Maplopo Presents:

Intermediate Japanese Language Learning with Dazai Osamu

Complimentary Japanese Reading Lessons From Maplopo Schoolhouse

Season ONE—水仙 (Page thirty two)


EP.32 Spotlight: 〜てくる, Dazai Osamu (太宰治), Daffodil (水仙)

Video file / Audio File / Online Intermediate Japanese Course

〜てくる, EP.32 Transcript | Intermediate and Advanced Japanese

[Quiet Jazz Music Playing]
Only two more spotlight episodes in this first section, and today we’re going to talk about
First, let’s take a look at Dazai’s sentence:
(Speaking Japanese—1st Reading)
(Speaking Japanese—2nd Reading)
“Thinking about matters like the unhappiness of a genius, the unhappiness of a lord,
causes my worry to increase.”
Now, we have two sets of examples for you here in this episode.
Let’s listen first to the first set… and, of course, Japanese.
(Speaking Japanese—1st Reading)
(Speaking Japanese—2nd Reading)
“It’s been getting hot as a late, and everyone is looking a little exhausted.”
(Speaking Japanese—1st Reading)
(Speaking Japanese—2nd Reading)
“When consumed by work, Iguchi has this habit of picking up on a dime
and disappearing off to nowhere.”
And, the second set:
(Speaking Japanese—1st Reading)
(Speaking Japanese—2nd Reading)
“The very moment I sat down, I felt abruptly overtaken by drowsiness.”
(Speaking Japanese—1st Reading)
(Speaking Japanese—2nd Reading)
“Whenever a good idea rises from within, I’m in the habit
of jotting it down in my pocket notebook.”
So, today we’re talking about てくる.
And, てくる is a supporting verb. And, you’re familiar with these, right?
They basically work in concert with the verb that precedes them. And, what they do is they
kind of help bring that preceding verb alive—they animate it, if you will.
You…, animation fans will… will, no doubt dig this example, right?!
So, they animate the verb before it with the spirit of their own nature. And, you can really
kind of see this at play throughout this lesson with てくる.
So, let’s have a little bit more of a look.
Now, you may remember that some time ago we covered ていく.
Uh, that was episode 14 if you’re going back through the archives… and there…
てゆ… , ていく… てゆく… ていく … that was one of the parts of the lesson there, right?
You can say it either way… um, but that part of… or, that episode, rather,
was talking about how… this, uh, motion (or movement) is going away from the speaker, right?
Progressing at a point… distancing itself from where the speaker is.
Now, today we’re talking about てくる, which is kind of counter to that idea, right?
And, with てくる, you’re talking about motion toward the speaker.
As I’m sure you’re aware, supporting verbs are everywhere in Japanese, and they’re very, very important, right?
Now, if you prop open a typical grammar textbook you’re gonna see these everywhere,
but they often lack (we find) a kind of… nuanced explanation as to what’s really happening,
and maybe why they’re really important, right?
And, so the, the kind of big idea we want you to keep in mind with supporting verbs is that
without them (in many a sentence), the sentence just kind of falls flat, right?
It’s just… (it) feels unnatural, and it presents, uh, in Japanese, this kind of a “concept” that’s
a bit abstract, right?
It’s either… it’s almost too basic a mention of the action at play to be meaningful in any real way.
So, it’s really important to keep this in mind, right?
We have an example for you that will illustrate this for you, but it’s a very, very, very
critical point to keep in mind.
And, the other thing that we want to make you aware of, or remind you of, (surely) is that, um…
…when we use these supporting verbs we’re kind of providing you with a viewpoint into the
scene that’s unfolding, right?
So, you’re kind of… if you can consider yourself in a way… almost like…
…elbow to elbow with the speaker, or, uh… right there with the writer as this scene plays out.
Then you’ll be thinking about things in the right fashion.
Let’s consider a few examples
(Speaking Japanese)
(Speaking Japanese)
(Speaking Japanese)
(Speaking Japanese)
It’s fairly easy to see the difference here between (in these two sets of sentences), right?
So, the first set you have the kind of incorrect version..
…and, the second set, the more, uh, accurate way to write it, uh, (or say it), and the more correct version.
And, so when you’re describing this horse galloping, what you want to do… is you want to, um, place
the reader (or the listener) with you.
You’re providing a viewpoint for them, right?
So, you can see this horse…
…it’s galloping away from you, or, it’s galloping towards you.
Without the supporting verb, you don’t have that.
You just have kind of… a horse running… [laughing]
… indiscriminately somewhere…
… we don’t… we don’t really know.
So, you want to provide a certain sense of perception as to where this action is taking place, right?
So, uh, when we use ていく, or てくる, what we’re doing, effectively, is kind of giving…
uh, human eyes to… this scene.
And, it’s (a) really kind of important thing that we want to do for them.
Without it… it, again to repeat myself, falls flat… and we don’t want to fall flat
and talk about concepts we want to talk about things that we want to see, and things that
are in motion, and are exciting to the story, right?
Japanese speakers wouldn’t craft the sentence without that in there.
When you help a reader or you help a listener with this picture painting that you’re doing,
you also provide… in addition to this, like, very literal viewpoint into the scene… you
also provide a kind of “sense” feeling, right?
And, in Japanese this is referred to as: りんじょうかん. And, it does place you, like, kind of IN the scene, right?
And, I said earlier something like, uh: (it) allows you to see “through the eyes of the writer,” I think.
Um, it’s… elbow to elbow with the writer, elbow to elbow with the speaker…
you get to SEE this action unfold, and you get to FEEL how this action is. Right?
And, this is a very important thing that you want to provide to your reader or your listener.
Okay, let’s wrap this up.
So, supporting verbs, generally speaking, have a kind of core meaning.
And, then extending out from that core meaning (like a river would extend) and kind of go
into different tributaries and different sorts of things like that, you’re, you’re going to
run into nuance, right?
So, there’s many different ways that…
this supporting verb can be used to help tell a story.
So, as we learned てくる’s core meaning is this idea of motion moving toward the speaker, right?
And, in addition to that, it tends to deal with time and space.
Now, in Dazai’s example, he uses it twice. And, in both instances he’s using it in reference to time.
Our four examples are the same.
We’re dealing with time in these examples.
In Dazai’s first use of てくる he’s talking about something that starts at some point
and gradually changes.
In the second instance, he’s talking about something that manifests, or that comes into
being, that didn’t exist there before.
Those are his two main uses.
So, in Dazai’s first application of てくる, he’s talking about “thinking,” right?
So, the thinking started at a certain point in time, and then the thinking (over time) has
evolved into something slightly different.
And, in Dazai’s second application of this, he’s talking about the manifestation of worry, right?
And then that big balloon of worry starting to, kind of, increase and become more serious.
And so to put a lid on this, the four examples that we gave you before followed this same basic pattern, right?
So, the hotness starts… and continues… and, changes and gets worse.
And, in the second example, work starts to become all-consuming…
your hands are full with work… and, it just keeps changing in that same direction, right?
In the last two examples this, uh, this kind of second set, if you will, we were dealing with
a manifestation of something, right?
So, you sit down, and then suddenly this feeling of drowsiness overtakes you.
In the last one, um, a good idea just pops into your head (and it’s damn good) and you
better write that sucker down, right?
So, that’s that.
That’s てくる.
And, uh, that wraps up the ていく, てくる session.
I’m sure you’re gonna be marvelous at this—if you’re not already.
Onward! To the last episode of Section ONE.
Good job students, good job.
[Quiet Jazz Music Playing]

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