The context is that the protagonist went to the roof after being invited by someone and the protagonist was describing his admiration of this place (the roof). Then there's this passage:

誰も立候補者がおらず、何となくの投票で推薦された美化委員に、こんな役得があるとは思わなかった。 鍵を持っているのは、屋上に備品を出し入れする美化委員と、天体観測をする天文部だけ。

There's a phrase in the second line that is throwing me off: 誰も立候補者がおらず

Some thing about the construction (especially its usage of 誰も) is unusual to me but I couldn't quite put my finger on it. If I have to naively guess, it literally means: "not a single candidate is present", but the way the phrase is setup is unexpected to me.

And a wild guess of the sentence's overall literal meaning: "Not a single candidate of the beautification committee that is somehow endorsed through votes has thought of this benefit."

Can anyone explain what's going on in the grammar structure that I'm lacking understanding of? If possible, a straightforward rewording of the (Japanese) sentence would also be really helpful.

EDIT: Some of the preceding passages describing the protagonist's admiration that might provide more context:


EDIT 2: More passages describing about the key possession:



The noun phrase 美化委員 is modified by the sentence 「誰も立候補者がおらず、何となくの投票で推薦された」.

The latter can be divided into 誰も立候補者がいない and 何となくの投票で推薦された.

Though I didn't understand which part of the original phrase you had difficulty with, it might have been easier for you if these had been joined as 「誰も立候補者がいなくて、何となくの投票で推薦された」 or 「誰も立候補者がいなかったため(に)、何となくの投票で推薦された」.


Maybe the cause of your confusion is in 立候補者. It means a candidate (候補者) but one that has volunteered to run. Since no one volunteered, they had a vote of sorts (何となくの投票) to decide who to endorse as a member of the beautification committee. The protagonist became a member only as a result of it and didn’t realize he would have such a privilege.


I think what you are not getting is that the protagonist is the subject of 推薦された (i.e. the object of 推薦).


Take out 美化委員 and modify it with the rest of the sentence, and you get the following noun phrase.


  • Sorry for the late reply, the part I specifically didn't get is: 誰も立候補者がいない. Is this equivalent to 立候補者が一人もいない? But even assuming that, I still don't quite get what the sentence is saying.
    – what the
    Jun 15 '21 at 15:04
  • @whatthe: Yes, it means that. As I said above, your understanding of “not a single candidate is present” was correct. If you don’t understand what 誰も立候補者がいなかったため(に)、何となくの投票で推薦された means, then the problem is somewhere else. You would have to clarify where it is.
    – aguijonazo
    Jun 15 '21 at 15:27
  • I guess what I'm not understanding is the second clause. 投票で推薦された means 'being endorsed through votes` right? I'm going to ask a stupid question, but if there's no candidate then who are the votes going to? Maybe my confusion is caused by my vague notion of what 何となくの is doing in the sentence.
    – what the
    Jun 15 '21 at 15:46
  • @whatthe: I don’t think the problem is with 何となくの because it’s not an essential part and your translation of “somehow” seems OK. Read my edit and see if it makes sense.
    – aguijonazo
    Jun 15 '21 at 16:28
  • Unless I'm massively misunderstanding the story, the protagonist is not a member of the beautification committee and the committee itself was never really brought up again so far in the story. See my edit of the original post for more passages regarding the committee and the rooftop key.
    – what the
    Jun 15 '21 at 16:59

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