Here is the full sentence:


I gather that the main meaning of this sentence is "My subconscious can't fix this face into [itself/memory].", but the main question for me is what exactly 夢を作っている mean here? A few Japanese teachers I've asked were pretty confused, saying that 夢を作る is not exactly a natural thing to say. This sentence is from a novel though, so no wonder it's not natural in the sense of being "ordinary". Thanks. Any help is much appreciated.

  • Does he say about 彼の顔 in his dream? Aug 28, 2017 at 17:53
  • @YuuichiTam That's the whole text about あの顔 since he started talking about it: >「願い事はあるかい?」 そう穏やかな声で問いかける彼(彼女?)の顔はクルクルと色んな顔に変わる。夢を作っている僕の深層心理が、彼の顔を固定できない。 That's it. Aug 28, 2017 at 18:31
  • @YuuichiTam I'm sorry, but I'm afraid there is not much context, this is the first page of a novel, I'm not sure what it is about myself yet. There is only one paragraph above what I've already showed you in my previous comment, and all he really says there is that he couldn't remember some specific memory even if he tried to. And he also says that the person that stands before him (who asked the question) doesn't fit into his life. That's it, all the context I have. Aug 28, 2017 at 19:05
  • When I accept literally the meaning, 夢を作っている means "making dreams" and this dream is dreams during sleep. Because dreams during sleep are made from depth psychology. Aug 28, 2017 at 19:48
  • @YuuichiTam That's basically the answer I've come to myself, too. Was not sure about which kind of "dream" it was though, so thanks. The whole sentence doesn't sound right yet though. "My subconscious that's making dreams can't fix that face into my memory"? Sounds a bit weird. I don't think I understand what the author was trying to say with "夢を作っている" in the context of this sentence. Even though I fully understand the literal meaning. Aug 28, 2017 at 20:15

1 Answer 1




ナレ:そう穏やかな声で問いかける彼の顔はクルクルと色んな顔に変わる。時には、〝彼女〟になることさえある。 夢を作っている一輝の深層心理が彼の顔を固定できない。 確かに見たはずのその顔は、どんな人にも似ているようで、どんな人にも似ていなかった。

From the context, it's obvious that 夢を作っている can be interpreted literally.

His deep psyche which is making/creating this/his/the dream cannot hold on/fix the man's face.

夢を作っている=making the dream, creating the dream

  • Thank you. I'm a pre-N5 Japanese learner (been learning Japanese for ~8 months), so there are lots of things which are not obvious at all to me, even if they should be to an experienced language user. Trying to use everything I've got (including StackExchange) to become more proficient in the language. Aug 28, 2017 at 21:57
  • I agree that the whole paragraph is very difficult to understand for non-native Japanese speakers. If one can understand the whole paragraph, it's obvious that the 夢を作る is talking about "making his dream at night while sleeping." So I said "it's obvious from the context." I didn't mean "the interpretation is easy for everyone." I think you're doing very fine. Keep going!
    – user1118
    Aug 28, 2017 at 22:41
  • I thought it was written by Haruki Murakami (村上春樹) because of the style of the sentences, which are complicated, but understandable. But it seems that I was wrong.
    – user1118
    Aug 28, 2017 at 22:44
  • Of course, I understand what you mean, just wanted to add that I'm not there to understand those kinds of sentences yet :) I'm working hard to achieve this kind of skill. It's actually written by 御影瑛路 (Mikage Eiji), the novel is a ラノベ、and it's among the ones getting the most praise and love in the international "anime community". On the myanimelist.net website, it's the highest ranked light novel. And it doesn't have any English translations yet. Aug 28, 2017 at 22:46
  • Thank you for the info. I'm ashamed of myself not having been able to distinguish Haruki's work from the right novel. Yet, I think it's awesome Japanese sentences. I would want to read them more. :)
    – user1118
    Aug 29, 2017 at 0:18

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