半落ち Reading Club

Since @omk3 also asked, I’ll have a go

指導官 = 志木 (土倉 calls him 指導官 in the beginning)

三つの強行犯係を束ねる指導官 = The 指導官 has three 強行犯係 below them and manages them.
(三つの強行犯係を束ねる)指導官の立場で言うなら = looking at it from the standpoint of a 指導官 (that has three violent crime 係 under their command, thus is very experienced with murder cases etc.)

That’s how I understood it.

I finished chapter 1.2 as well.
I’m intrigued. But I hope I my reading speed will speed up soon.
The power play was interesting, also the „this division is my friend and this division is my enemy“ sort of dynamics.

Doing some very early motive analysis, I wonder if 梶 holds some grudge against the police and didn’t turn himself in on purpose? Maybe he wants it to look like the police tried to hide something and didn’t make the case public on purpose. But that’s just some very weak speculation, we know nothing about him so far other than he was supposedly a very likeable person.


Ah that makes sense! Thank you!

I’m going to finish up 1.2 today (I only have 3 pages left) and will probably post my notes in a content hider incase anyone else finds them useful. I also have character names to details to add to the list up top.

The competing departments of police forces is a common-ish theme in this type of story. Everyone is out for the 手柄, ‘career’ and ‘noncareer’ officers feel themselves different, and people who work in the field and people who work in offices also have conflict due to feeling like their work and priorities are different (which they are).


A vote for 逃げられた!

Really cool start! Liking the dynamics, and the tension we had in these first parts.


Finished chapter 1.2!

Not much to add from my side, but I do have a wild speculation: It somehow crossed my mind that maybe 梶 did not kill her himself but is covering up for somebody else who killed her? Because he seems to be such a gentle person, and also because we have this curious gap in the timeline… Now I have no idea who that might be though - they don’t have children except the son who died already, they did not live with anybody else, there is no talk of relatives or somesuch. :woman_shrugging:


Finished 1.2 too. So, is that it for this week? I really want to read on!

A very solid start. I love all the inter-departmental tension, and how apparently the police top brass across the world seem to care more about how they appear to journalists than about the actual solving of cases.

For initial speculation, although it’s way too early and we know nothing at all, I was thinking along the same lines as @NicoleIsEnough, but @Myria’s version could be spectacularly fun.

I want to get to the interrogation asap!


Same, I really want to know how the story continues! It’s like watching a weekly detective series and having to wait for the whole week for the next episode… after only having watched a single one.

I also found it cool that the same terms for 落ちる / 落とす falling in love / making someone fall for you are used in police jargon for confessions as well. His alias, 落としの志木, made me chuckle. What a player :laughing:


I’m glad everyone else is liking it as much as I am! This week was purposefully shorter because I figured (from reading 64) the opening would be heavy with character relationships and background, which it was. I also wanted to give people some room to get accustomed to the writing style.

edit: I guess if people want to read next week’s they can, but I’m not sure if @Belerith has had time to catch up? I started things off early after all. And I know folks have various book clubs so I don’t want anyone feeling rushed

tiny poll:

Should we read faster?

  • Yes, let’s go!
  • Let’s keep the scheduled pace

0 voters

Here are my notes for 1.2 incase anyone finds them useful. The sentence translations are on the fly stuff, imperfect and more just me sorting through what’s going on

1.2 notes from intensive reading

moreover, he’d only been in such a place as the 本部室 when he was promoted to 警視

駆り出され - round up; hunt; recruit

Kagami and Iyo were career climbers who were working away from the 警察庁, so of course a true blood prefectural police officer like Iwamura was not his usual relaxed self (with them there)
出向=job relocation; 生え抜き=local grown person 日頃のゆったり= habitual comfort
構え=状況に対応できるように姿勢や態度をととのえること。=he doesn’t have this

目をつぶっている。can also mean pretending not to look

If he’d drunk it after we came in, it’d be our fault

噂に違わぬ保身男だ。An self protecting man (as expected by his reputation)

たび here is probably ‘every time’?
This outsider career man who didn’t need to shoulder the burden of the dead body, whenever he branded everything as far as the 刑事部 ‘us’, it made Shiki’s head ache (temples throb).

なぜ捜査の門外漢である警務部長に言わせっ放しにしておく。Why did they have to follow what this complete outsider said?

グランドキソン = name of the poison. I assume this is Grand + 棄損?
Even if his state begins to improve, because Grand Damage has a delayed effect, it may take a week to impact his lungs and kill him. Given Takano’s police interview and negotiation with the doctors (I guess to let them do the interrogation), I think it’s a very delicate operation.

辰巳は志木と同格の広域捜査官である。same rank as 志木. Not a police artist?

念のためお前を充てることにした。For the sake of caution you were assigned.

無下に過ぎる。absolutely unacceptable

三席 seems to be some title.

