Week 6: 薬屋のひとりごと

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薬屋のひとりごと Home Thread

Week 6


Previous Part: Week 5
Next Part: Week 7


Week Start Date Chapter Names Page Count
Week 6 Apr 2nd 「暗躍」「園遊会 其の壱」「園遊会 其の弍」 30

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Proper Noun Readings

Name Reading Notes Proof
猫猫 まおまお Main character furigana
玉葉 ギョクヨウ One of the four (main) wives (title: 貴妃) furigana
梨花 リファ One of the four (main) wives (title: 賢妃) furigana
小蘭 シャオラン furigana
鈴麗 リンリ Daughter of 玉葉; nickname: 小鈴 (シャオリン) furigana
壬氏 ジンシ 天女を思わせる宦官 furigana
紅娘 ホンニャン head of the maids of 玉葉 furigana
芙蓉 フヨウ 中級妃 furigana
高順 ガオシュン aid of 壬氏 furigana
桜花 インファ maid of 玉葉 furigana
貴園 グイエン maid of 玉葉 furigana
愛藍 アイラン maid of 玉葉 furigana

Oh, I’m the first reply here? :eyes:

Ch. 15 Qs

I’m afraid I just don’t understand what this sentence is saying. This should be on the first page of the chapter.

The bolded feels like it should be at least a part of a set phrase or something, but I don’t think I was able to find anything that quite matched it.

This is after 壬氏 is thanking the 女官 for letting him borrow his office. What is the いいように referring to here? The rest of the sentence seems to be referring to the power of 壬氏’s smile/face.

So the furigana given for the bolded is さんじゅっぷん, which makes sense with the sentence, but I’m curious how 四半時 matches with that. Research tells me that 四半 would mean a quarter of something (side note: how does 四半 = one quarter?), so 四半時 should be 15 minutes, right? How does that square with さんじゅっぷん?

So just to be clear here, is this a random eunuch(s) who happen to be free, or 壬氏?

So I’m pretty sure I understand the gist of this sentence: 玉葉 can pull off the normally-flashy ensemble because she’s her, but the more I try to break down the sentence to reach that meaning the more tangled up I get. 意匠が派手なのに (Even though the design was flashy) + 服に着られることがないのは (the fact that she hadn’t worn the clothing before?) + 玉葉妃だからであろう (probably because it was 玉葉妃).


Thank you for pushing me to read ch 15 :wink:

Ch 15

She wants to interact with him as if he was just a decorative object. That comes from her making a long comparison with other things that have only decorative values (for instance jewelry). Basically, he should just look pretty and shut up. Sadly, he is broken (from her point of view), so that only leaves him with “shut up”. :rofl:

(You had a typo in the first sentence, but that’s irrelevant). Yes, that’s from 人に非ざる(なり). Sadly the author put one 人 too many, but it still means “beyond the real of humans/otherworldly” (beauty, in this case).

“As (ように) you are told (いい, that is, 言い)”

He is thinking that women should be like that (like the 後宮長). (His smile) should be enough to have them do as he says. But it doesn’t work at all (on 猫猫). He is then wondering if his look is just not that good.

That’s because you don’t know the old time unit 一時 which is equal to 2 hours :stuck_out_tongue: (one day being 12 units to match the Chinese zodiac). We talked about it with seanblue (no tag because that would be spoilers) during week 3.
1/4 of 2 hours is 30 minutes. The furigana are here to help the majority of people who do not know (or remember about) that unit.

壬氏. And the 従者 mentioned in the next sentence is of course 高順.

The fact that the clothes aren’t wearing her.
When you are wearing clothes that are too flashy/too high in social status for you, the clothes are the one wearing you.


Ah, excellent, thank you as always @Naphthalene! Lots of good facts here; 一時 being two hours in particular is very interesting. I need to up my smack-talking radar for these 壬氏 pop-up sentences, haha; if he and 猫猫 are in a scene together, she’s probably thinking something rude. XD


Ah, so question I just thought of. Is this an old unit of time for Japan or China? Or both?

1 Like

Both. More specifically, it seems to have come to Japan from China.


So fun fact: I believe this is the first time I’ve seen その + number.

Ch. 16 Qs

So between 壬氏 and 玉葉, this sentence is saying that 玉葉 doesn’t actually lose to 壬氏 in the obviously gorgeousness department?

