Prologue: The Origin – The Prince, the Princess, and the Dog 8-3

Volume IV, Episode VIII


In En no Gyoja’s cave an old man assesses Fuse-hime’s fate

In a village near Takita a tanuki feeds a puppy


After a visit to En no Gyoja’s cave, Princess Fuse grew up in health to be a beautiful and intelligent child. Meanwhile, in a village in Toyama, a strange tale was unfolding about a motherless pup – he appeared to be growing without being fed.



Wazahey told it to the neighbours, and he himself was watchful in dawn and dusk. One such morning, in early hours, he woke up to find an ancient-looking tanuki dog[1] running out of the kennel. It headed back towards a mountain of Toyama. Continue reading


we are ocean and sky made small
when we open our mouth, the world comes out

Killer phrases.

Animal: A Beast of a Literary Magazine

Killer Whale by  Rudhthoronwen; for more information, visit Killer Whale by Rudhthoronwen; for more information, visit

The Killer Whales Sing

by Ryan Dzelzkalns

and as if that fantastic animal we accommodate had itself such finely tuned ears, such searching eyes, so gifted a tongue and mind, as to know much and be quite willing to tell it…

~Michel Foucault

we are ocean and sky made small

we speak, that is, rule

we come from below in families and institutions

when we open our mouth, the world comes out

make no mistake here

we are obeyed, and yet, no one was there to invent us

somehow we suspect the dark, suffer our body with hunger

we know only the skin holds in your blood

we surround you, are exercised from innumerable points of light

we think of you like you do: singular, yearning

we are wolfwhistle; we are thrall

where there is power, there is resistance, and yet, there…

View original post 136 more words

Next Friday evening opens up Golden Week (in Japan) and more

I hope you enjoyed Episode 8-2 last week! To investigate I’m not just imagining that you did, I’ve decided to take a poll.


Did you notice any difference in writing too? Originally I thought Bakin’s pseudo-classical approach was the one to go for, but in the last post I aimed for plain English. Did it work though?


You’ll see this post at the top for a bit, except for when there’s a new episode, so feel free to give me your input any time.

Episode 8-3 coming up next weekend, when 10-day-long bank holiday starts in Japan.


See you soon,


Prologue: The Origin – The Prince, the Princess, and the Dog 8-2

Volume IV, Episode VIII


In En no Gyoja’s cave an old man assesses Fuse-hime’s fate

In a village near Takita a tanuki feeds a puppy


Fuse-hime, Takita Castle’s much adored baby princess, travelled to a sacred cave in Suzaki to seek blessings from En no Gyoja. On their return journey the princess and her company met a strange old man, who foretold her fortune and vanished into thin air.



For a brief period of time, the dazed attendants gazed in his direction. They decided everything was due to one of En no Gyoja’s manifestations and all bowed down to worship him.

On the return journey to Takita, the princess never cried and even played happily. Ever since this day, her speech started to appear even better than that of an average three year old. It made everyone happy and suspicious at the same time.

Continue reading

The beginning of a new chapter

The draft for the next post is now going through a process of rewriting. As you’ll see soon, it’ll offer some improvements.

First, the writing style is different. Previously I tried to stick with the pseudo-classical one chosen by Bakin, the original author. However, the next post prioritizes his spirit rather than his superficial style. That, I’ suspect, is the secret to his success. It’s the spirit of quality entertainment.

This idea prompted me to be more flexible in other areas too. Continue reading

Promising Translators contest 2018: Aaaaaannnd the winner is…!

I admit. I’ve been totally defeated. I could not translate enough to upload for the month of June. On my Facebook page I said give me a week. A week passed and there was still no update. Then two weeks. Nothing. Let’s not make any excuses but only assure you that I am as passionate about this project, thinking almost around the clock, every single day, about the adventures the brave princess and eight dog warriors embark on.  I feel very lucky to be working on all the projects I’m currently working on, treasuring  each one as dearly as any other (Well I did work very hard to get them! (≧∇≦)), but the Legend of the Eight Samurai Hounds certainly occupies a special place in my heart.

And now for something completely different. Continue reading

Prologue: The Origin – The Prince, the Princess, and the Dog 8-1


Volume IV, Episode VII


In En no Gyohja’s cave an old man assesses Fuse-hime’s fate

In a village near Takita a tanuki[1] feeds a puppy


After the Satomi force had conquered Takita Castle of Heguri County,  Kanamari Hachiro Takayoshi committed suicide in order to avoid benefiting from his deceased master. Hachiro’s love child he had with Kohagi, Issaku’s daughter, was named ‘Kanamari Daisuke Takanori’ and was raised by Yoshizane. Years passed.


