Now Re-Reading: JBC's 秋の牢獄 (Autumn Prison) 🍁 Discussion Thread

I know this is a bit premature, but I wanted to drop some discussion question about Autumn Prison.

  1. Autumn Prison is a collection of short stories that all share the theme of people losing their freedom in some way or another. Which form of confinement do you think was the easiest to deal with? Why?

  2. Beside the parallel of bondage connecting each story, were there any other parallels you found in the stories?

  3. Of all the characters in this book, which were the most memorable? the most inflammatory? the most kind?

  4. Which of these stories do you feel was your favorite? Why?

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I’ll start by answering my own questions (late).

  1. I think the repeating day was probably the easiest to deal with because with each day, the world would reset back to what it was. The exception would be if you were having the worse day of your life (e.g., 犬飼さん and the infidelity). I would say リオ hands down had the worse situation.

  2. One parallel I found was not taking life for granted. In some form or another each character took the “normal” part of their lives for granted. When things changed for the negative (i.e., they lost control of their lives due to being confined some way or another), they longed for something different. The second book was a little different because the protagonist took life in the house for granted and didn’t realize his real feelings until after he had escaped.

  3. I would award the most memorable and inflammatory character to the same person in the first story: 北風伯爵. This being was infamous and unfortunately we’ll never know what it did to all the replayers who disappeared in the first story. The most kind was probably the man in the sunglasses. To bring the inhabitants food and other necessities on his own was far and above kind.

  4. Though I didn’t identify with any of the characters in this book, I would probably say that first story was my favorite. The idea to be able to rewrite one day in my life and to live it freely sounded like the most enjoyable despite death god looming to take you out at any moment. I also feel that the characters in that story to advantage of a horrible situation more than the other characters

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Took the downtime between books as an opportunity to finally finish the 2nd story. So, I’ll take a stab at these:

I feel like all of the replayers were the most memorable, since we learned the most about them and watched them adapt to their new living situation. The most inflammatory character for me was Momose (the eyebrow man) from the 3rd story - he violently murdered Shimojo’s brother and kidnapped Rio into the cult against her wishes and even against the wishes of her “grandmother,” the cult leader. Out of all the characters I think he was definitely the most unequivocally evil.

I felt like a major recurring theme in each story was that people aren’t what they seem. Inukai-san’s confession is the most shocking part of the 1st story, and the supposedly nice-seeming man at the end of the 2nd story also turns out to be a murderer. Momose is perceived by Rio to be friendly at first, but actually only wants to use her. This is also seen on a smaller scale throughout the book, such as with Ai’s supposed friend being unsympathetic to her situation and Shimojo and Mizuna pretending to invite Rio to play.


For those of you who have completed this book, お疲れ様です。I hope that the next book will inspire a more active thread than this one. Perhaps the timing of the year really screwed things up for participation. It really affected my participation. Sorry for disappearing there for a bit.

For those of you still finishing the book, 頑張ってくださいね!


I think definitely have to agree that the the replay station was the easiest to live in. They weren’t alone or tortured, and had some ways to find entertainment.

Other than the other two mentioned, it seemed each protagonist was somewhat isolated from society and had no real friends.

I don’t know if it’s because we just read it, but I think Rio is most memorable. We basically saw her whole life and she went through the most drastic change. For inflammatory I somehow find it hard to say. And I think the most kind was The boy who found Ai. He was nice to her and didn’t betray her later.

I find it hard to say, I kind of like them all equally as much. But If I had to pick one I’d say autumn prison. I had the most fun reading that one as I think it had the most suspense and it was most enjoyable to read because it wasn’t as confusing as the other two.

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Hey, @Caracal … Even though I’m about to start a new semester (in which I will be trying to learn a new language) do you want to go through one of the three stories together (very slowly)?

… Maybe between now and Christmas, or end of January?

If so, is there one of the three in particular that interest you?

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Let’s see…I finished the first one, so if it’s OK with you, how about the second one? Between now and Christmas/January sounds good. (I swear my reading speed has gone down lately, if anything… :sweat:) Sorry it took me so freaking long to respond, I abandoned forums for a while…after my subscription expired and I didn’t renew, I lost the habit of logging in frequently. :disappointed: But! I will check in more often from now on!


Oh, cool! That’s okay.

What kind of pace do you want to set? I’m probably super slow as well, as my Grammar is only N5 at best. XD
Plus, I’m learning Greek now, so…

I’m excited to try this out with you! *does a little dance*

Greek? Neat! Is there a particular reason you chose it?

I guess we can set a pace and then adjust as needed. The second story is from p. 75-135, so 60 pages. Does 2 pages a day sound doable? It’s up to you when we should start.

