Week 7: コーヒーが冷めないうちに (Intermediate BC)

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Week 7

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Start date: 31 July 2021
Previous part: Week 6
Next part : Week 8
Wordlist : Google doc

Reading

Week Start Date End Phrase End Page (PB) Page Count
Week 7 31 July 房木は文字の読み書きが苦手であった。 129 16

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 embarassing at first. All of us are here to learn.
  • To you lurkers out there: Join the conversation, it’s fun!

Participants

Mark your participation status by voting in this poll.
(Please feel free to update your status whenever you like!)

  • I am reading along
  • I am reading behind the schedule
  • I have finished this part
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Hello fellow readers! I will travel the next week and will probably have internet issues, so the thread for Week 8 reading will be posted on Monday 02 Aug, please don’t be surprised :stuck_out_tongue:
Link to the Week 8 will be added to Home thread for the book, so you’d be able to find it there any time.

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I read ahead some because this upcoming week is going to be busy and I didn’t want to fall behind. There are some pretty major spoilers for the week 7 reading in this post, so please reveal them with caution!

I had a feeling the story was headed in this direction in terms of the Alzheimer’s, but I was certainly not anticipating that Kotake would turn out to be his wife.

I have a feeling we’re in for a sad one.

Yet another vocabulary lesson here. Some fun new medical terminology, though まだらボケ doesn’t seem like a very nice word. When I googled it to ascertain its meaning for the spreadsheet, I got a lot of results for まだら認知症, so I’m wondering if that’s a nicer term. (It certainly seems so) , and I got to learn a bit about sake as well!

Also, this week’s reading reaffirmed what I said last week that Kei is just adorable.

But is anyone else concerned about Fusagi traveling to and from the cafe all alone?

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The week 8 topic is open, link is added to the top post of this week and also in the home thread. If anyone is reading ahead, you are always welcome to jump there right away!

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Yeah, it’s seems @elisac was spot on last week, and yeah, seems like we’re in for a tearjerker.

Also, am I remembering correctly, was the same ghost in the flash back from 5 years ago?

I had to look up フニクリ・フニクラ… Oh yeah that song…

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And here is the song with the Japanese lyrics as referenced in the book:

And yes, you remember correctly :slightly_smiling_face:

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Oh yea, I feel like this song has been in a million commercials and such. I like the Japanese version as I can at least understand the lyrics. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

Apparently the song was written to celebrate the opening of a railway that would take tourists up and down Mount Vesuvius. But then when it erupted in the 40’s, the railway was destroyed. I guess the song has managed to live on because it’s so catchy (if not slightly grating :sweat_smile:). I’m not sure about the rest of the world, but in the US at least, it’s one of those over-the-top, stereotypical Italian references; within seconds of hearing the opening notes, my mind immediately conjures up images of pizza.

It seems like such an odd thing for the book to reference, but maybe the Japanese version of the song was popular enough to live on in the country’s pop culture consciousness. I think during Fumiko’s story she remembered to herself that she knew the song as a kid.

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Just finished this part. Fusagi’s illness should have been obvious in hindsight, but his wife’s identity was certainly a -very sad- surprise. What a predicament to be in. But Kotake seems to have some good friends in this cafe, and there seems to be some sort of bittersweet continuation to this story. I wonder how traveling to the past might affect Fusagi’s memory. It seems he hasn’t yet actually been to the past till now, right? Could two people travel back to the same moment together? That would be interesting too.

Is anyone else interested in the book the woman in the white dress is reading? I wonder whether it exists, and what it’s about. Also, how long has she been there? Maybe it’s an out of print book? (Fumiko hadn’t seen it in bookstores if I remember correctly.)

Many thanks to whoever (@RDavid311 I assume) filled in the spreadsheet this week. The medical terms especially would have been a pain to look up without it. Also thanks for the background info on the Funiculi Funicula song. I wonder if I should pay attention to the lyrics, and whether they somehow tie in with the story. It seems like a very random detail to focus on and repeat if there is no relevance to the plot. And yes, everyone seems to remember it from their youth, so it must have been very popular at some point.

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At the end of Fumiko’s story, it was revealed that the ghost was reading a book called 恋人, which was also the title of Fumiko’s story. I wonder if this time she’s reading a book called 夫婦. It’s definitely curious. Like she knows somehow who’s going to be coming the cafe and why, or as if she’s almost reading the same book we are.

I did, but I definitely was not as thorough as you (and maybe some others?) have been in previous weeks. I really only filled in words I had to look up myself and a handful of others that seemed obscure enough that I figured someone would find value in them. I really wasn’t sure to what extent I should add words. But I’m glad it helped! I’ve been extremely reliant on the spreadsheets over these past few weeks, so I figured it was my turn to contribute.

