夜カフェ ☕ Chapter 1 (Beginner Book Club)

About the test (she thought she would pass), (because) I had the feeling I did well.
って marks a topic or indirect speach, it’s used in many ways and is an abbreviation of という.

I failed the tests of the other schools. (She knows the result already)

Not even tears are coming out.(That means she is so sad she can’t even cry) こない is the negative form of くる

Even I tried THAT hard.


Hi everyone! And thank you all for organising and taking part in this :slight_smile:

I have a small question on page 6. Right after she’s said that she’s happy that her parents aren’t home she says


From context and the second part it seems that she says something along the lines of “Rather than consoling me, it would only be (emotionally) difficult.”

But I’d like to understand the grammar structure. What is そばで doing here? Why is passive used in なぐさめる? Is そば = the noodles, soba, and passive form a more polite form of addressing her parents action (so “if they would console me with soba, it would rather be difficult”). Sounds a bit odd (or is this a thing?) :sweat_smile:


Hi there. Haven’t read yet but I feel that phrase should be straight forward enough.
そばで is 側で meaning “next to” or “near to”. The 慰める is in passive because that is something that is happening to her. BUT combined with たら means “If i would be consoled” so it is not actually happening but shes stating a hypothetical.
The next sentence changes our expectations. Rather than the consoling feeling good to her she states: 却って辛くなるから。“because on the contrary it would make me feel bad”

If i misinterpreted something I will correct soon. I’m just starting to read this weeks part :smiley:


Thanks for the reply :blush: But I still don’t understand what the そばで is doing there (I don’t see what “next to”/“near to” brings to the sentence). If I omit it, does anything change?


The basic sentence would still mean the same. It just gives the sentence a flavor.

(liberal translation)
Having someone next to me being consoled, would rather make me feel worse.
Being consoled, would rather make me feel worse.

Kinda difference. It’s like asking why the author included this info since it’s kinda clear from the previous sentence with her parents not being home today. Don’t try to overthink every word. Literature is meant to make us immersed in the situation :smiley:


Hmm having read it now I read it not as Yayako being the cause. I read it that she simply is not good at sports but since she was in the same team as Yayako that being the initial trigger for the bullying.
The hiding sports clothes and other stuff happend after the 運動会.

Phew… pretty unlucky to end up in the same class again. I don’t know how it is in Japan but at least in our shool system they try to keep the students with the same background in the same class so that they don’t get split up from their prior friends sometimes. It doesn’t seem to be that way in Japan since her follownig didn’t make the same class. I mean it has at least 3 classes so the chances are <=33%…

I like the writing. It’s really easy to digest but doesn’t come of as boring. Most sentences are really short and to the point but there’s enough flare in there so that I can still add some flash cards to my deck. Pretty happy to have joined this club. It really gives off this middle shooler vibe in the writing.


I am frustrated for her, poor girl. Being sad about failing to get into a school you wanted to would already be enough, but then learning why she so desperately wanted to get into the different school, and the stars aligning to put her into the same class as her tormentor again… whew. So yes, I absolutely sympathize with her, and I like that she’s not just giving up, but actively searching for ways to improve her situation (even if just to leave it).

Well, I assume that at least the school situation improves somewhat. She doesn’t seem vindicitive so far, so I don’t think there’ll be any revenge, but I assume Yayako will either turn neutral or even into a friend somehow. Regarding the situation at home… I don’t know where that will go.

Agreed. 競技でもヘマをしたり、みんなからおくれたりするあたしに、 ヤヤコ は かなりイラついて - I think in the first parts of the sentence she describes what she did herself (making blunders and falling behind everyone) as a modifier for あたし, and then how Yoyoko reacted to that.


I wonder if the use of passive here already sets the expectation for it be something that has a negative effect on her. I still have trouble distinguishing between direct/indirect passive and its implications. Is it direct/neutral passive because the consoling is done directly to her? Is it the indirect/suffering passive, because she has no control over being consoled?


Excellent question. I don’t see it as indirect passive here.
The action is directly done to her like you speculated. An example for indirect passive would be 親にたばこを吸われる。The smoking in this case is not done to me but I’m indirectly affected by it. Even the indirect passive doesn’t necessarily imply a negative connotation (though it usually does). The goodol DOBJG has an example sentence 木村さんは美人に横に座られてうれしそうだ。
So to answer your question: In this case I don’t think it already hints at here not liking the consoling.
The passive here is “simply” used to keep the subject the same in both sentence parts. Since she is the one who なるs in the subordinate clause.

