Preview

“In any event, what has become of my dear father? My mind is not at ease.”

Many a time he stopped his horse’s step to look back, only to hear the roar of the battle cries and screaming arrows. Now the castle seemed to have fallen, and violent fire was burning the sky. Even before a sharp cry came out of his mouth, he pulled the reigns and was trying to return, but the two lieutenants had a firm hold of the horse’s bridle and would not let go.

“What a waste! Have you gone out of your mind after all that, young master? What do you make of the Lord’s lessons? If you went back to the fallen castle now and let yourself be gone, it’d be an act more meaningless than a moss jumping into fire as they sang in the old song. Believing too much is not the same as believing. Being too good is not the same as being good. Those were the maxims you always liked saying, were they not? For the noble and the common alike there is only one way to be good. What makes you doubt that? Come this way.”

As they pulled the horse, Yoshizane, maddened by the hurt and pain he felt for his father, shouted in an irritated voice,

“Let go of me, Sadayuki. Do not stop me, Ujimoto. You said as my father wished, but I cannot bear this. A man’s child cannot. Let go, let go!”

 

This is a snippet from the first episode. To read the full story go to the Novel.

Livingdaylightz (livingdaylightz) and The Legend of Eight Samurai Hounds, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of all or any part of this material without express and written permission from me, Livingdaylightz (livingdaylightz), is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Livingdaylightz (livingdaylightz) and The Legend of Eight Samurai Hounds with appropriate and specific direction to the original content and upon express and written permission from me, the author/site owner.

 

Wait just a moment!

I’m a bit behind the schedule but will be updating soon. I wanted for the time being to post a link to a cool samurai story that I like instead but couldn’t find it. It’s one written by Lafcadio Hearn, an Irish-born writer who married into a samurai family (lucky fella). His works have run out of copyright if my memory serves me right, so I hoped to find it on the Internet. It’s a great story so if I ever find it I’ll introduce it to you.

For now let me just jot down something weird I noticed while translating today. Every time Iwakuma Donpei speaks, it’s always in an Australian accent with that hint of guttural estuary though sounding somewhat milder. Don’t ask me why. I love accents – all kinds of accents, and I love it when Aussies say ‘joeys (baby kangaroos)’.  Try this in Donpei’s Australian accent:

“On that cloudy morning in Ochiba-ga-oka where it was chilly despite the summer, it was not the skylark being hunted by a hawk that fell, but the skylark-coloured horse Mitsuhiro was riding.”

See you in a bit!

The Semantix

When I’m translating I constantly get trapped by the surface features of the text instead of digging out the semantic context and trying to materialize it.

Here I’m using the phrase ‘surface features’ not in a technical Chomsky way but  things you (or maybe just me) tend to notice or that can be derived from texts readily, such as styles, pronunciations, word choices, and even grammatical roles of words and phrases.

Onomatopoeia is a good example. In English words like ‘ding dong’, ‘thud’, ‘beep’, or ‘click’ would come to mind. To pick a couple of examples from Hakkenden there’s ‘kitt to miru (look in a ‘kitt’ way, i.e., sharply)’ or ‘konata yori hishihishi to (in a ‘hishihishi’ way from over here, i.e., bustling in numbers from over here)’.

As you can see from the English examples these words (called onomatopes) usually originate in sound a certain subject makes, but in Japanese there are even cases when they derive from general feel you get from movements or states of a subject, as you can see in the above Hakkenden examples. English has no vocabulary to accurately describe this kind of ‘onomatopoeia’, and its frequent use is one of the things people notice about Japanese. As expected, you’d find plenty more in Hakkenden too. So how do you translate them?

 

The Semantrix, to be released in cinemas near you this summer, not.

Continue reading

Prologue: The Origin – The Prince, the Princess, and the Dog 5-3

Episode V-iii

Good captain declines intrigues and enlistees learn benevolence

Carrier pigeons deliver a message and the traitors offer a head

 

Previously in Episode 5-2, Sadayuki couldn’t capture Tsumadate Togoroh riding back into Takita Castle. This must mean Maro and Anzai have already been talked into attacking Yoshizane’s army from behind to support Sadakane within the castle. Soon Yoshizane’s army will be surrounded by enemies. On top of that Yoshizane’s running out of food supplies for his men. How are Yoshizane, Sadayuki, and Takayoshi going to fight back?

 

Meanwhile Sadakane heard that Tsumadate Togoro had returned safely, so he summoned him hastily to ask about the outcome. Togoroh rubbed off the pouring sweat.

“Yes milord, Kagetsura and Nobutoki have agreed without hesitation. Also, those master and men of the Satomis were fools who entrusted themselves to Anzai at Tateyama but were mightily threatened and ran away sore losers. ‘How they raised a big army in such few days was hard to comprehend’ according to them. Both Kagetsura and Nobutoki were jealous. There is no doubt they will attack Tojo.”

