YKK Forum

First Sunrise

What do you all make of Makki's response to Takahiro's letter? Is she upset that Takahiro just talked about school, work, and his new surroundings? Or is she hiding something? It would be natural for a boy of Takahiro's age not to express his real feelings and talk about insignificant things instead.

Makki's sudden interest in hanging out with Alpha is very interesting. Her jealosy must be completely gone. To me, that suggests that Takahiro's letter somehow reassured her of his affection. Now she wants to hurry up, grow up, and follow him to the big city.

- Loran
Monday, March 15, 2004

I assume she's hiding something - there is this faint smirk on her face. Alpha, OTOH, looks disappointed - and seems unaware of Makki-chan's emotions. I really like the pun "Ready, Lady, Go":-D

The "work starts around 15" is interesting - does Alpha mean regular work in this rural ara without higher education (the reason why Takahiro left) or a part-time job typical for high school or unversity - wasn't that "arubeito" or something similar?

- Rainer
Monday, March 15, 2004

Alpha says that work (shigoto) starts at 15. Earlier, she asks Makki if she's looking for a part-time job (arubaito), so she's making a distinction between the two.

It looks to me as if they no longer have higher education. Whether "they" is just Alpha's rural community or the society at large is an open question.

I wonder...if "work starts at 15", will that be the age that Makki leaves home with Ayase?

- dn
Monday, March 15, 2004

>Alpha says that work (shigoto) starts at 15. Earlier, she asks Makki if she's looking for a part-time job (arubaito),

Thanks - it's funny to find a German word in Japanese - "Arbeit" (sounds the same minus the "o" at the end), which means work or job.

>It looks to me as if they no longer have higher education. Whether "they" is just Alpha's rural community or the society at large is an open question.

IMHO it's their rural community: http://ykk.misago.org/Afternoon2003/132

- Rainer
Monday, March 15, 2004

I like to think that the SECOND letter which was sent to Makki has something in it that prompted her to ask Alpha about the job.

It also seems that Alpha didn't know about this other letter... in the original Japanese does it specifically refer to only one letter to Makki?


- Kempis Curious
Monday, March 15, 2004

Japanese doesn't generally distinguish between singular or plural; Alpha's phrasing was ambiguous.

- dn
Monday, March 15, 2004

What do you all make of the symbolism of the sunrise? Instead of optimistic white rays, this year's sun was dark red.

- Loran
Monday, March 15, 2004

What is the legal age for working in Japan?

15 does fit the rural profile, and I wouldn't be surprised to see 9 year olds working. With some adult supervision of course.

- royalfool
Monday, March 15, 2004

As I recall, the three years of high school are not legally required in Japan. People can go to work when they get out of middle school. So folks can work at 15 years of age.

But what about the symbolism of the sunrise? The big red spot, the "first sunrise?"

- Loran
Monday, March 15, 2004

I'm trying not to think about the unpleasant-sounding sunrise in this chapter. I don't want there to be something bad happening this year in YKK. : (

Besides, I'd need more evidence that the author uses the colors in the sunrise as a foreboding omen.


- Kempis Curious
Wednesday, March 17, 2004

I was thinking that the color of the sunrise was symbolic of the onset of puberty in women. Makki is growing up.

She wants to hang out with Alpha because she is the only other "young woman" in the neighborhood.

- Loran
Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Loran's therory seems to be the best one on the subject of Makki and Alpha. Where Makki lives in the small viliage there only seems to be adults. She hung around with Takahiro because he was the one closest in age to her. Now that he's left there's no one close to her age in the viliage. It's for that reason that Makki asks about working with Alpha. She needs someone closer in age to her to be with. Alpha seems to be the closest thing.

- Christine K
Wednesday, March 17, 2004

The color of the sunrise isn't necessarily a bad omen. Red is actually considered a good color throughout Asia.

- Robert C
Friday, March 19, 2004

Some translation notes.

[a2004, p38], panel 2:
"kaki no you na iro"
kaki-like color (literally) / yellowish red

Kaki (persimmon) is one of the most common fruits in Japan. There are so many different shapes and different colors of kaki. Yellowish red, orange, reddish yellow.

You can find a kind of kaki inside back cover of YKK vol. 8. I think their color may be what Alpha is saying about. You can not find such a huge kaki in today's market, of course.

Note: "kakiiro" and "kaki no iro" may or may not be the same. Traditional "kakiiro" is a color of dye made from kaki tannin. It is diffrent from "kaki no iro". Some people use "kakiiro" to describe a color of the skin of the fruit. It is "kaki no iro".

I don't see any symbolism in the sunrise of this chapter.

[a2004, p43]
"kono aida ha"
that day / last time we met

Makki refers to the day of chapter 114 [a2004, p17].

"kono aida" means 'recent past' (spoken).
the other day / a few days(weeks) ago / last time

"kono aida" also means 'between these' (spoken and written).
between two things / in this period of time / while

If there is not a set of two things or a period of time in the context, "kono aida" is 'recent past'.
If "kono aida" is said when topic changes, it is 'recent past'.
"konaida" is always 'recent past'.
"*sono* aida" is always 'between'.

Alpha says "konaida" in chapter 99 [a2002, p150]. She refers to the day of chapter 19 [v3, p51]. It may not be 'recent', but it is 'last time we met'. It is also "konaida". Neil translated it quite well.
Maruko says "kono aida" in chapter 107 [a2003, p102]. She refers to the day of chapter 102 [a2003, p17].
"konaida" in chapter 3 [v1, p69] refers to chapter 2 [v1, p43].
"konaida" in chapter 11 [v2, p62] probably refers to chapter 10 [v2, p35].

[a2004, p45]
"kara demo ii"
it can be okay to start from when (literally) / you can wait until / will not be too late

This "demo" is not 'but'.

Alpha says 'you can wait', but Makki does not want to wait and see.

[a2004, p38], panel 1:
Neil, you doubled 'since'.

- kGo
Saturday, March 20, 2004

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