Japanese Short Story Translation: “Five Minutes Won’t Cut It” by Kisaragi Shinichi [Chapter 6]

This is the sixth and final chapter of “Five Minutes Won’t Cut It” (大泥棒に5分は長い), a short story by Kisaragi Shinichi 1(如月新一). I have permission from the author to translate this work.

Thanks to Locksleyu from Self Taught Japanese, both for inspiration to start this project and for help with verifying the translation and editing.

I’m Sorry, I Won’t Do It Again

The Anekawa couple wasn’t coming out of the bedroom, so we left their place behind, realizing this would be our only chance. It was a risky bet, but now the wind was drying our cold sweat—we made it.

“But I wonder what happened in there,” said Abiko as he looked up at the moon. A sort of half-assed moon floated in the sky—neither crescent nor full.

“I don’t really know what happened, but I’m glad they seemed to have made up.”

“Yeah,” Abiko said with a satisfied nod.

I felt a great relief, like you get after witnessing something good. “Speaking of that, the udon sure was delicious,” Abiko said casually.

On the way home, after I parted ways with Abiko, I could see the lights on in my second story corner room in the blue apartment building off in the distance. I was delighted that Aoi was waiting up for me. I briskly walked through the entrance, up the stairs, and opened the door to my apartment.

“Honey, I’m home.”

“Welcome home,” said Aoi, watching TV. She gave me a quick glance, then turned back to the TV.

“I bought some udon as a souvenir.”

I put the bag from the convenience store on the low dining table. It was something I bought with Abiko at the corner store on the way home. “This just came out,” I explained. However, Aoi scowled and held that expression as she turned towards me. I guess saying she was ruining that beautiful face wouldn’t cheer her up any. I took in her sharp expression and piercing eyes.

“You mean you didn’t even know that I don’t eat instant udon?”

“Oh, you don’t? Is it because you can’t wait five minutes?”

I thought it might be because she was impatient. Instead she said, “That would be unthinkable for a person from Sanuki. 2

Aoi stared down the udon with a look of hatred, as if preparing to avenge her father’s death.

“Is that so?”

“Hey, more importantly, the pudding is gone from the fridge. Did you eat it?”

Yeah, you could say I had some idea what she was talking about. Some pudding had been staying overnight in the fridge for a whole week, so eventually I starting thinking it may not be Aoi’s guest and introduced it to my stomach this morning.

“I’m really sorry—I won’t do it again.”

“I’m sick of hearing that.”

“Hey, why don’t you save that line for an udon commercial?”

The remote control flew.

(The End)


  1. In this blog, I always write Japanese names with the family name first. Shinichi is pronounced Shin`ichi.
  2. The historical name for Kagawa Prefecture, home of the popular sanuki udon with a distinctive square shape.