玉藻の恋 ・ Tamamo no Koi 🦊 Week 1

Week 1 June 15
Pages 1-12
Chapter 1
Next week Week 2
Home Thread 玉藻の恋 ・ Tamamo no Koi
Last frame of of this week's part (page 12)

We’re reading this manga as part of the Absolute Beginner Book Club.

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Vocabulary Sheet

  • Please read the guidelines on the first page before adding any words.
  • Pages are physical page numbers (they are printed on some pages). Ebook reader pages might be off by a bit.

Grammar Sheet

Discussion Guidelines

  • Please blur / hide any major events in the current week’s pages (however early they occur), like so: text here (that’s: [spoiler]text here[/spoiler]).
  • When asking for help, please mention the page number, and check before posting that your question hasn’t already been asked
  • Join the conversation — it’s fun!

The page numbers for ebook readers might be off by one or two. Some pages have physical page numbers on them, and you can use that to find out much off it is for you!

Participation Poll

  • I’m reading along
  • I had already finished this part before the thread was posted
  • I’m planning to catch up later
  • I’m reading this book after the club has finished
0 voters
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Welcome to Week 1 of 玉藻の恋 ・ Tamamo no Koi!

Below I’ve written a few words of advice that might be particularly interesting for those that have never been in a book club before. I hope they’ll help you.

I’m looking forward to reading this manga with all of you!

image


Ask questions!

I know that some of you might be feeling shy, or don’t want to bother others with their questions, but you don’t have to worry: People love answering questions. You’re making the thread more lively, and you’re also helping everyone who has the same questions. Please, ask a lot of them!

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Please include the page number: [details="Page 54"]Your question goes here[/details] (See “How should I post my questions?” in the FAQ below for more.)
  • Check if your question has already been asked. (See “How can I quickly find out if my questions have already been asked by someone?” in the FAQ below.)
  • Please mark any spoilers for the current/future chapters like this: [spoiler]text here[/spoiler])

Also, it’s fine to only read the thread, but consider participating at least a little, even if it’s just short posts like “This is really hard, but I’m giving my best!” or a “Wow, reading this chapter was fun.”. It’ll help you feel more part of the club which makes it easier to stay motivated, and it’ll make it easier to ask questions later if you have some.

Some general advice

  • Don’t give up just because you have to look up so much that it “doesn’t feel like reading”. That’s how we all started, and if you keep at it, you’ll get better. (There’s more on this in the FAQ below under “Is it too early for me if I have to look up a lot of grammar/vocab and often don’t understand sentences?”)
  • If we’re too fast for you, you can go at your own pace. Post your questions in the appropriate thread for the pages (see the schedule) then. You’ll get answers surprisingly quickly!

Useful resources for reading

  • Vocab
  • Grammar/structure
    • Google: Great for finding more about grammar/expressions if you can identify them. (Example)
    • ichi.moe: Tries its best to identify parts of a sentence for you. (Example)
    • ChatGPT: Can translate and even explain parts of sentences for you with “Translate:” and “Explain the parts of the sentence in English:” as a prefix. In my experience it’s a lot better than DeepL, even for translations. But sometimes it will very confidently get things completely wrong. Take everything with a grain of salt, and if you don’t have enough experience to judge whether the answer is right or wrong, I recommend asking here in the book club threads instead!
    • DeepL: Tries it’s best to translate a sentence for you. Sometimes helps to point you in the right direction. Will make lots of mistakes.

You can find out more about using these tools in the FAQ below under “How can I approach a sentence I don’t understand?”


FAQ

About questions and answers

I have a lot of questions, but I don't want to be a nuisance.

Questions being annoying is a really common misconception. Luckily, the opposite is the case. Asking questions helps everyone:

  • The people who answer usually enjoy helping others and answering questions. Many people say that they are even learning a lot when they answer questions! And those who can’t or don’t want to answer them simply ignore them. So, literally the worst thing that could happen is that your question doesn’t get answered, and even that is highly unlikely.
  • All the people who have the same question will be really happy to see them already asked by you. It’s not uncommon to see people thank others for asking a question they had.
  • The thread gets more lively.
  • You get your questions answered - and on top of that, when you participate in the threads, you are probably more motivated to continue and keep up with reading!

