コンビニ人間: Week 9 Discussion

Oh, I was wondering that there were so many new replies here… I forgot to put this thread’s notification settings on watched. :man_facepalming:

Finally finished this week’s section. I am enjoying the unpredictable (for me at least) nature of this book.
Some parts which I found interesting or amusing

  • 白羽 saying he was 潔癖症 (poor man, I shouldn’t laugh but it was so ironic given the state he was in)
  • Finding him sleeping half in the cupboard (I guess it shows you how small her apartment is)
  • How excited 妹 is despite knowing nothing about the man or the circumstances
  • The kanji for uterus 子宮
  • The middle of p110 involving 餌 and her explanation for why she used that word
  • The food on p111 - did you notice? - only white things. I have a niece who eats similarly.
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Some comments from me on this week’s reading:

Summary

First I was quite worried that she was letting him take advantage of her, with her having him stay at her place, and him drinking the cider she already had and the new one as well, as soon as she brought it.
But I almost laughed out loud when she nicely paid it back to him with comparing him to a pet she is keeping and talking about his 餌 :wink:

Looking forward to next week’s reading and how this uneven relationship is going to continue.

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Finished just in time for the read-aloud session tomorrow. I’ll read all the comments here later.

All I'm gonna say is...
  • I hope the rest of the book isn’t just 古倉 and 白羽 talking, because that would be very unpleasant.
  • It would be a nice little surprise if 白羽 knows how to cook and adds something positive to the relationship.
  • There sure were some interesting words used this week. Certainly some stuff I never expected to look up on jisho.

:crossed_fingers: that it picks up pace again soon.

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Ooh, this week was fun to read. Quite a bit I had to look up, but I really love the conversations between 古倉 and 白羽. :smile:

And yeah, the part with the 餌 was nice. Gotta love 古倉’s comebacks to the nonsense that comes out of 白羽’s mouth.

Looking forward to next this week the next part!

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Repeat Club Discussion Starts Here!

6 March 2021

End Page (PB): 111
End Page (HB): 103
End Kindle Location: 1071
End Phrase: 口に運んだ。

Welcome to Week 9!

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. Is Shiraha and Keiko’s arrangement mutually beneficial? Does one of them benefit more than the other? Is it potentially damaging for either of them?

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I finally caught up!

So when I first saw Shiraha I thought they would be love interests but I didn’t know it was going to be this weird…

It’s sad that I’ve grown attached to Keiko and I don’t want her to be in this (potentially?) “abusive” relationship.
I say “abusive” because this is all her idea and she seems pleased with the idea as well? So who am I to judge?

I have all the feels here :sweat_smile:

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Heh, I thought so on his first appearance too. “If this were an American novel, they’ll definitely be going out by the end of it.”

Yeah, I feel like it’s not so much “abusive” as it is “Keiko lacks the ‘How to be a Futsuu-no-Ningen’ Manual”. From her point of view, it’s kinda like “this is a wonderful plan that will solve both of our problems, so how can you not see the logic?”

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I don’t think I have ever wanted a fictional character to shut up as much as Shiraha. I’ll probably never be able to read “縄文時代” again without rolling my eyes. :roll_eyes:

I can actually see how their new arrangement could work out for Keiko as well though. Her being able to brush off Shiraha’s angry rants is quite admirable. I’m just worried that it’s not sustainable in the long term.

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Wait, hold on. Back up a bit.

Chocolate melon soda?

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I had to read it twice, I didn’t want to believe something like this could exist. I mean I’m all for melon and chocolate, but together as a soda? I don’t know…


Yeah, I’m rolling my eyes twice. Once for the same reason as you and the second time it’s because I always have to look it up again. :sob: :sweat_smile:

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I was going to visit 縄文時代 museum in Aomori, which got postponed because pandemic. But when/if the travel ever resumes, it’s still on top of my list. And now I’m worried I’ll be giggling the entire time.

…And I also still can’t remember the kanji for 縄文, but since it’s always followed by 時代, it helps :grin:

I couldn’t even google it. I got chocolates with melon filling, but not a drink.
Unless you count that:

picture

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Necro-quoting:

Btw, I was quite surprised that サイダー didn’t mean cider the alcoholic beverage, but rather sweet carbonated drink​.

And she was only drinking plain water. On the other hand, she has these beverages with taste and color. :woman_shrugging:

That is also my doubt. You could say that creating a man from scratch with your imagination is harder, but on the other hand, hiding all Shiraha personal info is also hard. It’s just switching from excuses for “why don’t you have a partner” to “why I can’t meet your partner and why you are always so vague when talking about him”.
Of course, her sister behavior is suggesting that other people are also very eager to fill the gaps themselves :stuck_out_tongue:

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Whoa, that picture needs a trigger warning :scream: :nauseated_face:

Oh, I did not even realize that when I read the book :woman_facepalming: Thanks for pointing it out!