Some of those who didn’t know Hachiro Takayoshi’s intention behind his own death talked about it disapprovingly.

“Such a waste of a precious life when he didn’t have to die, turning down the rewards for the exploits he’d achieved! He must have been ashamed of Tamazusa’s insults.”

In contrast, an ancient wise man said ‘men of few words avoid evils and harms; women who envies not turns all flaws into charms”. Let alone those of compassion and justice. Hence, Yoshizane was not a singular man of virtue and samurais in the neighbouring countries admired him to the extent that many would ask through acquaintances for his hand in marriage. Continue reading

Turning Japanese Revised – Kirsten Dunst


I pasted a music video of ‘Turning Japanese’ done by the band the Vapors in one of my recent posts. Then a good friend of mine told me of a modern and even more fun performance of the song: Kirsten Dunst’s version:

It’s true the Vapors’ version has some widely misconceived images of the Japanese, which, unfortunately tabloids and even some serious press love to advertise (it sells more and makes the reader feel superior!) Continue reading

Japanese Translation Contest – Should I?


I make a rule of visiting the blog that left a like or started following my blog, actually reading a whole article whenever possible (I’m a slow reader in either of my languages) before returning a like.

As for following blogs, until recently I’d only choose those which I can at least pick and read occasional articles or got me genuinely interested, but now, I’m beginning to understand ‘hollow follows’ are a standard method to boost the number of visitors so the blog looks hot, and therefore have decided to turn a blind eye to my own sincerity and follow suit, that is, follow back if anyone follows me. Continue reading

Prologue: The Origin – The Prince, the Princess, and the Dog 7-2


Volume IV, Episode VII-ii


Kagetsura with Cunning Plans Sells Nobutoki

Takayoshi for Fidelity Retires from Yoshizane


Yoshizane and his men finally freed people from Tamazusa and Sadakane’s rules. Now Awa Province is governed by Yoshizane and his former enemy, sly Anzai Saburo Kagetsura, and it seems like peace and happiness descended on earth. However, Tamazusa’s curse is still lurking to seek revenge on our heroes…


It soon came to the Star Festival of Tanabata in the month of July[1]. That evening Yoshizane was seen by the passageway outside. He had invited only the meritorious men, Sugikura Ujimoto, Horiuchi Sadayuki, Kanamari Takayoshi and such, and had just finished a tea ceremony. [Author’s note: The Satomi had a tradition of tea ceremony, as was mentioned in ‘Awa Province Archives (房総志料)’.]


(c) Pan Jama Lammy


Demonstration of tea ceremony much enjoyed by samurai (7 min) :

Documentary (30 min):


Yoshizane alternately talked of what had happened and let them talk to him. He said to them, Continue reading

Greetings, World. Greetings, Farore Islands

First let me establish the fact that my geography knowledge is best described to be negligent.  Mum thinks I missed my education somewhere.

Well I might venture that it’s not really fair when she can and does win the top prize in the village quiz event by picking the correct coat of arms of some very obscure (to me) town but I won’t, as it really is a futile argument. Let me just declare that my geography knowledge stopped developing at a rather tender age.

Now a couple or so weeks ago, I noted someone from an unfamiliar place name visiting my blog. It had a very cool flag, looking a bit like Saint George’s Cross in its colour schemes and design. I became curious, and this is what I found out. Continue reading

Prologue: The Origin – The Prince, the Princess, and the Dog 7-1


Volume IV, Episode VII-i


Kagetsura with Cunning Plans Sells Nobutoki

Takayoshi for Fidelity Retires from Yoshizane


The beautiful mastermind Tamazusa was finally executed, but not before putting curses upon the entire Satomi clan. There came a messenger from Ujimoto, who was guarding the Fort of Tojo alone while Yoshizane and his men were away to attack Takita Castle.


When Amazaki Juro Terutake, a messenger sent by Sugikura Kiso-no-suke Ujimoto, hastily travelled from Tojo to bring the head of Maro no Nobutoki, Yoshizane went out to the edge of Daishoji[1] and beckoned the messenger to request the report of the battle. Amazaki Juro replied,

“Ujimoto had been aware that you were short of food supplies and he was preparing to urge farmers to transport some. Meanwhile Anzai Kagetsura and Maro no Nobutoki had already been talked by Sadakane into blocking land and sea passages and were waiting to rob us of our provisions. The goings got tough and further agonized Ujimoto who had to wait idly.

“Then one eveing, Kagetsura secretly sent an unnamed manservant to give him a message. Continue reading

Mahabharat and the Next Update

Earlier on Facebook I announced I had to cancel the last month’s update,  and I’m currently working on the last update this year, to be schedule for the New Year’s Day.

