Help understanding how these clauses fit together


The taiko memoir saga continues.

Today's challenge:


Here's the context leading up to (and including) this sentence, which is the last one on the page:


My understanding is that he is discussing the vulnerability of a group based on the performance of its parts: The odaiko (large drum), despite being an instrument of great power, is at the mercy of the person playing it. Success or failure of a stage performance overall is contingent upon each individual performer in the same way. Trust takes a long time to earn, but can be unraveled by a simple misunderstanding, and this balance put the group in danger of coming apart until another opportunity presents itself. A small weakness begets a greater disease...

...Then we arrive at the final sentence, where he talks about the cure for this "disease" (I think?) and I'm not exactly sure how all of those clauses interact with one another. My best guess is: It's a disease that can only be cured when oneself and each of those individuals envelop themselves in the sound of Kodo's music.

Or something like that. :) Thank you for your help!


Posted 2015-12-14T23:57:29.460

Reputation: 607



Let's start from this sentence:

The sound can cure it (=病).

Using the pattern sometimes referred to as cleft construction:

It's the sound that can cure it.

~でしかない means "nothing but", "only". も can be used instead of は to express the stronger negation (See def. 3㋑).

It's only the sound that can cure it.

This から seems to mean によって ('by', 'with', 'using'), but I find it a bit strange because we don't usually say "薬から病気を癒やす". But anyway...

It's only by the sound that it can be cured.

音 is modified by the relative clause "自分自身や、その一人一人を包む鼓童の奏でる":

It's only by the sound played by oneself or surrounding Kodo that it can be cured.

And you're parsing the following sentence wrong.


Literally: {From (a) trust which took long time to earn, to (b) misunderstandings which have almost unraveled, and to (c) new encounters}; a danger lies here that all of them (=(a)-(c)) come apart.


Posted 2015-12-14T23:57:29.460

Reputation: 199 900



The odaiko (large drum) of Kodo, which heavily relies on physical strength, is greatly influenced by the condition of each individual in the group. The success or failure of the concert may even result from this. Everything has the danger of falling apart, the trust gained and the misunderstandings that are starting to be resolved after long years together and even the new encounters with people are at risk. These are the relationships with your guests and also the relationships between you and the other group members. One slight "illness" could trigger a major disease. Only the sounds of Kodo enveloping you and every other person in the room is the cure.

In essence, I think the sentence is indicating how the odaiko heavily relies on the condition of the rest of the group. Even the part about 体調 is referring to the "well-being" of each drum in the group. The author seems to be using words we generally use for describing the health of people to refer to the drums. The second to last sentence, which talks about 病い is using it metaphorically to indicate someone playing a drum sound that is "not in good condition", perhaps the rhythm or sound is off. This small "illness" could then trigger a major problem with the entire group, throwing off the synergy between everyone. The part before that also explains how the sound itself creates a bond between you and everyone else in the group and the people watching.

Then the last part, which is talking about the "cure", is referring how the sound of the Kodo group itself is the only way to resolve this problem. I think the author wants to indicate just how important the sound is. Basically everything relies on the sound, and even one small problem could lead to a disaster.

Jesse Good

Posted 2015-12-14T23:57:29.460

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