  • 中小規模の検察庁では,「検事正」,「次席検事」の下に検察官(「ヒラ検事」と呼ぶことがあります。)が勤務し,実際の事件は,ヒラ検事が担当します。「三席」は,このヒラ検事のトップとして,県内で発生した凶悪事件や複雑な経済事件等を担当しています。

The district court and the third seat (no idea what this is called in Eng) public prosecutor have said they will investigate the case.

He had mountains to say, but with the supposed fellow 刑事部長 being on 伊予’s side, refusal would mean giving up his post as 指導官.

I was laughing a bit at the “you must do this by X for the sake of a news conference” because a HUGE tension point (there are multiple) in 64 is the relationship between the police and the press. The main character in 64 is a 広報官 (public relations officer) though so it’s natural that it takes a stronger focus.

Also I’m about to update the character list but does anyone totally get what the bit about 辰巳 was? I took the link about 絵描き as meaning he was a police sketch artist or something but then later they call him a 広域捜査官 and mention he’s the same rank as 志木.


Doesn’t it say that they were not as relaxed as him? Because it’s his home turf and they came in from the outside, was my reasoning.

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絵描き is the suspect (高野), he’s a 美術講師 or something. 岩村 says to 志木 that 辰巳 should take the 絵描き case.

No, I think @pocketcat has it correct.

That’s probably why 岩村 didn’t have his usual relaxedness.

The others (警察庁) are above him in rank (he’s 県警, so only prefecture police), and that’s why 岩村 is nervous.


Could you explain that grammatically? To me it looks like 岩村に marks an object, and the actor of the 構えはなかった is still 加賀美と伊予は ? :thinking:

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Was about to clarify about the 絵描き but @Myria beat me to it :slight_smile:

So I took the time to read through the notes more carefully.
Thanks for all the notes, @pocketcat, they are a chance for us all to do a deeper reading like you.


I’d phrase it as
Not to mention, he had only been in the 本部室 and such only once, the time when he was promoted to 警視.
Same meaning basically, just stressing the once more.

That’s my understanding, yes. Each time, every time.

Tiny nuance, but I’d phrase it “further objections” instead of flat out “refusal”, because of さらなる

県警生え抜きの岩村に 日頃のゆったりとした構えは なかった。
In 岩村, a true-blood prefectural police officer - usual relaxed appearance (topic) - there wasn’t.

I hesitate to vote in the poll. I really want to read on, but will I be able to keep up in the coming weeks? I really don’t know.


Yes, I was able to catch up with all my bookclubs yesterday. Thanks for considering me! :blush:

I voted for a faster pace, but I also don’t mind staying with our original pace and steeping in the suspense a bit~


Oh dangit, these pesky particles! Totally overlooked that one.
Re: our discussion about how to read, I feel like I read pretty thoroughly but it still doesn’t seem to be sufficient :cold_sweat:

Yep, I thought the same. I’m doing ok-ish this week but there will be busier weeks ahead… so I think it would probably be safer to stick with the current pace. But if it’s only me, then I don’t want to be the blocker for everybody else.


The object (?) of ある is marked with に, optionally. 私には子供がいません, for example.
@omk3 put it better than me: In 岩村, there isn’t ゆったりとした構え.

I don’t know how many comments you want on your personal notes, so please do tell if you want less comments!

It has a delayed effect, so in case it already got to his lungs, he will probably die in a week.

肺までやられていれば is talking about a current state, I think. „If this is the case right now, then (he will die“


I didn’t reply earlier as I was only online due to sleeplessness :sweat: It’s a (very tired) morning here now, so replies!

Ah! Ok, that makes sense. I misplaced the topic there. That makes a lot more sense, especially the tension around him (辰巳) being brought up.

Thank you for your adjustments! I’m really not good at translation in the slightest, your call outs on nuance are helpful.

I actually appreciate this a lot! The sentences I copy out are the ones I already think I have an imperfect understanding, so not getting them right isn’t a shocker :sweat_smile: Us discussing them is a good chance for all of us to deepen understanding I hope!

Also re: the poll -
overall seems like there is some desire to reader faster but not enough to risk messing up book club schedules and possibly getting in too deep with a tricky book too fast. We can ‘steep in the suspense’ as @Belerith excellently put it. The last few weeks do ramp up quite a bit as well (~50 page reads).


Read 1.3 and thought I might as well add the new characters here to be added to the OP.

Character list 1.3-1.6


Edit: Finished this week’s portion and added two more names :slight_smile:


Read week 2!

Title drop! :sparkles::sparkles:

We’re really only watching a policeman question a suspect, but it’s still really gripping. I’m looking forward to getting to finish chapter 1 next week!


We talked in another thread about how difficulty is subjective. Despite the large quantity of unknown vocabulary, I’m finding this book easy to read, or to be more precise, easy to keep reading. It’s definitely gripping.

