Hyouka:Volume 4 Afterword
Greetings, this is Yonezawa Honobu.
I present to you volume four of the series. This time, it's a collection of short stories.
Looking back on my school days, I always had the principled belief that just as tomorrow came after today, there would always be the boundless loop where the first trimester would follow the third trimester. I still don't think that student life was good, but being afraid of the impression of a time limit, I may have always looked away while just drifting around. That's basically my intolerance to time.
As for stories, I'm also bad with shifting the once fixed time and changing already constructed relationships. I'd always wanted Tripitaka to be continually assaulted by demons in his Journey to the West, and Yajikita to continue their fun and foolish adventures. I never hoped for them to traverse Tenjiku or Ise.
But the protagonist of this book is fixed in time. Setting aside the awkward period when the characters met each other for the first time, the stories are divided into First Trimester, Summer Break, Second Trimester, Winter Break, Third Trimester and Spring Break. If I write a detailed explanation on why the characters' thoughts and feelings change, then this wouldn't be an afterword, and more of a commentary of my own work. To put it straightforwardly, I would say that the reasons are time and compromise. After spending one whole year together, the distance between the characters wouldn't stay the same. That change is what I was trying to portray here.
But the change in distance between these characters would be gentle and slow, rather than a sudden upheaval. That is why this book is titled "The Doll That Took a Detour".
Also, since this is a collection of short stories, I was able to make use of various situations. As a result, I was able to test out different mystery plots. If you know a lot about this series as well as the mystery genre, you would have probably noticed that "The Case of the Hand-made Chocolate" can be considered a reverse mystery.
If this book has caused you to be more interested in broadening your mystery reading, then I would be honored if "Those Who Know Something" serves as a gateway to Harry Kemelman's "The Nine Mile Walk", and "Sappy New Year" to Jacques Futrelle's "The Problem of Cell 13".
Translator's Notes and References
- Refers to Yajirobe and Kitahachi in a comic picaresque novel called Toukaidouchuu Hizakurige
- The historical East Asian name of India
- A city home to the most sacred Shinto shrine in Japan
Whewǃ After a year or so of translating, I'm finally done with translating Volume 4 of Hyoukaǃ First off, I would like to apologize to the readers for taking such a long time to complete this translation. You could say that I have the worst qualities of Oreki Houtarou and am guilty of committing the same deadly sin. I also hope that I've translated this book as faithfully as possible to the intentions of the author, Yonezawa Honobu.
Now that I'm done with this, I plan to get a copy of Volume 6 and attempt to translate it. Anyway, I hope that you've enjoyed these stories as much as I have (I found "The Doll That Took a Detour" especially beautiful), and I also hope that you will introduce this amazing series to others. Thank you for your supportǃ
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