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Shanghai by Yokomitsu Riichi

Toritoribe

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The object of 分らぬ would be more likely why/in what situation people in general want to die, not just 参木. まだ shows that he is saying that she is not that innocent/immature.
 

karenk

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The object of 分らぬ would be more likely why/in what situation people in general want to die, not just 参木. まだ shows that he is saying that she is not that innocent/immature.
Then it would be more like: "it is not like you don't know anything about it (why people would like to die)" and her answer would be "Well, I don't know anything about those who die"?
 

Toritoribe

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Exactly. That's my interpretation.
 

karenk

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This dialogue is killing me... In this passage: これほど情けを籠(こ)めていて、それにまだそういわれるようじゃ、もう俺も死ぬことも出来ぬじゃないか。いい加減に何んとか、しかるべくいいなさい。

Sanki says that he is pouring his heart but she says something like that, making him lose the desire to die, right? Then he asks her to stop doing that and say something fitting to the situation/to sympathize with him?
 

Toritoribe

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Basically, yes. He asked her to console him after all.
 

karenk

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Hi, I'm really slow with this translation... Here: 君、医者に売るんだよ。医者ならそこは彼らの手先でどこへでも自由が効(き)くのさ。もともと僕だって、学術用に英国人の医者から頼まれたのが初まりなんだ。

The character says that sells the bones to doctors, on the next sentece, what does 手先 means? It means that doctors can command whatever they want or that they can have whatever they want from their agents/people who arrange things for them?

Thanks!
 

Toritoribe

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The former is closer. 手先 is not "agents" but more likely just 手 there. He basically says that doctors can do things people in general usually cannot do, probably even a little bit illegal things.
 

karenk

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The former is closer. 手先 is not "agents" but more likely just 手 there. He basically says that doctors can do things people in general usually cannot do, probably even a little bit illegal things.
Thank you, Tori! A translation I'm reading uses "agents" and I was surprised, I think the translator took too many liberties, but well...
 

karenk

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Hi! What does 面丁 mean in this passage: だが、次の瞬間、これは朝日に面丁(めんてい)を叩かれている自分の感傷にちがいないと思うと、思わずにやりとせずにはおれなくなった.?
 
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Toritoribe

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Seems like that's his coined word. Anyway, it must be "face" or "a part of face (top of face?)".
 

karenk

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Ok, what about here: いや、しかしだ。まアまア、五円も包んでやれば、それでおしまいさ。良心か、何(な)にそんなことが必要なら、上海で身体をぶらぶらさせている不経済な奴があるものか

Could しかし be translated as a prostitute/harlot? It would make sense in the context. In the last bit the character is thinking something like: If having a conscience was valuable/important, then there wouldn't be so many useless/idle people walking around Shanghai?
 

Toritoribe

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しかし is simply just "but/however"; well, but, it's alright ~.

I think 奴 actually refers to the speaker himself (from an objective viewpoint).
 

karenk

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しかし is simply just "but/however"; well, but, it's alright ~.

I think 奴 actually refers to the speaker himself (from an objective viewpoint).
Thank you, Tori! So it would be more like: "having a conscience, why would a need that? If I had one, would I be wandering around Shanghai idly?
 

Toritoribe

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Basically, correct. It's literally "If I need a conscience, it's uneconomical(= useless) to be wandering around Shanghai idly".
 

karenk

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Hi there! What 跳ね上った and 糞壺 mean in this passage: 湯気を立てて、とろりとしている鱶(ふか)の鰭(ひれ)が、無表情なボーイの捧げている皿の上で跳ね上ったまま、薄暗い糞壺(モード)を廻って運ばれて来た? The shark fins were "splashed" on the plate? I found 糞壺 as some kind of "chamber pot", but I'm not sure about it.
 

Toritoribe

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跳ね上った would be a state "the edge (or edges) of the fin is raised up", not an action, but I have no idea about 糞壺(モード) . I don't think "chamber pot" is put in an eating place, but I don't know about manners and customs in Shanghai at the time.
 

karenk

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跳ね上った would be a state "the edge (or edges) of the fin is raised up", not an action, but I have no idea about 糞壺(モード) . I don't think "chamber pot" is put in an eating place, but I don't know about manners and customs in Shanghai at the time.
Thank you, Tori! I will see if I find something.
 

karenk

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Another question, are the shark fins "revolving", maybe inside the "pot"? If we consider 糞壺 a "pot". Or did the the "boy" come walking around the "pot" to bring the food?
 

Majestic

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The waiter came in bearing the food on a plate, and as he came in he stepped around (walked around) a chamber pot that was on the floor.

I'm wondering about the source material though, because the English translation of the this passage doesn't mention a chamber pot. It just mentions a cabinet. So I wonder if the original intention is to have a waiter walking around a chamber pot, or if the there was a mistranslation somewhere. (I found the Japanese passage you quoted in an online version of the book, so it could be that this free, online version has some error in it.). I also wonder about the furigana. In the online version, the furigana モード is added above 糞壺 (indicating that the chinese characters are to be read as モード ("mode"). Which sounds weird. When I first saw it, I thought it must be "commode" which would be a suitable translation of 糞壺 (chamber pot). But the English translation has the waiter walking around a "chiffonier" (cabinet). which, depending on the context, either makes much more sense, or it somehow deprives the passage of some central, crucial piece - as if the writer wanted to make a point of having a commode in the middle of a restaurant.
 

karenk

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The waiter came in bearing the food on a plate, and as he came in he stepped around (walked around) a chamber pot that was on the floor.

I'm wondering about the source material though, because the English translation of the this passage doesn't mention a chamber pot. It just mentions a cabinet. So I wonder if the original intention is to have a waiter walking around a chamber pot, or if the there was a mistranslation somewhere. (I found the Japanese passage you quoted in an online version of the book, so it could be that this free, online version has some error in it.). I also wonder about the furigana. In the online version, the furigana モード is added above 糞壺 (indicating that the chinese characters are to be read as モード ("mode"). Which sounds weird. When I first saw it, I thought it must be "commode" which would be a suitable translation of 糞壺 (chamber pot). But the English translation has the waiter walking around a "chiffonier" (cabinet). which, depending on the context, either makes much more sense, or it somehow deprives the passage of some central, crucial piece - as if the writer wanted to make a point of having a commode in the middle of a restaurant.
Yes, I have this English translation. I don't know which is its source, but there are many passages that are different from the ones on the book that I have (which is the same provided by Aozora) . In this case, 糞壺(モード) is really a chamber pot, I've just found a footnote on my Japanese book, and it reads: 馬桶(モードソ)のこと。居室内で使う腰かけ式の便器。There seems to be a chamber pot in the restaurant/eating place after all, it is beyond my imagination, but it is true!
 
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Toritoribe

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Isn't that モートン, maybe? The Chinese pronunciation of 馬桶 is モートン or マートン. If so, the typist could misread the furigana モートン as モード.
 

karenk

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Isn't that モートン, maybe? The Chinese pronunciation of 馬桶 is モートン or マートン. If so, the typist could misread the furigana モートン as モード.
Oh, yes, my mistake!
 

karenk

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I checked again, it is written モードン.
 

Toritoribe

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I see. モードン is also a possible transliteration. Then, the typist just missed the last ン of the furigana. There would be really a chamber pot, chamber stool or like that in the restaurant !
 

karenk

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I see. モードン is also a possible transliteration. Then, the typist just missed the last ン of the furigana. There would be really a chamber pot, chamber stool or like that in the restaurant !
Can you believe it? Hygiene standards were different back then... Could it be just a regular bathroom or a bathroom space instead of a pot on the floor?
 
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