魔女の宅急便 (Kiki’s Delivery Service) Discussion Thread: Chapter 3

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Starting date: December 24th
Finishing date: January 20th

:arrow_down: Start of the Repeat Club Discussion


Vocab Sheet: Original Club

  • キキ - a young witch
  • コキリ - Kiki’s mother (a witch)
  • オキン - Kiki’s father (non-magical)
  • ジジ - Kiki’s black cat (黒猫)

Chapter Summary

Chapter 3. Kiki lands in a big town (provided by @Kyasurin)

On the evening of Kiki’s departure, Kokiri gives her a special bento of food infused with herbs which keep it fresh. The family ponder why witchcraft skills are disappearing. One theory suggests witchcraft needs total darkness and silence, and there is less of that in the world now. Kiki disagrees, saying witches have been too reserved, unlike her plan to live without caring what other people say. Her parents point out that witches have received a bad reputation in the past, and in order to survive, a cooperative attitude of “give and take” is important. Kokiri advises Kiki to choose her new town carefully, to avoid a busy place where people have no time to think of others, and reminds her to smile and put people at ease. A small group farewells Kiki as she takes off, with her radio at the front of the broom and Jiji riding at the back. Once in flight, Kiki decides to travel south, because she wants to see the sea.

As dawn breaks, Kiki and Jiji admire the unfolding scenery and discuss their preferences. Kiki favours a larger town, but Jiji just wants somewhere he can nap in the sun. Flying over one small town, they encounter a young witch who has nearly completed her year away, and despite facing challenges has made a living via fortune telling. She reassures Kiki that she will be OK, tells her that the basis of a witch’s work is never saying no to a request, and describes how that morning she successfully resolved a situation involving an unhappy cow.

Kiki is excited when they first glimpse the ocean, and is attracted to a large seaside town with a tall clock tower. She decides to land in a street busy with afternoon shoppers and find out if the town already has a witch. Kiki is shocked when they speak unkindly of witches and make no effort to welcome her, in stark contrast to the benevolent attitude of the people in the town where she grew up. As she dejectedly drags her broom through the streets, wondering where she might spend the night, Kiki overhears a woman in a bakery asking her husband to deliver a pacifier/dummy to the customer who has left it behind. The husband refuses, and when Kiki sees the woman (Osono-san) is heavily pregnant, she volunteers to deliver the pacifier/dummy herself. Kiki’s mood lifts as her delivery is appreciated, and when Osonso-san gives her bread rolls as thanks and then offers her a place to stay, she decides to stay a few more days in the town.

Discussion guidelines:

  • Please use spoiler tags - [spoiler]like this![/spoiler] - where appropriate; anything from later chapters or the anime, and any major or interesting information from this chapter.

  • When asking for help, search the thread before posting to see if your question has already been asked, and write out the relevant text so that others can find your question (don’t hide Japanese text behind spoiler tags).

  • Don’t be afraid of asking questions, even if they seem embarassing at first. All of us are here to learn.

  • Have fun :slight_smile:

We’re discussing grammar, vocab usage and its context, checking if our reading comprehension is right, interesting plot/character development, etc.


This is a longer chapter that will be done across several weeks. For the sake of discussion and timing, should we try find a specific spot where we try stop per week? (slightly hard across different formats, but we could try point out a specific line/area)

I thought the point of having multiple weeks was to not split the chapter arbitrarily.

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I just know that on Yotsuba we basically started talking about the end of the two week chapter within the first day, making me and probably others too feel like we need to rush through it to know what people are talking about.

I don’t want a hard division, more of a guide. Try to focus our attention on said part per week so people don’t feel pressured to finish quickly

Well, we have (if my math is right) about 4 weeks to get through 40 pages (red book). I don’t think anybody’s going to be talking about the end the first day. But if we want a rough guide, I guess we could aim for finishing about 1/4 of the chapter each week.

P.S. Happy Holidays, 皆さん!

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I put some Ch 3 vocab into the spreadsheet - hope I did the right thing as I’ve not done it before!

I was wondering if anyone could please help with the following phrase from the middle of p32 (red book):

I get that Jiji the black cat is at her feet, but I don’t get the 負けてはいられない bit. Does it mean as if he can’t stand the idea of missing out?


That’s was my understanding of that passage too, but I don’t entirely understand the grammar.

I’m also confused on this bit, shortly after (last line on page 32, red book):

Here’s what I have so far:

かと思うと、 immediately after
ふたり both (of them)
して doing? (not sure what function this is serving here)
コキリさんのほうきに乗りこんで、 get on Kokiri’s broom
ちょっと a bit
横をむいて looking to the side
気どって put on airs(?)
みたりしています。 is attempting? (why みたり?)

From context I guess they’re getting on the broom and looking in the mirror to see how they look. But man, the grammar here is not clear to me at all. Any help?

