Week 7: パノラマ島綺譚

Join the Advanced Book Club here!

パノラマ島綺譚 Home Thread

Week 7


Start Date: December 4th
Previous Part: Week 6
Next Part: Week 8


Week Start Date Chapters covered End Page Kindle LOC Kindle % Page Count
Week 7 Dec 04 19-20 110 ? ? 15

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


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 planning to catch up later
  • I’m skipping this book

0 voters

1 Like

Please note: only two chapters this week!
(but about the same number of pages)

From the last section I was a bit worried that the long-promised utopia would just be some naked folks and some grass, but I would describe the details in these chapters as significantly weirder.

One night I wanted to sit and read a bunch of this while listening to music, but I really wasn’t sure what would give the right vibe. I ended up settling on one album that I think fit perfectly - a little weird, a little sinister, a little old-timey, a little otherworldy. And while the album’s title 江戸 doesn’t match the setting, it certainly does the author, so hey…

I also looked up パノラマ館, after he talks about them in these chapters. And it seems like a really cool topic (and a lot more literal of a name for the book than I realized).


Pretty much exactly as he describes, it seems it was a kind of attraction where you enter a large structure constructed to let you look at the illusion of a wide panoramic view (often of battle scenes).

(I don’t know what the provenance of this pdf is, but it seems super interesting)

When I was a kid for whatever reason my dad would always call a beautiful view on a hike or whatever a “panoramic vista” and I only ever really associated the word with that and the general meaning of a wide view, so this kind of artificial structure never occurred to me until the character started talking about it. Pretty wild!

On a more self-indulgent note, descriptions herein reminded me a lot of the gorgeous backgrounds in the movie 怪談 (Kwaidan). I imagine when it talks about the angles and shapes being illusory and the tree layout and stuff feeling too artificial to be natural this may be something like what it’s talking about.

Gallery 2


It’s that vibe of both feeling like a set and feeling like a magical and eerie other world simultaneously that I think reminds me of the island as described in these chapters.


Nevertheless, I think there is an over-representation of the naked folks :grin:

Wow, Kwaidan backgrounds are really beatiful! :open_mouth:

As for the panorama thing, it was actually explained in the introduction to my translated copy, and I don’t know why I didn’t share this… I think I thought that it’s obvious after it was explained to me and that everybody else probably knows this already :sweat_smile:

Btw! I see that you only included old-days examples in your gallery, but I’ve been to a modern example of this in person (in Poland). It wasn’t that mesmerizing, though :sweat_smile: Neat, like a really big painting, but not really tricking you into thinking it is real :stuck_out_tongue:


Crowds (and stairs) certainly don’t help :stuck_out_tongue:
For the record, it’s Panorama Racławicka in Wrocław, and the battle is Battle of Racławice. (English Wikipedia links)


Since it’s all the rage these days I made a gallery too.

End of chapter 19 gallery

(not entirely sure about some of them)

小山の様なシリンダア (?)




気違い踊りの、スピード・ヴァーナー (?)









That’s a really useful gallery, thank you!

To really get into the spirit of that section though, you could have just told us you totally made a gallery, that maybe you would have shown to us if there was time and if we’d shown more enthusiasm for all the preceding galleries, and then told us about your totally amazing gallery in words instead. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:


Or you would have, but the real enthusiast, the only person worth your time, already got a sense for it from the vague hints you already mentioned. It thus would be a waste of time for anyone who matters in any sort of way.



Don’t talk to me

NB: I mean that I feel called out.
I know one should never explain the joke, but…


What, you mean you didn’t attend the 1889 Paris Exposition Universelle???

Not even the 1907 東京勧業博覧会???

Sheesh, how else were you expecting to be able to know what a bunch of machines might look like?