Maro and Anzai, with Sadayuki, Ujimoto, Bokuhei and Mukuzo in the background. Courtesy of National Diet Library

Continue reading

Will a writers’ conference be a good idea?

Dear Agony Aunt or Ancle, no, Uncle,

Have you ever participated a writers’ conference?

I’ve been entertaining the idea of doing so for some time and I’m hopeful that finally I probably can some time this year or next. However, I have no idea which one would be the best fit in helping me publish the work (OK, it has already been published here but I mean to make it into a book form).

Would anyone be able to help me with ideas or suggestions as to which conference I should go to, or how I should be choosing?

 

The well in Bakin’s home as photographed in modern days. The source: a Wikipeadia page

 

From what I’ve gathered so far, Continue reading

The Greatest Opening of an Exciting Adventure Story

Every time someone starts reading from Episode 1 it always gives me a lot of pleasure and pain at the same time. It’s because I tell myself to rewrite the beginning part of it.

This is my humble opinion but I’m yet to be convinced that Bakin did justice to his own masterpiece by how he opened up Episode 1  – quite frankly, it’s not the most enticing opening I’ve ever read, nothing less than which the story deserves. Actually it’s probably not his fault. At least not entirely. Continue reading

Bangetu-tei the artist duo

Maybe quite a few of you have experienced this. Here at the Legend of the Eight Samurai Hounds too, as the blog expanded some contents were starting to sneak into places where they shouldn’t and as a result it became difficult to find what you wanted, so I’ve refreshed the menu.

One of the changes that made me really happy is that the acknowledgement section, which used to be a small potion of a page called ‘Notes’, has a page for itself under the ‘About’ tab. This way it shows a lot more appreciation to those who deserve. Besides, as the work progresses more people have helped me along the way and naturally there are more people to whom I want to express my gratitude.

The latest addition to the acknowledgements is Bangetu-tei who created the music in the clip displayed in Episode 5-2. The song’s called ‘Yoshitsune Senbon-zakura (Yoshitsune the Thousand Tree Cherry Blossoms)’ which comes from a Kabuki play. Minamoto no Yoshitsune is a twelfth-century warrior and  a famous Gen-ji, but more than anything else he’s one of Japan’s most favoured tragic heroes. Continue reading

Recently, I’ve begun to wonder

whether the title of this story should be ‘The Legends (plural) of the Eight Samurai Hounds’ rather than the singular ‘Legend’. As I proceed with translations there is a definite feel that the story really is a composition of numerous legends.

The original title:  南總里見八犬伝

*The kanji for 總 (soh) is often and usually replaced by the modern version: 総

Even back in the summer of 2015 when I was contemplating on a suitable title for the blog, I wasn’t totally sure of it. I dug up my notes: Continue reading

Prologue: The Origin – The Prince, the Princess, and the Dog 5-2

Episode V-ii

Good captain declines intrigues and enlistees learn benevolence

Carrier pigeons deliver a message and the traitors offer a head

 

Courtesy of Ban Getu Tei by Yoshitate Kyounosuke & Fuyu

 

Previously…

While Sadakane, the enemy of all folk, was spending day and night partying, a strange looking army approached his castle and brought down one of his favourite warriors Sabitsuka Donpei. It was the wandering freelancer Kanamari Takayoshi coming back to avenge his former master. Sadakane listens on to the eyewitness’s account of the battle scene. Now the stage is set for Yoshizane’s ever-reliable lieutenant Horiuchi Krando Sadayuki. Coolness. Continue reading

Update notice

This month I’m planning to update mid-month as there has been a long period of no posts. My life’s relatively stable now or so I hope, after a year’s work towards attaining it, and this should allow me to update more regularly at least during the rest of year 2017. Will this strike you as boring or make you feel a kinship but I like routines, and  it feels so good to be able to go through the same procedures every day. Psychologists seem to think making choices is one of the greatest causes of stress, and I guess that’s one of the reasons I like routines, although they’ve also found that stress alone doesn’t make you ill unless you believe stress is bad for you. Anyway, about the life of routine, more relevantly, it will let me write more.

Writing a note for the upcoming episode Continue reading

Thank you and the best wishes for the coming year!

This year has been busier yet than the one before. While I admit I regret not having been able to update as regularly as before, I am filled with hopes that it will come gradually to that I will be able to in the coming year. I have been working and will continue to work to make that happen. My determination hasn’t waned a bit.

Continue reading

Notice

Finally, updated the menu to improve the ease of navigation. Should be able to reach each post in chronological order from Episode 1 using the dropdown menu at the top.  The navigation page has also been renewed and is linked to all the episodes posted so far. If you find anything missing or out of place tell me either in the comment or by emailing me at livingdaylightzz(a)gmail.com (replace (a) with @). Thanks!

