魔女の宅急便 (Kiki’s Delivery Service) Discussion Thread: Chapter 6

So here it’s saying, “Although it seems that she’s by no means thinking of how she will make do [without the other slipper].”

~たらいい does have the meaning of “it’s good if~”, but when coupled with どう, it gives the nuance of “what should~”/“how should~”
のか is a combination of the explanatory and an embedded question.

Since the sentence uses an embedded question the “how should~” turns into “how would~” because the narrator isn’t asking for advice but making a comment about what was observed. Additionally since it’s written in present tense, “would” turns to “will”.

The way I interpreted this passage is that Kiki is singing a song with regard to her missing slipper about if she makes do, she’s happy; but if she doesn’t, she isn’t. The narrator points out that Kiki isn’t putting much thought into how to turn this situation around.


P145 red book / p131 blue book
The children gather and call out 連だこだあ
I couldn’t find 連だこ, but I did find 連凧 (れんたこ)



I am clearly a visual learner :joy:
I wondered if 洗濯竿 (red book p148/blue book p133) was a pole to which a line would be attached, but as soon as I googled it I remember that laundry tends to go out on this sort of pole.


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Did anyone else pick up a possible double meaning toward the end of the chapter?
すみれさん describes her sister’s house as the いちばんとんがっている家.
According to Jisho, とんがる has two meanings: 1. to taper to a point; to become sharp (presumably describing the roof of the house?); and 2. to look displeased; to look sour; to be on edge; to be touchy (which seems to describe the sister) … or am I overinterpreting?

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Hmm, I was aware of both meanings (from reading this book), but I only thought of the physical description when I read it. From the context though, the double meaning actually seems somewhat likely. Good catch!

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Here’s chapter 7’s discussion thread ^^

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Repeat Club Discussion (Week 10) Starts Here!

Chapter 6 Part 1

V1: Pages 124 - 137
V2: Pages 111 - 124
BookWalker: ?

Last line:
(Followed by a natural break in the text)

29 August 2020

Please briefly check whether questions have already been answered above before posting them, but otherwise don’t hesitate.

  • I’m reading along
  • I’m still reading but haven’t reached this part yet
  • I’m dropping this book
  • I’m a superhero who’s read it before but is here for chatting :books:

0 voters


Hi everyone! This is my first time joining a bookclub/reading a book in Japanese and I’ve finally caught up enough to do more than just skim through. These discussions have been a godsend in getting through this book so far!

I’ve read a couple pages and I have a few things I’m not too sure about:

  1. On the first page:

My attempt at a translation is:

She thought about and chose a strong thing that even in strong winds would be graceful like a swimming fish, and moreover a thing whose 芯 is しまって]

Google translate gives me either “a closed core” or “a tight core” which makes no sense to me. I also found the definition “見かけによらず心底はしっかりしていること” for 芯締まり(芯しまり. So maybe it means “a strong thing that, despite its appearance, would be completely reliable”?

  1. Writing this up, I think I’ve figured it out, but figured I may as well leave this in… キキは、ほうきで飛べるようになってしばらくしたころ、急の雨で父さんに傘をとどけにいく途中、風でその傘が開いてしまい、ほうきごと風車のように回り出したときの怖かったことを思い出したのでした。
    My translation: Kiki, (something about being able to fly and a long time ago) while on the way to deliver an umbrella to her dad in a sudden rain, the wind opened the umbrella and the broom and everything started spinning like a windmill. She remembered the fear from that time.
    I’m a little unsure about ほうきで飛べるようになってしばらくしたころ. The rest of the sentence makes it sound like it’s a memory from before she knew how to fly so I’m confused about the 飛べる. Breaking it down:
    しばらくしたころ: A time that was long ago
    ようになって: to reach the point that
    飛べるようになって: reaching the point of being able to fly
    So… A time, long ago, when Kiki was reaching the point of being able to fly, on a broom/ by broom ?

@morckyl, my reading was like yours on the first page. I remember thinking how in English “tight core” seems like an idiom (super strong and; well-constructed foundation). I was surprised that it could possibly be the same language. It “feels right” in this case.

