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.
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.
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…
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
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…
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.
I love these, thanks for sharing! Especially the map is super helpful!
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”.
Finished chapter 1! It was an easier read than the intro, though there were still a few rough spots. Fortunately, I’m gradually getting used to the writing style (I haven’t read anything else by this author).
I think we can probably assume there will be 8 murders (or a multiple of 8, like the previous incident). Though maybe the narrator will be the intended 8th victim and will escape with the detective’s help.
If I’m reading imabi correctly (not guaranteed ), こぼるる is probably こぼれる - to peek through; to become visible. I have no idea why it’s in this form though.
Just finished the 発端. Man, that was a long 15 pages! Reading this felt like doing homework, even if it was some very grisly homework. I guess I’ve just gotten used to being able to crack open a book and read fairly fluently without having to look many words up. Well folks, that was not the case here!
In any case, not many books open with a grand total of 48 dead bodies in the first 15 pages - even if they are spread out over the course of about 400 years. I would definitely think twice about visiting that village!
Anyway, I’m also done with the first chapter! Happy to report that I also had smoother sailing from there.
He is very descriptive! I’m looking forward to finding out all about the layout and hierarchy of 八つ墓村! Haha.
Thoughts about the first chapter!
Definitely anticipating at least 7 more murder (attempt)s like you all. It’s been set up nicely.
要蔵 would be like 60-70, right? I don’t know, he might be a red herring being used by some other people. The 野村 family, or even the old aunts or 要蔵’s kids. If they’re going around researching our protag’s temperament, it stands to reason the other kids might have gotten some of that explosive temper. They might not appreciate not inheriting.