Week 7: 小川未明童話集 - Ogawa Mimei’s Collection of Children’s Stories

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小川未明童話集 - Ogawa Mimei’s Collection of Children’s Stories Home Thread

Week 7


Start Date: Oct 9th
Previous Part: Week 6
Next Part: Week 8


Week Start Date Chapter Pages 1951ed. Pages 2013ed. Page Count
Week 7 Oct 9th End of 13. 大きなかに1 59 ~9

Vocabulary List

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:


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Quick heads-up to everybody: If you haven’t done so yet, please vote in the poll in the main thread - it’s about how to deal with the two longer stories that are currently spread across two weeks each. If you don’t want to vote, that’s totally fine (I take that to mean that you are fine with either option) but it would be great if you could tell us which book type you are reading (as an indicator that you noticed the poll). Cheers!


I’m going over the whole story again (reading it in parts felt strange), and I realize I have some questions on the previous week’s part. Should I post them here or in the previous thread do you think? :thinking:


Since to get to this part, one kind of is already familiar with the previous part so I would be totally open to it being here, but @NicoleRauch what do you think?


I‘m not really fussed either way tbh, but for the sake of keeping the discussions of the first part all in one place, I‘m leaning towards posting them in the other thread. What do you think?

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Oh now I see where you’re coming from. On the other hand, those who are still reading the first part might benefit from the questions as well but won’t see them until later…


That’s a good point. The other thread it is then. (see, the troubles of multiple threads for one story)


I’m very frustrated that I can’t seem to find any illustrations for this story - and it has such beautiful imagery too… In lieu of that, here’s some incidental info on things mentioned in the story:

just in case anyone views them as spoilers, but they're really not

Some information on foxes in Japanese folklore and specifically the fox’s wedding can be found on Yokai.com. (I’d definitely want to find a good version of this story in Japanese (and any other yokai related stories) at some point, but I digress).
There’s also 狐日, balls of (often red) light produced by foxes.

And that’s what a 烏帽子 looks like:


If you wonder why he‘s carrying it on his back

Spoiler picture

Warning: if you have arachnophobia or the like, I can imagine this might be triggering?

You have been warned

This is a Hokkaido Red King Crab:



I can’t get it to display right - will try on desktop later, but reloading on phone doesn’t seem to help with this, sadly. :frowning:

picture from about halfway through this part


Ugh, this sometimes happens on my browser as well. Reloading sometimes helps and sometimes doesn’t. Closing the tab and opening the link again helps a little more often. I haven’t found what may be causing it. Fast scrolling? Incomplete loading? It’s annoying.

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I have used an app called Sorari to read Aozora stories - it’s quite nice, you can configure some things like vertical writing or furigana (I think?), and it even integrates with my dictionary.
Having said that, I double-checked its availability and it doesn’t seem to exist for Android, only for iPhone :sob: Sorry!
But maybe there are other apps? (Satori Reader, maybe? :thinking:)

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Well, the title of the story did hint at this :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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Well, yes :sweat_smile: But in my mind “a big crab” did mean the size of my hand or something… until I watched a documentary (only a few years ago) about crab fishers in the arctics who catch those huge beasts :dizzy_face:

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Same here, honestly.

Even though the story made it pretty clear he was carrying it on his 背中, I was like “how big can it really be? he’s probably carrying it in his hands/arms. I mean, it’s just a crab!”.

Also, thanks for the arachno warning. Didn’t look at it :smiley: .


I mean, it’s not horrible horrible (at least not to me, and I’m pretty afraid of spiders) but I figured if somebody opens it unsuspectingly, then you never know :cold_sweat:

Here is some technical description of that image: Red king crabs can reach a carapace width up to 28 cm (11 in), a leg span of 1.8 m (5.9 ft), and a weight of 12.7 kg (28 lb). Males grow larger than females. Today, red king crabs infrequently surpass 17 cm (7 in) in carapace width and the average male landed in the Bering Sea weighs 2.9 kg (6.4 lb). (from Wikipedia)


I had a few vocabulary questions (I’m not sure if these really need spoiler tags):

Someone put 朝家 in the sheet with a question mark. I also thought it was a compound at first, but it’s probably just two separate words, right? It’s part of the phrase 朝家を出たとき (when he left the house in the morning) and I think the particle after 朝 (に or は) has simply been left out.

That same sentence contains the word 仕度 which is used a few times in the story. As someone mentioned in the vocab sheet, it is an alternative spelling of 支度, which we know from Wanikani and the usual meaning is “preparations”, but like someone has commented in the vocab sheet, in this story it seems to refer to an item or items. I found in the dictionary that 支度する can mean “to get dressed” so I guess it probably refers to the clothes/gear that the grandfather is wearing, right?

That same word (it’s all connected…) is later used in the phrase 仕度を解かれました. I couldn’t find a separate entry for 解かれる in the dictionary, so I guess it simply derives from 解く (probably Keigo again). I suppose that this phrase means that he is taking off his coat (and maybe other travelling gear)? I couldn’t really find that 解く can be used for clothing, but I guess it’s the “remove” meaning?

My last question is about the part where Tarō is in bed, looking forward to eating the crab and he is fascinated by そのぶつぶつといぼのさる甲ら:

  • ぶつぶつ is in the vocab sheet as ”grumbling/muttering”, but I think another meaning is meant here: “spotted/with pimples”.
  • Because いぼ means ”warts” and I think it refers to the bumps on the crab’s shell (甲ら).
  • That leaves さる, but I couldn’t really find an appropriate dictionary entry for it. Does anybody have any ideas? Maybe 然る?
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Maybe I’ve been influenced by games/anime/manga too much because I immediately pictured a huge cartoony crab on his back :sweat_smile:

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Very likely me, because I fill out those sheets :joy:
The reason why I thought it’s a compound is because it had furigana above both words. I tried looking it up, but I couldn’t find anything other than sentences with 朝 and 家 occasionally being placed together.
One of the meanings is “returning home after spending time outside the day before”. That doesn’t really fit the context so I left a question mark. If I were to interpret it as a single phrase, I would say Ogawa was trying to emphasize the fact of being in one’s house early in the morning. Not sure if that makes any sense.

Yup, also me :stuck_out_tongue: . I know the closest in English would be “arrangements” as an item, so yes, it could mean gear or equipment or something. The context of the story seems to imply that those are things rather than an action.

Yes, 解かれる is the keigo for 解く which in this context might mean “to undo” or “to untie”, I think.

The last one I don’t know :frowning: .

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Right. When specifying a time, the particle is optional.

That’s a very good explanation. I was a bit confused by this and thought he might have prepared something which was still clearly visible (like maybe he put on some gear that he needed in that other place, maybe a backpack?), but if it refers to his clothes, that makes much more sense indeed.

I was thinking of “untie” or something maybe: 解く - Jisho.org

Yep, it’s “pimples and warts”.

It’s this one: ある - Jisho.org :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: