夏目友人帳 - Natsume’s Book of Friends: Chapter 1 Discussion

@Minisovs I was typing everything out with some half-baked idea of seeing if it could be converted to txt and uploaded to floflo, but I’m not going to have the time to do it properly, so I stopped.

What I do now is read ~7-10 continuous pages as best I can, noting down in excel the page/bubble that has vocab or grammar difficult for me. Then I go back and type those out into an excel sheet and look up the vocab/grammar and make notes in a notes column, then do my best to make a translation.

I really wanted to have the vocab in some sort of SRS, but I hate Anki (it’s so confusing for me!), so that probably won’t happen unless I dig out my old Memrise account >.<

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I wonder if there will be any objections if I highlight the Google documents to a light gray for every other page just so it’ll be easier to glance it while reading along? Or maybe that’s just me?

Private poll, no pressure.

  • Keep it as is
  • Highlighting okay

0 voters

Working on reading some more today while I have down time at work and I have a few things getting me stuck and confused.

Page 16:
Speech Bubble : 人のくせいに妖怪(わたし)を見て動じないとはナマイキな
I’m getting real lost on the translation. Something about people seeing youkai?

Also page 18:
Speech Bubble: そこでレイコは妖怪相手に憂さ晴らしはじめたのさ

Is it that Reiko started to use the youkai as a distraction because she was always alone? Just need a little clarification.

I assume you mean every other row, not every other page? If so, you can go to Format > Alternating Colors and let Google do all the work for you (if you didn’t know).

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Thanks! I’ll keep that trick in mind. What I meant, though, was every other page because since I often lose track of where I am and find myself searching for kanji on different pages (if that makes sense).

Ohh, I see what you mean now. (I interpreted “page” as “spreadsheet tab” so I was confused.)

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You are reading too? :heart_eyes:

Also, this manga has an absolutely infuriating lack of page numbers :confounded:

I think it depends a bit where you’re at with your studies and what you’re trying to get out of it ^^

For me personally, it depends a bit on how much of the vocabulary I know. Usually, I try to read through once without looking stuff up to get the gist and see how much I can understand. Then I read it again and look up all the words I don’t know and make sure I’m understanding the grammar in each sentence.

I skip the first read-through if I just don’t understand enough of the vocabulary though.

I don’t translate anything into English in writing, and I think at a certain point that’s probably something you want to stop doing, because you want to simply read the Japanese rather than translate it and then understand it, if you see what I mean. But if it’s helpful to really nail down your understanding of the grammar then it sounds like a good idea (so long as you don’t burn yourself out).


That’s why I was asking if you were making a Kitsun deck! :heart_eyes:

Yeah, the lack of page numbers are stressing me out, especially when I’m trying to figure that something means and lose track of where I am both in the book and the spreadsheet :sob:

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I didn’t want to get my hopes up :grin:

Mhmm, and then you have to literally count the pages just about from the beginning again D:

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Well, I sent a carrier pigeon over to you earlier today. Feel free to reply anytime :3

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! :eyes: <3

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Well you could try Kitsun.io… It’s a great SRS system. I love my Natsume deck :slight_smile:

I’m a noob at this so I could be entirely wrong, but I interpreted it as something like ‘How impertinent, not being disturbed by the sight of a Youkai even though you are a human’ (not sure this helps).

The other part I basically understood it to mean something similar to what you said.

What I don’t get from page 16 is the 一緒にせんでもらいたい from the last speech bubble, not sure what the せん is.


This seems like the western dialect of しないで --> せんで, so written in standard Japanese it’d be 「…一緒にしないでもらいたい」, which in context would mean something like “I’d like to have you not lump me in/think of me as one of them” in regards to the ‘low-grade’ yokai

You can find more about the difference between the western dialect if you look up something like “西日本 方言 せんで”, I found this explanation online as well:

So the usual 「ない」in negative words becomes 「ん」in what’s considered to be the western dialect since deviation from the “standard” of metropolitan Japanese (i.e. usually Tokyo Japanese) is generally considered dialectal


Hey everyone, it’s so great to be checking in on everbody’s work, even though I’m a bit behind…
Currently reading page 15+ and while I understand the gist of things I have a few structure/grammar questions…


Page 15, second panel, I’m wondering about the くれた part of the sentence? I’m guessing the whole thing means something like “well done, youngster” but not sure what that part is?


出られる? I looked everywhere for that verb or that form but couldn’t find it… Not sure if the sentence means “I can go out” or “It’s been opened”. EDIT: just found an answer to this on another thread… I take it it means “I can leave” then :slight_smile:

Page 16


I get the meaning of this through the translation that has been offered, but wondering about the くせに part? Is it basically saying “what a bad habit of this guy to be able to see me yet not be disturbed, how impertinent”? The “habit” would then refer to Natsume previous sentence of "I’m used to it (seeing youkai)’?

Page 17 4th panel


Not sure about the grammatical construction here. If I break it down:

お前のように: you are like (her)
あやかしもの: weird things
目に映: visible??? Seen by the eye? It’s not a form of 目に映る I think? But then I don’t know what that す is ?
こと: things
できた : was able to

I take it it means something along the lines of “You can see weird things like she could” or “strange things are visible to you”, but I’d appreciate any help on the grammar/parsing of this sentence.

Page 18 (and that’s my last question!)


I’m confused by the katakana in this sentence. What is うっわイツキ? I couldn’t find anything for either word. As for the rest of the sentence, is it just 雲行きが怪しい? I’m guessing it has to do with Natsume thinking “things are not looking good”, but the other parts of the sentence are a mystery.

That’s all for tonight! Sorry to post big batches of questions, but I can only do this in chunks and find it more efficient that way so I can keep track easily of all my struggles lol.

Night everyone!

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I literally keep recounting from the beginning or from the next available page number every time I need to reference something. It’s very annoying lol

If you think you’re behind then I’m probably super behind. But I mean we have two weeks for the first chapter so it’s really just a go at your own pace at this point! I haven’t gotten to the pages with your questions but I can give my input if no one else does by the time I get there. I’ll be reading more at work today and will probably have a bunch of questions of my own to ask too!

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I don’t have the book in front of me, but Nyanko is saying this, right? lol.

人のくせに = even though [you’re a] human
私を見て動じないとは = to look at me without getting upset
ナマイキな = how cheeky

“For a human, you’re a bold one to look at me without flinching.” is how I’d translate it.

目に映すこと = to be reflected in one’s eyes

“Like you, her eyes were able to see ayakashi (ghostly, strange things).”

うっわ = a sound of surprise and apprehension, sort of like “yikes”
イツキに = all at once, suddenly

Yep, you’ve got it right, “things aren’t looking good.” Literally it means something like “the weather has gone strange,” but 雲行き (the weather/the sky/way of the clouds) here can also refer to a situation or to a situation or turn of affairs.


I’m on mobile so sorry if the formating is weird.

くれた is the past tense of くれる which is part of the giving/receiving words along with あげる and もらう. Basically he’s saying Natsume did something for him/a favor /etc in that vein. Since Natune breaking the kekkai released him from the shrine.

Tae Kim has a page on it if youre interested: http://www.guidetojapanese.org/favor.html

@Dorotheian already got to the translation, just FYI Xのように means “like X”, in this case Reiko was similar to Natsume.

I just want to point out something here. I agree with everyone’s interpretation, but in your first post, @Leilaure , you said that the was like her, but it’s actually the other way around. He’s saying: Just like you, Reiko could… etc.
(Ps: I think that’s what you meant @Voi, but I wasn’t 100% sure, so I figured I’d add my 2 cent.


Thank you, and to @Voi too, for clarifying this! Just added it to my Bunpro reviews :slight_smile:
My main issue with reading is that I have trouble parsing kana that doesn’t spell nouns or adjective. I had looked for ように by itself and found nothing relevant…

Thank you @Dorotheian for your in-depth reply! If you don’t mind, would you clarify for me the 目に映すこと part? What is the すこと part? It’s not a form of suru I think, or at least not one I’m familiar with. I can’t find anything with just those characters, so I assume I’m either parsing it wrong or it’s a form of the previous words…

In general, I’m fine with getting a general sense of the translation, it’s more details like this that I stumble on and that I want to enrich my understanding of through reading.

Thanks for everyone’s response, hopefully I can soon return the favor and offer my own help and interpretations :slight_smile: