Week 5: TUGUMI 🌅

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TUGUMI :sunrise: Home Thread

Week 5


Start Date: Aug 27th
Previous Part: Week 4
Next Part: Week 6


Week Start Date Chapter Start Page Page Count
Week 5 Aug 27th 夜のせい 80 20

Vocabulary List

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Small question - first page of the chapter.

闇を支配する = to control the darkness?

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That is a very tricky sentence.

On page 80:

寝付かれずに(ねつかれずに)(exp) not falling asleep
聞き続ける(ききつづける)(exp) continue to listen
柱時計(はしらどけい)(n) wall clock
響き(ひびき)(n) sound, echo, reverberation
天井(てんじょう)(n) ceiling
射す(さす)(vi) to shine
月光(げっこう)(n) moonlight, moonbeam
闇(やみ)(n) darkness
支配する(しはいする)(vs) to dominate, rule, control

Notice that the subject of 支配する is not 私,
which appears in the long adverbial phrase immediately before it:

just like when I was still just a little girl

but rather the compound noun phrase

the sound of the wall clock and the moonlight shining on the ceiling

It is those two things that rule the darkness,
or as the Emmerich translation puts it:
“dominate the night”.


You ever have one of those dreams where you wake up with some profound emotion deep within your core, but you can’t for the life of you remember what happened in the dream? That’s what reading Yoshimoto is like.

The book is called Tugumi, but I think Yoshimoto uses her characters to explore those times, feelings, and situations that stand out and seem surreal–that stick in your memory–the feeling in your core that sticks with you. This chapter, in particular, was not about Tugumi or Maria, it was about those weird late nights that happen when you can’t sleep, or you feel the need to take a different path, where people open up and are themselves.


I think, in general, the ‘action’ in her writing is secondary to exploring the emotional significance of these sorts of moments in general, and how they get filed away in our brains and resonate with other memories and other people. I definitely have accumulated a handful of these 「夏のよる」のファイル myself, and this chapter really resonated in that way with me. I guess it’s why I really like her writing, despite forgetting many of the details…


Lovely post! And lovely chapter - the feeling of some nights being special was very relatable. I agree that the book isn’t really about Tugumi. It’s all little snapshots from the album of Maria’s memory, and the thoughts and feelings they evoke. Little, apparently inconsequential moments, that yet hold some special significance. We all have them, those vivid memories of unconnected moments, smells, conversations, where nothing dramatic happened, yet somehow they stuck with us and can conjure up a whole other period of our life.

I had very mixed feelings about this book at the beginning, but I’m liking it more and more as it goes.


Another question form this chapter, p88 my version:


I can’t quite get the meaning of this sentence, from the following few lines it sounds like she’s talking about a single occasion. But it seems to jump from being woke up to being at school, and I don’t quite get the connection.


The sentence ends with 思い出していた. What is happening at the time of narration somehow triggered a memory of how Tugumi used to behave back when they went to school. As is mentioned immediately after, it’s a flashback.


Thanks! I was picturing the whole sentence referencing something in the past.


Time is a little confusing im this book, because it’s all a trip down memory lane. Maria (presumably now much older) recounts that time when she visited her hometown after moving to Tokyo. While remembering whar happened then, she also mentions things she remembered at the time, which had happened way earlier. It’s all memories within memories within memories.


Hopefully this my last question for the chapter - hoping to get into chapter 6 today or tomorrow.

On p95, when Tugumi is replying to Maria’s comment about coming to visit Tokyo, she says something about 少女ハイジ - what is the meaning of ハイジ here? I also don’t get the 足のの悪い bit.


That would be Heidi, girl of the Alps. :smiley: And a reference to her friend whose legs are paralyzed.