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In a comic book I am reading, Inuyasha – 1st book – I found this sentence:

面倒だ、この体。 […]玉ごとを食ろうてやる。

The monster saying this is about to attack two other people that are in possession of the bead. One of them is a lively normal human, the second one has been dormant and considered virtually dead for a long time.

As I understand it, the monster wants to devour the two along with the bead, that will give it some power. What is puzzling me is the use of 体. Even though technically speaking every person has a body, I am not sure that I can use it this way to refer to a living person.

My guesses are:

  • The monster considered the people unworthy of being referred to as living beings. In its eyes they are merely containers for the jewel.
  • The word 体 can be in some cases used for a living being and not only for corpses.
  • The monster is referring to the person that was almost dead for a long time. This seems unprobable to me, as the one holding the bead is the other person and the monster knows it.

And of course I may be completely wrong with all of these. This I’d like to ask, what can the 体 actually mean here?

Update:

The power of the aforementioned jewel will help the monster throw away its partially human body, effectively replacing it with a completely monster-like one. In the panel, where it says the provided sentence, its face starts to slightly shift to the non-human form already. This might hint that この体 refers to the body of the monster itself, being a nuisance since it’s less powerful without the bead.

What is still puzzling me though is the usage of 〜ごと. As I understand it, this suffix makes the jewel only a part of some bigger lump of things to be devoured. Maybe the monster is referring to the humans: “I’ll eat them along with the jewel.”, but it’s not stated explicitly and this information is conveyed by the 〜ごと itself?

Another update:

Uploading the panel with the described scene and sentence and some more panels for the context. I skipped the unrelated panels and panels with other scenes, since the situation is scattered through a few pages.

First Page Second Page Third Page

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    I would usually expect この体 to refer to the speaker's own body, not that of the people he's talking to/about. Has the monster itself recently acquired a new body that it might find inconvenient in some way? – Ben Roffey Mar 6 '18 at 18:26
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    @BenRoffey この文脈だと「こいつの中の玉が食べたいだけなのに、周りの肉や骨が邪魔だな~」という話ではないでしょうか。人間を人間であるどころか食物だとすら思ってないけど、剥くのも面倒なので一緒に喰っておくか、という。 – naruto Mar 7 '18 at 4:33
  • @BenRoffey: As I am now thinking about it, the power of the jewel will help the monster to throw away its partially human body, effectively replacing it with a completely monster-like one. In the panel, where it says the provided sentence, its face starts to slightly shift to the non-human form already. What is still puzzling me though is the usage of 〜ごと, making the jewel only a part of something more to be devoured. Maybe the monster is referring to the humans, but it’s not stated explicitly and this information is conveyed by the 〜ごと? – Glutexo Mar 8 '18 at 17:06
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    I think it means "the jewel and all" or "together with the jewel". ルミナス dictionary has this example: 彼は土地ごと(→土地も一緒に)その家を売った。He sold the house together with the land. So I think it's basically, "This body is such a pain to be in. ... I'll just devour you jewel and all!" The one thing that bothers me is it's not being used adverbially, but as an object. I don't know if that changes the meaning. – Eversome May 10 '18 at 17:03
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体【からだ】 ("body") can refer to the body of a person/animal regardless of whether it's alive or dead. It's not derogatory at all, and you can safely say 風呂で体を洗え ("Wash your body in the bathroom"), 体を鍛える ("to exercise one's body"), 体を大事にしてね ("Take care of yourself") and so on. The body of a dead person (corpse) is often specifically called 死体.

Anyway, I feel the situation is close to your first bullet. The monster is only interested in the jewel and the "annoying coating" that covers it. Whether the person is alive or not is probably not very important to the monster.

In real life, of course 面倒な人 ("troublesome/bothersome person") is used more often. In this context, however, what is bothersome to the monster is the body (skin, bone, muscle, etc) itself, not their personality.

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I think I’ve figured it out eventually, thanks to the comments by @BenRoffey and @naruto.

As I mentioned in the update to the question, the speaker (a monster) is not satisfied with its still rather too anthropomorphic body. The jewel would help it to get rid of the body as a part of becoming stronger and more full-fledged monster-like. Devouring the people possessing the jewel (the listeners) is a viable option to get it and obviously the gem is of a bigger importance to the villain that caring about the bearers.

The actual meaning would thus be:

I am tired of this body. I am going to eat you along with the […] jewel.

The この体, just as the この tells, refers to the speaker’s own body and not to the listeners’. The ごと is what implies eating not only the jewel, but the people holding it as well.

Thanks guys for helping me figure this out!

  • After all, we can never tell if your interpretation is correct just by reading your own interpretation. Anyway, why do you believe the word この only refers to the dragon's own body? And why "tired"? 面倒だ is "bothersome" in the sense of "seems time-consuming". I still think there is a large possibility that you have gotten this wrong. Can we see the original page(s)? – naruto May 11 '18 at 2:20
  • @naruto I uploaded the images to the question. Hopefully it will through some light on the translations. The “tired” was probably just my bad English more than bad understanding of Japanese, but let’s see by looking at the pages. Thanks! – Glutexo May 15 '18 at 3:28
  • Thank you, so this is from 犬夜叉 vol 1. Now I'm 100% certain that my interpretation is correct. "This (Kagome's) body is annoying (because it's covering the orb). So I'm gonna eat it together with the orb." That's exactly what the monster did, isn't it? And why did you change 四魂の玉 into 玉? This is a famous manga, and I could have found tons of information on the net if you did not hide the keyword. – naruto May 15 '18 at 4:28
  • My bad. :( I believed that all the names and specifics would just drag the attention away from the language problem. So the この体 actually refers to the jewel bearer’s (Kagome’s) body, not necessarily to the person as a whole. That makes sense. … Sigh. This was a tough one. Thanks for your help and patience @naruto! – Glutexo May 15 '18 at 4:36

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