So not only are you not a nuisance if you ask a lot of questions, you make the club better for everyone. Please ask a lot of them!

My questions feel really basic, and I'm kinda reluctant to ask them.

This is a club for first-time readers. No question is too simple or silly - we are expecting first-time reader questions. Please ask them, and help all the other participants who have the same question!

How should I post my questions?

Here’s a format I like to use, as an example:

Using page numbers helps anybody quickly go to the page, and typing out the sentence makes it searchable and provides context for those who want to answer. Sometimes they don’t even have to open the book to answer your question.

And here’s how to make it:

[details="Page 7"]
ツチノコがごみ??らします 必ずネット
What are the ?? on the trash sign?
[/details]

[details="Page 18"]
Kon: 隅のほう......っぽい方向から埋めていこう
"Let's fill it up... sort of into the direction of the corner"? I guess he might be talking about filling in the map?
[/details]

[details="Page 23"]
Kon: まぁ部屋とまともに繋がってない廊下なんて意味ないけど
Does Kon mean that there's no point in having the normal second floor corridor if it's not connected to the normal second floor rooms? And まともに is "normally"?
[/details]

Two things to keep in mind:

  • Be sure to post it in the weekly thread to which those pages belong. You can find an overview over them in the schedule.
  • If you don’t use physical pages, mention it. Ebook readers often are off by one or more. Many books or manga have physical page numbers printed on some pages though - you can find one of those and count forward or backwards to your page.
How can I quickly find out if my questions have already been asked by someone?

Use the search function with “in this topic” selected to look up part of the sentence you are interested in:

About reading and understanding

Is it too early for me if I have to look up a lot of grammar/vocab and often don't understand sentences?

That’s pretty normal for your first book(s) - we all started out like that. If you keep at it, I promise you that you will get better.

Feeling strongly like that actually happened to me twice, once with my first Absolute Beginner Book Club, and again with my first Beginner Book Club. Both times I felt ill-prepared and like I’m not even really reading because I had to do oh-so many look-ups, and like I should give it up for now and try again once I’m better because there’s no point continuing right now.

Well, turns out there was a point. While I actually gave up that ABBC, I did power through this feeling and stick around for that BBC, and I’m so glad I did. I learnt so much, and once I was done I went back to try that ABBC book again, and this time I could actually read through it in a few days! (Still with many look-ups, of course, but by then I was totally fine with that.)

So… the solution is usually not stopping to read and going back to learning vocab until the feeling goes away - it’s to make peace with having to look up a lot.

Here are @MrGeneric’s thoughts on that matter:

How can I approach a sentence I don't understand?

Here’s how I usually read:

  • I read a sentence. Do I know all vocab? If not, I look it up as I’m reading by typing the words I don’t know into jisho.org (vocab) or thejadednetwork.com/sfx (sfx).
  • Does the sentence make sense to me? If yes, I continue with the next one.
  • If I almost get it, but some details I missing, I try to google for those details (e.g. if I have never seen the sentence ending よね, I will google “yone japanese grammar”). If it that solves it, I make a bookmark of the info I found and continue with the next sentence.
  • If I can’t find out what the heck is up with the sentence, I transcribe it and stick it into ichi.moe, which will analyze the parts the sentence is made up of. Often that allows me to look up grammar or just solves my problems, and I continue with the next sentence.
  • If I still don’t know what’s going on, I put it into ChatGPT or DeepL. If the automatic translation makes sense to me and fits in the context, I look at the Japanese sentence again and try to figure out how DeepL got there.
  • If I still can’t figure out the sentence, I check the weekly thread (if I’m reading with a club). Was the question already asked?
    • If so, I check (or wait for) the answer.
    • If not, or if the answers don’t help, I make a question with the sentence and my best guess of a translation.

So, in short, my order is:

  • Looking up words via jisho.org, thejadednetwork.com/sfx or the vocab sheet while reading.
  • If I have trouble: Googling for grammar or expressions if I can identify them.
  • If I still have trouble: Transcribing + putting the sentence into ichi.moe.
  • If I still have trouble: Putting it into ChatGPT or DeepL.
  • If I still have trouble: Checking the thread.
  • if there’s no answer: My best guess at translating + asking a question.
How much should I try to understand?

That depends on three things: How hard the book is for you, how much time and energy you want to put in, and how much you want to understand.

