Week 4: 本陣殺人事件

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本陣殺人事件 Home Thread

Week 4


Start Date: Jan 22nd
Previous Part: Week 3
Next Part: Week 5


Week Start Date Chapter Names Page Count
Week 4 Jan 22nd 「猫の墓」、「探偵小説問答」 ~23.5

Discussion Rules

  • Please use spoiler tags for major events in the current chapter(s) and any content in future chapters.
  • When asking for help, please mention the chapter and page number. Also mention what version of the book you are reading.
  • Don’t be afraid of asking questions, even if they seem embarrassing at first. All of us are here to learn.
  • To you lurkers out there: Join the conversation, it’s fun! :durtle:


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(Please feel free to update your status whenever you like!)

  • I’m reading along
  • I have finished this part
  • I’m still reading the book but I haven’t reached this part yet
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0 voters

Proper Noun Readings

Previous Proper Nouns
Name Reading Notes Proof
井上 英三 いのうえ えいぞう Narrator’s friend (Chapter 1: 三本指の男) (Week 1)
一柳 賢蔵 いちやなぎ けんぞう Head of the family, eldest son, 40 yo, philosopher, lives with his parents
一柳 糸子 いちやなぎ いとこ Kenzou’s mother, widow, 57 yo (Chapter 2: 本陣の末裔)
一柳 妙子 いちやなぎ たえこ Second child, eldest daughter, lives in Shanghai
一柳 隆二 いちやなぎ りゅうじ Third child, second son, 35yo, doctor in Osaka
一柳 三郎 いちやなぎ さぶろう Fourth child, third son, 25yo, lives with his parents
一柳 鈴子 いちやなぎ すずこ Fifth child, second daughter, 17yo, lives with her parents
一柳 良介 いちやなぎ りょうすけ Cousin of the five children, 38yo
一柳 秋子 いちやなぎ あきこ 良介’s wife
久保 克子 くぼ かつこ 賢蔵’s fiancé
久保 林吉 くぼ りんきち 克子’s father, deceased, fruit farmer
鈴子’s cat
久保 銀造 くぼ ぎんぞう 克子’s uncle and the one who raised her/supports her (Week 2)
源七 げんしち 作男
週吉 しゅうきち The miller/小作
磯川 常次郎 いそかわ つねじろう 警部
木村 きむら 刑事
川田 かわた・かわだ The お主婦, or at least the 飯屋 she runs

Small crowd we got here :sweat_smile:

Things started to get interesting with the introduction of 金田一耕助 though!


I’d assume not everyone has voted yet. I’d say it’s about the usual for a ‘difficult’ advanced bookclub book. ^^

1 Like

The book starts to get easier to read but still has a lot of hard stuff into it.

This week spoiler

In the second chapter he found a second 琴柱 or koto bridge, right? Like the string they found did not match the first koto? I want to be sure I got it right.
Also is it me or 金田一耕助 is stuttering a bit?
Last question, what was the thing with the rain shutter? He messed the room so his print would be hard to find but they found some in the bathroom window shutter, right? In the second chapter again. They found where he entered from and also the bamboo hiding spot. The plot thicken

My favorite phrase this week is 無闇矢鱈 (end of 猫の墓 chapter), which the built-in Bing Translate on my Kindle app calls “indiscrent cod”! (: I guess 当て字 can be challenging for the computer …


As I understood it, 金田一 inspected the 琴柱 still ok the 琴, and noticed that there was one that didn’t have the pattern engraved onto it like the rest did. So it’s been exchanged after production, possibly related to the crime, that’s still unclear. Notably, the 琴柱 found in the pile of leaves outside did have the engravings.

Yeah, 金田一 stutters (mostly when he gets excited, the way it’s written). Thus has been mentioned in the text as well, it’s what 吃る means.

The room was messy, but I don’t think they talked about that being related to the prints being found late. Rather, the color of the blood blends into the already read painted walls (or, everything, apparently), and the prints around the door (or shutters?) weren’t visible while it was open.

I’ve another question: before I get into researching the state of the economy and inflation and what have you, maybe someone already knows roughly how much 五千円 would have been worth at the time? It’s how much 銀造 gives 金田一.

There might have been more but I don’t remember. In any case, Thanks for all the book recommendations, 横溝先生. :joy:


I didn’t already know but I’m a sucker for trying to figure out a little… The book is set in 1937, and if Wikipedia is to be believed:

Following the silver devaluation of 1873, the yen devalued against the U.S. dollar and the Canadian dollar (since those two countries adhered to a gold standard), and by 1897 the yen was worth only about US$0.50. In that year, Japan adopted a gold exchange standard and hence froze the value of the yen at $0.50.[16] This exchange rate remained in place until Japan left the gold standard in December 1931, after which the yen fell to $0.30 by July 1932 and to $0.20 by 1933.[17] It remained steady at around $0.30 until the start of the Pacific War on December 7, 1941, at which time it fell to $0.23.[18]

So I suppose 5000 * .3 = 1500 1937 dollars = (apparently) ~$29,000 today (or converting back ~3,300,000 yen) (which seems like a lot, huh!)
Definitely a lot more money than what it sounds like today, at least!

(As for the time of the book’s writing, it was coming out in 1946, and sources I can find quickly suggest that that post-war time the yen was either just “unstable” and/or going through inflation at an exchange rate of 50:1 on its way to 360:1 fixed by the occupying American government in 1949)


You can easily live for a couple months in Tokyo on that money, at least!

Even if it’s set later, with a weaker yen, that would still be a lot of money.

Super interesting, thanks for looking it up!


Just realized that I accidentally read all of next week’s reading already :laughing:

But the chapter I just read ends on an excruciating cliffhanger, so I guess it’s too late to stop now!