八つ墓村(金田一耕助 Reading Club)

Welcome to the 八つ墓村 Reading Thread!


This book is part of the 金田一耕助 reading club. It is (chronologically) the fourth novel-length story, but can be read as a stand-alone.

You can buy it here:

We will start reading on August 8 2022.
There will be no weekly threads, all discussion will be had in this thread.

Reading Schedule

Week Start Date Chapter Page Count
1 Aug 8 発端 + 第一章 15+38
2 Aug 15 第二章 73
3 Aug 22 第三章 49
4 Aug 29 第四章 77
5 Sep 5 第五章 53
6 Sep 12 第六章 96
7 Sep 19 第七章 33
8 Sep 26 第八章 + 大団円 52+2

Page counts according to the 角川文庫 version. Thank you @pm215 for providing those.

You can mark your participation status here:

  • I am reading this book
  • I have finished this book
  • I plan to read this book
  • I don’t plan to read this book

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My copy has the cover on the left, with the samurai armour and the bats…

If you want some musical accompaniment to your reading, the soundtrack to the 1977 film of the book is on Youtube…


Ooh nice, I’ll have to remember that! I love some good atmospheric music with my reading.

Now I just have to decide if I should listen to it 50 times, or at 1/50 speed :thinking:


You simply gotta make sure that you read the correct passage along with the music :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


That sounds vaguely stressful and immersion breaking. :joy: Nah, I’m fine with looping it, haha.


I finished the 発端 section! I’ve said before Yokomizo walking through how a place with an old scary-sounding name got its name is my favorite part of these books, so I enjoyed it a lot! (although, it’s grim reading at times…)

I took notes again, and put a little bit more effort into making them at least basically presentable. Probably not completely worth the time, but it was pretty fun! And practice handwriting which I’ve never really done. And plus it is nice to have a reference that’s structured the same as, and exclusive to, what I’ve read so far.

I’ll share in case anyone would find a similar reference helpful.

発端 notes

The detail about the flashlights strapped to the head sparked a memory of reading about a real-life mass murder (link is to wikipedia, but, you know, be warned it’s heavy) that was clearly the inspiration for this set-up. I think I heard about it because of a movie based on it that I probably got to from clicking around suggestions on amazon related to the 八つ墓村, but I didn’t internalize the connection to this book. It would have been much more recent history when Yokomizo was writing it… I wonder how much that would change the context reading it compared to now.


I also finished the first chapter!

It’s always interesting how a non-Yokomizo narrator tends to make the story proceed more narratively and with a bit less exposition. My notes certainly reflect that… I honestly personally like the exposition, but it did feel like this first chapter went quicker than the prologue despite being longer.
Still definitely setting things up - for some reason I’m most curious about the Nomura’s, since they were mentioned so early on. Maybe I’m just hungry for another troubled family already…

Chapter one notes

This is the hardest Japanese novel I’ve read, so your notes are really helpful for making sure I got the gist of the story :+1:

One thing about the 発端 though: I think it said that everyone connected to the Tsuruko/Yozo affair was spared, rather than just the people who helped Tsuruko. Not sure if the distinction will be important or not…

Best new vocab word: おののく :trophy:


I read 発端!

And, wow. That exposition was a bit of a slap in the face, haha. Either our short break plus the difference in style of the short stories got me out of practice, or this one is actually tougher than past story openers.

The second half of it went much smoother already, thankfully.

I have no idea what’s going to come! I know one thing though: I’m greatly looking forward to finding out whose notes these are. :joy:

I love these, thanks for sharing! Especially the map is super helpful!


I also have read the prologue thingy!

I got vaguely Hound of the Baskervilles vibes from starting with a spooky story about a no-good ancestor whose wrongdoing echoes down through the generations.

Favourite new word: 落人 (おちうど), which I can add to the little list I know of role-words on that pattern: 素人 (しろうと), 玄人 (くろうと), 仲人 (なこうど), 盗人 (ぬすっと).


It wasn’t quite that clear-cut: the sentence uses たいてい and おおむね, so it’s more saying that mostly the people killed had no connection at all with Tsuruko whereas the people connected to the situation were in general spared. Since it then explicitly tells us about all the major players, I don’t think the vaguifying words make much difference, it’s just to say “this was fluke rather than deliberate”.


Fair enough. Though it’s a mystery novel, so I don’t believe in flukes :sunglasses:


Oh, absolutely :slight_smile:

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On Chapter 1:

We have a map! And there’s those gold coins still missing from the prologue. Is this a map to the gold, or to where Tsuruko had those secret assignations with the cave nerd, or both?

I also liked that the murder was labelled “the first murder”. Will we by any chance get up to eight? :slight_smile:

Language note of the chapter: a wild -るる appears!


I’ve never been able to work out exactly what modern verb conjugation this classical survival is the equivalent to.

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