  • If it’s hard and you only have little time/energy, try to understand the gist and learn a few new things each week. Remember to ask questions when you struggle.
  • If it’s hard, but you have more time/energy, go for as many details as you want to after you get the gist! Ask lots of questions, the community is a treasure trove of information!
  • If it’s not that hard but you still want to deepen your understanding, feel free to ask questions about more minor details you don’t completely get.

Pace and don’t overexert yourself. It’s more important to finish the whole book and learn a lot throughout, than to go for 100% understanding of chapter 1 and 2 only to be burned out and stop reading there. If you realize you can’t keep up what you’re doing, start doing less - you’ll still learn a lot!

And lastly, if you don’t actually care about e.g. getting all the details and just want to have a nice reading experience, that’s totally okay too and you’re still very welcome to read with us!

About the club in general

The club is too fast for me, or I'm starting late. Can I read at a slower pace?

Feel free to read at your own pace. If you have any questions, just ask them in the weekly thread they belong to (see the schedule here). It doesn’t matter if it’s been weeks, months or years since the club read that chapter - you’ll likely get an answer surprisingly fast. (And don’t forget to use the search function first to see if your question has already been answered.)

Am I doing the book club wrong if I'm __________________?

I think the only time you do a book club wrong is when you neither enjoy it nor learn anything from it. Do as much or as little as you are comfortable with.

Any suggestions on how to get the most out of the book club?

For me, the best thing about the book clubs is that you can learn so much - but that’s only if you actually participate in the club. So, my recommendation is: Read the threads, and ask all the questions you have!

And if you feel up to it, answering questions is another way to learn a lot.

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What a lovely post you’ve made! I was diggin through bookclubs the past days since i was very excited and impatient to start this one (accidentally not-accidentally i joined another one too, guess wich one -the answer is in my profile picture-) and still had so many questions that you just now answered here. Thanks for all the work you are putting in it, i bet it took a bunch of time.
I’ll be joining tomorrow with questions since is still friday here and im exhausted now. Please everyone, post questions here so i dont do all the translation by my own haha

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Got excited and got started a day early :slight_smile: I only got to pg.8 so far but I sadly have to go to work now. I put any of the vocab lookups I had to do (feels like every other word since I’m a newbie haha) in the vocab sheet. First timer here so if I did it wrong please let me know. I’m so excited to read with y’all!

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I’m glad it helped you! It was indeed a lot of work, but if it helps new participants get settled into the club it’s definitely worth it :slight_smile:

Thanks for starting to fill in our vocab sheet! :smiley:

It looks good! I fixed a problem I caused (I managed to duplicate a sheet without the “page #” column…), removed the “evacuation” meaning (since it’s not relevant here) and removed the notes except “colloquialism”. Notes are only very rarely used when you feel like just leaving the meaning isn’t enough info to understand it properly, like “short for XYZ” or “often perceived as rude/condescending”.

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Thank you so much for all the effort you’re putting in! This is my first book club and I’m feeling super shy. I got a little overexcited (I may have also read the date wrong) and read the first week an entire month ago. I feel like I had to look up everything! I’ll will re-read now and will try to help out with the vocab and grammar sheets. Looking forward to making my way through with everyone!

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Thanks for the great start, Tobias. For everyone else: don’t be shy! Ask all the questions you want. I did some work on the vocab sheet while reading. The story is off to a nice start, as much as can be expected from the first few pages. :slight_smile:

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Page 1

What’s with the め after 天気予報? Is it some kind of particle or something abbreviated?

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Replying to a post from the home thread:

p.1

Yep, I also read that as おぅ またなぁーっ.
A small vowel at the end of a sentence indicates a long training off sound. The small ぅ makes this a long Oo sound that drops off. I don’t think it’s a word, but just an exclamation without much meaning. See also the first panel on page 7: ふぅ
The small っ at the end of a word or sentence indicated that the sound cuts off abruptly. See the second third panel on page 1: えっ?

