雪国 - Snow Country ⛄️❄️ (Advanced Book Club)

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Welcome to 雪国 - Snow Country :snowman::snowflake:


Where to buy

Amazon JP | Bookwalker (角川文庫 - some footnotes) | Bookwalker (新潮文庫 - no footnotes)

Discussion Threads and Reading Schedule

We started reading on Oct 31st, 2020.

Week Start Date End Phrase End Page (角川文庫) End % Page Count
Week 1 Oct 31st 寒いところへ来るものか 19 11% 12
Week 2 Nov 7th 東京に帰ったのだった 40 21% 21
Week 3 Nov 14th 紫光りの黒を強めた 49 26% 9
Week 4 Nov 21th 開いているように見えた 65 35% 16
Week 5 Nov 28th 時のように、かぶりを振った 75 41% 10
Week 6 Dec 5th 男は行商人かなにかだろう 89 48% 14
Week 7 Dec 12th 松虫鈴虫くつわ虫 (after song) 109 60% 20
Week 8 Dec 19th ただならぬものが感じられた 127 70% 18
Week 9 Dec 26th 墓参り一丁一丁一丁や (after song) 142 78% 15
Week 10 Jan 2nd 指しながら地の雪に立った 154 85% 12
Week 11 Jan 9th [END] 178 98% 24

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 embarassing at first. All of us are here to learn.
  • To you lurkers out there: Join the conversation, it’s fun!

Member List

Are you planning to read 雪国 - Snow Country :snowman::snowflake: with the book club?

  • Yes
  • Yes, but I might start late
  • Not sure
  • No

0 voters

If so, which version will you be reading?

  • eBook
  • Paperback

0 voters

Additional Resources - Vocabulary lists

FloFlo Word List (Requires free account)

Proper Noun Readings

Name Reading Notes Proof
島村 しまむら Our protagonist
葉子 ようこ The girl on the train Furigana
駒子 こまこ The girl in the village Furigana

Welcome to Snow Country!

First I would like to determine a reading schedule. Looking at the ebook, it seems that there are no chapters or anything in this book? On the plus side, this means we are free to break it down into weeks however we like :grinning:

As this is my first classical book, I have no idea what to expect (but I was told that it’s difficult…) Maybe the difficulty is not so much because of the grammar but because of the contents, though :thinking:

Anyways, my proposal would be to rather err on the side of cutting the slices too small, and thus I was thinking of aiming for ~10 pages per week. (And if we discover that it’s really not that hard after all, we can still ramp up the pace at a later stage.)
What do you all think about this?


Hmm, that would make the book ~22 weeks long, which feels a bit much. 10 pages may be the safest bet for the first couple of weeks, but I sure hope we will ramp up the speed afterward (at least to 15 pages per week)


When do we expect to start, roughly?

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I’m not participating in this one, so feel free to ignore me, but we picked the page limits for classical book proposals to be similar to intermediate book club proposals. So I believe the intention was to read about 15 pages per week just like intermediate book club. It is the advanced book club after all.


This cover is really beautiful! Makes me wish I was an advanced reader :V


I’m still a beginner but I will read the book regardless or at least try reading it. It will probably take me over a year to finish it but that doesn’t really matter.


This sounds reasonable to me.

It’s barely more than 2 pages per day, which sounds doable even if it’s more difficult grammatically and content wise than were used to.

Even though I really don’t like reading in small portions like that~


Flipping through my paperback, there is a LOT of dialogue in this book.
Also, there are 10 pages of 83 footnotes (注解) at the end of my edition (pages 149–179 are different supporting materials for the book, including information about the author and book).

I see regular section breaks in the text. This is me skimming (so might have missed a break or two):

  • 5 first page
  • breaks at: 11,15, 32, 40, 53, 72, 90, 105, 117, 127
  • 148 last page

注解 149–158
川端康成 人の作品 159–166
「雪国」について 167–172
年譜 173–179

(I have a used copy of the 新潮文庫 edition that’s at least 25 years old)

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I somehow had in mind that our corridor for difficult books was 10-15 pages per week, but now I can’t find any reference to this, so I’m probably making this up :woman_shrugging:
Anyways, 15 pages per week makes sense.

@daines Thanks for the page numbers! That explains why Bookwalker claims the book has 154 pages :joy_cat:

That means we are talking about 144 pages, which could be divided into 9 + 9*15 pages, leaving us with 10 weeks of reading. Here are the page numbers for ideal breaks (i.e. breaks that allow us to strictly stick to these page counts) vs. the possible breaks as listed by daines, and their page counts:

Ideal break Possible break Page Count
13-14 15 11
28-29 32 17
43-44 40 8
58-59 53 13
73-74 72 19
88-89 90 18
103-104 105 15
118-119 117 12
133-134 127 10
148 [END] 21

(Note: I’ve counted the pages containing the breaks towards the preceding interval.)

It’s a bit more up-and-down but I think it would be helpful to stick with the breaks in the book…
What do you all think?

EDIT: I checked the breaks with my ebook, and I think the break on p. 117 is not a real one as a song is being quoted there, but I think it’s fair enough. Also, there seems to be one more break around page 61 or 62 or so, but that doesn’t seem to be helpful for a better breakdown either…


I have the blue and white wavy version, which has a different number of pages and possibly different breaks. I may have just been bad at finding breaks though. Can anyone confirm the last lines of the breaks I’m missing?