There may be something uniquely Japanese about how they keep wondering why 梶 didn’t kill himself after the murder. I mean, surely it’s something someone might consider after murdering his wife out of pity, but still, they talk about it as if it’s almost unthinkable that he didn’t. The shock about the evidence that he was in 歌舞伎町 also surprised me. Surely sex is not the only thing you can get there?


Finished! I ended up buying a digital copy :frowning_face: I realized there was no way for me to take the volume of notes I wanted to, and keep up with my other reading, while copying out sentences from a paperback. Also @omk3 thanks for the character list! Added to the top post. :slight_smile:

Heh, you know I loved that two books I’m reading have mentioned Kabukichou this week. When I went to Japan as a teen my high school teacher had warned me against Kabukichou because it was ‘the red light district’ and bad. Naturally I had to go. It was the red light district and bad. I remember my dad being handed deriheru flyers. I’m pretty sure I was handed a magazine with deriheru and boob job ads.

I think it was partly Kabukichou and partly the 個室ビデオ tissues. While I suppose technically you can view other things in a 個室ビデオ, most probably go for one type of content.

Suicide is viewed as a lot more honorable in Japanese tradition than it ever had been in Western that I can think of. 介錯 is something I can’t think of a parallel to in Western tradition for example, and suicide in general was largely treated as a coward’s way out. Meanwhile, reading a decent amount of Japanese lit it’s basically the opposite there. You brought shame to yourself, now redeem yourself by at least cleaning up as it were. Obviously modern takes in both the east and west are nuanced (see 志木 being so pissed the child molestor might get the easy way out by just dying) but I think there’s still echos of it there, ya know?

Morbid but

I once accidentally read the suicide note of 芥川 (of the famed prize) and in it he has a section addressed to his kids where he says this (I put it in my Natively review so easy to find :sweat: ):


Which feels like an unbelievably cruel thing to say to your children to me, but I think he reflected a bit (in a twisted way, perhaps) the views of his time.

I did a lot better with this section than the first one. All the sentences I was able to figure out to my satisfaction just by rereading them aloud a time or two. I still took notes, but didn’t write translations. I’ll copy the ‘interesting words’ section of my notes here at least, though.


阿吽の呼吸 → two people in perfect harmony

代わり映えがしない → set phrase. seems to more or less mean that it didn’t change anything for the better / didn’t improve anything.

二坪強の狭苦しい室内。→ Just over 2 “tsubo” (so 6.6 sq meters). ~71sq ft. A pretty small room.

七三分けで頰がテカテカ光った腹話術人形のような顔立ちだ。→ I love this description


腸が煮えくり返っていた → another set phrase. means to be incredibly pissed off.

強権発動 → “calling upon the power of the state”. kinda reads like ‘exercising strong rights’. I get the gist.

大奥 → inner chambers of a palace

先刻承知 → another set phrase. “being well aware”

自己暗示 → my dictionary calls this ‘self suggestion’ in English but it seems more like ‘self centering’?

武士の情け → another set phrase. “a samurai’s mercy”

後顧の憂い → another set phrase. “anxiety for the future”

飯の種 → another set phrase. “means of making a living” makes me think of “put bread on the table”

Also I was cackling over the description of 栗田. That poor guy. I could picture him flawlessly.


Ah, I see, so there really seems to be just one thing you go to this place for, then. :sweat_smile: And yes, fun that we’ve come across it twice in two different books in only a few days. Although he still could have gone to investigate something, or look for someone, or for a reason we can’t even guess at the moment.

Thanks for the extra context re:suicide as the honorable way out. That’s what I meant, in Western society it’s almost never regarded as such, so it’s always surprising to have it talked about as the better option. And, while this would happen in a western country too, the fact that they go to so much effort and cost to save a child rapist from his suicide attempt also reflects this attitude, that he has to live in shame instead of taking an honorable (or easy, in western eyes) way out at the last minute. Although, don’t they still have the death penalty, and wouldn’t he get it? Or course it’s different to be sentenced to death and to choose death yourself/

Ha ha, we looked up more or less the same expressions, I even found the same pictures. And I also loved 栗田’s description, and laughed with the way our protagonist treated him, cruel as it was.「そのガキ連れてとっとと消え失せろ」

By the way, when they mentioned that 朗’s son would have been an adult now at twenty, I had to look up the official age of adulthood in Japan, which I was only very vaguely aware of. So it seems the official age of adulthood was lowered to 18 from 20 only last year, in 2022. It basically means that you can make legal contracts in your name, but you still have to wait till 20 to drink, smoke, publicly gamble, or drive a large vehicle. At the same time, the legal age to marry without parental consent was raised for women from 16 to 18 and is now equal with that of men. Imagine getting married 4 years before even being allowed to make other decisions on your own. What were they thinking?