As a rule of thumb, if you can translate the passive into a passive in english it is probably the direct kind. Otherwise it is probably indirect.


Y’all are fast! All questions I had were already answered, kudos everyone!

Thoughts on the story thus far

Like others above, I also interpreted that Hanabi is just generally not that good in sports which unfortunately ticked Yayako off and triggered the whole bullying.

That, combined with how she was thinking of joining the badminton club just to prove Yayako wrong made me sad. I’m actually glad that plan didn’t go through (although to Hanabi, it was a misfortune). She shouldn’t have to spend her school years participating in a club that she’s not intrinsically interested in. She has nothing to prove to anyone, really.

I also laughed at how the classmates who followed Yayako around back in elementary school weren’t there with her despite Yayako practically hinting for them to go to the same school as her. She then quickly made friends with people who came from the same elementary school. I’d like to think that Yayako had an unpleasant reputation back then, and those people are too thinking “Oh no, not her again…” while reluctantly becoming Yayako’s friends in high school, heh. Essentially just trying to make myself feel better that Hanabi’s not that alone in her experience, hah.

I’m wondering if anyone had any particular sentence in this chapter that caught your attention because of the way it was written. I absolutely loved this sentence on page 9!


It’s such a beautiful way to describe Hanabi’s state of mind, showing how she views something that is normally considered beautiful to be so gloomy.


Man, this is a completely different beast from a manga.
I’ll try translating this as well just to see how I do. Though I don’t think I can reasonably do the whole thing in one sitting.

Here we go

I went online on the computer my mom rented and took a deep breath.
I turned on the screen and put my hands on the keyboard.
Today is the day they’re announcing the exam results of the Ryuusei academy’s junior high school.
When the time came, I accessed the result site.
First I entered my id number.
Then I slowly entered my date of birth.
Then the site opened and I unconsciously closed my eyes.
“Please, please just let it be a passing grade”
I slowly opened my eyes and opened up the result, which said “Unfortunately you didn’t pass the test”
I raised my voice a little.
My body stiffened up on its own.
“Tha… that can’t be”
I never failed before.
I worked so hard on this. *
The exam seemed quite manageable.
This was the last entrance exam.
I couldn’t get into any other school.
I was frustrated, sad and I was even crying.
Thank god.
Mom and dad aren’t home today.
They wouldn’t try to comfort me, they’d rather scold me for it.

* Here I assume もん is the “dissatisfaction/excuse indicator”, but correct me if I’m wrong

Managed to get the first bit done. Ichi.moe is a godsend

1 Like

I don’t agree with much of your translation. Also I’m not too sure why you want to translate the whole thing.
Translating between two languages and understanding in one language are two different skill sets in my mind.
I mean if it is fun for you, go for it. But trying to find a suitable translation might slow yourself down more than it will benefit you. Personally I gain more by focusing on the sentences where I feel like I don’t get a specific grammar usage or phrasing and try to break these parts or whole sentences down with the help of the book club.

Looking up translations for specific words you don’t know is something completely different and that I would totally encourage. Especially since the vocab sheet makes it pretty painless. But then for the whole sentence it should form an understanding in your head without needing a whole sentence translation in english. If you rely on building this translation too much I fear you will hinder your progress in Japanese in the long run.

To give at least some constructive feedback, lets take the first sentence.

Not the mom rented the computer but 花美 “borrowed” it FROM her mom (ママに) to check the results. オンにする does have no relation to going online but means turning the computer on.
Similar to this I feel there a many misses in your translation.


