Week 9: ユージニア 🌹

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ユージニア :rose: Home Thread

Week 9


Start Date: Dec 31
Previous Part: Week 8
Next Part: Week 10


Week Start Date Chapter Start Page Page Count
Week 9 Dec 31 Chapter 10 267 29

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Proper Noun Readings

Previous Proper Nouns
Name Reading Notes Proof
青澤 緋紗子 あおさわ ひさこ the blind girl (ca. 12 yo at the time of the event) (Week 1)
雑賀 満喜子 さいが まきこ ch. 1 narrator (Week 2)
順二 じゅんじ ch. 3 narrator’s older brother (Week 3)
誠一 せいいち ch. 3 narrator’s older brother
ヒサ / 久代 ひさよ the blind girl from week 1
マキ ch. 3 narrator (young girl)
相澤 あいざわ doctor whose birthday is being celebrated
相澤 祐 あいざわ たすく blind girl’s younger brother, youngest son of the family
キミ ca. 15 year-old maid of the Aizawa family
青澤 望 あおさわ のぞむ eldest son of the Aosawa family (Week 4)

Another interesting chapter. I figured out pretty much immediately who wrote the diary at the start of the chapter, and what the numbers and letters were, so I was almost disappointed when it gave the answer to that one almost immediately afterward :slight_smile:

I did wonder if Makiko would say anything in the diary that indicated she knew her assistant had a crush on her, but there’s nothing. Either he was good at hiding it, or she was oblivious, focussed on the info collection.

Odd discrepancy with earlier: in chapter 2 we heard that Makiko did meet and talk with Hisako. But in this chapter the publisher says that the number six in the notes is Hisako and Makiko wasn’t able to talk to her.

The publisher says Makiko was initially reluctant to have her work turned into a book, which makes me think that we were wrong with our ideas earlier that the “getting a message to someone else without anybody else catching on” was Makiko sending a message via the book. My updated theory is that Makiko was trying to think of ways Hisako could have sent a message to the delivery guy without being noticed.

The way all the imagery in the poem is aural, not visual, is clever. That was in plain sight to be noticed right from the start of the book, but I didn’t see it.

I had vaguely wondered about whether Japan has a statute of limitations, so that was useful information.

Is Hisako really sneaking back into Japan to commit arson on bookshops? Seems risky. Speaking of risks, who does she trust enough to make the phone call to the publisher on her behalf?


Did he say that? I thought he said there was no mention of number six in the records. Whether she talked with number six or not is unclear, it’s just not recorded. I too knew at once whose notes we were reading and kept track of the numbers, but thought Hisako would be number 4, because she visited 4 without K. I also wonder who 21 might be. Apparently they had a lot to say, and they were introduced by 7 who was in hospital at the time (could it be the mother with the origami crane in the hospital? Or have I mixed up the timelines?).

I still think she intended to send a message with the book, and apparently she managed to do that, judging from that phone call to the publisher. I think she even mentions there’s something more she wanted to ask, something important, and apparently she did expect exactly such a phone call and had instructed the publisher on how to handle it? She had no idea it would be a book when she did the research, but she still wondered how to send out a message. When the opportunity for the book came about, she at first wasn’t interested, then realized it was the perfect way to reach out to that mysterious someone (Hisako, it looks like. Everything points to Hisako.)

So what could have been in those back issues that might be so important? Saiga did visit all the bookstores and supposedly found all the back issues still available, but she never mentions it in the book. Then someone reads the book, and even though they never felt those back issues were a problem before, now senses a threat, and burns down that one second hand book store. Why that particular one? And why so long after the fact? Whoever did that must have thought that Saiga hadn’t yet checked the book stores, but that either she still might (a year after the book was out?) or someone else might connect the dots and do so? Very peculiar.

The interpretation of the poem was cool. Funnily enough I had noticed the strange imagery was more sound-focused when I first read it (that insect line in particular), but never connected the dots. I’ve been wondering though. Hisako was blind, but attended a regular school. It’s never explained how she could read and write. I’m sure a blind person can write, but surely the characters (complicated kanji especially) would look somewhat odd and out of proportion? The handwriting of that letter was like that, but on the other hand, surely people would know Hisako’s handwriting, so if there was a connection to be made, wouldn’t they have made it already? And by the way, how on earth did Saiga have the letter? Wasn’t it police evidence, and not even fully released to the public?

I’m very, very intrigued by the identity of the current interviewer. Apparently they never gave a profession or an actual reason for doing the interviews (the publisher asks if the interviewer is in the same business, and whether they also want to write a book, which seems to indicate that he has no idea). Why do all these people meet privately with a stranger without proper credentials and talk in such detail to them, even on a personal level? That’s so strange. I had a dark, dark thought, and I’m sure it’s not correct, but here it is: The interviewer is somehow involved, and is actually killing everyone they interview after their chats, or at least those who had something important to say. What a twist that would be…(I had a slight fever yesterday, so my imagination ran wilder than usual :sweat_smile:)


Since it’s an acquired blindness, I’m sure she would have learned a bit before then, especially as she’s from a prestigious family. That would also explain the uneven letters, since she’s writing from memory and can’t see what she’s doing on paper. :thinking:

I liked this week’s narrator! It’s really interesting to get all these different perspectives. I’m not putting much effort into putting together the different clues (I think I’d need to take actual notes on paper for that) but I am looking forward to seeing everything connect. This is a book I may very well re read to see what all is hidden in plain sight.


