コンビニ人間: Week 8 Discussion

I read this as 言われた数が多いもの: the thing she was told more often
With the から not as reason, but „starting from“

She wants to start with eliminating the marriage question first since that’s what people ask more frequently.

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Ah, that makes sense!

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One last (long) question. I don’t quite understand the last sentence of the section.

Page 100

妹はなんだか勝手に話を作り上げて感動していた。わたしが「治った」と言わんばかりのその様子に、こんな簡単なことでいいならさっさと指示を出してくれれば遠回りせずに済んだのに、と思った。

Breaking it down:

妹はなんだか勝手に話を作り上げて感動していた
Little sister somehow made up a story on her own and was moved.

わたしが「治った」と言わんばかりのその様子
The situation/appearance of “as if to say that I was cured” (I honestly have no idea how to phrase that in English).

こんな簡単なことでいいならさっさと指示を出してくれれば
If something this simple was good, if the sister(?) promptly gives instructions

遠回りせずに済んだのに
I get that the first part means without going the long way around. What is 済んだ here? Finished?


My main points of confusion are:

  1. What is the に after 様子 doing? Is that connecting it to something else later in the sentence? Or is it more like a ように kind of thing?
  2. The meaning of 済んだ in this sentence, and why it’s in the past sense. Is that still connected to the hypothetical from くれれば, meaning it’s that it would have been finished? Or something else entirely?
  3. Is the のに despite? If so, despite what? Or is it nominalizing the verb and also acting like a ように?
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Messy answers

As far as I can tell this に goes together with the 思う. As in, the next part (こんな簡単なことでいいならさっさと指示を出してくれれば遠回りせずに済んだのに) is what she thought about looking at how her sister was acting.

She means that “if it’s this simple, if only she had told me it could have been done without taking the long way around”. The 済む here does the same job in Japanese as the whole part in bold in my translation. I think the English expression that best represents this is “to get away with”.

I just spent a really long time trying to explain this 済む when just a simple google search gave me a pretty simple native explanation with plenty of example sentences: http://www.edewakaru.com/archives/14263684.html

And I have no PhD in grammar, but I think it’s past tense because she’s talking about a hypothetical past where her sister told her clearly what to do, she did it and it was all solved.

Okay, this one I can’t even try to explain, I just don’t have the words. I’ll leave this here: https://nihongokyoshi-net.com/2019/01/22/jlptn3-grammar-ba-noni/ :v:

I do see this as a specific use of the “despite” meaning. I don’t know how to convince you of that if you can’t see it, though :sweat_smile:

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Wow, okay. The grammar apparently crushed me in that sentence. I’m familiar with ば~のに, but usually with a よかった in there, which is why I didn’t make the connection. Especially with the せずに済んだ in there instead. It never even occurred to me that ずに済む would be a special grammar point…

Thanks!

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Repeat Club Discussion Starts Here!

27 February 2021

End Page (PB): 100
End Page (HB): 92
End Kindle Location: 961
End Phrase: 済んだのに、と思った。

Welcome to Week 8!

Feel free to use past discussion for reference, but please don’t hesitate to post any questions or comments! The more we discuss the more we all learn, and the more fun it is! Also, I strongly recommend setting each week’s thread to “watching” to stay abreast of the discussion. Please try to mark any spoilers as such.

  • I’m reading along
  • I’ll catch up soon
  • I have no intention of catching up or the club has already finished, but I’m using the forums as reference

0 voters

Live Reading Sessions

The next live reading session will be 2021-01-24T03:00:00Z If you haven’t already, join the Japanese Book Club Discord. When the time comes to start, just enter the コンビニ人間 voice channel.

For live readings, we will take turns reading as much as we feel comfortable with (up to ~1 page), then go back and translate a section of our choosing together. Expect sessions to take anywhere from 1-2 hours, but feel free to join late or leave early as your schedule allows. We will be starting promptly at the designated time. Please post any questions regarding live reading session logistics in the Discord channel or on the home thread.

Vocab Sheet

Anybody should feel free to add to the vocab sheet. Read the guidelines on the first sheet- even if a word is not yet included you can use the spreadsheet as a tool to get help.

Discussion Questions

  1. What sentence/passage gave you the most difficulty? Feel free to request some help, or if you figured it out on your own break it down for the rest of us!

  2. What was your favorite new vocab word from this week’s reading?

  3. Was there any passage that you found particularly intriguing? Did it resonate with you (either positively or negatively)? Was it surprising? Offer any insight or new perspective? Was it just beautifully written?

