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Kajii motojiro

karenk

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I'm reading 泥濘 by Kajii Motojiro and in the following passage: しかし自分は執念深くやめなかった。また止(や)まらなかった. By what he has previously written, I understand that the author means that he couldn't stop writing, or better, he couldn't end what he was writing, is that right?
 

Toritoribe

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Yes, 止(や)まらなかった means so. やめなかった means he didn't stop writing by his will since やめる is volitional, thus, he said he persistently didn't stop writing, and also couldn't stop it.
やまる is quite rarely used, by the way. To tell the truth, I've never seen it and doubted it might be misreading of とまる until I looked it up in dictionaries and found it really existed.
 

karenk

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Hi again! I'm having difficulty understanding this passage from the same text: お茶の水では定期を買った。これから毎日学校へ出るとして一日往復いくらになるか電車のなかで暗算をする。何度やってもしくじった。その度(たび)たびに買うのと同じという答えが出たりする。

So the author bought train commuter tickets, right? The verbal tenses are confusing to me. If he has bought the tickets, why the need to calculate how much he'll have to pay for the train in the following sentece? His calculations end up being wrong... I got it. In the end does he say that everytime that that happens he thinks about buying the tickets (to avoid the calculations)?
 

Toritoribe

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The present tense is used to add "the feelings/sense that they/the readers are in the place" (臨場感) there. The actual tense is past.

The subject calculated the cost of the commutation ticket per day (if it's a 6 months ticket, he divided the price of the commutation ticket by 180), and he got an answer that the cost was the same as the case he buys the tickets every time he rides the train (it's wrong, of course).
 

karenk

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Hi Toritoribe, so should the cost of the ride per day using the commutation ticket be lower than buying the tickets every time he rides the train? More economic I mean. It's just that it is all the same around here and the only benefit we have is in pratical terms (not having to carry money).
 

Toritoribe

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Yes, the commutation ticket is always more economical in Japan. For instance, 6 months commutation ticket between Tokyo and Shinjuku is 27,920 Yen, so it's approximately 155 Yen per day. On the other hand, a one-way ticket from Tokyo to Shinjuku is 200 Yen, so 400 Yen for a round-trip per day. It's really economical, isn't it? (Strictly speaking, you need to count holidays or Saturday/Sunday, though.)
 

karenk

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Wow, it is really more economical! The character's math is really bad. Thank you for helping me clarify that passage!
 

karenk

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Hi there!

Here: 八銭のパン一つ買って十銭で釣銭を取ったりなどしてしきりになにかに反抗の気を見せつけていた

Why paying for a piece of bread that costs 8 cents with a 10 cents coin and asking for the change would be an expression of his rebellion/remonstrance?
 

Toritoribe

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Hmm, my guess is that he bought it in a relatively large store such like a department store, not in a small shop or bakery, since it's in Ginza, so it's not so common to buy just an 8 Sen bread.
 

karenk

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Hi Toritoribe! Any idea of what the "性におえない" in the sentence 性(しょう)におえない鉄道草という雑草があります could mean? It's from 橡の花. It seems to be a characteristic of the plant whick is called Tetsudogusa but I can't make sense of it...
 

Toritoribe

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I think it's the same meaning as 手に負えない "intractable". Google search results suggest that "性におえない" is only used in 橡の花, so it might be Kajii's coined expression.
 

karenk

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I thought it might mean that it is a weed that proliferates wildly so the meaning would be more or less similar to "intractable". Thanks again!
 

karenk

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Hi Tori! I read 路上 and I have a question regarding the translation of 電車 to other languages. Is it used both for trains and tramways in Japanese? I felt that I couldn't use "train" for this particular text. In the passage bellow, the conductor changes the orientation of the poles that link the vehicle to the eletric cables, right? Something that was commom for tramways but not for trains.

閑(のどか)な線で、発車するまでの間を、車掌がその辺の子供と巫山戯(ふざけ)ていたり、ポールの向きを変えるのに子供達が引張らせてもらったりなどしている
 

Toritoribe

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Judging form the term 停留所, not 駅, yes, it would be 路面電車, i.e., tram.
 

karenk

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Hi there! Is 奥狸穴 the name of a place?

一つの窓は奥狸穴(おくまみあな)などの低地をへだてて飯倉の電車道に臨む展望です
 

karenk

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I've found some references on the net about the places mentioned above, please dimiss my question.
 

karenk

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Well, in 泥濘 when the subject writes 出て正門前の方へゆく, I was wondering if the 正門前 is the main gate of the bank where he was in or if, since he is in Hongo, it would refer to the main gate of Tokyo University.

Another doubt I have is botanical, what would this かなひで in かなひでという木があります。朴(ほお)の一種だそうです be? It is a kind of magnolia, but I couldn't find the name anywhere else.
 

Toritoribe

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Well, in 泥濘 when the subject writes 出て正門前の方へゆく, I was wondering if the 正門前 is the main gate of the bank where he was in or if, since he is in Hongo, it would refer to the main gate of Tokyo University.
It's odd to go back to the main gate after leaving the bank, and furthermore, 正門 is usually not used for bank since it's quite rare banks have the main gate. I think 東大正門前 is a good reasoning.

Another doubt I have is botanical, what would this かなひで in かなひでという木があります。朴(ほお)の一種だそうです be? It is a kind of magnolia, but I couldn't find the name anywhere else.
Yeah, quick google search says there is no other use than Kajii's novel. I've never heard it, either.
 

karenk

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Hi, thank you for answering my former question. I read a translation of 橡の花 and would like to know what you think of our conflicting understandings of the following passage: 母が私にがみがみおこって来るときがあります。そしてしまいに突拍子もないののしり方をして笑ってしまうことがあります. My understanding is: the mother sometimes gets angry at the narrator. She says crazy things when she scolds him and ends up laughing at what she herself has said. In the other translation the mother sometimes gets angry at the narrator when he swears/curses saying nonsense things and he is the one who ends up laughing at himself. Am I wrong?
 

Toritoribe

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The former interpretation is correct. The one who ends up laughing is his mother. He is comparing his change of feelings with his mother's case. He is cursing his room, and he feels funny at the end. It's similar to his mother ends up laughing at what she herself has said.
 

karenk

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Thank you Toritoribe! I use to compare other renderings with my translation when I have access to them, but sometimes they give me more doubts than solutions...
 

karenk

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I'm not very familiar with the expression そっぽを向ける as in Aの両親さえ私にはそっぽを向けるだろうと思いました My translation would be: "I thoght that even A's parents would turn away from/reject me". Is it correct?
 

karenk

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Thank you, Toritoribe! Have a nice week (and sorry for my typos!)
 

karenk

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Hi Toritoribe! What do you think of my translation of this passage:

「電車のなかでは顔が見難(にく)いが往来からだとかすれちがうときだとかは、かなり長い間見ていられるものだね」と云いました。なにげなく友の云った言葉に、私は前の日に無感覚だったことを美しい実感で思い直しました。

- It’s complicated to look at the faces inside the train, but from the street or just at a glance when we brush past each other, it is possible to look at them for a longer time, isn’t it true?, he said. His casual remark made me reconsider those things to which I was indifferent until the day before and, yes, they were indeed beautiful.
 
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