夜市: Week 14 Discussion

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Week 14

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Start Date: August 8th
Previous week: Week 13

Reading:

End Page End Percentage End Phrase Page Count
210 98% [End of 風の古道] 11

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  • Please use spoiler tags for major events in the current chapter(s) and any content in future chapters.
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so, uh, カズキ walked off as a zombie and the main character just went home? I feel ripped off.

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:joy: that was really a downer ending, even more so than the previous story. I did like it, though, especially this part: これは成長の物語ではない。 何も終りはしないし、変化も、克服もしない。

Unrelated but I have a question, since a quick google search didn’t give me anything. What is a 炷門? I understand that first kanji has a connection with 坐禅, especially since it shows up just after, but that’s it.

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Where do you see this (what sentence)? I tried to find it in my copy and couldn’t.

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That’s how the Temple of Resurrection is described if I’m not mistaken. The priest comes out to greet them at that gate. I just thought it denotes a gate that is lit with some torches or something like that, it did not occur to me that it might have a special meaning.

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まだ若い見習いらしき僧が炷門前で私たちを出迎えた。

I was more thinking of the second sense of the kanji (burning incense) since it’s used with that meaning just after :thinking: but in any case, it feels like a weird kanji usage in general.

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Oh! I think I confused that kanji with 灯 which I saw a lot recently :woman_facepalming:
That’s when I get when I trust my “I’ve seen this before” instincts…

Hmmm… maybe they need to burn a lot of incense at that temple because of the stench of all the dead bodies :thinking: Or maybe it’s meant in a more abstract sense, like “purification gate” or something?

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I actually really liked the ending. :eyes:

Sometimes there’s nothing you can do, or the cost is just too high. Our protag is just a kid, after all; should he really be expected to sacrifice himself? Him realizing that it was time to let go felt like a big growth moment to me; you have this whole journey towards resurrection, but it’s not what you thought. Do you push ahead, knowing that you’ll never be able to truly do what you set out? Or do you accept the reality of death? Idk; I thought that ending bit was well done.

We also, correct me if I’m wrong, never found out ホシカワ’s deal, correct? And his relation to Ren/Ren’s mother? I wonder if he was successful in becoming a tree?

The ending here feel very in line with that of 夜市’s to me: that of there not being a true “ending” that wraps everything up, life going on. It probably works as well as it does for me because of the inherent inability to truly know everything about the 夜市 or 古道, so you’re always carrying that small bit of doubt yourself; normally an ending that doesn’t wrap up all it’s bits and pieces I’m not super fond of, but it worked for me here.

Protag explicitly says that this wasn’t a story about growth or whatever, but I don’t believe that. :stuck_out_tongue:

I do have my own question about the ending here. Right at the start of chapter 11, protag comments, 十日ぶりの我が家は他所の家の匂いがした。Maybe I’ve completely misread this and further sentences, but was protag only away for ten days in the real world?

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We did not, indeed. I’m a bit sad about that. I’m also sad that the protagonist didn’t jump at the call, at the end.

That’s the case. Actually, if you count, there aren’t that many breaks that they took (even though some were obviously skipped to reach that count).

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I must say I also really liked the ending. :slight_smile:

When they were at the temple, for a moment I was afraid he would really swap his life for his friend’s… It all fit so nicely: he was there to sacrifice himself, Ren was there to take care of him, … Luckily also the priest realized that this wouldn’t be the smartest idea and sort of turned down this idea immediately.

The next thing I worried about: Would he return home or stay in the 古道? I think this option was nicely turned down by Ren who made clear that he would not walk around with him indefinitely (I guess that’s what he might have envisioned before they separated.) It felt really like our protagonist had regained touch with reality when he returned home. That felt like a very sane moment.

For your question: I think it was really only 10 days or so altogether, wasn’t it? It was a lot of narration so it felt longer for me, and I was also surprised to read that, but thinking back, they stayed at the inn for one night, then with Ren outdoors for 2-3 nights, and they were at the other inn for like 5 nights when our protagonist was sick? So it more or less sums up to 10 days, I guess.

