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In trying to understand Kenji Miyazawa's "風の又三郎" I have come across a discrepancy in one line where the number of students per class is counted.

On Aozora Bunko: I see this:

すっかりやすみの前のとおりだとみんなが思いながら六年生は一人、五年生は七人、四年生は六人、一二年生は十二人、組ごとに一列に縦にならびました。
二年は八人、一年生は四人前へならえをしてならんだのです。

At first I thought this was a bit odd because of the part "一二年生は", but when I interpreted this to mean "1st or 2nd graders", the total 12 matches up with the numbers in the second line above (8+4).

However, in this relatively recent analysis of the work (starting around 13:20 in the video), the line is actually read as "三年生は", and this is specifically pointed out as a (possibly purposeful) mistake because it conflicts with the early part of the story that says there are no third graders.

I assume one of them is a typo or someone mis-reading a hand-written manuscript, but I don't know what the "real" original text was. Supposedly the author did many revisions so it isn't likely there would be accidental errors in his work.

Can someone please tell me if they know what the correct line is here? If you don't know anything about the story, if you can tell me if the line I quoted above looks correct, or if it is strange to write "一二年生は". I have seen that usage commonly (ex: ”彼は11,12歳" and I am not sure if that is the intention here).

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It seems to be 三年生 in the original text. Someone may edit it as 一二年生 because 三年生 is probably the author"s error as Mr. Takeda said. And 一、二年生 would be more natural if it is edited.

This link may help you. http://www5a.biglobe.ne.jp/accent/kazeno/origin.htm

  • Is the implication that the 一二 characters got horizontally mixed together as a 三 in handwritten text? I can't see how the author could make the error otherwise. What you personally believe the author was trying to say here? – Locksleyu Nov 1 '16 at 14:55
  • I can't guess the reason why he made a error but I agree with a idea. Miyazawa kenji died before he copy-edit this novel, so he might efface or forget the phrase 「三年生がないだけであとは」 in the first part of this novel. – Yuuichi Tam Nov 1 '16 at 17:04

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