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Keiko during Week 9's reading:

While there’s a certain degree of admiration (and even refreshment) to be had with how easily Keiko brushes off Shiraha being Shiraha, like @NyappyTiramisu said the lack of sustainability is a real concern. I honestly don’t know how the book will address or resolve the problematic nature of this arrangement. I’m hoping for some kind of cathartic outcome, if not an outright optimistic one.

I just really hope that Shiraha doesn’t do anything beyond rant.

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Heh, imagine my reaction when I read this in Tobira :sweat_smile:

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Jotting down my thoughts before starting this week's section (I know, I'm very late):

I’ve been trying to figure out what doesn’t sit well with me regarding the 白羽+恵子 dynamic. I think the way he tries to manipulate their conversations really bothers me. Yes, his sexism is extremely annoying, and he certainly plays the victim to a high degree, but the way he brings them together irks me. He continues to use the word 強姦 when referring to people interfering with his life, and mentions how women have it easy, and for a man there are all these expectations (which are also on women, so…). At the same time he tries to loop 恵子 into his way of thinking, like by saying both his 精巣 and her 子宮 belong to the ムラ. She also has these feelings to a degree, so she could maybe see how he gets her, but the undercutting of “you’re a woman, so you don’t understand how much worse it is for me” is just a reminder of “no, he doesn’t really get ‘you.’” It’s more like he’s taking the seeds of doubt she already has and planting them in his own paranoid soil.

Meanwhile, she let’s him stay at her place, provided he chips in for food, only for him to say, “Actually, no, because even though I said I want a rich lady so she can fund my ‘business idea,’ I just want you to hide me from the world. Can’t work if I’m doing that. Still, this set up is clearly a great deal for you.” Yes, she has her quips in this section, but the end result is someone who kind of understands her but is misogynistic is mooching off of her. And as several people pointed out, she’ll get a husband who is those things as well as one who hides away in her apartment, which will inevitably cause her more problems than her current situation once she reveals she has a partner to others. And I guess I’m just upset because I want her to realize she doesn’t need to meet anyone’s expectations as long as she enjoys her life, so she should get rid of this guy who doesn’t seem to respect women and live a happy life on her own terms. :tired_face:

But, maybe he’ll change. She’ll likely change, since she’ll either grow to enjoy this set-up or say screw it. I just need to be patient. Still, I can’t remember the last time I wanted to jump into a book and shake the main character while telling them, “There’s another way! You don’t have to do this!”

It may not sound like it, but I am enjoying this novel. I doubt 白羽 was written to be “likable,” and though I sympathize with his main points and abhor his way of expressing himself, I’m having a good time. As someone else said, though, I think I need a break from her interacting with him. Hopefully this next section does that.

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Plot talk

I feel you! I’m in the same boat. Though in my case, I did actually finish reading this weekend, but only now having time to post.

I found the first part of this week’s portion really funny - 白羽 was somewhat in shock when we first entered her apartment, while 恵子 is very matter of fact about this whole situation (like when she tells still him to flush properly), not realizing at all the whole thing situation is really weird.

But then when she comes back from the convenience store and he’s back to being a pain.

Yes, yes, and yes. I found this section a bit frustrating because I kept wanting to shake 恵子 and tell her “don’t do it!” Your being manipulated! At some points I felt like the conversations were going in circles.

Anyone else also feel like somehow seeing 恵子 at home is feels… weird? Like when she is not in the convenience store, I feel like she is not in her natural habitat.

This sentence is driving me crazy: feels super simple but doesn’t quite make sense to me:

この部屋、古いのでゴキブリもけっこう出るんです

Plugging this into Deepl gives me that it means that there are lots of cockroach and… I don’t really get it? けっこう is one of those words which feels all over the place to me, but then also the use of 出る confuses me a bit.

Oof, the causative passive is a bit challenge here, but I think I’ve got it:

一生働く**ように**世界から命令されている

In short, it’s saying that “I am being ordered by the world to work for my entire life.”

But I’m struggling to understand the use of ように - I mostly understand it as meaning “in order to”, so not quite sure here how it work.

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For the first question, if you look at the basic form here, ゴキブリが出る, does that help at all? I would say 出る is meaning #5 here. Rough meaning: because it’s old, this apartment has cockroaches show up fairly frequently. (Changing ‘a fair amount of cockroaches showing up’ to having けっこう modify the verb only for a more natural English sentence.)

The second question relies on some grammar: ように (言う/頼む/命令する/etc). There is a part of this article that describes it:

命令する can go with ように in the same way.

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Both of those make a lot more sense - wasn’t aware of that usage of ように. Just a quick follow-up question: is it fair to say that a more literal translation is “to tell someone to perform something like A?” Just trying to figure out how using ようmight differ I nuance from using a different nominalizer (like の) based on my understanding of other uses of よう. Or am just overthinking it? Could you even use a different nominalizer?

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Personally, I explain this ように grammar by thinking of it as some kind of contraction of ようにしてください / ようにしなさい

Nounにする : to make noun / to decide on noun
verbようにする make sure to verb/make an effort to verb
verbようにしてください : please make sure to verb / please make an effort to verb

一生働くように(しなさいと)命令されている

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