Week 3: 四畳半神話大系 (The Tatami Galaxy) 🎓 Advanced Book Club

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四畳半神話大系 :mortar_board: Home Thread

Week 3


Start Date: April 22
Previous Part: Week 2
Next Part: Week 4


Week Start Date End Phrase End Page End Percentage Page Count
Week 3 April 22 end of chapter 1 96 23% 30

Discussion Rules

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14 sections in this part if I’m counting correctly, some of them really tiny.

I finished the chapter, and I have questions. Basically, what just happened? :joy:

The God takes our narrator to the bridge to meet Akashi. We later learn that Akashi had been told to cross the bridge by Ozu. Ozu comes up to the narrator and punches him in the gut (?!), then later reappears and threatens to jump off the bridge if the narrator doesn’t ask Akashi out for a date. Then a huge cloud of moths attacks Kyoto, coming from either the shrine or the narrator’s neighbourhood, then Ozu actually jumps or falls but escapes with only a broken leg, while the narrator actually starts a relationship with Akashi. What?! :eyes: :rofl:

Speculation: Does Ozu even exist? He sometimes seems like he’s a manifestation of certain sides of the narrator’s personality. On the other hand, he’s very obviously -although also very chaotically- trying to help him. Is he somehow supernatural himself, if he does exist?

Random cultural/geographic notes:

送り火/大文字 (section 2)

This is a festival in Kyoto, in which five giant bonfires are lit on mountains surrounding the city. Starting at 8 pm on August 16, the giant bonfires are lit at five to ten-minute intervals, each with a distinctive shape. The most famous—and the first to be lit—is the character 大, on Kyoto’s 大文字山. Many people like to go to the Kamo River, between Sanjo and Imadegawa Streets, for an excellent view of the initial fires. The fires signify the moment when the spirits of deceased family members, who visited during Obon, return to the spirit world.

カステラ (section 2 and elsewhere)

I did not know what kind of cake this was, so here’s a picture.

Apparently the name is derived from the Portuguese Bolo de Castela. It was brought to Japan by Portuguese merchants in the 16th century, and its closest relative is the Portuguese cake pão-de-ló. It is now a specialty of Nagasaki.

闇鍋 (section 2)

I was very intrigued by the dictionary definition of this, and had to look up more. Each person participating brings an ingredient that is known only to themselves, and adds it to the pot of soup that is supposed to be cooked in the dark. Everyone has to eat the result. Sounds adventurous and fun, although I have to wonder how many people have been poisoned by a 闇鍋 (accidentally or not).

賀茂大橋 (everywhere, but mainly section 7)

This is a view from Kamo Bridge looking down. The water is very shallow but at least the bridge doesn’t seem to be very high. Look up and around for a view of the bridge itself, and the delta to the north.


I have no intentions of reading this book but I’d heard it was kinda nonsensical/crazy plot development so have been creeping the discussion. Worth it :100:


I can’t yet recommend it as I’m not sure where it’s going, but I’m fully enjoying the craziness so far (and really want to go to Kyoto). Glad you’re having fun :grin:

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I’ve been keeping a character list in the notes on my phone, but I’m kinda wishing I’d been keeping a location list too lmao—the readings, if nothing else. I remember… some of these.

Also will we ever learn the MC’s name?? I think this is the first book I’ve read where we’ve gone so long without having a name to call the MC. Of course Odzu’s not the type to use guys’ names when talking to them, and of course Akashi only calls him ‘senpai.’ Ah, I’m kinda tempted to look up the anime on MAL, but also I already have voices for them in my head and that might mess me up lol


Oh man I cant imagine trying to read this without having watched it! I applaud your efforts :sob: One day I would like to read this book bc I love the anime but I need to beef up my kanji a bit first I think.

re: whether u learn the MC’s name:

In the anime at least, he has no name other than senpai or 私. I assume it’s the same for the book (but don’t know for sure obviously)


That’s a nice theory, I don’t know whether Ozu exists or not, but my understanding was that the god isn’t actually a god? Just a normal guy who was asked by Ozu to tell that whole story about deciding who Akashi should be with, and then to make MC cross the bridge so he could bump into Akashi who was also told to cross that bridge… Seems like very convoluted matchmaking but apparently it worked.

On to chapter 2!


That’s my impression too, but then is the whole Ozu calling him 師匠 and bringing him strange gifts also part of the performance? It sounds way too convoluted. Not impossible though, I suppose.