Book One Chapter 1: 青豆:見かけにだまされないように Haruki Murakami's 1Q84

Welcome to the first thread for 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. The pace we have decided on is two weeks per chapter, regardless of length. As such the next thread will be started on Aug. 15. A link will appear both in this post, and the Hashing out the details for reading Murakami Haruki’s 1Q84 (Intermediate/Advanced Book) thread. I am very much looking forward to reading along with you all! (Is this a good time to tag you all who said you’d read along? @Belerith @NicoleRauch @morteasd @Milgram @Kyayna @Hijiki @elisac @alineiwane )

First things first:

Warnings (read please!)

This story contains themes of an adult and/or sensitive nature, including cults, sex, murder, and sexual abuse of children, both mentioned, and graphic (though not until Book 2, in the latter case).

Our character's journey so far.

For now nothing yet to show here! Will start to summarize from chapter 3 onwards.

第1章:青豆:見かけにだまされないように
Let’s start off with a rough translation of the title, this time informed by previous knowledge of having read the first couple chapters in both English, and Japanese before:

Chapter 1: Aomame: So that I won’t be deceived by what I see.

You can write in your own translations if you want, and I’ll put them here. Let’s see how our view of the chapter title changes as we finish this chapter!

I’ll do my best to write in a sentence to discuss from the book, at least every two days. I need to hold myself accountable to actually reading regularly, and examining some of the grammar as well, since I am aiming for N1 next round of testing. If you have a goal for reading this book, please share it!

Also, do not hesitate to ask questions here about even things you think are basic. I have found that in Japanese, even what seems simple has a depth to it that’s worth exploring. Even if it’s about “why this word, instead of this other word?” or some other small questions. At the least they will serve as reminders to read another page, and give us an opportunity to finetune and deepen our knowledge through explanation and thoughtful consideration.

Now, poll time:

  • I’m reading along
  • I’m still reading book, but I haven’t reached this part yet
  • I’ve finished this part
  • I’m no longer reading the book

0 voters

As this is my first thread, please let me know if there is some important piece of information I have forgotten to mention, and if you have other ideas for how to manage this thread and interact in it, let me know!

よろしく!

犀だ

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Bookmarking the thread because I haven’t finished reading just yet!

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In other book clubs, we often have a poll in each (weekly or whatever) thread to gauge how many people are actually participating, who is still participating (over the course of the weeks) and how they are doing, e.g. like this:

image

(of course with whichever questions make sense to you, e.g. “I’m skipping” is from the regular book club and probably doesn’t make sense here).

Maybe that would be interesting here as well?

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This is cool! I’ll start reading tonight probably :slight_smile:

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Thanks, I added the poll.

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Me too, getting settled into bed, then I’ll read some pages, and try to make a note of an interesting sentence. I did start reading this a while ago, though, and already discussed some elements with my teacher.

By the way, here is a Youtube link to ヤナーチェク’s シンフォニエッタ as performed by the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle in 2018.

Top comment is of somebody who was also reading 1Q84 :joy:

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Oh man, I’m so used to reading ebooks that I totally forgot that reading a real book is haaard!.. And I constantly want to press my finger onto the paper to see the kanji readings pop up :rofl:
Especially if it’s totally “unnecessary” kanji like 聴く :rage: that probably just exist to annoy me… (Anyway, this particular one tripped me up so often by now that I’ve added it to today’s Kanji writing lessons - that’ll teach it!)

But I also have a serious question :slight_smile:

Page 11, column 4:
まるで舳先に立って不吉な湖目を読む老練な漁師のように

I understand the general meaning (I’ve read the German translation at some point) but I’m having trouble parsing this 湖目 part. Is this a word? “The eye of the lake”?? Jisho and Google search are not helpful, they present me with lots of Chinese pages, and it seems to be a Chinese name as well? :disappointed:
Or is this two separate things, like (不吉な湖) (目を読む)? “Read the sinister lake with the eye”? But that would be ungrammatical, and を would be the wrong particle.

Grateful for any help :slight_smile:

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I … am not reading this but saw your post and was curious about your question, and it turns out that you just slightly misread a kanji: it’s 潮目, not 湖目.

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Haha, I didn’t even think to check the book! I completely read over this word in my reading last night. Didn’t think anything odd of it. Thanks for checking! Even so, I already went down a rabbit hole and found this article on 芝目を読む:

http://ryo2003.sakura.ne.jp/category30/entry203.html

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OMG thank you so much :joy_cat: Peace of mind is restored.

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From my experience reading After Dark and Norwegian Woods, Murakami really likes to reference songs/movies in his stories.

Like, he’s weirdly specific about what exactly his characters are listening to/reading/watching for whatever reason (especially in After Dark).

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I’m having some issues with this sentence:

渋滞に巻き込まれたタクシーの中で聴くのにうってつけの音楽とは言えないはずだ

I get everything before and after the のに, but I’m having trouble putting it all together.

My brain tells me this says: Even though we’re listening to it on a traffic jammed taxi, I can’t say it’s the best/ideal type of music (for this situation, pressumably?).

But that doesn’t make much sense to me. Is のに supposed to mean “although/even though” or is it working differently in this sentence?

DeepL says: It shouldn’t be the best music to listen to in a taxi stuck in traffic.

And that definitely sounds better, but I still don’t understand how this sentences works.

And this is only the third sentence :upside_down_face:

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Exactly, it is not the although. It is ‘simply’ the nounification of 渋滞に巻き込まれたタクシーの中で聴く, with particle に.The music is not suited to listening in…

Turn shouldn’t to isn’t, and that is how I understand this sentence.

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I suspect the “shouldn’t” comes from the はず at the end?
(although I found it a bit strange that it is used in this sentence, but that’s probably just me)

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That はず belongs to 言えない, though. Probably wouldn’t say that…

So it seems DeepL just completely disregarded that?

Ahhh, all right then, thanks!

Hmm, I think I need to take a step back on this phrase again. Would it be correct to break it down like this:

渋滞に巻き込まれたタクシーの中で聴くのにうってつけの音楽 - it is the best music to listen to in a taxi stuck in traffic
とは - quotation and contrast
言えないはずだ - literally: should not be able to say (which I read as: can probably not say)

or how would you translate the last bit?

Edit: Oh, you answered this already, I did not get that when I read it first:

That matches my understanding. Thanks!

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I wouldn’t expect anybody to say that this is the most fitting music to listen to in a taxi stuck in traffic.

I feel はず is more about ‘reasonable expectation’ than ‘should or shouldn’t’

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Thank you, that helps a lot!

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