Break Page Count Last Phrase
15 8 二人の姿を隠した
40 25 東京に帰ったのだった
89 49 男は行商人かなにかだろう
109 20 松虫鈴虫くつわ虫 (after song)
127 18 ただならぬものが感じられた
141 14 あの声で歌い出した (before song)
142 1 墓参り一丁一丁一丁や (after song)
178 36 [END]
179 注釈 (28 footnotes)
182 解説:川端康成ー生涯と作品
194 「雪国」解説
201 「雪国」劇化

It looks like my version has far fewer footnotes. Would someone be able to post the footnotes from the other version at some point? I’d be curious about any additional information as we read. :grin:


Huh, interesting :thinking:

daines’ Page Number Break Page Count Last Phrase
5 Start
11 15 8 二人の姿を隠した
15 寒いところへ来るものか
32 40 25 東京に帰ったのだった
40 光の黒を強めた
53 開いているように見えた
61-62? 時のように、かぶりを振った
72 89 49 男は行商人かなにかだろう
90 109 20 松虫鈴虫くつわ虫 (after song)
105 127 18 ただならぬものが感じられた
117? 141 14 あの声で歌い出した (before song - not a real break I think)
117 142 1 墓参り一丁一丁一丁や (after song - not a real break I think)
127 指しながら地の雪に立った
148 178 36 [END]

I suspect you have these breaks in your book as well? I’m assuming that your edition just prints a different amount of text on the page (but is identical otherwise)…
BTW Bookwalker states the book has 154 pages (without any additional material) and they say that they are determining this number by taking the amount of text of a “standard page” (ofc not really “standard” but the same across all books):


This amount is somewhat in the middle of both your books…

@catbus Could you please add your page numbers and page counts? Then we can hopefully see whether my proposed breakdown would still make sense somehow for your book.


Just as a quick note, for those who are interested but may not have the time to read the full version/feel that they aren’t ready to read an “advanced” book, an abridged version of 雪国 is available in the book Exploring Japanese Literature. It’s 65 pages long, has a glossary on the page and a facing English translation for reference. I’m not sure what was cut, but it looks like a good option for those on the fence, etc. (Note that Tofugu’s review posts a picture of the in-book summary of 雪国, which apparently spoils the ending, then warns you after posting the picture. :P)

Maybe this isn’t a great advertisement in an advanced book club thread, but just in case. I may see if I can read it myself since I won’t have time to read the full thing.


Thank you! The last lines were super helpful in determining the page breaks. All but one were at the end or start of a page, so they were easy to miss. Here is the completed table:

daines’ Page Number Break Page Count Last Phrase
5 7 Start
11 15 8 二人の姿を隠した
15 19 4 寒いところへ来るものか
32 40 21 東京に帰ったのだった
40 49 9 光の黒を強めた
53 65 16 開いているように見えた
61-62? 75 10 時のように、かぶりを振った
72 89 14 男は行商人かなにかだろう
90 109 20 松虫鈴虫くつわ虫 (after song)
105 127 18 ただならぬものが感じられた
117? 141 14 あの声で歌い出した (before song - not a real break)
117 142 1 墓参り一丁一丁一丁や (after song - not a real break)
127 154 12 指しながら地の雪に立った
148 178 24 [END]

Remember floflo has the wordlist for this!

Interesting to note, that this book has only about 4k unique words (super low), but floflo is showing me only 62.5% known. Almost all 5k-6k books are mostly over 70%. Maybe there’s a lot to trash, though, I don’t know. Going through the list there seems to be quite a bit of words that are easy to guess.


Oh, how I wish I were far enough along in my Japanese to join you all with this. Reading the English translation earlier this year was a wonderful experience for me. Enjoy.

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Sorry for the long silence, I got swept away by real life :frowning:

I’d like to stick with my previously suggested schedule for a bit and see how this feels with your page counts added in (where (d) is daines’ book and (c) is catbus’ book):

Break (d) Page Count (d) Last Phrase Break (c) Page Count (c)
5 [START] 7
15 11 寒いところへ来るものか 19 12
32 17 東京に帰ったのだった 40 21
40 8 光の黒を強めた 49 9
53 13 開いているように見えた 65 16
72 19 男は行商人かなにかだろう 89 24
90 18 松虫鈴虫くつわ虫 (after song) 109 20
105 15 ただならぬものが感じられた 127 18
117 12 墓参り一丁一丁一丁や (after song) 142 15
127 10 指しながら地の雪に立った 154 12
148 21 [END] 178 24

That still sounds quite plausible to me… and would be good for 10 weeks of reading.

One option could be to add one more week to split the 24 pages:

Break (d) Page Count (d) Last Phrase Break (c) Page Count (c)
61-62? 9 時のように、かぶりを振った 75 10
72 10 男は行商人かなにかだろう 89 14

That way, we would stay below the 20-page mark no matter the book, except for the last week.

Which schedule would you prefer?

  • I’m all for the shorter schedule (10 weeks)
  • Let’s aim for the slightly longer schedule (11 weeks)
  • I don’t mind either way

0 voters

Thanks all for your votes! I’ve decided to follow the 11-week-schedule and I’ve updated the OP accordingly. I also added a link to FloFlo for those who are interested in checking out the vocab up-front (thanks @morteasd for the reminder!).

Also, I discovered that there are (at least?) two different Bookwalker editions out there (one with some footnotes, the other one without) - I’ve added the links to both of them to the OP just in case. The reading percentages are taken from the version without footnotes, though, so they might slightly differ for the other one.

The last question remains: When do we want to start reading this book? I’d like to discuss this in the book club thread, so please go there to vote for the start date.


Welcome to Snow Country Week 1 :slight_smile:


Thank god this one isn’t a series. :upside_down_face: