Doggy Detectives! Week 1 Discussion 🐶

Pages 6 - 10

Story 1: 消えたデミキン事件

Start Date: 6th April
Next Week: Case Part 2


わんわん探偵団 Home Thread

Vocabulary List

Please read the editing guidelines in the first sheet before adding any words!

Discussion Guidelines

  • Please blur / hide any major events in the current week’s pages (however early they occur), like so: [spoiler]texthere[/spoiler]

  • When asking for help, please mention the page number, and check before posting that your question hasn’t already been asked

  • Join the conversation - it’s fun!


Mark your participation status by voting in this poll:

  • I’m reading along
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If you’ve read it before but will join in the discussion (or have read ahead), please select “I’m reading along”!


Welcome to the first week of わんわん探偵団 !

This is a long post, but please read it before diving in.

Excited Puppers

Don’t feel shy about posting any and all questions you have. We’re here to help each other. I can guarantee that somebody else will be silently grateful you asked, and nobody minds explaining things to others - it’s a useful way to learn.

Important points:

  • Please include the page number for every question you ask
  • Check whether your question has already been asked / answered before posting
  • Remember to utilise the vocab spreadsheet
  • If you’re contributing to the spreadsheet (and please do!) then please read and make sure you understand the guidelines in the first sheet
  • Blur out any major events when posting, however early in the ‘week’ they occur (like so: [spoiler]text here[/spoiler])

Pace and Asking Questions

I don’t want to dictate exactly how much you read each day. However, for at least the first few weeks I anticipate quite a lot of questions, and it can get difficult to follow the thread if questions are jumping back and forth between pages.

Excited Doggo

For now therefore, I’d ask that people post questions according to a “one-page-per-day” approach: page 6 on Monday, page 7 on Tuesday, page 8 on Wednesday and page 10 on Thursday. You’re very welcome to continue asking about e.g. page 6 throughout the rest of the week, but try not to post about pages ahead of schedule.

I’m considering the ‘current day’ to be roughly aligned with Tokyo - there’s an indicator in the OP :wink:

Tips for First-Time Readers

  • Jisho is a popular online Japanese-English dictionary, and the usual source for populating the spreadsheet
  • is a popular tool for parsing out sentences, but it’s not infallible and I would encourage you to practise that yourself where possible
  • Google Translate is not your friend

But: remember that the whole point of reading as a group is to help each other. It can be a lot quicker and easier to ask a question here than to agonise over it yourself. Moreover, your question and the answer will help everyone else reading along.

Excited Woofer

Character List

It’s easy to get tripped up by names, and context always makes things easier to understand. This is taken from page 4.

People who appear in this book: この本にでてくる人たち

The protagonist of this book. A dog trainer. As a result of looking after dogs who don’t have an owner, he’s rather poor. He lives in an old kindergarten building.

Spitz’s neighbour, the proprietor of a picture book store. Spitz loves Hanae-san, but doesn’t know how she feels.

黒星けいぶ (Police Inspector くろぼし)
An Inspector of the Metropolitan Police Department. Drags Spitz into cases. His face is just like a Pomeranian.

A rich person from the top of the hill. Her much-loved Telescope Goldfish goes missing.


Here are some grammar pointers for absolute beginners.

I’ve done the first page a bit more extensively, because I want to make sure no one gets overwhelmed at the very beginning :slight_smile: For the next three pages I’ve just made a list of some handy Bunpro links and I’ll leave it as a bit of a puzzle for you to try and figure out :wink: I’ll post those as soon as I’m allowed :3

Page 6



This is the first occurrence of a so-called ‘relative clause’ and you better get used to them :wink: It’s when a whole sentence (むかし、幼稚園だった) modifies a noun (たてもの).
Also, you’ll notice that you can’t depend on commas to be used the same way in Japanese as we use them in English.
Finally, keep in mind that the て-form can be used with いる for an ongoing action or state, but it can also be used to link two actions in a sentence together.


[ むかし、幼稚園だった ] たてもの を かりて くらして いる。
I am renting and living in a building [ that was a kindergarten a long time ago ].



You’ll often see こと in a sentence and not really know what to do with it. That’ll get easier with time. Usually こと makes a noun out of a verb. Think of “I like walking” in English. While ‘walking’ is a verb, it serves the function of a noun in this sentence. English can do that without any special grammar, but Japanese needs to ‘nounify’ the verb. That is what こと is for.


My hobby is reading detective novels.



Two things to be aware of. Firstly, ほしい is an adjective that we would translate as a noun: ‘to want’. Secondly, this is not a subject が, but a ‘but’ が.