A day? I was thinking maybe 3-5 pages a week? But maybe we can speed up around Christmas/later… ??? As we get good. I have sooooo much studying.

I was reading through some of the なぜ?どうして? thread earlier and I think I understood about 75% of the all handful of sentences I was reading? So don’t expect much from me…


Haha, yeah, you’re right, I was being overly ambitious. Goes to show that I really haven’t been keeping up with my reading practice…apparently I forgot how slowly I actually read! I took a look at the first page today and was reminded…two pages a day is a lot, isn’t it? :sweat_smile: 3-5 pages a week definitely sounds more manageable.

(For real though I gotta do more flashcards/reviews/reading, because I am steadily forgetting kanji. I keep seeing oh-so-familiar kanji and going, “I should know this…why don’t I know this!!!” :scream:)

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@AnimeCanuck @Caracal Oooh could I join you guys? I bought the book way last year but didn’t end up reading it with the book club. :sweat_smile:

Have you started on the second story yet? And I’m okay with any pace. :slight_smile:

No, we haven’t. I hope to… soon… ^^; Just finished my semester but I have an outlying paper. No more Greek language though until Jan 22.

Please do!

IDEA: Let’s start on Dec 22 and read until Jan 22 and just see how far we get? (I’m taking a train for 3.5-4 hours that Saturday, and will be on my holiday then.) @Caracal too. Does that sound like a plan? I think I’m going to go off of vacation mode and get back into reviews too… maybe now in preparation for reading.

I also bought the book, can I join in too?

Of course! If you don’t mind going at a snail’s pace. ^^;

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秋の牢獄 (Autumn Prison) Re-Read Club!

A few of us had the idea to (re-)visit Autumn Prison during this year’s spooky season. Also, there is currently a hefty Bookwalker discount which might help you decide: :wink:

We will start reading the book from Nov 7th, 2022. We’re not planning to have a dedicated schedule, so if you’re interested, please feel free to join us and read at your own pace!

The book consists of three stories of roughly equal length (about 60 pages each):

  • 秋の牢獄 (the titular story)
  • 神家没落
  • 幻は夜に成長する

It’s of course okay if you just want to read one or two of the stories.

For commenting, I would like to stick with this one thread for the whole book. Please make sure to indicate which story you are referring to in your posts! Also please use spoiler tags when necessary.

Are you planning to read 秋の牢獄 with the re-read club?

  • Yes
  • Yes, but I might start late
  • Not sure
  • No

0 voters

If so, which version will you be reading?

  • eBook
  • Paperback

0 voters

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I’ll have you know that 楽天 is offering free shipping on their ebooks! :joy: image


Ui this cover is ugly… I’ve got a nicer one with an autumn road on the cover.

Anyway: I started a little early since there’s no way I’ll find enough time to finish the story on a weekday either way ^^. Read the first two chapters of the first story.

On one hand, it is good to know that I can read the story much smoother than I did at the end of 2017. Many of the words and grammar points I had problems with then, I know much better by now. On the other hand, the 2 year!!! Japanese learning break in between set me back quite a bit, and there are many words I underlined reading it then and still don’t know :sob: .

For the story so far:

I instantly liked it again. The story doesn’t pull any punches. It takes like 2 pages for the first loop to happen. I also fell again for the atmosphere. The writing style somehow really works well for me. I definitely have to look into the night market book, since it’s from the same author.
Also, the same as last time I read it, I also thought I should look into the book Replay she mentions. Has anyone of you read it by any chance and can give their impression?

Kind of want to know what first time readers think of this story. So I’m eagerly awaiting your impressions.

EDIT: forgot to mention I`m really sad the 7th is a Wednesday and not a Monday :cry:


@NicoleIsEnough why do you do this to me. I read 夜市 and was like, “wow, this was a fun book. I should read another book by the author sometime.” Picked up 秋の牢獄, put it on the backlog, went on my merry way. Fast forward to now. Have 3 JP book club books, 2 Eng book club books currently on my docket, wondering if I’m stupid enough to add another JP (ユージニア keeps looking at me), then see this thread and think, “wow, I really liked 夜市! I did want to read this.” :sob:

Not sure what I’ll do yet, haha.


We should start an anonymous compulsive readers group :sweat_smile:
I’m also taking part in three Japanese book clubs (IBC, ABC, Mystery) and this is my 4th one. No English book clubs though… :rofl:
Do consider joining ユージニア, it’s fantastic so far. And we’ve got Japanese speakers in the club too!
And this one of course. I’ve only just started it, but it feels refreshingly easy to read so far.