Ah, I knew I should’ve included the quote in the previous post. :sweat_smile: I was referring to this sentence on page 7: 「どの競技でもヘマをしたり、みんなからおくれたりするあたしに、ヤヤコはかなりイラついて・・・」which I originally thought meant that she was always making mistakes and making the others late (i.e. relay races at the sports festival) and Yayako got fed up with her and decided to target her for bullying. What I got from the second reading was Yayako purposely got her followers to make her make mistakes and made her late to activities. I guess I’m confused about the 「みんなから」 part because it sounds like the action is caused by everyone. Now I’m starting to lose confidence that I mistranslated it the second time which isn’t odd because I often second guess myself on tests and ultimately make mistakes because I change my answer. XD

I do get that she thinks pretty low of herself, often calling herself slow and bad at sports in general, and I can get how her own negativity could be an annoyance to Yayako and an easy target for bullying. And with being Miss Popular, Yayako can easily command others to follow her (out of fear) and turn everyone against Hanabi to show her just how weak she is.

So the teachers are actually very familiar with each and every student. Just before the start of the school year, they’ll visit each of their student’s homes so they can get an idea of who takes care of them and what their livelihoods are like. Japanese teachers are essentially another parent to their children (and in some cases, more of a parent than the parents themselves).

These teachers also pass down this information to the next homeroom teachers, even in their new schools, so that they can try to create a good balance for each class based on grades, energy level, etc. If there are students who work very well together, there tends to be no reason to separate them, especially if they work well academically. Or if there are “weaker” students or particularly those with learning disabilities but aren’t put into the proper class (because their parents want to save face by keeping them in the normal class), they tend to be put in the same class as another student they know well and/or are good friends with.

This is based on what I’ve seen at my school in the countryside. Since I have multiple schools at my current position in a more suburban location, I don’t get to to stay at one school for too long to be familiar with the inner workings of the system here, but it’s probably similar.

But as for Yayako’s case, her followers were not her real friends. They seemingly followed her because she looked popular, and she was the strongest in the group. They followed her out of fear. The teachers at their ES were probably aware of their toxic relationship and split them off. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them even had the same idea as Hanabi and applied to a private school instead. Who could blame them? Still, it was funny to see that none of them were at her side when they moved on to JHS. If they’re at the same school, they’re probably trying to avoid her as much as possible.

Just want to point out that they’re only moving on to first year junior high school (7th grade) now which is about 3 years behind 1st year in high school. There’s another character that will be introduced later who is a high school student, so just a little clarification so it doesn’t get confusing later!

I like the sentence you pulled from the text though. I didn’t really think on that too much until I reread it. The book has a way of describing a lot of Hanabi’s feelings, not to mention the writing is so fluid that even though it can be poetic, it’s easy to decipher.


Just started. At first glance, I am not sure I can tolerate the wall of text; but when I started reading, it doesn’t seem that hard; but then… the text is too long and I can’t bother questioning everything.

I am reading in e-book version from Bookwalker, and I noticed that the page numbers are different. (Also, I changed font size to 150%, and page numbers changed once again.)

Instead of relying on page number, I tried to read the whole chapter, but it is a little too long, so I took a break at the image insert.

Also, I noticed that reading experience on tablet vs smartphone might be a little different. I like to read this stuff on smartphone instead, as I feel somewhat less stressed. (But mangas are better on tablet, as the page size is more optimum.)

As for listing new vocabularies and understanding questions, without troubling the reading process… Google Sheets might help (though, I made this on the second reading run.)


Though, I can’t say whether I can keep this up; I hope I can ease up and have fun reading this book, to the point that I can read volumes after volumes.


Okay I get why you wrote it. I think it is confusion about this case. Best to get definite confirmation from your other half but I read it as “Falling behind out of everyone” with the から being def 4 Jisho.org: Japanese Dictionary and the おくれたり Jisho.org: Japanese Dictionary. So it was not caused by Yayako in my mind. The する is modifying あたし so she is doing all these actions and I don’t see a passive or anything otherwise to indicate it is instigated by someone.

Yeah I understood that they were not real friends. The raw statement in the book that the follwing was not there somehow flew a little bit by me. Before @Yuru’s comment I really did not make the connection that they probably didn’t apply to the same shool on purpose and therefore they were missing ^^. I jugged it up as just being bad luck having been placed in different classes. Thanks for the extensive explanation on your shool experiences too!

Since we were asked for fav sentence:


Gramatically the most challanging part in chapter1 in my mind.


I’ve already read the first chapter, but now I’m rereading it more slowly to really think about which parts I don’t understand. Here’s my first batch of questions! (Page numbers might be off by one for some sentences - I’m using the ebook version.)

