コンビニ人間 🍙 Week 1 (IBC Primer)

If it makes you feel better, I had the same - I circled the word to come back to it later, and then after reading and re-reading… I felt a bit stupid.

On another note - I really have to take the time to sit down and look through all the comments and in this thread, there have been so many helpful replies already and I’m sure there’s a lot I missed in my reading (I already learnt the really interesting rule of using 自分 near the verb/end of sentence).


I checked a couple of the kind of “what’s the usage difference” sites you get if you google for “回る 廻る 違い” and they largely seem to say “no meaning difference; 廻 isn’t in the Jouyou set so 回 is more usual”. Sometimes it just comes down to individual author preference I think.


It definitely helps to read things aloud :smiley:


That took me a bit longer to parse than I’d like to admit, so I’m relieved to discover I’m not the only person. :grin:
I worked it out once I sounded it out.


That’s just being fancy, I think. See also 呪術戦. Raw meaning wise the kanji mean the same thing.

That being said…: 「回る」と「廻る」の違いとは?分かりやすく解釈 | 意味解説辞典


In case anyone else was a bit puzzled about what was happening with the age check for tobacco (I had in mind that perhaps there was some clever technology recognising age from a face - but no!)… Seniors annoyed as Japanese convenience stores adopt touch-screen age verification - Japan Today


Oh thank goodness I’m not the only one! :sweat_smile:


Yep, very much not alone. :joy:

I even tried to sound it out (when reading the book) but didn’t quite hit the right rhythm I guess to figure out what it was supposed to be. I figured maybe it was the name of that konbini and moved on. Only when meagstudies posted and I sounded it out at that time did I finally hit the right rhythm to finally have the word appear. :joy:


Starting to read this book is interesting. I think I could’ve pushed through but I did it in two sessions.
There were at least ten times I had to stop and reread a sentence, but I figured it out on my own OK in the end.

I think the average sentence length is much longer than I’m used to so I’m finding it a lot more draining. I think the slow ramp up pace in this club will be great for me building up my reading stamina. (I did find the dialog bit to be much easier and faster for me.)

This is my first “adult” book and I can tell the difference already I think. Even though it’s just a コンビニ, it feels super descriptive in a way that really makes me feel immersed already. It could also be because I did work in a fast food restaurant while I was in school which is similar so it could just be resonating with me though…


lmao at first I didn’t get it even when I sounded it out because I wasn’t including コンビニ so I was going “ensusutoa… what?” Like MissDagger said, the rhythm was all wrong. It just made no sense to me :joy: You’d think loanwords would be easy, but somehow I struggle with them so much :sweat_smile:

Okay, that makes sense! So it looks like this is just the author’s choice! Thanks everyone for the help!

廻る thoughts unrelated to コンビニ人 but related to the quoted link

For those of you who don’t want to decipher the Japanese from that link: tldr they are mainly the same but 廻 is non-jouyou (like the responses above say), but the site does point out 廻る has an emphasis on the “moving around the circumference” sense of 回る (if I’m interpreting this correctly):


Which makes sense because I also saw that 廻る could also mean 巡る depending on the reading. So I wonder if this means 廻る can only be used with certain (more literal) meanings of 回る? Like I wonder if you can’t use 廻る for the “to spread; to extend (to; e.g. of one’s attention); to reach; to take effect (of alcohol, poison, etc.)​” meaning of 回る. Or the or the “to function; to work well​” meaning.

But to bring this back to the reading, in コンビニ人 since it’s the literal meaning of 回る, this is just the author’s preference.

Just overall impressions of last week's reading

I can see why this book is so popular. It really highlights the systematic nature of a convenient store. Maybe not everything exactly runs 100% the same for every person who’s visited or worked at a conbini (some of the newer workers for example can be a little lazy and not offer to separate your warm items from your cold items or just get by with as minimal interaction as possible especially if taking the night shift).

But what I’ve read so far felt very familiar. I think there’s something fascinating about the mundaneness of it all. It’s something that those outside of Japan would find interesting, and I think a lot of Japanese readers that picked up this book feel the same way if not also somewhat surprised by how robotic their movements and everyday interactions have become.

Admittedly, I was also confused as I’ve never ever seen them write out the full name in katakana. I read it as just a fictional conbini name and moved on and would’ve never thought about this possibility until I saw your post, so thanks! XD


I think for “正常に動いているのを感じる” 正常 here could be understood as “routinely” or “going as expected/usual”. 古倉 is seeing another female customer following a quite robotic/routine interaction, and the following texts are comparing her as a small cog that’s turning around, so understanding this sentence like this wouldn’t be outlandish I think.


A bit late but first time joining a book club and wanted to say hi :). Been reading light novels for a while but never an adult fiction so I had been a bit hesitant. But the first chapter was honestly way less daunting than I thought it would be, and I’m gonna catch up on second week so I can read along. Happy to join you guys :))


For an adult book, コンビニ人間 is way more approachable than a vastness of other books which both use more complex vocabulary and expect higher kanji knowledge :slight_smile:


I don’t think I’ll manage to stick to the pace of the book club, but I might pop in with questions here and there, hope that’s ok! Of course I’m already late, but maybe someone checks this thread and knows the answer.

I immediately got suck at the first paragraph, but mostly because of a stylistic question:

Page 1


So 音 gets used 6 times alone in this paragraph. I’m not advanced enough to tell if this is a stylistic choice or fairly standard in Japanese? I checked two other translations of the book I have at home and they both only used “sound” 2-3 times in the same paragraph.


I‘d say it’s absolutely a stylistic choice, it really conveys the multitude of sounds very well, I think!

Also there is a seventh 音 that you didn’t highlight, plus two uses of 声 which is also a sound. I thought it was interesting that she describes all these without using onomatopoeia though :sweat_smile:


Ohhh thank you, I highlighted the 7th 音 as well, in case someone stumbles on the thread later on and is interested!

The official English translation I have at home translates it in this way (I transcribed it from my physical copy, so I hope there aren’t too many typos):

English Paragraph

“A convenience store is a world of sound. From the tinkle of the door chime to the voices of TV celebrities advertising new products over the in-store cable network, to the calls of the store workers, the beeps of the bar code scanner, the rustle of customers picking up items and placing them in baskets, and the clacking of heels walking around the store. It all blends into the convenience store sound that ceaselessly caresses my eardrums”

What I find interesting about the repetition of the word 音 and maybe also 声, as you pointed out, is that the supermarket is very predictable, uniform and, ultimately, repetitive in its sounds. So I thought it was a very nice touch to make the repetition so visible.