All posts filed under: reading notes

Reading Notes on the novel「彼女がその名を知らない鳥たち」by 沼田まほかる

I am reading the novel 「彼女がその名を知らない鳥たち」by 沼田まほかるand the two main characters of the story use the Kansai dialect when they talk to each other. This particularity certainly confers a touch of authenticity to the novel, but it also adds difficulty for non-native readers. I will go through some of the features of the Kansai dialect, mainly thanks to the Wikipedia page on the subject and other Japanese forums or blogs I found when looking for a particular expression. I have consulted so many sites that it is hard to tell which of them were really useful. If I were to cite just one site, I would say that this one gives a useful list of some Kansai particularities. These are just personal notes that help me understand the novel I am reading. It is by no means a complete or structured presentation of the Kansai dialect. Some features of the Kansai dialect Thi first important thing to know is that the negation ない becomes へん in Kansai dialect. Thus, 寝られへん means 寝られない. With the verb する, I …

Reading notes: 舟を編む, part 5 and Review

Finally, the last chapter of 舟を編む! As I haven’t taken many notes for this chapter, I will also write my review of the novel in the same post. Reading Notes 血潮が凍る The missing word on the fourth galley proof is 血潮・ちしお which means both “spurting blood” and “hot blood” or “hot-bloodedness”. Hence Majime’s joke 「血潮が凍る事態です」 p. 312 The monk Xuanzang There is a reference to the Chinese story of monk Xuanzang (in Japanese: 玄奘三蔵・げんじょうさんぞう) who travelled to India (called 天竺・てんじく at the time) to bring sacred books (経典・きょうてん) of Buddhism to China. The story of the monk Xuanzang has inspired the famous Chinese novel Journey to the West. p. 312  Zenkai There is also a reference to the priest Zenkai 禅海和尚・ぜんかいおしょう (和尚・おしょう means “a senior Buddhist priest”). I never heard this name before, so I had to check the Wikipedia page. Zenkai lived during the Edo period. One day, after visiting a temple, he saw that people and horses had to use a dangerous kind of bridge or path, going along the cliff, to reach …

Reading Notes: 舟を編む, part 4

Still reading 舟を編む! Part 4 is told from the point of view of a new character and we know that a lot of time has passed since the end of part 3. I don’t really like when many years are skipped in a novel, I like to feel close to the characters, feeling that I know them. If they spend 10 years or more of their life between two chapters, I feel a little… not happy. But given that part 4 opens with a new character who meets Majime and the others for the first time, the transition is relatively smooth. We don’t know what happened during all these years, but neither does the new character. Also, I feel somewhat less ashamed to have left this book unread for so long, as a lot of time has passed in the novel as well 🤭 Characters 岸辺みどり・きしべみどり Kishibe Midori has been working for Genbu publishers for 3 years when she is transferred to the dictionary department. She used to work in the publication of a women …