I will generally copy this information over thread to thread each week for ease of finding - you can always expect the schedule at the top of any weekly thread
Law and Order
Any reveals, for the current chapters must be behind spoilers or detail curtains. When we get further in you don’t need to hide details that were revealed in previous chapters.
Questions on vocab, grammar, nuance, and the like are both welcome and encouraged. If you’re not sure if it’s a spoiler, assume it is and use one of the above options to hide the text.
You are encouraged to speculate and guess wildly
Be kind about other peoples’ wild guesses
Even if you don’t read the chapter(s) in time, you are still encouraged to post in the thread for that reading once you have finished it. I advise not reading ahead in the threads as you may see spoilers.
To gauge participation - a poll!
Are you reading week 7?
Yes, I’m planning to read along/am reading along this week
I’m reading, but not at the same pace as the club
I had no intentions of reading the book, but I desire to click a poll
My first thought on how to investigate on the existence of possible offspring would be to call his ex-wife. Assuming he still has her contact details (it’s been a long time), and she’s still alive. But the thought didn’t even cross their mind.
I find the man increasingly suspicious though. It’s still not clear to me why he had to steal/borrow that knife, for example. I’m forgetting details, but even if he saw there was a different name carved on it, why take it? I mean, most of his actions seem to be explained by his sudden realization that Hiro might be his own child (although it’s a strange conclusion to jump to all of a sudden, just because of a false name and the memory of an ornate clock), but I wonder if his motivations were entirely different after all.
I’m trying to remember stuff from previous sections that were left open. Hiro said the story had to do -in a way- with an old picture of three farmers? What was that all about? Aki seemed to think that Hiro might kill her tonight - where did that come from? I’m sure there’s more details I should have noted. Why do I think I can keep everything in my head?
In any case, this sentence seems to describe the whole book: 目を覚ませ、思い出せ、世界はおまえの知っている通りの場所ではない、と。I’m expecting a lot more of what we’re taking for granted to be subverted.
Ok, now I am on a computer where the blur function does work, I can put my thoughts
I feel like it is too early for Chiaki’s grass-weaving to be pinpointed as the actual cause of death, it just doesn’t feel satisfying. I also felt the cigarette deductions were a bit far-fetched, I can’t see that being a normal response to thinking that someone might be your long-lost son instead of talking to them or your ex-wife? Like @omk3 I feel like the deductions are quite questionable.
I keep wondering about Chiaki and Chihiro’s relationship and whether it truly was physical. the word ‘koibito’ was definitely used early - I have always translated it as ‘lover’ with the connotations of the English word, but could it also just mean ‘beloved’?
During this week’s reading I thought he might want to use it as a source of DNA. But maybe not…
My thoughts exactly. But then again, maybe the clock was really that rare?
Uuuhh, really? Hmmm… I guess I forgot this detail
She seemed to think so right from the start, no? Maybe because she thought that he had killed their father and now he does not want any witnesses?
I guess given the author, this is the least we can expect and hope for
I don’t think it was physical at all. I think they did not realize their feelings before Aki’s boyfriend broke up with her (and therefore did not do anything), and then they immediately separated (and therefore did not do anything).
Do you remember the context? It might have been used to describe their relationship in hindsight, maybe? Also don’t forget that our protags are Japanese, so being lovers and actually doing things like holding hands (or more) are not necessarily correlated.
Even so, did the man know Hiro’s exact age? Couldn’t he have been conceived after he left? Be his ex-wife’s son with someone else? In which case, a DNA test wouldn’t help. Not to mention that the clock could have been sold or something. It’s strange to immediately jump to the conclusion that you have your son before you, even though you didn’t even know you had a son a minute ago.
Very first sentence of the book. A long time ago. I was just wondering how it connects to everything else. Maybe it was their father in the photo? Or the photo was what prompted them to look for their father? I don’t remember many details, I’m afraid.
