Since yesterday I'm struggling with this sentence:


I kinda get the first part, at least its general meaning, but I'm at a loss with the last part, 伸びるままにまかせている雑木の暗い木立しか、思い浮かべられなくなっていた.

The first part is saying that after three years living near 六義園 the character doesn't really notice the cheerfulness of the well-cared garden; here I don't really get はじめて見ることができる, which literally should be "Being able to see for the first time", but using the translation it seems to be referring to people seeing it for the first time, so "Unlike peope seeing it the first time, I don't really notice...".

The second part...

  • 塀際 I think means that whatever she is speaking about is on the side of the wall;

  • 雑木の暗い木立しか、思い浮かべられなくなっていた means she is reminded just of the dark grooves of different trees;

  • 伸びるままにまかせている... 伸びる is "To stretch", ままに is "As; Wherever" (or まま + ?), and for まかせている I just found 任せる, which I really don't get what should mean in this sentence. I'm not even sure I parsed it correctly.

I tried some search on Weblio, but I can't find any form like those. I roughly know what it means from the given translation ("the dark tangles along the walls"), but it seems to me there is more going on.

The translation given in the book is: "By that time we'd been in the discrict for three years, and the name 'Rikugien' brought to mind not the tidy, sunlit lawns seen by visitors, but the dark tangles along the walls".

Edit: I removed a part of the question I left by mistake.

  • Thanks, I see how I parsed it wrong (in two places); still it's quite different from the translation given in the book, so I'm at a loss. For reference, the translation given in the book is, "By that time wed been in the discrict ofr three years, and the name 'Rikugien' brought to mind not the tidy, sunlit lawns seen by visitors, but the dark tangles along the walls" (I'll add this to my question).
    – Mauro
    Oct 18, 2019 at 15:21

2 Answers 2


"By that time wed been in the district for three years, and the name 'Rikugien' brought to mind not the tidy, sunlit lawns seen by visitors, but the dark tangles along the walls"

Probably the translator wanted to make it shorter and simple than literal translation like mine. They do not emphasize the scenery after entering inside ,but rather talking about the daily routine they pass by having imprinted not-well-kept trees from the garden to their mind.

enter image description here


It suggests the gardeners do not trim the trees, but "leave the trees as they want to grow".

This 伸びる does not really talk about the elasticity of the trees, but its development. So, I think "grow" would apply for the translation this time.

This ...ままに implies "free to ..." So, the trees are not constrained to grow.

This まかせている implies "to let something remain in a particular state". So, the trees are left growing spontaneously.

  • So the sentence literally is something like "After three years living near 六義園, more that the brightness of the well-kept lawn of the park you can see after entering, I was just remembered of the dark trees left to grow freely over the wall"?
    – Mauro
    Oct 19, 2019 at 13:54
  • 1
    l think the sentence says the name Rikugien has been reminding the narrator more of the picture like that I attached in the answer than the grasses of the garden over the wall. Oct 19, 2019 at 15:02
  • Sorry, maybe I wasn't clear: I understood the narrator has been reminded of something like that picture, I was asking if the full translation I gave would make sense; mainly, I'm checking if I understood the なかに入ってはじめて見ることができる庭園の手入れの行き届いた芝生の明るさよりも part.
    – Mauro
    Oct 19, 2019 at 16:14
  • 1
    The narrator has been reminded more of 塀際の、伸びるままにまかせている雑木の暗い木立 such as the image I attached than なかに入ってはじめて見ることができる庭園の手入れの行き届いた芝生の明るさ. Oct 20, 2019 at 0:12

Im Japanese and just trying translation training by myself now; so, ill do some try.

六義園と言えば、speaking of Roku Gien park, そばに住むようになって三年ほど経ったその頃には、なかに入ってはじめて見ることができる庭園の手入れの行き届いた芝生の明るさよりも、塀際の、伸びるままにまかせている雑木の暗い木立しか、思い浮かべられなくなっていた that is a park where I started live nearby about three years, rebark my mind only through its darkness of trees crossed straighten as they grow-more than its brightness of lawn of the gardens tidy cleaning situation; the latter you cant see without entering in that garden.

  • horigiwa, is side walks of a canal way in old cities in Japan.but I can't imagine good now; please paste here if you could more sentence back and forward - I can borrow my idea more precisely as this part. now I delet this phrase, sorry. Oct 22, 2019 at 21:11

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