Join the Advanced Book Club here!
本陣殺人事件 Home Thread
Start Date: Feb 5th
Previous Part: Week 5
Next Part: Week 7
- 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!
Mark your participation status by voting in this poll.
(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
- I am no longer reading the book
Proper Noun Readings
Previous Proper Nouns
||Narrator’s friend (Chapter 1: 三本指の男) (Week 1)
||Head of the family, eldest son, 40 yo, philosopher, lives with his parents
||Kenzou’s mother, widow, 57 yo (Chapter 2: 本陣の末裔)
||Second child, eldest daughter, lives in Shanghai
||Third child, second son, 35yo, doctor in Osaka
||Fourth child, third son, 25yo, lives with his parents
||Fifth child, second daughter, 17yo, lives with her parents
||Cousin of the five children, 38yo
||克子’s father, deceased, fruit farmer
||克子’s uncle and the one who raised her/supports her (Week 2)
||The お主婦, or at least the 飯屋 she runs
I agree with all @wangqiwen said.
Basically, there’s a long koto string that is folded in two around the guard of the katana. The two ends of the strings are eventually attached to the water wheel, so they begin pulling the katana when the water wheel is turned on by a farmer at 4am.
The strings pass through a gap in the “ranma”, then as @wangqiwen exlpained, one half goes through the stone lantern (then towards the water wheel), the other half goes through the kotoji on the roof then to a tree where it meets the scythe, then pushes against 5 or 6 bamboos, then goes through empty bamboo towards the water wheel.
When the 5 or 6 bamboos eventually give under the tension, it makes a koto playing sound, and when the string ends up breaking against the scythe, it makes the string breaking sound. The purpose of the kotoji it to make sure the katana never touches the ground. The empty bamboo the string goes through is also so that the string won’t leave marks.
When the string breaks, the katana falls down, and the broken halves continue getting pulled towards the water wheel.
Here’s a movie version if it helps. (but they don’t show the bamboo making playing sounds)
As for the oven, I think it’s got this kind of shape, but like made of brick and clay?
The body was buried in the floor of the oven I think, but we don’t know yet how it got there.
What I was having trouble imagining was the scale of this. According to my ‘research’, the average koto is around 2 m long but can be longer. I found sizes varying between 70-250cm. The string is doubled, and while I can imagine there might be enough string to reach to the tree and the stone lantern, reaching the water wheel seemed a stretch…
But I just watched the scene play out in the movie, and they very obviously tied strings together to make it work. I don’t remember now why I was so convinced it had to be just one string, haha.
Thanks for the link, @miwuc !
It’s still kinda hard to wrap around my head but I understand it better now. Thanks to the both of you.
THERE’S A MOVIE??? I might need to watch it
There’s a bunch of them, actually! According to wikipedia there’s two movies (1947 and 1975) and three TV adaptations (1977, 1983, 1992). The link is the 1983 version.
The 1975 movie is also available in physical form for pretty cheap (I think the blu-ray is region free? I don’t see any region marking on the disk or box at all - but I live in the same blu-ray region as Japan so it would play for me either way). I watched it that way after reading the book and it was pretty fun! Definitely useful to get some visual confirmation of the stuff described in this section of the book