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For して, it can be used to indicate a means of doing something or doing something as a group, so here it’s describing them getting on the broom together (ふたりして)

I checked weblio for 気どって, and their definition is literally “hoity-toitily” :laughing: so basically they started acting all cool and proud/haughty on the broom

For みたりしています, たり can indicate the things that someone is doing (usually you have more than one たり in a sentence when you’re naming things someone is doing, but the other たり can be omitted and imply that they’re doing that thing, etcMaggie Sensei has a good explanation of the use of たり if you’re interested) – next, 見る can mean to try something out when it comes after the て-form of something like that, so altogether I think it’s saying that they’re trying the broom out together in a silly way ^^


How’s everyone doing vocab-wise? I’m still catching up on chapter 2 (a few pages left), but I’m curious how everyone is doing. Do you guys know most of the vocab or do you have to look up a lot of words?

I’m looking up a lot of words. Not all of them, but a lot. It was the same in chapters 1 and 2. I think that’s just how it goes — students at our level just aren’t likely to know terms like かと思うと and 気どって, and it seems that every sentence has at a few of those.

So don’t get discouraged — scan/enlarge/print the pages, and pencil in the meanings (and readings!) of any words you don’t know. Then you can go back and re-read, and actually enjoy the story the second time.


I personally found the amount of vocab I dont know a little overwhelming, even though this isnt my first novel :frowning:
Honestly right now, Im only looking up words I really dont know - I try to guess the meaning from context and it feels a lot less painful to read. Im not sure how effective it is though…

I’m treating this as an intensive reading exercise, so I look up every word I don’t know (which is a lot!), and also make sure I understand the grammar of every sentence. I photocopy the pages I’m reading and write the words on that, and also write down some of the more useful words in a notebook, but then at the start of my next reading session I re-read much more quickly what I’ve already done in my unmarked book, in the hope that I remember a decent amount of the vocab. It’s quite slow and I’m quite behind, but I hope this will start to pay off as I get further into the book.


I just finished chapter 2 (and read one page of chapter 3, yay me), I’m definitely feeling slightly overwhelmed by the vocabulary. I’ve looked up several words from every sentence (pretty much), but I have my dictionary app open on my iPhone in my lap so it’s not too distracting. I also started writing translations of the more difficult words/expressions in the margins to get a grip of them. But I’m the type of person to always scribble in my books anyway. And A LOT of things get so much clearer when I reread them a day or so later lol.

The worst part is when I’m not sure where one word begins and the other ends… That gets confusing when looking things up in the dictionary :sweat_smile:

Don’t forget that some of the vocab has already been translated and put into the spreadsheet you can access at the top of the thread!

Since this chapter is being read over several weeks, I won’t read it until it gets closer to the deadline as that I want to make sure that I’m keeping up with the other book I’m reading for the intermediate club. This means I won’t be able to answering questions until I’ve actually completed the selected chapter (not that I have been needed as that there are several highly capable members who have contributed far more than I have with people’s questions).

This will certain get better with time, but you probably already know this. As long as you put in the time to continue to expose yourself to Japanese in its written form you’ll start naturally seeing how the writing system naturally separates the next word from the previous one.

This will certain get better with time, but you probably already know this. As long as you put in the time to continue to expose yourself to Japanese in its written form you’ll start naturally seeing how the writing system naturally separates the next word from the previous one.

Of course. I think it’s alright for the most part, but it becomes a problem in texts with lots of hiragana like this book. I realized that it’s actually easier to read texts that use more kanji, because you get more natural separations. But then I’m not able understand all of the kanji… So it’s a lose-lose situation until I improve my Japanese, haha.

Thank you! I’m a bit behind, and this is helping me catch up quickly. =) Your words look great!

Unless it has more kanji with furigana, giving you the best of both worlds :wink:
The Scary Stories books are filled with kanji, and has basically furigana on everything. This can be a downside when we want to focus on remembering the readings of kanji our self, but a great help with the understanding of the story when just being able to read and understand is the focus =)
Kiki has a great advantage of being translated though (was extremely expensive in English for some reason, and didn’t seem to exist in Norwegian, so had to go with Swedish, which works too) I don’t think the Scary Stories books have been translated… not to my knowledge. I like reading a translation to see if my overall understanding was correct, and what did I miss. In the manga I liked to compare specific lines, but I find I only read through the full chapter when it comes to the book.

As for this chapter, I’ve had a lot of time to read, but been too sick to concentrate. I’m getting better so will catch up soon =)

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I’m having trouble understanding the はやしたって part in this (p. 35 in the red book):


Any ideas? Maybe I’m missing something in the rest of the sentence.

I think it is equivalent to はやしたということでも
という or といいました is often shortened to って in conversation.
Does that help?