“All You Need is Kill”: Let’s Read #3

“Let’s Read” is an attempt on my behalf to master Japanese language by reading Japanese texts found in books, magazines, newspapers, etc.

In this edition, the text is from “All You Need is Kill.” A military sci-fi written by Hiroshi Sakurazaka and has been adapted to what I think as one of the better sci-fi films with Tom Cruise in the lead, “Edge of Tomorrow.

See all previous posts on this series from its dedicated category.


  • 土埃. Noun. “Cloud of dust.” Kanjis for this compound are つち “soil” and ほこり “dust.” You could maybe use けむり “smoke” instead of 埃 as in 土煙 to deliver the same information of “cloud of dust.”
  • を. Particle. Marks 土埃 as a direct object.
  • 巻き上げる. Verb. “To roll up.” I found 巻 here is an interesting kanji because it invokes an image of rolling something flat with your hands into something that takes 己 shape. Just like a rice roll sushi which was colloquially called “maki sushi.”
  • 巻き上げる is a transitive verb so it requires a direct object. On the contrary, 巻き上がる is an intransitive verb with the same meaning. The rule of thumb is perhaps that if a verb ends with an える, it is most likely a transitive verb. The same could be said with intransitive verb and ある.
  • This sentence then becomes a simple “A を B” sentence that translates into, “cloud of dust rolled up.”


  • 埃. Noun. “Dust.”
  • の. Particle. Possessive.
  • カーテン. Noun. “Curtain.”
  • 埃のカーテン then translates into, “curtain of dust.”
  • に. Particle. Marks 埃のカーテン as a target for the next action.
  • 次. Noun. “Next; The following.”
  • の. Particle. Possessive.
  • 一弾. Noun. “One bullet.”
  • が. Particle. Marks 次の一弾 as a subject.
  • 孔. Noun. “Hole.” Probably an alternative kanji for あな.
  • を. Particle. Marks 孔 as a direct object.
  • 開ける. Verb. “To open.”
  • This sentence then translates into, “the next one bullet opens a hole in the curtain of dust.”


  • 空. Noun. “Sky.”
  • を. Particle. Marks 空 as a direct object.
  • 焦がす. Verb. “To burn; To scorch.”
  • 空を焦がす then translates into “burning the sky.”
  • 幾千. Noun. “Several thousands.”
  • 幾万. Noun. “Several ten thousands.” Combined with 幾千, this actually doesn’t add anything except to over exaggerate the “a lot” meaning.
  • の. Particle. “of.”
  • うち. Noun. “Within.”
  • 幾千幾万のうち then translates into “from a lot of.” Combined with 空をこがす, it then becomes verb-noun construct meaning “from a lot of (things) that burn the sky.”
  • たった. “Only.”
  • 一発. Noun. “One shot.”
  • This first phrase, 空を焦がす幾千幾万のうちたった一発 then could be translated into, “only one shot from a lot of (things) that burn the sky.”
  • 指. Noun. “Finger.”
  • ほど. Adverbial noun. “Degree; Extent; Bounds; Limit.”
  • Aほど is a fairly common occurrence in Japanese and could be taken to mean “as much as A.” In this case, 指ほど then translates into “as much as finger.”
  • の. Particle. Possessive.
  • 塊. Noun. “Mass; Lump.”
  • Together, 指ほどの塊 then translates into “lump as big as a finger.”
  • が. Particle. Marks 指ほどの塊 as a subject.
  • 体. Noun. “Body.”
  • を. Particle. Marks 体 as a direct object.
  • 通り抜ける. Verb. “To pass through.” A combination of とおり “road,” and ける “to come out.”
  • だけ. Particle. “Only; Merely”
  • で. Particle. Instrumentation particle often translates as “by.”
  • 体を通り抜けるだけで then could be translated into “by merely passing through the body.”
  • ヒト. Noun. “Person.” Written with katakana here perhaps to highlight its importance.
  • は. Particle. Marks ヒト as a topic.
  • 死ぬ. Verb. “To die.”
  • All these then, combined and came out as a relatively simple translation, “only one shot from these many that burns the sky, a lump no bigger than your finger, merely passing through your body, a man is dead.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *