Please read the guidelines on the first page before adding any words.
What sentence/passage gave you the most difficulty? Feel free to request some help, or if you figured it out on your own break it down for the rest of us!
What was your favorite new vocab word from this week’s reading?
Was there any passage that you found particularly intriguing? Did it resonate with you (either positively or negatively)? Was it surprising? Offer any insight or new perspective? Was it just beautifully written?
So, now the story is over and it makes it easier to comment.
I don’t think polyamory is the main dish here. I think the main point was social rules swap and portrayal of couples as something disgusting. It seems to me Murata really likes this theme, my impression is that she is really annoyed how people treats social rules are something sacred and she likes to play with what is seen as proper by her characters. She doesn’t give these characters freedom and happiness, she just changes what is regarded as good/proper and what as bad/weird to illustrate how absurd it is to cling to some stuff as The Only Right Way To Live.
sorta offtopic rambling about alternate forms of relationships being normalized or not normalized in the general society
It might be more Japanese thing, I can agree with that. It’s hard to me to say, because I was raised in environment where “traditional values” were very strongly valued so maybe it’s easier for me to empathize with Japanese characters rebelling about rules, because my whole childhood I was feeling that everything around me is very stuffy.
Poland isn’t a monolith in this regard, so experiences of other Poles might significantly vary. But the fact is that same-sex marriage seems like a fairly tale from far-away countries, something you only hear tales about I’m more used to wake up, read that some ruling politician said that LGBT+ people aren’t human (but ideology), shrug, and move on to the next thing planned for the morning. At it seems that the discussion here is more like “should we attack gays” vs “should we leave gays alone”, marriage seems so far away. I could hope for the new generation getting voting rights, but I thought my generation would be wiser and more open to differences between people when I was growing up. At it didn’t turn out to be. I was watching with horror as some okayish people became conservative and awful in their late 20s.
And somehow it is common to say that same-sex marriage would be favoritism, not equality. I never quite understood this train of thought. With all that, polyamory does seem avant-garde. But at least sex transition is possible here! It’s just awfully annoying to do.
Somehow this rant ended up being longer that the actual story commentary I’m sorry. But I’m so tired listening to how Japanese society seems so old-fashioned, when I get the same vibe when I look out of the window, so I wanted to talk about the different perspective
And uh talking about rules I’m sorry if I’m doing something improper () but I really wanted to call up @Mithrillion on that topic because our media looove to compare Poland and Hungary in terms of LGBTQIA+ rights (or lack of them) and I crave some Hungarian insider perspective and I didn’t know where would be the right place to ask you this (if any)
Aaa, don’t get me started!
I could’ve written the same part that you did about Poland.
I guess you have heard about our latest law, which was supposed to be against pedophiles (yay - but they want to put them on a public list which could quickly become a nay if somehow people who are against the government get on the list because they are allegedly pedophile while their people only get suspended senteces).
But then somehow it turned out to be a law that forbids to let any material/media that depicts or popularizes homosexuality or transsexuality to be accessible for anyone below 18. (Also you cannot talk about homosexuality or transsexuality at school.)
So as you can see this is a very broad wording, and they already randomly fined a book shop, because they kept an LGBTQ+ book for children among the other children’s book, and they didn’t put up any sign next to it to warn the customers (despite when this inspection happened the law was not yet accepted and despite the publisher of the book is literally called ‘Szivarvanycsaladokert alapitvany’ = ‘Foundation for LGBT families’ ).
So I emphasised depict in the sentence above. This would mean that kids below 18 from now on cannot watch a movie or series if there is a homosexual couple in it… or if someone happens to have two fathers, they can’t talk about it in the school, etc.
So yes, here we are right now. I’m not sure what they will use this new law, I’m guessing they will fine organizations and firms they don’t like based on this.
I’ve read that your Minister of Education wants to copy our law, have fun with it (I’m smiling, because I can’t do much else…)
About the story: I didn’t hit as hard for me either, as someone else mentioned in the previous thread. Maybe I am just not used to the short story format in Japanese yet.
So, it seems our media coverage of Hungary situation is quite accurate and nothing got lost on the way/due to translation. At least that’s a good thing
oh I understand the feeling very well
Yesss, when I said that “our media love to compare Poland and Hungary” it’s mostly in the context of “Kaczyński thinks of Orbán as a role model, if you want to see Poland’s future, look at Hungary”.