Did they? Hiro found a girlfriend, but they still went on that trip afterwards (not sure how much later that was), and then another year passed to today. But I agree that probably nothing happened, especially with Hiro finding a girlfriend.
I ran a search, and found only two instances, none of which referred to the siblings specifically. One was in chapter 7, and it was general: 互い心に触手を伸ばしあい、何かを吸い取ろうとする。友人であれ、同僚であれ、家族であれ、恋人であれ。 And the other was about Misako being the girlfriend of Hiro’s friend at the time. 友人の恋人として、斜めの席から見ていた時とは異なる魅力を発見したのだ。
I recall it being in a list of things that they were to each other. Unfortunately I don’t have my copy hady! But that is a good point, perhaps it could just be hand-holding, although I don’t know if that really merits them describing their daily life as hell after that point (or if that’s just due to realising uncomfortable feelings?)
I wonder what lies ahead now in the book. It definitely feels like it should all take place over one night, albeit with flashbacks, but I’m not sure what the way forward looks like!
Yeah, the only way that would make sense to me would be if the father knew he had a son named Chihiro. With the rare name + rare clock + maybe some family resemblance I could see how you’d come to the conclusion that that might be your son. But if the father didn’t know about his children I really don’t see why he would think that?
To be fair that incident seems way to straightforward for now. After the whole “they used to date” → “they’re siblings” → “both are true” → “maybe they’re not siblings at all” mess of a relationship that seems very suspicious to me.
And I caught up to this week! I may yet be able to resume a normal schedule with the club!
This section was all kinds of 'what ’ for me. Aki tying grasses being sus does not compute - if so I’m a murderer every time I’m sitting outside. In fact, the last time I had a picnic I was playing with grass blades while chatting with my friend - must have been trying to murder her!
I also felt the ‘oh he was after your cigarette butt saliva’ was weird too. Like wouldn’t getting some of his hair be easier and more reliable? Or asking questions about his mom/where he grew up? Or…literally anything else?
Agree that Japanese romantic relationships don’t necessarily = sex. It sounds like these two are both very up in their own heads as well, so I can see them losing it over impassioned, possibly incestuous glances. If they’re even really siblings!
Gah this story is interesting but so frustrating at the same time I want to shake both of them.
I knew there was a dark side to you! Seriously, unless their grass is unbelievably sturdy and totally different to what I know as grass, this isn’t even worth talking about. I’ve tried tying grass (with murderous intent, obviously ), and it won’t even stay tied on its own, never mind tripping up someone, especially someone used to hiking on uneven ground. And the hiking back to get DNA of the person you have in front of you is needlessly convoluted. The book was written in 2007 - was casual DNA testing for everyone even an option back then? On the other hand, no one claimed these two are master detectives. They can’t even remember clearly what happened on a day a mere year ago that should have been etched in their memory for all sorts of reasons.
So when they talked about tying grass, I immediately pictured the grass I know from pastures, which looks like this:
Not sure how well you can see it but the tallest of those blades are longer than 1 meter, and they are extremely sturdy (it’s near impossible to tear them in half if you grab too many at once). It should not be a problem to braid a rope with them that can trip up a person.
Right, I know those sturdy ones that won’t be cut without scissors whatever you try. They’re quite slippery though. I guess if you braid them, as you say, instead of just tie them like I had in mind, maybe they could form a trap. Although I still think they’d just snap back to their original position - or maybe I’m just useless with grass (I am, I can’t even make a May wreath). Even if all that works, you’d need to tie every blade of grass next to the cliff, or it’s not a trap, it’s just a stupid coincidence. Surely an experienced hiker will know to watch his feet, especially close to the cliff edge?
How this trap is supposed to work exactly is also beyond me tbh…
But I recall that he mentioned her placing a rope somewhere that our man would trip over? So I imagined her pulling some grass and braiding it into a rope and using that for whatever purpose. But not sure altogether. Maybe we learn more in the next chapters…
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