Week 5: 博士の愛した数式 - The Housekeeper and the Professor 🎓🧮

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博士の愛した数式 - The Housekeeper and the Professor :mortar_board::abacus: Home Thread

Week 5


Start Date: Oct 17th
Previous Part: Week 4
Next Part: Week 6


Week Start Date End Phrase End Page End Percentage Page Count
Week 5 Oct 17th ルートは乱れた髪を撫でつけた。 79 27% 17

Discussion Rules

  • Please use spoiler tags for major events in the current chapter(s) and any content in future chapters.
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  • Don’t be afraid of asking questions, even if they seem embarrassing at first. All of us are here to learn.
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Wow, I like this more with each page I read! Not only has it become much easier to read for me by now (probably I‘m getting used to the vocab after a bit of a slow start), but it’s such a heartwarming story, with so much care and respect on all sides. Such a pleasure to read!


After the professor asks for the barber’s phone number, it is said that ‘余計に場を白けさせてしまった’. Could somebody please explain this expression?

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My interpretation is that

余計に - Needlessly

場を白けさせてしまった - he spoiled the atmosphere of the place (白ける is the verb)


A couple new words I really like:


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That’s my favourite Japanese word as well! Learned it from 鹿の王 and whenever I come across it again, I get transported back into that book‘s mood (which is totally different from Hakase but results in a very nice emotional mixture :upside_down_face:)


Ooh, I really liked this week’s part as well! I ended up reading about a page more before I realised that that last sentence before the break seemed familiar.

I really want to continue reading! :sob:

I loved our housekeeper’s non-reaction to/ acceptance of the professor’s unique habits and conduct out in the open. Their talk on the bench was lovely and then the professor’s interaction with that crying child - and the mother taking her away from a strange man - quite heartbreaking.



Man, y’all seem to read the whole section on day 1. I long for the day when I can read Japanese that fast.

On page 66, at the barbershop, it says

I think I’ve got everything but the bolded part, can anyone explain that part?

Each time, the barber had no choice but to stop his scissors, but, without complaining, he went along with selfishness.


He went along with the professor’s selfishness/willfulness, if that helps?

At least that’s my understanding.


I don’t. I try to read 6-7 pages in the bookwalker version (at 200% font size), which corresponds to about 2 pages in the paper book. So I just manage to keep up with the weekly “assignments”.


I don’t either. I read 30 minutes day starting on Saturday. I usually finish the reading around Wednesday, give or take a day (~2.5 hours of reading). I typically wait to post until I’ve finished the section, but I always forget all the things I wanted to say, so this week I thought I’d try chiming in early.


What a great read so far, indeed. It was really moving when the professor finally broke down toward the end of the section. 小川洋子’s character writing is really top notch.

The math solution that The Professor was trying to get Root to figure out is one I heard in a story involving Carl Friedrich Gauss, one of the greatest mathematicians of all time. If you study in the maths or sciences, you’ll no doubt encounter his name many times.

The story goes, when Gauss was in grade school his teacher, in order to occupy the students, asked them to add all the numbers from 1 to 100. To the teacher’s surprise, Gauss gave the answer in just a few seconds and pointed out that the solution was simple: Add the numbers in pairs.

1+100 = 101
2+99 = 101
3+98 = 101

50+51 = 101

So the solution is 50*101 = 5050. Clearly the same trick could be used, as The Professor suggested, to add the numbers from 1 to 1000, or 10000.