Overall I must say that I really liked the book. I like the author’s way of writing, it sort of feels easy to read but not simplistic or boring. The stories are somehow told in a very calm and composed way. Also I like his narration style of using cut-backs to tell a story. That gives the narration an even more decoupled feeling.
I’m also very happy that it was not “true” horror! (Because I don’t think I could do that any more.) I found the classification of “dark fantasy” for one of his other books, and that sounds like a good description to me.

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I thought it was more the fact that it was okay for the protagonist to stay that makes them change their mind. Suddenly, it wasn’t something impossible to get and it started feeling like a real possibility, which immediately made staying lose its romantic appeal. I still kinda hopped the “jump to the present” at the end would reveal the protagonist still visits the 古道 and possibly looks for レン, but nah.

If you liked the writing style of the author, I can definitely recommend 秋の牢獄 from the same author. In particular, the second story in there has a very "古道” feel to it.

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Thanks for the recommendation! I had already played with the idea of reading that one as well. I just checked Bookwalker and found that it’s conveniently being sold at a discount (until Aug. 20th), so if anybody else got the hang of this author :wink:

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I’m definitely putting this on my wishlist. :+1:

And you guys are right; ten days does make sense in hindsight. I guess it was all the flashbacks that tricked me.

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I went back to check, and this is not how the sentence appears in my paperback copy. The kanji 炷 is not included:

Final thoughts:
Overall I really enjoyed 古道, but I was surprised by how quickly the story ended. I was expecting them to spend more time at the temple figuring out if they could even resurrect Kazuki and how that might be possible. I thought there might be a spiritual trial involved. Instead, the requirements seemed pretty mundane and the whole time at the temple was done in 3 pages. From the beginning had I assumed that the protagonist would need to make a sacrifice of some sort to finally leave the 古道, but that didn’t end up being the case (although he did lose his friend in the end). I was a little sad that he didn’t decide to live a dual life going in and out of the 古道, but I guess in the end it was a practical decision to return home. More practical that I would expect in a “dark fantasy” novel.

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Can confirm that it’s also not present in my digital copy from Amazon.

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Wow, that’s amazing :joy_cat:

In the BookWalker digital edition I have the kanji in question:

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Yeah exactly. I’m all for the dark ending, but it’s like we kept building up and building up in the character monologues, and then in the last few pages someone kind of let the air out of the tire and everything fizzled out rather abruptly. I thought they could save Kazuki from becoming a zombie, at the very least, or something more than just shrug, see ya. And the main character went home after 10 days missing, and we’re not going to talk about the other missing kid? There must have been some sort of investigation, and surely the main character would be under high suspicion. How does he explain that to the cops? All right, then. Keep your secrets.

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@eefara @catbus @NicoleRauch thanks for checking!
It’s so weird that, despite having a digital version as well, we just don’t have the exact same content. (Well I have the same version as Nicole, I mean).
I’m going to chalk it up to “typo”.

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I really liked the ending and found it very satisfying. For whatever reason, it wouldn’t have felt right to me if they’d been able to bring back the rotting friend, and I liked that the main character had the option to stay and become his own sort of traveler on his own, but decided not to. The way things fit together with レン and his parent (… singular) and コモリ surprised me–when コモリ was bragging about all the people he’d killed I was horrified, lol, more and more as I realized exactly what kind of person he was, and then to have the first one be how it was… and having all of that come back around with レン helping the main character get to the temple and ending up going past the place he’d spent his young years, and finding out about his mom… and it wasn’t a good ending at the temple that time, either, and I don’t know, it just felt right that the story ended as it did, and I liked the concluding lines as well. Everyone else phrased it better but I liked it, the end. :smiley:

At the same time, this is not the kind of thing I usually go for and I don’t know that I’ll seek out other stuff by the author for the foreseeable future. (ETA: thinking more about that, I think that I would read more by this author sooner rather than later, because I like the way they write [from what I can tell], but I would be picky about what kind of plot it was.)

Also, I’m glad I’m not the only one without that kanji, phew.

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And I’m glad I asked. :high_touch:
The kanji itself does appear on the next page, though, right?

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