夜市: Week 6 Discussion

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夜市 Home Thread

Week 6

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Start Date: June 13th
Previous week: Week 5
Next week: Week 7

Reading:

End Page End Percentage End Phrase Page Count
93 42% [End of 夜市] 15

Discussion Rules

  • Please use spoiler tags for major events in the current chapter(s) and any content in future chapters.
  • When asking for help, please mention the chapter and page number. Also mention what version of the book you are reading.
  • Don’t be afraid of asking questions, even if they seem embarrassing at first. All of us are here to learn.
  • To you lurkers out there: Join the conversation, it’s fun! :durtle:

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Agh, I’m still on like page 50 so I have to catch up this weekend. Konosuba and Kino II have been stealing my interest :joy:

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Well, that was a “nice” end to the story. It’s a bit frustrating that it stops here so that we don’t get to see いずみ go back to the night market and try to meet him. I would have loved to find out that he became a shop keeper himself. Also, what could he be selling in that case?
Anyway, I liked that いずみ is already forgetting about the market. Turns out 裕司 didn’t lie about forgetting everything.

More generally, I had a good time with this story, much more than I expected considering I do not do well with horror… although I’m a bit on the fence about calling this story “horror”.

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It’s really not what I usually think of as horror either - I grew up on R. L. Stine’s kids horror books which I enjoyed being horrified by, and haven’t been able to stomach horror since.

I’m really glad this didn’t turn out to be truly horrifying horror.

Still pretty horrifying that 裕司 just got swallowed by the market because he didn’t have any desires. Kind of makes me wonder if this is how all the shop keeps became part of the market.

I wonder if the 2nd story ties into this at all or is completely separate.

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Yeah it’s more of a kaidan than all out horror. I’m not really sure what to call it in English…

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I found the ending a little unsatisfying, but I guess it fits perfectly. There’s a real sense of a sort of never-ending line of intertwined predicaments connected by 余市. We can certainly imagine いずみ going back in the future, perhaps with someone else, getting 裕司 back, but causing some other trouble to be sorted out–probably to the delight of the 神様.

I wonder if the Night Market and the lore is somehow based on or around any Japanese beliefs or culture. I don’t know much about Shinto, but from a Buddhist perspective it seems 裕司 reaches some sort of state of not wanting anything. Maybe that’s not meant to be a bad thing?

I was hoping for a little more from いずみ. I really thought she was the most compelling character in the beginning, but in the end it seems like she was only there as a plot device. We never really got to know her.

Overall I enjoyed it.

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Thoughts!

When I started reading this, my goal was for いずみ to make it out alive and non-traumatized, etc, so: success! This was an interesting read. On the other hand, I’m not sure I would have found it as interesting if it had been stretched out longer, so I’m a skosh concerned that the other (longer) story won’t hold my interest to the same extent. But 夜市 was fun! I wonder if 裕司 becoming part of the market means he’s no longer human? If he isn’t human, I wonder if it’s irrevocable (and he has to stay there forever). I really really hope he doesn’t have to fill the 人攫い’s role. (I don’t think he does, but that’d be the worst.) Wait, what happened to all the blank-faced kids? Also, if I were いずみ, I would never go back to the market. Live your best life, いずみ!!

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Finished! And with plenty of time left in the week to post questions, thankfully.

So, my own thoughts.

I enjoyed this story. It was just the right mix of tense and not-really-horror for me. While I do wish Izumi was more than just an outside observer, it does feel right for me in the end: she’s not really tangled up in the brothers’ business, and serves as a handy point of “truth”, in so far as having an unbiased view of the Night Market and how it affects people.

As much as I would like to see a future glimpse of 裕司 as a shopkeeper (?) in the market, I think I’m okay with leaving the door open the way it was. I can easily imagine a scenario where he has to take the 人攫い’s place, so I’d prefer for that not to be confirmed, haha. Thinking about it, I wonder if 裕司 would retain any memory of his life previous to being integrated into the market?

If anything, any potential sequel I’d be interested in would feature 弟, either following him as he travels the world, or featuring him as a recurring background character as the main protags deal with their own 夜市 experiences.

The more I think about it, the more I can see the potential for some truly horrifying things in the future, and the more glad I am that the novella dealt with it how it did: pretty much just as an introductory concept. You don’t have to commit to 100% scary things/concepts, but the ideas are introduced, and it’s all written well enough to leave considerable amounts to the imagination.

This is definitely a story I’d like to go back to and re-read after I’ve studied a chunk of the new vocab I found, if only so that my progress isn’t as stop-and-start as it was this first go-around.

I’m not sure if I want the next story to be connected to 夜市 or not. On one hand, I’d love to see more of this world. On the other, it might be good as a general palate cleanser for it to break away completely. I do kind of wish we were waiting a week before starting it, though, purely for selfish reasons: I’ll be on vacation next week, and am hoping I don’t just straight up forget to read while relaxing on the beach, haha.

