @eaburns I think you had more of TobiasW’s translation in your whole sentence translation. Breaking down stuff is hard.

So thanks to you both!

Yes, a lot! Thanks. :blush:

I guess I need to start looking for these kind of things. I think I’ve read mostly straight forward things, so clauses moving around or put in the middle like this is just not something I’m used to.

Ah. Okay, that makes sense.

That seem so obvious now. xD I guess all the things I’m used to in reading fiction in other languages, also applies to Japanese. Maybe it won’t be exactly the same, but stylistic choices both for effect, to break up the same sentence patterns and fun/story reasons. I’m probably gonna stumble on these things many more times. ^^

Thanks for the breakdown or reversal to “normal” sentence style to help my brain along this new road. :blush:

Ah, yes, thanks! :blush: Makes a lot of sense.

I figured out the page numbers by looking for the important words in each sentence in the vocabulary sheet. Otherwise I would have had no clue either. Maybe that could work for you too? Although if you don’t use the vocabulary sheet at all, that would probably be a big extra step.

Your sentence was page 7 btw. :slight_smile:


Thanks for the questions and answers so far! They have been super helpful! :grinning:

I have a few questions of my own:
Page 7 (PB):
I am a bit lost as to who performs the action 手元に視線を戻す (the female customer or the employee) as well what exactly that means. “returning ones gaze to something nearby”?

Page 9 (PB):
I am a bit unsure about the first part. I would translate it as “eventhough it is okay to start talking,…”. Does that mean that the employee thinks, it is okay to speak up and address the customer, but to then give them time to decide? Or is the employee encouraging the customer to speak up, if they want to buy an additional item?

Page 9 (PB):
I understand the meaning of this sentence, I just don’t fully grasp the grammar of “…するのだなと…”. I am guessing that の is an explanatory の, which is then followed by the copula だ (so のだ), but what is the function of なと?



Not quite sure on the translation of “手元” in context and the last answer on page 9, so corrections are very welcome!

Page 7 Answer

I think it’s the employee returning their gaze to the task at hand (after “confirming that the female customer is looking for desserts without going to the cash register”). You can also see how the one doing the thing switches:

  • 女性客がレジに行かずにデザートを物色している: The customer does things.
  • のを確認すると、手元に視線を戻す: The employee confirming those things, and then doing their thing.

I translated “手元” in my head to “the task at hand”, but I have no actual source for that; I’d be happy if anyone has a better translation.

Page 9 Answers

The employee thinks that it would be okay/allowed to speak up and ask the customer 「何かおとりしますか?」, “Can I get you something?”, but (“が”) when (“ときは”) it seems that a customer is troubled by whether to buy anything, the employee decides (“ことにしている”) to take a step back and wait.

I was similary troubled with this, and I arrived at the same conclusion for the の and だ. I assumed the な is the sentence ending particle (the harsher version of ね), and the と is the quoting particle, but here too, not 100% sure on this.

Yeah, I’m pretty much never using the vocab sheets in any book club. I’ll try that and see how much work that is next time, thanks!


I’m also not sure but 手元 in general is 1) under your hand or reachable place; or 2) part of an apparatus your are holding, ①手の下。手の届くあたり。②器具などの、手で持つ部分。So I agree that “task at hand” makes sense in the context. But what throw me off was 確認ーonly after your post I noticed it referred to the employee. I thought the subject was still the woman but then the のを would not make sense…


Not sure but wouldn’t it be two separate particles, な and と?


I went looking in the original book club threads because I’ll admit I thought maybe it was a typo, and this is the relevant post I found:

So it seems everyone is in agreement what it is. :smiley:


That clears that up! I did not realize that the employee did the confirming, but the way you parsed the sentence totally makes sense!


lmao got tripped up on the very first word, コンビニエンスストア, because I’m so used to just seeing コンビニ that I was like… wait what is an エンスストア?? Why can’t I find it in the dictionary?? (it is in the dictionary but I had a typo). Is it a proper noun or something? It wasn’t until I realized ストア is “store” that I realized that コンビニエンスストア is just “convenience store” :joy: :person_facepalming: I spent way too long on that…

Other than that, this week’s reading went pretty smoothly! The writing style is straightforward and it helps that the setting is so commonplace.

(I’m reading the Bookwalker version but approximating the paperback page number)

page 10: その歯車の一つになってまわり続けている自分。
What would be the reason for using the kanji 廻 for the word まわる? I assume there’s some sort of nuance difference between 廻る and 回る?