I’ve never seen this combination of 天気予報 and め before. Some Googling turned up some hits in blogs and such. The context is usually when the weather report is unreliable. Maybe it’s an abbreviation of ダメ (no good)

p.7

It is related, as far as I can tell. But ブラつく has its own entry in the dictionary as a verb. It can be written either as ぶらつく or ブラつく.
See buratsuku - Jisho.org

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Here my insights about おう and :fox_face: :sparkles:

Page 1

I’ll just answer by experience and exposure to the language, as far as i have heard, its kind of like a “yes” or “afirmation” word. The first person says じゃあな (like see you later) and so his friend answer おうまたな (like, yeah! see ya!).
I just felt a little bad answering you from my guess so i gloogled a little bit just to make sure i’m not saying to you something wrong, and found this that supports it:

おう、は、ここでは、多分「はい」です。Boys often use it instead of はい when they talk with their friends.

When you don’t know what to say, you can’t say words clearly, and say like this “ah-…y, yes”
What is the meaning of "お、おう"? - Question about Japanese | HiNative

I didn’t know that is only used for boys, but makes sense. I hear it a lot when i see haikyuu

As for this:

I think you have that right, everytime I hear め at the end of a sentence its for giving that entonation of cursing to what he is saying. In my experience learning asian languages, they usually have this syllables or particles (not sure wich name is appropiate) at the end of sentences that they don’t actually mean something as rephered to a word but they are like keys to give some mood, emotionallity or intention to what they are saying, め seems to be used when you are upset about something.
I guess this resource is something new we have to input in our way of thinking and learning japanese since we dont have that in western languages like spanish, english, etc (as far as I have seen).

Edit: more backup for my insights:
「め」 is a suffix of contempt when attached to a noun or another person’s name.

「この犬いぬめ!」= “You stupid dog!”

「許ゆるせん、田中たなかめ!」= “Will never forgive Tanaka the bastard!”

Translation is an art. You could use whatever word you feel appropriate for the context that expresses contempt, scorn, disdain, etc.

Please note, however, that it becomes a suffix of humility when attached to the first-person pronoun 「わたくし/あたくし」. This usage is much more often seen in fiction than in real life.

「私わたくしめにお任まかせくだされ。」= “Please leave it to the humble me!” You will hear subordinates say that to their bosses in period dramas.

We do not say 「ぼくめ」 or 「オレめ」 because those are far from humble. Even 「わたしめ」 without the 「く」 would be quite rare.
From here

Comment

woah, i just learned how to use this tool, feels good

11 Likes

I just read the first week! It took me a while, so I hope that as I continue it’ll get easier. Ichi.moe was really helpful to spot individual grammar points so I could look them up more easily. The vocab list was great as well, and I ended up adding a couple words to it. I stayed away from the grammar list for now however, to avoid adding wrong stuff.

Page 8

おばちゃんが沸かしに行ってあげようか。
What is happening with “あげる” here? From the rest of the sentence, I’m getting that the aunt is offering to go draw him a bath, but I don’t get how あげる fits into that.

自分でできるっ
I just don’t understand what that っ is doing here.

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Reposting my questions from the home thread (will delete them there once I’m done). I know some have already been answered, so thanks for that! I knew I would immediately do something wrong, ugh… I’m feeling so embarrassed :face_with_open_eyes_and_hand_over_mouth:

Page 1, two questions

1.) Second speech bubble in the top right panel, I’m unsure what it says: お[tiny kana]またなー? The tiny kana looks like a small う, but I can’t make sense of it. I also noticed that a small つ at the end of a sentence (or speech bubble) often appears in manga, but I don’t know why and what it means (and whether it is actually spoken or just a stylistic device).
2.) Same page, in the speech bubble on the lower right, I’m not completely sure why there is a め after 天気予報(てんきよほう). I really struggled to find information on this possible particle and finally found one source saying that it could be a pejorative, so he’s apparently really cussing out the weather forecast?

Page 7

Upper left panel, I have no clue what ブラ means and couldn’t find it in the dictionary. The only idea I have is that it could have something to do with the onomatope ぶらぶら for a leisurely or aimless stroll.

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Page 8, speculation

As far as I remember, ()げる can be used to express that one is giving/offering something to another person. This Tofugu article mentions that 〜てあげる, specifically, can “indicate that someone is performing the action for someone else”. So it might mean that the old lady is emphasising that she wants to/could prepare a bath for the protagonist and not for herself?

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Page 8

あげる is a grammar form for when you do something for someone, I havent studied it yet though so I can say much more, I think is advanced N5 grammar or beginner N4, not sure on that.