However, it’s a bit too thrilling for my liking but I’ve only been able to translate very little so far. I hate to complain as I love my work but there have been more duties and business trips than usual the past couple of months. Gradually and finally though, I’m at the stage to almost finish clearing out odd jobs and am getting back on track now. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

I don’t mean to sound too much like a business blog, but in order to focus better I’m experimenting with ambient noise. Attention and focus has always been my problem.  The idea of ambient noise is the right kind of it at the right level of noisiness can help you focus better. You can probably find quite a few choices of web sites that play ambient noise for you, but this one’s my favourite as it’s easy use, log in to save preferences,  and for its noise selections:

Now for this month’s warrior in action. Mahabharat has been in my reading list of epic hero stories for years, though it’s just seemed too long for me to even start. Disney did their version, and I haven’t watched it yet, but the music is great. To quote it here I listened for the hundredth time but it gave me shivers all over.  This one may not sound all traditional Indian but it works for me. Indian music, especially traditional one, is simply magic.



Prologue: The Origin – The Prince, the Princess, and the Dog 6-2 (End of Episode 6) – with original illustration


Episode VI-ii

Opening the Granary Yoshizane Enlivens Two Counties

Receiving Lord’s Order Takayoshi Chastises Three Outlaws


The renowned stronghold Takita has finally fallen and the two vassals who had been tormenting people for years have met their fate. Now the court procedures move on to the last one of the accused, Tamazusa – Mitsuhiro’s beautiful courtesan and Sadakane’s wife, but Takayoshi will soon find out that she’s in a totally different league as Donpei and Togoro. Meanwhile, at the fort of Tojo, Ujimoto has to singlehandedly face the enemy…


*This episode proudly presents an original illustration by Pan Jama Lammy! Your feedback would be awaited with much eagerness and enthusiasm. Thanks millions!

Continue reading

Writer’s craft and penmanship – in Bakin’s case

Bakin is a marvelous writer. I must admit I didn’t realize the full  length of this fact until I got down to translating his work.

Someone said in my Facebook Page his Hakkenden story was deemed one of the top novels in the world by Lord Chamberlain, or something to that effect. I reserved my opinions at the time. Now I’m in awe.

In this coming installment, Tamazusa says something very curious.

“Indeed I’m sinned I presume.” Continue reading

Felicitating Fifty Followers

Although it may seem a small step to those famous and successful blogs with thousands of followers, reaching 50 followers last week was a big feat for me! So, a big thank you to all of you and anyone else passing by. \(^O^)/

Recently I’ve been to a Yabusame (Japanese horseback archery) competition, which was nothing short of amazing, and I’d like to talk about it in a bit, but this is something else I hope you’ll also find amusing. Continue reading

Prologue: The Origin – The Prince, the Princess, and the Dog 6-1

Episode VI

Opening the Granary Yoshizane Enlivens Two Counties

Receiving Lord’s Order Takayoshi Chastises Three Outlaws

After capturing a fort  of Tojo, Yoshizane and his followers attacked Takita Castle. but it was a well-build stronghold and they were nearly running out of food supplies. With the aid of carrier pigeons and the farmer recruits inside the castle, however, Sadakane was finally brought down by none other than two of his own top retainers. Now we move on to a key event of the story…

A poster of Nanso Satomi Hakken-den on stage at Kokuritsu Gekijo in January 2015. I hope they’ll do it again.

Continue reading

Episode 6 upload plans

Even though I’m almost obsessed with the Samurai Hounds story and think about it every single day, I’ve totally forgotten about the monthly installment date until just this morning when I realized I’d missed the 1st of October. It happens to everyone; you think September will last forever until October knocks on your door.

…OK I exaggerated. It happens to me but probably not to more decent and capable individuals out there. I don’t know.

Anyhow, it’s already the 3rd, not just a day behind but two. What do I do now?


The thing is this coming episode is very short and almost looks like just a roundup of the battle well-fought, only it isn’t. Just like when you pick up an unassuming looking rich tea biscuit and it blows away your taste buds. That happens to you too doesn’t it?

Without spoiling anything, let me tell you this much: This episode includes a key event which leads to a whole new development. Naturally I want to treat it nice.

So there’s two choices for me – post in a few days the first half of the episode which I’ve more or less finished and stick to the schedule, well, more or less, or skip a month and post the whole episode for you to enjoy it in one go. I’m more inclined to do the former, but if you have any request I’d be curious to hear it.


貞操婦女八賢誌 口絵第一図

An interesting re-interpretation of Bakin’s story in which 8 female warriors fight in place of our male counterparts. by Takagi Gen introduces the whole story in Japanese.