Page 6:

  • 『このたびは、残念ながら不合格となり……』 - What’s the となり there? A quotation article and an unfished なる conjugation?

Page 7:

  • 思い出したくもない顔がうかんできた。 - I don’t understand the adverbial “don’t want to remember” + もない there. Why isn’t it 思い出したくない顔, as in 顔を思い出したくない?
  • そのせいもあってか、ヤヤコは自分の気に入らない人はあからさまに無視したり、悪口を言ったりした。 - I have no idea what any part of 「そのせいもあってか」 means. And is the rest of the sentence “Yoyoko did such things as blatently ignoring or badmouthing people who she did not like”?
  • あたしがきらわれるようになったのは、五年生のときの運動会がきっかけだった。 - 「あたしがきらわれるようになった」 is “I started to become hated”, right? And きっかけ is “occasion” here? Is the whole sentence (a bit literally) “On the topic of me becoming hated, the occasion was the sports day in 5th grade”?
  • だけど、まさかこれほどバカにされるとは思わなかった。 - Is that something like “But by no means did I think I will be made fun of to this degree.”? Or, better translated, “would be”, even if that doesn’t seem to be in the Japanese sentence?

I thought that would be “(I thought I would pass because) Even (when it comes to) the test, I could do it pretty well.” after reading the だって “After noun” meaning here.


I’ll answer what I’m fairly sure about:

I believe it’s ~となる (which is basically the quotation particle + なる, to be fair) being conjugated into となります (though we don’t see the rest), yes.

This one was a weird one for me, too. I found this HiNative post talking about the exact phrase. It seems to be a lot stronger feelings. To make it fit gramatically, you need to remember that technically 思い出したく and ない are two separate words. 思い出したく is a conjugation of 思い出したい to allow it to connect to ない. So in たくもない the も particle is probably taking the “even” meaning. Essentially the difference in English between, “I don’t want to think about it.” And “I don’t even want to think about it.”

Same meaning, but the latter is much stronger.

I interpreted this line exactly as you did.

Same with this one, interpretation-wise. “Would” and “could” are always weird tense-wise going into Japanese, I find.

Coming back after the initial answer, because while I knew how I interpreted it, I couldn’t originally defend that answer, but I think I have a reasonable breakdown now:

そのせい = That outcome

も = also

あって = ある in て form, to exist

か = indicating a question… in a way.

“Perhaps (this word is the question particle at work, closest I could think of in English) that outcome also existing (implied, “is why”), Yayako did such things as…”

That is my interpretation, anyhow. Perhaps somebody more experienced could weigh in.

Or maybe it’s better worded in English as, “Perhaps the result is that Yayako did such things as…”

Either way, the vibe I got was that Hanabi was postulating the cause for Yayako’s poor behavior as being due to Yayako being popular and always having a group of lackeys.


Then I’ll take the last remaining one since @MrGeneric answered all the other questions perfectly :D.
The last one I’m not 100% positive on but I’ll blurt out what I see and know about it.

The rest of the sentence you already translated correctly. The そのせいもあってか split into
その - connecting to prevous statments
せい - blame, outcome, result
も - also
あって - exists
か - ?
It connects this sentence and the previous sentences. It’s asking if her popularity and becuse she seems like a center idol singer and she has a following are all partly to blame for her behaviour that is explained in the following sentence.
I tried to find out why the ある is in て form here instead of plain form but I’m not too sure about that.
Maybe because then the sentence would still work without the か and it not being an embedded question per se but just adding doubt. I took it as this meaning



Yay! Looks like we got the same result! :laughing:

As for why it’s in て form, I pretty much just assumed that’s because it is a continuous existing, as opposed to habitual. The result is existing in a continuous state, and will remain to do so for the foreseeable future. I like your way of thinking about it, too, though.


Also throwing in this HiNative answer I found that might be relevant. It shows how あってか might be formed (although not for the exact phrase we’re looking at here), where あって is the て form of ある being used as a connecting sentence, and か as in …かどうかわからないが (lit. don’t know if whether…). So the か expresses a level of doubt or uncertainty.

Can’t say I know for certain what the grammar is but yeah! I interpreted it similarly as “Perhaps it’s also because of those (circumstances among other reasons) that Yayako…”.