I agree the way Makiko can see see aural not visual from the poem is very clever. I like reading about analysis of arts because most of the time details like this flew over my head :smiling_face_with_tear:
My current theory
Who wrote the letter to delivery man? I think ultimately is Hisako, but she’s blind, would her handwriting look out of proportion, a bit up and down, would be difficult to do. Maybe her eyes healed (even not to 100%) but she doesn’t tell anyone, so she could write herself, and gave people (like Makiko and K-the friend who helped with interviews) the impression that Hisako wasn’t blind; Hisako called the publisher herself, there wasn’t another woman at the call like the publisher thought.
If a helper exists, I don’t think Hisako trusted many people to ask each one to do different things so assume there is only 1 person that helped with writing letter & arson & call publisher; since the publisher said a woman called, I’m looking at the female characters so far:
a) not likely to be Makiko nor Hisako
b)The daughter of the woman (this woman and Hisako are the only 2 survivors) had dreams of she walking but beneath her is Hisako’s image. Also, if I remember correctly, she imagined(?) Hisako on a swing from the sky above the ocean. Then the woman calling the publisher has ocean waves sound in the background too, so some kind of connection?
c) The woman (1 of the 2 survivors) On one hand, Makiko visited her to interview so don’t make sense; but she helped at the Aosawa’s house so was close in proximity with Hisako so I don’t want to rule her out yet
d) The woman has a younger daughter who loves going to Aosawa’s house and staying long, so the woman usually asked the elder one (mentioned in (b)) to go for errands instead. Since the elder sister doesn’t like staying long, and Makiko doesn’t go to Aosawa’s house a lot, I think the younger daughter seems to be the most likely one to visit often and long enough to talk to Hisako, might be her talking with Hisako about Utopia in chapter 9 section 1
e) Makiko’s mother; Makiko’s father’s mistress; the tobacco house’s woman (mother of the boy who loved talking to the press about the delivery man): a bit too stretch but I listed them here in case.
At the moment, I’m speculating that the younger sister (d) has been helping Hisako from the poison incident to the present while she is abroad :face_with_peeking_eye:


This morning I was daydreaming a bit and somehow started to think about this book, and I discovered that I currently have a confusion that I hope some of you with better memories can help me resolve :sweat_smile:

So at the very start we learned about the case and that somebody had killed himself not much later, and left a note confessing that he had committed the crime. And I thought that we learned this was the delivery man.
Now, a few chapters later, we get to know the delivery man (the guy who heard the voice of the flowers) and that he actually added the poison to the bottles but that he was apparently ordered to do so by the flower voice. But didn’t this guy die of tuberculosis? Or did he only have tuberculosis and killed himself nonetheless? Or did he not have tuberculosis (and people only assumed he had), and instead maybe was very depressed and neglected himself to such an extent that he deteriorated quickly, and then killed himself?
Or are we talking about two different persons here altogether (the suicide from the beginning and the delivery man who died of tuberculosis)?? :thinking:

Thanks for any insights!


Tuberculosis as far as I remember is only mentioned once in a hypothetical sentence (“the neighbour had a point keeping me away from him in case he had tuberculosis”). The man was in and out of hospital for a different reason. I think it was said in the beginning that he had a tumor in his brain? He was suffering from something undefined in any case, and towards the end he had deteriorated a lot, whether from the disease or neglect/depression or both is unclear. I believe the suicide is a fact in all versions, although I’m not sure it’s mentioned explicitly other than in the beginning.


Thank you, that helped a lot! :+1:


I finally finished this week’s reading. I’ve been tired + a bit busy so maybe that plays into it, but this was my least favorite read so far. I felt like there was so much fluff to get at the little bits I found interesting.

Nothing really to say that hasn’t been said yet re: speculation, but a real life crime case has been on the news here recently and it reminded me of the book, but for reasons unrelated to the title killings.

True crime stuff here, I know not everyone likes it

So in Idaho somewhat recently 4 college students were stabbed to death in the early hours of the morning at a house they were renting off campus. There has been no motive established, but a suspect has been brought into custody after his DNA was found on a knife sheath at the scene.

The reason this case makes me think of the book is that the suspect is studying criminal justice and is reported to have put out a survey for his studies which "asked respondents to describe their “thoughts, emotions and actions from the beginning to end of the crime commission process.”. He has been described as awkward, uncomfortable to be around, etc.

This reminded me of Saiga poisoning her family “to see what it felt like” or whatever it was she said. Like, I suspect this guy wanted to kill, but there has been speculation online that he’s so detached emotionally that he killed ‘just to see’ which is absolutely chilling (and not in a fun way like when it’s fiction).

News article going over the case here.


I’ve been having this problem a lot with this book. So many chapters start with 10-15 pages of random digressions, and it ruins the pacing for me.