  4. What do you think of Keiko’s new “arrangement”?

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Need some help with this :exploding_head: :exploding_head:

56%ish

さっきまで文句をつけられて腹をたてていたのに、自分を苦しめているのと同じ価値観の理屈で私に文句を垂れ流す白羽さんは支離滅裂だと思ったが、自分の人生を強姦されていると思っている人は、他人の人生を同じように攻撃すると、少し気が晴れるのかもしれなかった

I think the overall picture is something “I think Shiraha-san who until a moment complained about being tormented, now attacking me in the same way, is illogical, maybe people who think their life is “raped” feel a little bit better by attacking others in the same way”

さっきまで文句をつけられて腹をたてていたのに、complained until a moment ago or who took offense at complains?

自分を苦しめているのと同じ価値観の理屈で i’m lost here… who’s inflicting pain on who with the same “theory of values”? Shiraha → Furukura or Shiraha to himself?

私に文句を垂れ流す白羽さん Shiraha discharging complains to me. I understand that all of the previous stuff probably modifies Shiraha-san.

は支離滅裂だと思ったが I/She thought was incoherent/illogical

自分の人生を強姦されていると思っている人は people who think their life’s “raped”

他人の人生を同じように攻撃すると、少し気が晴れるのかもしれなかった probably feel a little better by attacking others’ lives in the same way.

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summary

Although he was complained at and got angry

With the same logic/ with logic based on (maybe?) The same values as what hurt him

That’s right, everything before his name is one big relative clause. ^^

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Y’all, I read 30 minutes longer than I intended to just now, and this book is seriously playing with my feelings!

I absolutely DO NOT want Keiko ending up with this guy. I nearly died when she mentioned him marrying her; part of me had wondered if something like this might happen, and it was like watching your nightmares become reality. Then this guy goes「古倉さん相手に勃起しません」! I don’t care if he acknowledged that it would sound bad! I see their similarities when it comes to bluntness and social decorum (though the differences are very important to mention, too), but… :weary:

I know I need to keep reading. Don’t even know what his ultimate response is yet. (I paused at the break on page 96). It’s possible I’ll get the ending I was hoping for when we first started reading.

You know the author did something right when you feel strong emotions for their story.

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Finally finished this week’s reading and wow, I totally did not see that coming.

Summary

I absolutely love how pragmatic Keiko is being about this arrangement and I can see where she’s coming from but on the other hand, marrying Shiraha of all guys…it’s quite a drastic solution. Really curious to see where this is going.

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Also just finished this part.

Plot talk

I totally agree with last week’s conclusion that Shiraha counts as an incel, but what does it really change? Incel community is a great example of people struggling to “fit it” and nobody said that all social misfits are nice, sympathy-inducing people. :wink:

I find it amusing that incel is literally the only person she met who shares at least a bit of her own struggles. And the only person she can even talk about society expectations and such.

I can relate to that a little, too - back in high-school, there was this one guy who had many awful views about everything, but because who was sort of rejected by others, he was also the easiest to talk to, because I didn’t feel any expectations or pressure while talking to him. I didn’t feel like I need to please the conversational-partner and didn’t feel the need to figure out what I’m supposed to say. It didn’t matter, because I knew he is considered a reject anyway.

By the way, I heard the manual-in-head analogy before, and I also really like it. I’m curious how many people really feel like they got their manual, and how many people feel like they are missing theirs.
I definitely don’t have one and so many customs and norms seem strange without it.

Following quotes are from the first book club run:

To be fair, it was very sudden and even if I suspect his expectations about his bride are unrealistically high, it still doesn’t mean that if he wants to marry, he is obliged to marry first willing candidate.

I did misread this too through all this reading portion, but only this remark made me realize a possible reasoning behind this kanji’s etymology. :heart:

I agree with this interpretation! Of course, this probably comes from “if my sister will fulfill social norms properly, she will be happy, and I want her happiness” but I still don’t really like people who think that there is only one path to personal happiness.
Maybe it’s nice that she trusted Keiko’s taste and wasn’t thinking that only some shady guy would be interested in Keiko (even if ummm in this situation this is actually true), but she jumped to so many conclusions and filled in so many blanks using only her imagination and expectations… Eh.

Ah, and I actually liked the fragment with 勃起. I didn’t mind Shiraha’s bluntness, but I love how Keiko once again used her cold logic here and told him that she only wants to sign the papers :grin:

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It may not have been my favourite word, but there certainly is a word that stands out this week! Of course, I am talking about 勃起. Actually when I read it I was surprised by the bluntness of his answer and wondered if a Japanese person would consider it more or less normal in that situation or if they would be as shocked as I was by his lack of tact. On the other hand, Keiko didn’t seem to take any offence.

More on the plot

Summary

I didn’t like how the action was developing and that may have been the reason I stopped reading for a few days. I specially didn’t like the fact that he admitted wanting a wife with money because he had an idea for an investment. But then, it wasn’t as bad as I had expected and I even had some feelings for him as he was talking about his problems. Although I don’t like Keiko getting involved with Shiraha, I must admit that she seems much more relaxed with him than with her other interactions. Not having to live up to his expectations must be a great relief.
Let’s see how things develop!

By the way, thanks to the thread being a bit late this week I could catch up on time!

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I don’t really think we should use Keiko’s reaction as a measurement what a “normal” reaction would be :sweat_smile: I did say above it also didn’t bother me, but I think it was supposed to sound rude by regular standards :stuck_out_tongue:

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Things really picked up story-wise this week!

Plot discussion

It’s interesting you say that, because growing up, I had the opposite problem: I was extremely sensitive to people breaking rules, and still have issues with it to this day. Rules were how I understood the world, so I would get upset when people were not following them. It was so bad that I couldn’t watch Mr. Bean growing up because he would act in ways that were against the rules - I literally had to leave the theatre when I was taken to see the movie, because it made me so anxious! I am happy to report that I can now watch (and laugh at) Mr. Bean though, so that is some progress!

Anyway, in some ways, I was a bit surprised that Keiko wasn’t getting upset with Shiraha for doing things he wasn’t supposed to - I thought that perhaps because she had work so hard to learn the rules she might be annoyed when other people were not following them. But now I’m getting that the rules feel so arbitrary to her, that she doesn’t really care about them, and instead mostly follows them to make the people around her happy.

Don’t know how I feel about Shiraha moving in! I mean, he’s a pretty terrible person, but I am hopping that it’ll will help her grow as a person… so waiting with baited breath o see what happens next.

Grammar wise, while this week was tough, this week I took the time listen to several videos on the passive tense, and it finally just clicked. I previously could spot the passive tense theoretically, but just couldn’t quite process it mentally. Turns out the missing piece is that I didn’t know that it is often used to emphasize that you are on the receiving end of an action you are upset about. Light bulb moment for me. So much more of Shiroha complaining make sense to me now! It’s funny how sometimes that just happens: you struggle with something, and suddenly your brain just gets it.

Most of the tough bits have already been asked about so here are some short questions on my part:

それで全然解決しないじゃないですか。意味ないのでは?p.91

What I get from this line is “That isn’t the problem at all isn’t it? it’s all meaningless?” but I not clear on who is saying this. Is it’s Keiko? Is she basically saying “what you are saying isn’t helping you. You’re saying everything is just meaningless”?

Question two:

体調管理をして健康な体をお店に待って行くことも時給の内だと、2人目店長に教わったというのに、寝不足になってしまう。(p.97)

So here she is talking about the how she was taught that taking care of her body is part of her hourly wage, but not sure what 待って行く means. To depend on going?

And that’s all :slight_smile: Looking forward to next week.

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Note: I didn’t look this up so this is more like “general remarks” than “proper answers” - my apologies!

You can find out a lot about who is speaking by looking at the level of politeness and sentence enders and so on. Is Shiraha speaking in polite tone? If not, then this is Keiko speaking.

Are you sure it’s not 持って行く (i.e. take it to the shop)? That’s what I would expect when reading the sentence you typed out…

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… it is. So she is saying that she has to metaphorically “bring her health” to the shop then?

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Continuation of plot talk

It was really interesting to hear, thanks for sharing!
(Although I never got into Mr. Bean too, but that’s because I thought it was unfunny.)


それで全然解決しないじゃないですか。意味ないのでは?p.91

Yes, this is Keiko. It’s something like “So (this solution) won’t solve anything anyway? So it’s pointless?”

Shiraha says that even if he would to fulfill one requirement, there will be new goals for him immediately. (First job, then better paying job, then wife&kids, and so on). So Keiko asks him why even bother to start fulfilling the expectations if you can never reach the end and completely satisfy the people around you.


It is 持って行く, and it’s about bringing the healthy body to konbini.

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Finishing up this week’s reading and whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat is going on with this conversation. Nothing new, really, since it’s the logical culmination of where both Shiraha and Keiko are as characters but still, this is probably the most I’ve audibly reacted to this book. Lots of times where I had to stop reading because I thought I just didn’t understand the passage but nope Keiko really done said that once they’re married Shiraha will get an erection.

this went from 0 to 100 real quick

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Ploughing my way through, behind on so much reading agh!

問の抜けた相槌しか打つことができない。

I wasn’t quite sure what to make of 問の抜けた. Aizuchi with the questions taken away…?