魔女の宅急便 (Kiki’s Delivery Service) Discussion Thread: Chapter 8

For the home thread for 魔女の宅急便, click here!

:arrow_backward: For the Chapter 7 discussion thread, click here!

For the Chapter 9 discussion thread, click here! :arrow_forward:

Join our Beginner’s Book Club here!

image 魔女の宅急便 image

Starting date: April 8th
Finishing date: April 21st

Vocabulary List

Vocab Spreadsheet

魔女の宅急便 Vocab
In Raionus’ vocab list, this chapter begins from #

Characters in This Chapter

  • キキ - a young witch
  • ジジ - Kiki’s black cat (黒猫)

Discussion rules:

  • Please use spoiler tags for content that would be considered a spoiler.

  • When asking for help, please do mention page/paragraph/speech balloon and if you’re using the physical or the digital version.

  • 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.

I feel like either @jstrout or I say this every chapter… but man that first section was tough. I got through it and I think I understood most of it, but it was still tough.

I enjoyed the descriptions. My experience of Japan as an exchange student was in a country town in a valley between two mountain ranges, and it was quite なつかしい thinking back to what winter was like there, with lots of snow. And I’ve also lived somewhere with a piercingly cold wind but where it very rarely snowed. So I guess I feel I understand both of Kiki’s experiences of winter. (Neither of which is anything like where I live now!)

1 Like

Don’t get me wrong, the descriptions were very nice (the ones I understood anyway). But it took almost two hours to read that page and a half.

My experience with snow the last handful of years is “ugh I have to shovel again?”. :sweat_smile:

Maybe you understood more than you thought. I am bravely feeling confident about this section (could be famous last words! :joy:) Check and see. Some slight liberties taken with the text to make it sound better in English.


More than half of autumn had passed, and the days when the wind blew cold became continuous. The leaves of the street trees, withered to brown, had already blown off, and the town of Koriko, as seen from the window of the shop where Kiki was, gleamed dry and white.
Maybe it was because it bounced off the edges of the concrete buildings and onto them again as it came, but just when the wind seemed to be blowing as sharply as a knife, it would stop abruptly and then just as suddenly start blowing again. Each time, Kiki’s simply constructed shop made a little noise as it shook.
(I wonder if the first snows have fallen at home)
While listening to the sound of the wind, Kiki was reminiscing about the start of winter in the town where she had been born. All of a sudden it would become cold, and when you looked from the window, the mountains behind the forest to the north would be hazy with white, as if they were wearing a lace curtain. That white material would gradually descend, eventually completely enveloping the entire town before you became aware of it. In that town you knew winter had come, not by the sound of the wind, but by the white colour of snow. Speaking of which, one day in the winter when Kiki had started learning how to fly on a broomstick, she had set out together with Kokiri-san, who told her “Everything everywhere will be completely white, and also sometimes it will shine in the sun and hurt your eyes, so we take care flying” and taught her the shapes of the roofs of the town. “That one over there looking like a steamed bun is the roof of the fire lookout, the one over there looking as if it’s become a staircase is the roof of the library, and that completely square looking one is the roof of the gymnasium.”

1 Like

Like I thought, I understood most of it. The part with Kokiri-san explaining the shapes of the buildings was so weird that I thought I was missing something. Apparently I understood it perfectly fine.

1 Like

Just for once I am going to be in the lead :sunglasses: (because I may not be able to do much the rest of the week :cry:).
At the end of p181 red book, after the children have run away, Jiji says 「普通の猫で悪うございましたねっ。これだからやんなっちゃう、しょっちゅう近所の子たちにのぞかれるんだから」
I’m finding it difficult to know exactly what he is trying to say, especially with the two だからs. Maybe there is some repetition? Is it something along the lines of “Well, pardon me for being an ordinary cat. I get sick of it because of this, because of the neighbourhood kids always peering at me.” ?

腹巻(はらまき)p183 red book

  • Yes, はらまき is a normal part of a winter wardrobe around here, for some people at least
  • I’ve heard of はらまき before, but I can’t say I know anyone who wears one
  • I’d neither heard of はらまき before nor seen one until I googled it just now
  • Hmmm, はらまき sounds like it ought to be some kind of sushi…

0 voters

Alright, I managed to get to this sentence tonight so I could help you… But I have no clue. :sweat_smile:

Here’s what confuses me:

  1. わるう. What’s that う doing there? That oddity aside, your translation of this part makes sense.
  2. やんなっちゃう. What is this supposed to be? I can’t figure out what やん is. I assume なっちゃう is the slangy てしまう conjugation of なる, though I’m not even sure which なる it would be.

And I agree with the end of your translation as well. That middle part is definitely the most confusing. Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful.

This is part of a conjugation into a keigo form

This threw me completely at first, but after reading it aloud a few times I think やんなっちゃう = いやになってしまう and I opted for this: http://jisho.org/search/iyaninaru


Kiki seems to mimic her customers a lot on the phone. I wonder if she does this consciously…

I’m not sure about voices, but I’ve read it’s quite common to mimic other people’s posture/gestures unconsciously. I find myself changing the language I use depending on who I’m speaking with. So I’m voting for unconsciously. :smile:

I wonder if anyone other than you and I are still reading this book!!

I’m still reading, but cannot be so active on this thread since I’m also in the other book club

Good to know you’re still with us!

Well I have a question from the end of p186 red book you might be able to help me with @LucasDesu. I understand 腹巻でおへそをかくしなさい、but what is the meaning of おへそのまがっているの町の人に見られたら困るでしょ。 The closest I get is It would be problematic to be seen by the people of the town with your belly button … crooked?(What?!)

1 Like

I’m still reading too. This chapter is one of the most difficult for me. I’m mostly guessing about everything that the old woman says.
And I can’t ask questions here, because I’m reading electronic version which doesn’t have any page numbers.

1 Like

If you add the electronic version’s locations to the vocab sheet, we’d at least be able to track down your question’s location in our versions from that.

1 Like

@tmoss I’m happy to answer your questions if you post a short sentence of text I can search for. It’s good revision/reading practice for me!

1 Like

I feel privileged to be able to help, but I haven’t started reading the chapter yet. Nevertheless just looking at the sentence without the help of the context, I think we’re dealing with an idiomatic expression. へそ means navel, but it also means the center of something. Additionally へそ曲がり means twisted, narrow-minded, perverted (not in the sexual sense), etc. Looking at へそ with this in mind, I would interpret that sentence as If I’m seen by the people of this backwater town, it’ll probably spell trouble. Of course I’m reading way into the meaning with the context, but that’s the general idea. Hopefully that helps. From the way it sounds, this next chapter is sounds quite interesting, I can’t wait to read it.

On page 168 of the blue book, there’s a line that says:

followed by a whole bunch of items, starting with 電話 and コーヒーカップ.

So if everything in the house is 毛糸の腹巻き, are all the other listed items design patterns on the 腹巻き? That’s my impression, especially given the line shortly after that says 魔法瓶の腹巻きを外しました. But I wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing something.

Thinking about it more, is it saying that all the items are wrapped in a 腹巻き? From the definition on jisho and images on google, I assumed it was only for people. But now I’m thinking the term is being used a little more liberally here.

1 Like