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

Repeat Club Discussion (Week 11) Starts Here!

Chapter 6 Part 2

V1: Pages 138 - 150
V2: Pages 124 - 135
BookWalker: ?

We’re reading to the end of Chapter 6 this week.

5 September 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

It usually takes me a few days to finish the week’s pre-read, but the end of chapter 6 was SO funny, I read it all in one go.

I read Japanese in 3 stages;

  1. Pre-read: read through, sidelining words I don’t know.
  2. Add definitions: I physically write all the words I don’t know down, and add the definitions. I would eventually like to be able to write as well as read, so I need to practice writing anyway. Since Kiki doesn’t have a ton of unfamiliar kanji, I can usually fit it all in the margins.
  3. Read it again, referring to the definitions in the margins when necessary.

It’s a little 面倒臭い but two of the steps feel like reading (very enjoyable) rather than studying (less enjoyable), so I like it.


Thank you for the link. I found this article on high/low context cultures very interesting.


Double posting too! @Sharpevil you are not the only one! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
I’m rereading what I read this morning and still don’t undersand what is か doing in this sentence (p. 121 V2):
ほうきもなんとかなめらかに飛ぶようになったし 、ききの生活も、おちついてきたに見えました。

  1. First interpretation: the broom has come to fly in a more smooth way and her life too seems more calm ] But is this か a question?
  2. Or maybe is it saying something like that?: I wonder if her life too seems more calm.

And then there is a whole sentence I don’t understand on p.122:
(This is a quote, by the way. I am using a different IME (windows) and don’t know where the quotation marks are.)
Well, back to the sentence: I more or less understand that Tonbo is telling Kiki that she flies in an easy-going but not very girly way.
But I don’t know what is せい: nature? control?
The last part I don’t understand at all: Somehow it can be said? Whatever they say?



My interpretation was something along the lines of Maybe because you fly, you’re very easy going and I like that (not sure about the last bit, 気楽 and さばさば seem very similar in meaning, so more literally something like “you’re easy going and for me easy going is good”). You don’t feel like a girl. I can talk to you about anything (or you can talk about anything?)


I don’t know the answer to your question… It seems to me almost like a passive 来たく; like the “Optative past” of auxiliary verb 来る “きたかった” where they dropped the った in making a combined verb form (I am super bad at these complex verb forms; and I have no sorry for leaving such off). Or 帰宅, also pronounced きたくreturn home)), which might make it the て form of settling down (おちついて 落ち着いて) a conjunction; but passive isn’t a nominalizing to take the に marker for what was seen 見えました.

I just actually am trying to figure out how to use 見える. I had this same comment about [Sharpevil’s ‘clear blue skies being evidence’](Sharpevil, post:104, topic:28729) a few pages back. I keep reading this verb as a passive conditional "it can be seen ____. " or "it was seen ____ " . I’m jumping off to research this now… This post will likely be edited soon.

@Wildjinjer, your page looks VERY MUCH cleaner than mine!!

It is a word in and of itself: https://jisho.org/search/見える meaning “to be seen”, “to be in sight”.

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Hmm… Yes, a confusing example in there… It’s really IS “to be seen…”. But it’s weird!

  • 2000年にほん日本の医療制度が世界一だが、2003年に研修医制度が始まって目に見えて悪くなった

  • In 2000 Japan’s health care system was the best in the world, but since clinical internship was introduced in 2003 it has clearly deteriorated..

The 見える is complicated. (Here, is an idiom with 目). Thank you, @NicoleRauch, I can see that this is going to be a “rabbit hole” that needs exploring!

Hard for me to say without context, but it could be an embedded question.


Yeah :slight_smile: 目に見える is another expression, as you noticed: https://jisho.org/search/目に見える

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OMG, that makes so much sense, since I was disturbed by the apparent lack of a nominalizer… But “embedded questions are nominalizers” is a research paper cited in that link. And also, @Tonina your amazing instincts seem to be CORRECT! Wow! So impressed!


Congrats, all! If you’re caught up, you’re officially past the halfway point! If you’re not all caught up, consider this a goal line. We’ve got a little rest area set up with lemonade and snacks off to the side here, so let that be your motivation to keep it up!

Took my break this week on Friday instead of Saturday this week, so I hope you don’t mind me being a day late with my last questions from last week’s final 3 pages. Let’s see here…

  • 飛行クラブのとんぼさんは、よくキキの店に遊びにくるようになりました。- I sometimes forget these characters are only 13. Kiki going out on her own really throws me for a loop. Come to think of it, as I rapidly approach the end of my 20s, it seems more and more bizarre what an enormous gap in maturity, or at least perceived maturity, there is between 13 and 16.

  • おばあさんなのに、すみれっていうんだからはずかしいことねえ。- She’s saying that Despite being an old lady, her name is Sumire (Assumably a younger woman’s name, or maybe the flower is just associated with youth?) so it’s emabarassing?

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That is all.


見える it’s also used to mean something like “to seem”

The か in this case didn’t seem like a classic case of an embedded question, which usually has a question word, and correspond pretty well to clauses that start with question words in English (ex: “does anyone know where I put my phone?”). However, I’ve noticed this style of か a bunch of times (it’s been in きき a couple times already, so the fact that you’re noticing it now probably signals some growth in your grammar skills😀). I think it’s sort of a quoted uncertainty, or maybe even just a soft statement. In this case, I think it means “…didn’t it seem like Kiki’s lifestyle had calmed down, too?” That would be weird in English because it sounds so conversational, and who is it taking to? But a conversational narrator seems more common in Japanese. So, I would translate it to “Kiki’s lifestyle had calmed down, too,” because English doesn’t like uncertainty as much as Japanese!

Kiki is just the right level for me, I think. But keep in mind that I have 5 years of formal Japanese class in college, and a total of 4 months spent in Japan, in addition to WaniKani, so it’s actually probably 情けないthat a 4th grade text is the perfect level for me!


Just posting to continue to mark I’m on the grind to catch up. Just started Chapter 6…hoping to catch up by the start of Chapter 7…but we`ll see. Hope everybody is doing well. I’m exhausted and maybe a bit overworked lol. God bless.


Ugh, I felt behind last week for the first time and it was really stressful. Even if it was just a small lag. Suddenly I was feeling like there were notifications about new replies in the thread all the time :wink:
But now I’m all caught up, up to the end of the chapter 6.
頑張れ to everyone else who still deals with bigger lags!


It happens. I end up lagging once or twice most weeks, even, and just not making time to read. Like yesterday. Well, I was visiting family, so there’s a bit of an excuse there, at least. Still, I’d better get back on it.

No questions for pages 3-4 of this week. Gotta invest my time a little more frugally.

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Been a while since I posted a question, and this one may be just something I’m missing… is the book intentionally leaving out simple kanji such as: 今日、持、言、&行?

For example, Ch6, page 134: きょうもっていくっていったら、ぜったいにきょうでなきゃだめなの。

I think this tranlate to: If you said that you are bringing someone today, abosultely must not today. Sounds rather strange, I’m sure I missed the mark somewhere.

Also, what in the heck is じゃじゃじゃん? Is some one stuttering, “well then”? Is this rock, paper, scissors? Ha Ha.Someone aboved said it meant,“That is all” is it suppose to be sarcastic?

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なきゃだめ means „must“, not „must not“. Literally: „If not, then it‘s bad.“

All together: „If [somebody] said ‚Bring it today‘ then it absolutely must be today.“


Thanks! I knew the must part and saw だめ。。。so i thought, “must not?” Still working on bridging the gap between polite and casual Japanese.