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p73 (for me): Does anyone know what 他に尻をついた裕司は。。。 is? I think it’s indicating that we’re jumping back in time to the interaction with 裕司, but it seems like an odd turn of phrase and I couldn’t find anything on google.

It’s 地に尻をついた。。。. It just means he is sitting on the ground.

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:man_facepalming:
地 makes a lot more sense, thank you.

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Wrap-up thoughts!

I have to admit I’m very impressed by those of y’all who pinned the old gentleman as being the younger brother from the get-go. When he first showed up I didn’t think of him as being any more important than any of the shopkeepers we’d seen while establishing the setting and I thought some of the theories were a bit silly :sweat_smile: Maybe you guys are a bit more genre-savvy than I am.

The younger brother seems like a real stand-up guy. Seeing his plan come together was pretty neat and I actually ended up enjoying his backstory despite originally expecting it to be a weird break in the flow.The fact that he was able to sell his own youth at the market kind of raises the question of “what else could 裕司 have sold instead of his own brother” though.

I remember being struck by the phrasing at the very beginning of the story, the section beginning and ending with「今宵は夜市が開かれる」, so it feels appropriate for the end to involve the market closing. This is definitely not what I expected when I learned that we were reading a “horror” book, but I dig it. Throughout the story it has you anxious about what will happen next, and it leaves you with that kind of Twilight Zone-esque feeling of philosophical dread at the end. I liked it a lot.

I think it’s really cool that the book is divided into sections; kind of lets us have a wrap party without waiting until the very end of the club. Looking forward to the next story!

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I’m so glad I’ve been able to finish this story without much trouble. I liked the change of viewpoints from Izumi to Yuji, then the younger brother. A short and simple tale, but nonetheless charming. Already looking forward for the next story!

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I just finished reading this, and I found it kind of boring. The first half or so was interesting, but I found the very very long explanation about how the old man / younger brother got from A to B to be a real drag. In fact, it took me a week to read what I could have read easily in a day if I was more interested.

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I know I’m late to the party. I think I bought this book when the club was still ongoing, but never read past the first few pages now.

Now I finished the 夜市 part in 3 days and… found it surprisingly unengaging. This is probably the first time I’m saying this about a Japanese book, but the writing still really felt kind of amateurish. Most of the story was basically told in flashbacks. I’m not against using flashbacks per se, but the way it was told was, again, very unengaging.

You basically get a 1st person recap of a personal story that doesn’t feel personal at all because it glosses over all the details that actually would make it feel personal. When the man told the story of his past, almost everything was left vague. People had no names (“the girl”, “the co-workers”, “the math teacher”), events were only described briefly. Same goes for the world building; new convenient rules were invented all the time (“humans can only visit the Night Market three times”) and it didn’t feel cohesive at all.

Don’t get me wrong, I actually like stories rooted in magical realism that just accept the magic as a natural part of the world. But these stories tend to not explain things at all (which probably goes for typical 怪談 stories as well), like 魔女の宅急便 or Kenji Miyazawa’s works. In fact, if the magical part is a key party of the main drama, it often serves as an allegory for something else (see: fairytales).This personally works very well for me. ´

夜市 was different. It doesn’t work with a level of abstraction or distance you’d see in fairytales, but it also doesn’t have the sophistication of stories that try to integrate a supernatual theme into its world building. In a sense, the world building in 夜市 consists of made up rules that are just plot devices for some sort of dramatic twist, but totally lack cohesion or a overarching vision.

That kinda goes for the characters as well. Izumi has no real stakes in the story, but also no real personality to speak of. She doesn’t even act particularly surprised when they arrive at the Night Market. The way the “man” recaps his story totally doesn’t make it feel like he’s actually only 15. It all just doesn’t feel natural.

That being said, I did like the premise and I did like the Night Market itself as a setting. It was very easy to read and I was never bored, if nothing else. I also liked how the story ended, although the presentation itself felt lackluster and unsatisfying. The market could’ve totally served as a basis for a fascinating folktale kind of story, or a hub world for a more elaborate fantasy story.

Now I didn’t even know 夜市 was only one of the stories in the book. I mostly came here to ask whether 風の古道 is basically more of the same in terms of style and storytelling? Because if it is, I might as well skip it and read 狐笛のかなた or something else instead.

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It’s very similar in terms of both style and storytelling. I’d say it was slightly better than 夜市, but it was far from amazing.

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Interestingly that’s exactly why I liked the story so much. To me it had a very matter-of-factly way of narrating, without the usual “shocking” and “thrilling” elements that are often found in horror stories. But I can see how it might feel flat and emotionless for others.

Also I agree with seanblue that although I liked the second story way better than the first one, it has the same detached narration style, so if that’s what you didn’t like, then you won’t enjoy the second one either.

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Thank you for the input, you two! I can definitely see why the book would work for someone else.

I’ll probably skip 風の古道 then and read another book instead. Since the stories aren’t connected, I could in theory come back later anyway. (Which reminds me that I still haven’t read the second short story in キッチン ).

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