I am currently reading 《ノルウェイの森》

And there is a sentence that I am quite confused about:


I think 欠落する can be treated as lacking of something and 埋める as compensating something. And thus, the object of verb 埋める seems weird to me, because it should compensate for that thing that is lacked. I think そのあと should act like a abverbial of time. So that clause can be translated as

After that, there is nothing for compensation

and in this translation, I find it hard to choose an object for the verb compensate. So I just use the noun form.

Also, this is my first time asking question. Any suggestion for improving this question will be appreciated.

2 Answers 2


I would read it as その跡, not その後 as a temporal expression.

跡, which I guess is from the same origin as 後, means a trace or mark left by something that was there but no longer exists.

欠落 is used as an action verb (like "to drop") here. When that happened, what was left behind was a hole or gap because 何か was inside the body (体の中). This makes その跡 (literally "its trace") a natural direct object for 埋める ("to fill").


そのあと here means 'the space/void/blank after that(=なにか) is gone'.

Probably it helps to think 欠落する as somewhat more active to drop off than static to be lacking. Literally: Something dropped off from the body, there was nothing to fill the space occupied by that, and it just remained as a hole.

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