I’m familiar with Vない + うちに (before verbing, before verb happens); is this a case of that, but just flipped, or is there a different meaning?

What point of grammar is the っとけ?

So these sentences come as 猫猫 is explaining to 壬氏 why she paints her face with freckles. I’m afraid the first sentence I just can’t understand. The 色物 afterwards I can tell is euphemistic for something, but I’m not sure what due to my difficulty with the sentence before.

Is the highlighted supposed to be いた + だけ + にすぎない, or いただけ + にすぎない?

What’s the meaning of the highlighted? Is 為政者 referring to 壬氏 or someone/something else?

The thing’s selling price being referred to here is the 簪 that 壬氏 gave 猫猫. I’m supposing that the hairpin would fetch a nice price if she sold it, but I’m not 100% sure what that bolded is doing there, or how it works.

Despite all the questions, I had a pretty good time with this chapter. I’m pretty much constantly on the lookout for potential hints of romance, so this chapter was very good to me. :eyes:


Well, just in the gorgeousness department, but yes, and that it’s just (くらい) her. Even 梨花 isn’t good enough, I guess.

(Not part of your questions, but I love the juxtaposition of 高順 saying 猫猫 has an insolent look and her point of view where she says she is careful to contain her expression… what would it be if she did not… :rofl:)

It’s not a grammatical structure. It’s literally what it says (what she did doesn’t enter the realm of make up).

It’s the contraction of っておけ. 言っておけば in this case.

I’m not sure if she is saying that out loud, since it’s just narration but anyway, she is indeed explaining her situation. Her 薬局 (well, the one of her おやじ) is actually part of a brothel (as in, it is part of the building) but the entrance is separate and connects directly to the street. 変わった趣向の見世 (careful, you had a typo here ;)): a weird harimise (a place to display prostitutes)
勘違いされることもあった: it has been confused with. (So, by extension, she would have been confused for a prostitute by being there). The next sentence just says that there are people with weird “tastes” (since they find 猫猫 attractive… that being said, despite all her affirmations, external points of views kinda point towards her being actually attractive without the freckles and stuff).

That one. She just remained like that, with no particular reason beyond inertia.

“Requesting perfection from the lawmakers/rulers.” She believes it’s not possible, so there’s no point in requesting it.
“Rulers” include him here, due to his attitude.

It’s just それなり (fair) の 値(price). Like, it would fetch a fairly good price.

I do not have time to finish the chapter right now, I’ll finish later today.

Edit: done


I typically read this book late in the week, but today I had a lot of free time at work, so I read a bit. Ended up reading next week’s part too, oops?

Anyway, I’m liking the developments here. :grin: The narrative tone is great as well. :smile:


Thanks for the non-tag before. :slight_smile: I’m still not quite following this, so I wanted to follow up.

Definition of 一時:


Definition of 半時:

一時 (いっとき) の半分。現在の約1時間。

Following typical modern Japanese patterns (e.g. 五分 = 5 x 分 = 5 minutes), I would expect 四半時 to be 4 x 半時 = about 4 hours. Now, given that I know the answer (that it’s 30 minutes) I can work backwards to the fact that 四半 should be treated as 1/4 here, but can 四半 be used this way in general or just in this case? Can I generalize it to things like 三半, 八半, etc.? It seems like in modern Japanese, people would say 四分の一 or something along those lines rather than 四半, but maybe I’m mistaken on that.

I’ve only read chapter 15 so far, but it had an absurd amount of fake furigana. I don’t know if I can explain how much I hate this. When I read a free copy of the first volume of 約束のネバーランド years ago, this type of furigana was a major reason I decided to not read subsequent volumes (besides the fact that it was boring after the first chapter).

This same thing shows up on the first page of the whole book. :slight_smile:


Anyway, I guess I’m now about 40% of the way done the book. Slowly but surely I will finish this thing!


You can use it in general. I’ve heard 四半世紀 (25 years) and 四半斤 (~150g). 四半 has its own entry in the dictionary too.

I don’t think so. At the very least, I can’t find anything about those. I feel like 四半 was imported from Chinese back in the Olden Days™ rather than just following a pattern like 3分の1

Yes. I’ve only seen 四半 used as part of a word rather than standalone. It’s definitely dated.