Prologue: The Origin – The Prince, the Princess, and the Dog

Prologue: The Origin – The Prince, the Princess, and the Dog

Episode 1. Suyemoto Dies an Opportune Death Leaving Guidance, The White Dragon Goes South through the Clouds

Episode 2-1. Assassins shoot arrows to slay the white horse, Evil vassal robs two counties and leans on the red gate

Episode 2-2.  Assassins shoot arrows to slay the white horse, Evil vassal robs two counties and leans on the red gate

Episode 3-1. Kagetsura and Nobutoki subtly sabotage Yoshizane, Ujimoto and Sadayuki comply with Tateyama at risk

Episode 3-2. Kagetsura and Nobutoki subtly sabotage Yoshizane, Ujimoto and Sadayuki comply with Tateyama at risk

Episode 3-3. Kagetsura and Nobutoki subtly sabotage Yoshizane, Ujimoto and Sadayuki comply with Tateyama at risk

Episode 4-1. In Ko-minato Yoshizane raises justic, In Kaki-no-uchi Takayoshi pursues vengeance

Episode 4-2. In Ko-minato Yoshizane raises justic, In Kaki-no-uchi Takayoshi pursues vengeance

Episode 4-3. In Ko-minato Yoshizane raises justic, In Kaki-no-uchi Takayoshi pursues vengeance

Episode 5-1. Good captain declines intrigues and enlistees learn benevolence, Carrier pigeons deliver a message and the traitors offer a head

Episode 5-2. Good captain declines intrigues and enlistees learn benevolence, Carrier pigeons deliver a message and the traitors offer a head

Notice

So sorry to keep you waiting! Just a few more days till I can post the next part. Some of the descriptions of the armour and weaponry took me aeons. It was tremendously interesting and enjoyable to learn though, and I’m hoping it’s helped me make the story more exciting. Did you know that samurai on campaign carried most of his supplies? That includes rations, clothing, glooming kit and bedding on top of all the weapons.

On another note, when I read Bakin’s descriptions of Yoshizane, I often get the feeling that he may be Bakin’s ideal samurai and son, who he ended up losing to illness.

Regrettably notice is becoming a regular feature of this blog now, though every month I’m hopeful maybe this time I can catch the deadline. Such an optimist I am, and I still hope that the next post will be worth your wait and be entertaining enough for you.

Finally, as always, thank you all so much for your patience and support!

Prologue: The Origin – The Prince, the Princess, and the Dog 5-1

Episode V

 

Good captain declines intrigues and enlistees learn benevolence

Carrier pigeons deliver a message and the traitors offer a head

 

The emissary Yamashita Sakuza’emon-no-Joe Sadakane had sent to Maro and Anzai was now back to Takita.

“Those fellows didn’t explicitly say they would capitulate but were terribly intimidated. There is no doubt that before long both of them will pay a visit by themselves to repent their sins and be your highness’s subjects. The poor state of their affairs was such and such, this way and that way.” Continue reading

Notice

(>_<) So it’s going to be late again this month… with much regret. I’m hoping to post it this weekend. Here’s a sneak preview,

 

Episode V

Good captain declines intrigues and enlistees learn benevolence

Carrier pigeons deliver a message and the traitors offer a head

 

The emissary Yamashita Sakuza’emon-no-Joe Sadakane had sent to Maro and Anzai was now back to Takita.

“Those fellows didn’t explicitly say they would capitulate but were terribly intimidateted. There is no doubt that before long both of them will pay a visit by themselves to repent his sins and be your highness’s subject. Their poor state was such and such, this way and that way.”

 

Cheerio till then.

 

© Livingdaylightz and The Legend of Eight Samurai Hounds, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of all or any part of this material without express and written permission from me, Livingdaylightz, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Livingdaylilghtz and The Legend of Eight Samurai Hounds with appropriate and specific direction to the original content and upon express and written permission from me, the author/site owner. The images belong to their individual copyright holders as specified in the text.

Prologue: The Origin – The Prince, the Princess, and the Dog 4-3 (End of Episode 4)

Episode IV-iii

In Ko-minato Yoshizane raises justice

In Kaki-no-uchi Takayoshi pursues his vengeance

 

“Master Yoshizane, may we suggest a humble idea of ours? The county of Nagasa is delegated to Sadakane’s trusted retainer Shietage Kokuroku[1], who resides in the Castle of Tojo. It is not far from here. If you attack Kokuroku for a start, you will not only be equipped with armaments and food provisions but instantly have the whole county in your hand. It will give you much mobility in attacking Takita.” Continue reading

Notice

Thanks ever so much for generous support whether you’re a steadfast Hakkenden lover like me or just passing by! My other work, which I consider myself lucky to have, is taking up a bit too much time and attention than I expected, and consequently the next update will have to wait a while. I’d say in a couple of days or some time in the first week of the month Yoshizane and his comrades will get into action.  Cheerio and see you soon!