I want a bride, but …


So the first two sentences went well :slight_smile:
Then they got harder.

Page 6:

Here’s my current theory about this sentence


(I have) no wife and no kids, (and) live alone.

I think も is used because both 妻 and 子 are listed, and it’s more general than と - There could be more related things that aren’t listed.

But I’m not sure how the two halves of the sentence are linked. The only verb seems to be ない.


Maybe it’s a relative clause, where ひとりぐらし is the noun that it modifies, and the verb is implicit? So “[I am] a person living alone, who has neither a wife nor children”?


So, there’s a particular construction where you use ~も ~も, to emphasise “both X and Y”. If this were a positive sentence, you might read it “I have both a wife and kids”.

As it is negative (ない), you kind of flip it to emphasis neither - “I have neither a wife nor kids”.

This is another example of a ‘relative clause’, like nienque mentioned above - so you’ll see another in a sentence or two! The description “having neither a wife nor kids” is modifying the noun ひとりぐらし. It doesn’t translate particularly well to English because we don’t have a noun like ひとりぐらし, but he “lives alone, having neither a wife nor any kinds”.

Someone else may be able to explain that better. It’s an example of rather abrupt Japanese which ought to be simple but is kind of confusing in its minimalism :sweat_smile:

Also thanks for taking part :blush:


Ah, that makes sense. Telling nouns and adjectives apart is difficult for me, since the two categories can have such different things in them compared to English.


Well, with the help of everyone else, this wasn’t that bad at all! Granted, it was just one page… We’ll see how the story progresses!


I definitely missed the ‘but’ が. I translated the page to my wife saying he desires no wife. So she said: uhmmm I don’t like スピッツ. :rofl: my mistake. Now I told her he wants a wife and she likes the main character.


Yeah I often can’t tell either. But Jisho and will tell you what type of word something is :slight_smile:

1 Like

This is my first book and I’m happy for the experience parsing real stories. Most the sentences contain grammar I know and they are easy to read once I’m told how to read them. It’s amazing how much harder it is to tell what type of particle something is using in the wild compared to example sentences.


When you remember that every sentence should have the subject with が particle (even if it’s invisible), everything makes much more sense :slight_smile: (no, I don’t re-watch Cure Dolly videos over and over again).

As for this sentence, I understand its construction like this (it will be a literal translation):

妻も 子も ない ひとりぐらし
Speaking of wife and kids (も…も -neither) - it’s a topic of the sentence

ない - (it’s an adjective) nonexistent, not there (examples)

ひとりぐらし - living by oneself; living alone

So we have two sentences:

  1. 妻も 子も <かれら が> ない - Speaking of wife and kids, (they) are nonexistent

  2. <スピッツ が> ひとりぐらし - (スピッツ) lives alone

I bolded both “invisible”, but necessary parts.

As it was said above, we can use other sentences to describe nouns. Here we use the casual speech, so seeing as ひとりぐらし is a noun, we can simply attach the first sentence (ending in an i-adjective) to it.

I hope that my explanation was easy to understand - I love learning Japanese grammar, but my grasp of the English one sometimes is wonky :see_no_evil:.


Great posts! They helped a lot! =D

I want to try make a fluid, non direct translation. Would not have been able to make this without your posts! =D

Page 6 English

My name is Spitz Kawai. I work as a dog trainer. I live alone, have no wife or children. I rent a spacious building that used to be a kindergarten. My hobby is to read detective novels. I want to get married, but I don’t have a partner.

Thought “married” sounded a little less creepy than “I want a bride” :wink:
In the context it is how I understand it anyway =P


Thought “married” sounded a little less creepy than “I want a bride” :wink:

I agree, though for me I think what is creepier is the kanji for bride - 嫁 woman-house.

Phonetically this works, but with all the puns the author is fond of, I think the spelling would be Spitz as it is a particular classification of dog breeds.


Quick question, in the characters page (この本にでてくる人たち) it also has 福岡さん and 近江さん. Are they characters that don’t come in until later stories/cases? Is that why they’re not in the original list?

Also it’s already been nice to have other people reading and discussing the same thing as me :smile:


I haven’t looked ahead this time, but I’m guessing so - Radish8 has looked through to prepare the schedule and must have a reason for only mentioning one of the three at the bottom.


Gotcha, I won’t pay attention to them at the moment then. Thanks!


This is correct. The book has three separate cases, and the character page lists the primary character for each case, whereas the posting above currently showcases the primary character for the first case.


I agree, I made it Spitz instead =)

Ah yes, there are quite a few kanji with questionable imagery =P


That was a great explanation, thank you :slight_smile: