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?
お弁当をもってどこか外で食べてもいいがそれはそれで: If it were the case that through packing a lunch we could eat outside
面倒だし紫外線も気になる: the troublesome UV rays would be worrying,
と他愛もない話をしたところで: and in the place where we had our trifling conversation
不意に早紀子さんが言った: Sakiko suddenly said
I just can’t seem to string these together to make any real sense in context. Perhaps I’m not quite getting the use of ”ところで” here?
Actually, it wasn’t THAT bad altogether. The continuation of the sister‘s behavior‘s description started a bit sudden, and then I was a bit confused at one point because I had of course missed that チカちゃん had also decided to become a 産み人, but the rest was pretty ok
I was a bit confused when I „reread“ the sentence in order to answer the question because I didn’t recall the mention of the UV rays, but as there was a similar lunchtime conversation in my part, I somehow shrugged it off
(Note: spoilers are rather for this week‘s reading than for next week’s )
How to parse 逆差別だ何だ? People who are whinging that… what?
What should I make of のだって here?
I’ve noticed the main character seems pretty concerned about ultraviolet rays. She mentioned them right at the beginning as well:
I wonder if that’s something that is supposed to stand out to the reader or if it’s only from my European point of view that it stands out. I do get the impression that daily sunscreen use is a lot more common in Japan than it is in (most of) the West.
Also, I wonder who big sister wants to kill. For some reason I wonder if it’s the protagonist?
I’m not sure, but I read is as ‘reverse discrimination and other things’. The same way nounか何か is ‘noun or something’, I took this to mean 逆差別 and also other things. But this is just a guess that makes enough sense that I didn’t try to make sure.
の makes a noun of 産む, だって functions like でも would here. ‘Even birthing one person is risking your life already’.
Ooh me too, I’m super curious. At first I thought it might be the mother, but then as things went on… Maybe that’s part of why she has such an ‘unusual’ opinion about this practice, because she thinks she will die.
I was actually wondering last week already whether the protagonist might become the killing target of somebody at some point
But now that you speculate about that, and given the most recent learnings with big sister cutting herself and hating herself, maybe she wants to kill herself? (that might make for an interesting plot twist at least…)
Yeah, I considered that question as well. I think
what it would give her is staying inside the legal system, so-to-speak… I mean, in many countries suicide is forbidden, and if she does not want to do something forbidden, then that would be a way around that?
Also, since we haven’t yet learned how the actual murders take place - maybe she gets a guaranteed 100% success rate
But thinking a bit further, it does not fit because she said she wants to see somebody else’s blood. So I guess she actually wants to kill somebody.
I hope we get a victim’s perspective in this story, but I’m not sure that 育子’s sister’s target is so important in this case.
I took 育子’s sister’s sketchbook to indicate a fascination with death and gore, which reveals an even darker aspect to the 殺人出産 system that we haven’t really considered much yet in discussion–that some people will choose to become 産み人 not to kill someone, but to kill. Basically, while most people focus on the revenge aspect of the system, 育子 knows personally that revenge isn’t always the motivating factor. Perhaps this contributes to her discomfort with the system that so many others willingly embrace.
I know we haven’t learned officially about how the murders are carried out, but I think this lends evidence to some system where people are allowed to commit the act themselves. A whispered name and a lethal injection wouldn’t fulfill 育子’s sister’s desire to “see somebody else’s blood”.
Finish this week - I think someone else mentioned last week that reading in Japanese somehow makes things more disturbing? I definitely had that in the scene where we see the sister self harm and then the notebook. I think part of this is because my Japanese reading is so slow, especially that in those passage I often had to look up several words in a single sentence. This means you end reading the same, sometime chilling passage multiple times before moving on. In any case, I definitely felt it!
(as an aside, I’ve been entering most of the vocab in the sheet - happy to keep doing so, but because I’m on kobo I don’t have page # or kindle location number. Would love if someone with a physical copy could input them!)
My thoughts on her sister wants to kill: I think the other possibility is that she wants to kill the mother, though if that were the case I would expect that we would spend more time with her as a character. I’ve got some other thoughts based on who else we’ve been introduced to so far but I think I won’t say too much more…
Anyone have any thoughts about this mysterious resistance organization? I’m putting my money on 育子 joining eventually…
I also took note of 育子’s UV ray concerns. I burn easily, so my initial thought was that she’s relatable. I think you’re right about it being something that’s meant to stand out, @Phryne. If there was maybe just the one mention of it when they were going out to lunch, I might not have thought much of it, but with the previous mentions of it included, I think it was a purposeful choice by Murata-sensei. I have some ideas of what it could represent, but nothing concrete so far.
I agree with people’s sentiments here over who the sister wants to kill. My first inclination was either the mother or 育子, but because a lot of the drawings in that sketchbook were of children, I wonder if she’ll go for ミサキ. There are parallels between her and the sister; 育子 mentions that both are smart, they have “interests” that are grotesque (no judgment for eating イナゴ, but it did make 育子 want to puke, so it can probably be considered gross within the text). There’s also the connection between the sister and ミサキ from when she was a little girl. I don’t know if the story will get into it or not, but those are just my thoughts on the possibilities.
@jhol613 brings up a good point about the more nefarious side of this system. It definitely runs the risk of feeding into people’s darker thoughts and desires, such as those expressed by the sister. The system focuses on the cold, hard numbers: more people are born than killed, so it’s good for humanity. However, the quality of life for the children born under it is left to be whatever it is once they leave the center. The culture that manifests itself from the system (in this case, mothers feeling more attached to children they birth themselves, while being more distant from those they adopt) only really has the front-facing rule of “it’s a good thing, and the people who become Birthers are doing a good thing.” The section mentions it’d only been going on for 30 years at the time of 育子’s memory, so it’s still relatively young enough that the effects of it on people’s mental health and other aspects may not be well known. Or, the mother should know better and not say things that could harm her children. Probably a bit of both. I wonder if those taking children from the center are well-vetted before they’re allowed to do so or not.
@AmomentOfMusic I’m in the same camp as you, though 育子 may be pushed into a corner before relenting. Also, I’ve been adding page numbers to the Google sheet as I’ve been catching up, so no worries there.