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How could it slip my mind? Thanks for reminding me! Yes, it seems entirely possible now that the ghost is reading everyone’s stories as they unfold. Quite meta. What if she’s not a ghost at all? Maybe everyone else in the story is a ghost instead? Maybe the ghost is us, the readers/spectators?

I’m never sure myself. I feel that I add too much, but then what do some extra words hurt? I often look up words I know or sort of know, just to make sure of the nuance, or of the reading. I thought of going back and adding to the spreadsheet words that I looked up that weren’t already in it, but I’m not sure whether it’s actually helpful to anyone.

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I think it’s great. Once you get past a relatively small core of words, vocabulary is incredibly domain specific, and everyone’s vocabulary is going to be robust in some areas and poor in others depending on what kind of material they tend to read, so it’s impossible to predict which words will be useful to which people. Because of that, I think it’s good to be thorough, and I think it’s very generous of you to have invested so much time into the previous weeks’ spreadsheets.

Besides, it’s entirely possible, if not likely, that other readers may want to visit these posts and/or spreadsheets if they decide to tackle the book on their own after the book club has concluded. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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Interestingly, in the film version, there’s a closeup showing that she’s reading The Turn of the Screw by Henry James in the first segment, though from reading the plot synopsis of the book, I’m not clear as to the connection with either the events or the themes of the movie.

Haven’t been able to spot any shots of the book’s title in the second segment, though maybe I just need to sit down and watch the whole thing instead of jumping from scene to scene. I did, however, spot this poster on the wall:

KooSame

That’s the Three Sisters rock formation in Katoomba, in the Blue Mountains just to the west of Sydney (and indeed, it’s got ブルー・マウンテン written on it)… so what’s with the Jamaican flag plastered over the top?

Not… really related to anything. It just caught my attention.

It was a book she’d never heard of, but it was the sort of book you could buy at any bookstore (i.e. as proof the wearing-a-white-dress woman was just a human being pretending to be a ghost).

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very nice version!
Here is the lyrics as text in Japanese: ひばりヶ丘少年少女合唱団 フニクリ フニクラ(登山電車) 歌詞

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I had got it :sunglasses: but i’ really late in reading this week’s chapter… :hot_face:

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I’ve never imagined there was a Japanese version :flushed: anyway, I’m Italian, and it’s a traditional song but since it’s in the Neapolitan dialect I really understand only some word :sweat_smile:

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Is anyone else reading aloud this evening?

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I always forget when these are happening. They’re early in the morning for me on a day where I get all of my household chores and such done. :sob: One of these days I’ll make it in for a session.

I really loved the detailed spreadsheets last weeks…thanks a lot

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I’m a bit behind but finally got a chance to listen to the song. I know it as the kids song 鬼のパンツ if you’d like more パンツin your life.

https://youtu.be/D-u0LXpm27s

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The Turn of the Screw is one of Henry James’ most popular ghost/horror stories (and the one that made me read most of his other works, too). There is no obvious connection to this book’s plot so far - except for the alleged presence of a ghost, but there are some similarities between the peaceful appearance of our ghost-lady and the curse she carries (and the terror she can inflict on other people), which she acquired by travelling to the past and the supernatural phenomena occuring around the children in The Turn of the Screw. I’m afraid I can’t avoid some spoilers to complete the explanation, but about halfway through the story it turns out that those inexplicable events are in fact connected to some wicked people in their past that, who, as soon as the children return to the place where they had spent most of their time together and in spite of their… absence, continue to exert such a corrupting influence on them that they risk turning these innocent children into fiends themselves. The story emphasises the disastrous consequences of being unable to sever the connections with one’s past, although those children’s reasons to do so (choosing to? being made to?) remain ambiguous.
Of course, the whole supernatural stuff can be attributed to the imagination and anxiety of the observing protagonist. But in our book, too, what the characters who desperately want to return to the past experience inside the cafe and the whole time travel experience can be attributed to their subjectivity to a certain extent.

More about Henry James’ supernatural fiction and background: https://wordsworth-editions.com/blog/henry-james - according to this, our ghost shares some characteristics with some of those appearing in his writings (at least this was my impression of her interaction with the characters in the previous chapter):

While subtlety and reality find their way into all of James’ supernatural writings, most of his short stories present ghosts which are uncanny and disturbing rather than truly frightening …ghosts are much less alarming and much more amusing than was commonly supposed.’ Of course for the reader this may seem a naïve viewpoint, suggesting that the narrator is in for a dark surprise.

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