Wednesday 20 March 2013

Wondrous Words Wednesday

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a lovely meme hosted by Bermuda Onion each week to highlight new (to us) words that we come across in our daily reading.

This week I decided it was time to finish 1Q84 by Murakami.
I had heard that Book 3 was different to the previous two books, so I gave myself some time between them to minimise the disconnect that many people spoke of.

This week I have used wikipedia as the source of my definitions.

1. Zelkova "There was a large zelkova tree, its leaves still thick and luxuriant."

I don't always feel the need to know exactly what a tree or plant from another country looks like when it is referenced in a book. But in this case the zelkova tree is mentioned quite often.

It is in a park where the main characters spend time working out stuff.

Aomame spends a substantial part of Book 3 looking at this tree as the seasons change.
I had to know!

Zelkova serrata is a medium sized deciduous tree usually growing up to 30m tall. It is commonly used in parks and as a bonsai tree.

2. Yakiniku "Would you care to go out and get some yakiniku?"

Yakinuki is a broad term for grilled meat.
In a yakiniku restaurant, diners order the raw ingredients which are then brought to the table. The ingredients are cooked by the diners on a grill built into the table. The grilled food is then dipped into sauces before eating.

3. Remora "Ushikawa was a master at sticking to somebody, like a remora to a shark."

I'm assuming remora's are some kind of marine parasite, but I'm in the mood to know for sure.

Remora's are also known as suckerfish.Their distinctive first dorsal fins take the form of a modified oval sucker-like organ with slat-like structures that open and close to create suction and take a firm hold against the skin of larger marine animals.
The host to which the remora attaches for transport gains nothing from the relationship, but also loses little. The remora benefits by using the host as transport and protection, and also feeds on materials dropped by the host.


  1. Japanese words are always interesting, and impossible to guess - well for me at least. Sitting under that tree looks a lovely spot. I knew remora- one of the advantages of having a child obsessed with fish- you pick up some knowledge along the way.

  2. Wow! I learned a lot here today. That tree is gorgeous- I can see how why a character would use it as a focus for contemplation. Thanks for sharing. A friend of mine just moved back to Japan after a four year stint in Virginia. I miss her, but these words and pictures make me think of her and smile. Thanks.

  3. Anonymous21/3/13

    The trees are interesting. The zelkova tree is beautiful.

  4. What a beautiful tree! I learned a number of tree names that I had never heard of in my time playing Farmville LOL! - but not the zelkova.

  5. The Zelkova trees are quite beautiful. So glad you introduced me to them.

  6. Great words! I think the Zelkova trees are gorgeous - I can picture picnicking under one.

  7. Words and pictures! Thanks for sharing them!

  8. All I can say is that picture of yakiniku is making me HUNGRY!
    It looks delish!


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