The little っ in 自分でできるっ seems to be the same that we saw in page 1, used to let you know that the sound of words are cut abruptly

Haha! I guess it’s okay. Thanks for asking the questions anyway, I also had the same doubts in those speechbubbles but was lazy to search them myself.
気にしない、気にしない~!
bK333fjjKWd_KIT4Yr2fvYIJmpeb2Vk3sLCTtbVHhAyiRKa8Q7jxWOvGyR8QbBHwMXZNupmFoWCoGjK2FmS0vA

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A bit more about め after 天気予報 on page one (may overlap with what others have already written):

It’s a suffix used after a name or noun that invokes a feeling of contempt. In English, it would be like saying, “Darn you, weather forecast!” or “That darn weather forecast!”

Over in the からかい上手の高木さん book club, we see it all the time.

image

image

image

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My own questions

Page 1

Last bubble, bottom-left. I’m having trouble understanding 言ってた, I looked it up and it seems to be a contraction of 言っていた、or its polite form 言っていました. But i dont quite get it why they say 言ってた instead of 言った (the past form of saying) what is the difference between those two that I am missing?

Page 7

Could someone transcribe for me the handwritting so i can look it up?

Page 8
  • 拭きな : First panel, second bubble. understand this comes from 拭く, but why that き there? i dont get the conjugation here, i guess the な is a suffix or is it a short version of 拭きなさい??
  • 沸かし: middle panel. I’ve been searching for what し means, but i still dont quite get it
  • 俺ももう: bottom right panel. why is there two も here? i get it with one も like 俺もう高校生 (i am already a high school student) も with personal pronoun is sometimes used to say me too, but this dont seem the case, i’m confused.
  • 高校生だしね: so many particles here… だ to make empashis with the noun i guess, し still not sure, ね like the basic ね to look for comfirmation with the speaker?
  • SFX: next panel. There are some that im not sure about, when the granny takes the coupon out of her pocket, what is the second kana there? i can’t recognize it ご_?
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Page 1

It’s like the difference between “said” and “had been saying”. ~ている and ~ていた are continuitive forms. Compare I say (言う) with I am saying (言っている), and I said (言った) with I was saying (言っていた).

Page 7

夕飯でも
買って帰ろう
クリーニング

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Page 8

Yeah, it’s the (very common) short version of 拭きなさい.

  • 沸かし: middle panel. I’ve been searching for what し means, but i still dont quite get it

It’s the stem form of かす, forming [Stem form]+に行く: to go in order to do X.

  • 俺ももう: bottom right panel. why is there two も here? i get it with one も like 俺もう高校生 (i am already a high school student) も with personal pronoun is sometimes used to say me too, but this dont seem the case, i’m confused.

Yeah, it’s 俺 + も + もう. I’m not quite sure what exactly the も particle is doing here, so maybe someone else can weigh in on that. (It feels a bit like “even me”.)

  • 高校生だしね: so many particles here… だ to make empashis with the noun i guess, し still not sure, ね like the basic ね to look for comfirmation with the speaker?
  • だ: “to be” - the dictionary form of です
  • し: giving a reason, implying there are more (for why he is able to live alone and doesn’t need to rely on them more).
  • ね: Yeah, that’s the basic ね. Kinda like “right?”
  • SFX: next panel. There are some that im not sure about, when the granny takes the coupon out of her pocket, what is the second kana there? i can’t recognize it ご_?

It’s ごそごそ.

I couldn’t properly answer the 俺ももう question, so maybe someone else can take care of that.

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Not really confident but here’s my interpretation.

I feel the manga doesn’t give enough context to make it clear here, but our main character seems to be saying that he, too, is not a child anymore.

Notice here that the lady says 私たちにもっと頼って “(it’s fine) to rely on us more”. This means that probably the MC is not only acquainted with the lady, but probably with the people around her too (and they are probably pretty close, otherwise the lady wouldn’t offer to warm up a bath for him). This group of people might include other children that have reached high school or adult age.

So my guess here is that with the も he’s referring to these other children in the area (or maybe the lady’s children) that have also grown up alongside him.

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Sounds like a good interpretation. It makes sense to me.

Thanks @Till and @TobiasW :heart_hands:

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