ほうきで飛べるようになってしばらくしたころ “A while after she [ changed state, so “started”] flying on a broom,…”
But I didn’t get the むかし long time ago implication from しばらく; Obviously an undivided period of time, but I had thought that it has a short time implication, because I found it used in the phrase しばらくお待ちください .

I just want to note out loud, in case I’m totally wrong, I get the impression that (i) ところ is used not only for a physical “place”, but also a “place in time”, like a “moment” or “one time”; and (ii) とき and ところ refer to times when something happened, but in this book, it seems like they use ところ more.


I remember thinking how in English “tight core” seems like an idiom (super strong and; well-constructed foundation)

I haven’t heard that before, and it aligns with Kiki moving away from her more trendy broom from the first chapter.

But I didn’t get the むかし long time ago implication from しばらく; Obviously an undivided probably of time, but I had thought that it has a short time implication, because I found it used in the phrase しばらくお待ちください .

Whoops, yes, you’re absolutely right, I seem to confuse しばらく with さしぶり. That makes a lot more sense, thank you!

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Man. End of Sunday already. Where do the weekends go?

Anyway, looks like a full-fat fourteen pages this week. Took Saturday off, so I’ll have to work in a couple 3-page days.

From the first two pages of the chapter:

  • 「かあさんとはんぶん、はんぶん」- There’s no “の” here, but I assume she’s saying the new broom will be half mom’s

  • キキがひや汗をかきかき、- Didn’t see かきかき in the vocab. Plugging it into machine translation seems to put it as ‘incessantly’. Kiki’s breaking out in cold sweats constantly?

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The standard expression is 汗をかく which pretty much means “break a sweat”. かきかき emphasizes it a bit more, by stringing a double stem of the verb.

Can’t help with the other since I haven’t been reading for a while. Oops.


I believe that you are correct… I read it as Kiki mentally obsessing over how much/little of her mother’s she was able to salvage.

Again, I’m just coming in with an intuitive guess with no knowledge of the context at all, but I suspect it’s an almost visual way of splitting the broom. In Singaporean English (and I think in Mandarin), it’s possible to say ‘the two of you will take half, half’ (imagine someone waving an arm and pointing to each half in turn) in order to indicate how things will be split. Perhaps Kiki’s thoughts are that the new broom with be ‘a half-half (split) with mother’.


I have the feeling the number of kanji used has increased lately. At least kanji I don’t know, after all I’m only level 21. Well, the good thing is, I have improved my kanji-searching skills! :sweat_smile:

I am not sure how to translate this sentence on p.116 (V2): まだついているといいんですけど。。。」
I wonder if this is something like:


I hope I am still lucky

Hi @Tonina! That ついている is from the vocab 付いている It says it means “attaching” but I saw some related vocabulary that has more of a meaning that was like following or tagging along with someone, I believe that I recall from working SLOOOOWLY through @Sharpevil’s Kiki’s Anki deck.(I think I’m 10% completed ha ha)

This whole conversation on p.116, I fell asleep two different nights trying to muddle through.

I see たすけ is 助け (a little crazy how much I prefer reading kanji than hiragana), but that verb composition has me twisted!

You definitely seem to prefer typing hiragana to reading them :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: as you typed one too many… (sorry for being so mean, I know how hard it is!)

In reality it’s 「ちょっとたすけていただきたくって」(no ま in there)

Broken down it’s

ちょっと - well I guess you know that
たすけて - like you said, て-form of 助ける
いただきたく - this is いただく (Keigo for もらう) + たい (want to) + く(basically て-form of adjectives)
って - I suspect this does not have too much meaning, it rather makes the sentence trail off at the end (together with the く before it which also indicates continuation)
(or maybe it means quotation?? sorry have not read that chapter yet)

So basically “Please rescue me!”

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YAY!!! I was guessing it was somehow たい and a "favor"くれる form (but I’m not good at figuring out those combined ones). I only guessed the “want to” たい because of the one that someone recently pointed out in a たかった ending.

Sooo sooo sorry about the typo!! head hanging low

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