Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Shunshoku Umegoyomi Vol. 1:
The Apprentice Girl (part 5)

Fig. 1: 主「ナニサ
Back to Tanjirou yet again:

"What are you talking about? I'm in no position to hide anything (fig. 1). This [place] is exactly what it looks like, so carefully examine it, if you want (fig. 2)."
Fig. 2: 此姿
The first thing to note is the expression 「ナニサ」, which is defined in Kōjien as "a word used to oppose the words of the other party" (相手の言動に反発して言う語). It also says it's primarily used by women, but Tanjirou hasn't hesitated in the past about using gender-specific words/phrases.

Also keep in mind the unusual kuzushiji choice for 「す」 of 「春」, which we saw once before (fig. 5).

Edit: As explained by Matt in a comment below, 「どこ」 in fig. 1 is an abbreviated version of 「どころ」. Both mean "to be in the position", a pattern that was encountered previously (fig. 2).

I didn't know how to parse the beginning of fig. 2 other than to assume that there was a sentence ending after 「だ」, but that assumption seems a little tenuous since there's no period there.

Edit: The use of 「だ」 is likely analogous to possessive particle 「の」, as suggested by yudantaiteki. Although in modern Japanese, 「だ」 is never used in this situation, it certainly could have been during the Edo period.

Edit 2: also from that same comment by yudantaiteki, 「ものを」 can be interpreted as here as 「だから」 (see meaning 1.2 here).

Fig. 3: 其子の
I also wasn't entirely sure about the meaning of 「つもつて見る」, but 「つもって」 is likely the continuous form of 「積もる」. The overall phrase is probably an older form of the verb 「見積もる」, which means "to estimate", but "to examine" seemed more appropriate in this context.

"Regardless of what that girl said, she didn't know what she was [talking] about (fig. 3)."
Once again, we see the unusual kanji  「咄」, something that surfaced in the past (fig. 4), for 「はなし」. However, unlike that previous occurrence, 「し」 is okurigana and not part of the kanji's reading, another example of irregular okurigana rules during the Edo period.

As for 「知れ」, 「も」 is a bound particle that, when it is preceded by a verb, is preceded by that verb's continuative form (連用形). The verb 「知る」 can be either a yodan verb with ra-conjugation or a shimo-nidan verb; in this case, it must have the shimo-nidan conjugation, since only that one has 「知れ」 for its continuative form.

Edit: as explained by Matt in the comments below, 「知れもしねへ」 is likely a dialectal/archaic form of 「知りもしない」, or "not even know (x)".

Fig. 4: マアそり
"Well, that's that (fig. 4). How are things at your house? (fig. 5)," Tanjirou asked.
Fig. 5: 宅のよふす
The only confusing point here is the ambiguous use of 「宅」 to refer to Yonehachi's house in fig. 5. It's not entirely clear from just this sentence that Tanjirou is referring to her house, but that will become more clear in the next post.

Also interesting is the use of 「の」 as the interrogative particle (notably written with katakana here), something that hasn't been seen before in Umegoyomi.

Finally, something I picked up on here is that there are no periods at the end of a character's lines (i.e., when another person starts speaking immediately afterwards). This suggests that the use of periods in Umegoyomi was not to indicate the end of sentences, but to separate them. There would have been no need to include a period at the end of fig. 5, since Yonehachi's name would have appeared in the top right corner of the next sentence, indicating that she was talking now anyway.


  1. You know I think that in this post and the last one, どこ(ろ) is working basically like modern どころ -- "in no position to (x)". So the start of this would be "What are you talking about? I'm in no position to hide anything, just look at me"

    (Also, I think it's ものを not ものと -- that makes more sense to me as a sentence.)

    1. Also, I think that 知れもしねへ is best understood as similar in structure to 知りもしない ("not even know (x)"), rather than taking the しねへ as a "do" with a different complement (like "get married"). "Who knows what that girl is even talking about?!", basically.