風待ち
  • Hey everybody, when i searched this word I got back from the dictionary it means "waiting for a favorable wind" as part of a する verb, so I would assume 風待ちする means: "to wait for a favorable wind". Does anyone know if this has a more figurative meaning than literal? It seems strange in context, that is, as part of a chapter title to a book. The chapter is called 風待ちの丘。I'm thinking it's a place name, like a town or district or street, but I have limited familiarity with those kinds of place names in Japan. Any thoughts? For anyone interested the novel is called 失われた町 by 三崎 亜記。
  • I hadn't heard it before but 風待ち does have something of a web presence, which suggests it's quite often used. On Japanese Wikipedia there's a record label called Kazemachi (風待) Records and a couple of albums by the same artist that sound like place names, 風待ち交差点 and 風待通りの人々. I wonder if either of these musical connections are playing on Kazemachi Roman (風街ろまん) - different kanji, but same pronunciation.

    The chapter title '風待ちの丘' might well be referring to a place name - Kazemachi Hill. I did also wonder where a hill where you wait for a favourable wind suggests a chapter involving flying kites.

    A few thoughts off the top of my head.
  • According to 大辞林 and 大辞泉, it's not figurative, it's quite literal. It means when a boat waits for favorable wind, in a harbour etc. Thus, it wouldn't make much sense for 風待ちの丘 to be anything other than a name, I don't think it's common to wait for wind in a boat on a hill :)
  • I still wouldn't rule out the figurative, if it's literary fiction. Anyhow, how's the book? Any good? If you've got any interest in reading the modern classics (Soseki, Akutagawa etc.) and you're in Japan, I recommend looking out for the Daiso Bungaku Series in Daiso. It's almost as if they're designed for language learners, with notes on uncommon words and things like chapter summaries (thankfully spoiler-free) to help you keep your bearings. Some are more challenging than others, but I feel I'm getting a lot out of working my way through them.
  • Well, I can't say much of the book as I'm just starting and I have lots of things to do for actual classes, so I haven't gotten a proper start on it yet. I actually don't have any experience in reading full-on novels in Japanese, so I think it's going to be slow going for a while. However, from what I've read online it seems very interesting; something about how every 30 years a city randomly disappears, sort of a sci-fi twinged mystery. It's a very recent book; it was on the short list for I think the 2006 Akutagawa Prize. If the chapter ends up being about kite-flying I'll be sure to tell you haha.

    Yeah I thought the same thing about the sort of literal boat-involving wind using and regular hills, which is why I found it somewhat confusing, unless this book starts getting really funky and involves like hang-gliders or something similar.

    I'll definitely check out the Daiso Bungaku series when I have the chance. I have Soseki in translation ("Kokoro", but at some point I want to check out "I am a Cat") on my shelf and to-read list, after I finish Tsutsui's Salmonella Men on Planet Porno among other non-Japanese novels.

    Thanks for all your help!

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