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Intermediate Japanese Language Learning with Dazai Osamu

Complimentary Japanese Reading Lessons From Maplopo Schoolhouse

Season ONE—水仙 (Page NINETEEN)

 

EP19. Spotlight: ふいと, Dazai Osamu (太宰治), Daffodil (水仙)

Video file / Audio File / Online Intermediate Japanese Course

Read the full EP19 transcript, Spotlight: ふいと | Intermediate and Advanced Japanese

[Soft Piano Music Playing]

Today’s spotlight is on the adverb ふいと.It’s from the first sentence, fifth paragraph of the story. Let’s listen to it in Japanese.

(Speaking Japanese—1st Reading)

(Speaking Japanese—2nd Reading)

So, this basically means: “uncanny doubt creeps up in my mind.” So, with this adverb ふいと, uh, it’s a modifier, right? You’ll read in your grammar books that adverbs “modify things.” We’ll often talk about things as “describing things” it’s maybe a little bit easier phrase to grasp onto… instead of using a grammar phrase.

So, what does this mean? It essentially, uh…, so, it’s describing the [stuttering] the verb that follows it. Essentially, right? And so, ふいと means, um, “things that happen without some sort of anticipatory sign of what’s to come,” or, to change “something that happens suddenly, or, unexpectedly” or… (whoa!) “quite abruptly.” It’s usually describing someone’s action or behavior, or something else—like an idea, maybe.

Something you’d can’t imagine… before happens. You don’t know why it’s happened…
this idea that kind of comes out of nowhere that, in a nutshell, is ふいと.

So, some examples:

(Speaking Japanese—1st Reading)

(Speaking Japanese—2nd Reading)

In this sentence we have a sentence that means essentially: “Without a word, Osamu abruptly got up and left. So, here’s a little cool side note, right? As life is. Things that you talk about sometimes appear in your life, right? Out of nowhere. So, in the evening we were reading Kafka and, uh, on page 255 in the “Fragments” section, there’s this little mention of this very thing, in English, in Kafka’s story where the vice president, he kind of stands up abruptly and then returns to his office. Uh, (quote, unquote) “without a word.” Which is why we use that here.

So, a very common thing that you’re gonna to hear, and use, if you’re using Japanese in a natural way. Oh! By the way, the book that I’m referring to is, “The Trial.”

And, our last example for ふいと:

(Speaking Japanese—1st Reading)

(Speaking Japanese—2nd Reading)

A loose translation of this would be: “This idea just popped into my head and I jumped
on the bus bound for a 竹野海岸 beach. Now, if you’re ever in Hyogo, this is a real beach… out here… and it’s very beautiful. You might want to check it out.

[Soft Piano Music Playing]

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