At first I thought that your new law means any LGBTQ+ content would be prohibited in public space, but if I understand correctly it would gain the status of alcohol, or cigarettes, or sex, more or less? Because later I heard it still would be possible to play LGBTQ+ movies on television, for example, just very late at night.
I didn’t think of that implication.
At least they don’t say they are gonna take the child from their parents yet /sarcasm
Here couples have constant problems with registering a child in such situation anyway (that was a situation when a lesbian couple living abroad was trying to register/get Polish documents for their child and they heard that nope, at best the city hall can only acknowledge birth mother and put “unknown” in father’s field; so if anything happens to birth mother, the other woman got no rights, so don’t get into any accidents when you’re in Poland, lady).
And what about showing affection publicly or even things like a rainbow flag? Won’t this get you a fine?
(Here people are freaking out about a rainbow already, even without a law prohibiting it. Some children playing with colorful cloth? It’s indoctrination! Mind control!)
I would say I cannot imagine this law passing in Poland, but that’s also what I said about the abortion law (when they prohibited abortion even if child is severely ill and either won’t survive after birth or will live a life full of pain without real consciousness).
I think I hate the most people like József Szájer, who persecute others while going to homosexual orgies himself
…not to mention things like this. Here it’s mostly about priests being transferred to different town as a “punishment” for raping kids. And somehow when it’s a rape by a priest, it’s not customary to go to the police. Everyone goes to church authorities for some reason (if they report this at all, of course)
This makes me wonder how many people with power really believes in their values and how many just treat it as a way to gain control over population.
Just checking in to mention that I’ve finished the week’s reading. I’m in team ‘this story didn’t do much for me’ as well. As much as I enjoy Murata’s talent for… ehhh… ‘carnal’ scenes, I didn’t find the wider context of the story to be as thought-provoking as in 殺人出産. As others have mentioned, polyamory may be a bit more controversial for the average Japanese reader, but for me, coming from a country that is progressive about LGBTQIA+ issues, it just doesn’t strike me as a big deal. The one element that I did find interesting was the main character’s absolute disgust at couple sex. We saw that in 殺人出産 as well, that a new way of doing things is quickly embraced and the old way of doing things is seen as an aberration (like Sakiko’s desire to have children the natural way). I guess that is a testament to mankind’s desire to conform, which was a theme in コンビニ人間 as well. I look forward to seeing what the last two stories will bring!
I really didn’t know where Murata was going or what the point would be until this last section. I think your take is spot-on. I think when polyamory was introduced, a lot of us were quick to expect a story about sexual liberation and breaking free of social rules (in a way it is about the latter, but in a more allegorical sense than in a literal sense for the characters like we might come to expect from a similar setup in some Western media).
When I read the トリプル sex scene I was mildly repulsed (as you can see in my comments from last week), and in the final scene it seemed almost like I, the reader, was being mocked for that repulsion by witnessing 真弓’s disgust at カップル sex. So yeah, the message here seems to be that the rules are arbitrary so why be so adamant about what is “proper”? Where it falls a bit flat, and here I’m probably thinking along the same lines as @Phryne, is that my my own mild disgust really just came from acts that seemed physically painful, rather than from any notion of weirdness. At the end of the scene I was just happy to see that all involved seemed to enjoy it.
I think 誠 states the whole message pretty plainly when he says「真弓、『正しいセックス』 なんて、この世にきっと、ないんだよ。僕たちにとってあれが正しいみたいに、きっとお母さんや友達にとっては、カップルのセックスは正しい行為なんだよ」
Also, I hope 真弓 doesn’t end up as intolerant as her mother!
I ended up finishing the story after I posted my response yesterday. I kind of agree that this one didn’t reach the same level that 殺人出産 did. I think the idea of “flipping the script” with 真弓’s feelings toward couples is interesting, but that’s about it.
Part of me still can’t shake the feeling that a little more is going on here. With 真弓 being the mouth this time, there was more talk of amniotic fluid and her being purified and “reborn,” so to speak, within the act of トリプル sexual intercourse. I don’t know if I’m wrong and it’s just a simple swap, or if I’m just missing something. I actually wish the story had been a little longer. Also, at the end, she mentions tasting semen in her mouth, right? But in トリプル sex, only one person is supposed to be naked, while everyone else is fully clothed/zipped up. Does this imply that someone broke that rule? It’s stuff like this that just keeps making me wonder if I’m missing something!