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

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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

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

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

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!

Prologue: The Origin – The Prince, the Princess, and the Dog 4-1

Episode IV

In Ko-minato Yoshizane raises justice

In Kaki-no-uchi Takayoshi pursues vengeance

And so Yoshizane and his men were on the road trying this pond and that river, seeking waters and standing in rapids the whole day without returning to their inn in Shirahama. In the end they reached as far away as the river Shirahashi in the County of Nagasa and it was already the third day. As it was their last day their frustration reached its peak. They caught plenty of fish but no carp, not even one as tiny as a small crucian carp took a bite. Continue reading

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

Episode III-iii

Kagetsura and Nobutoki subtly sabotage Yoshizane

Ujimoto and Sadayuki comply with Tateyama at risk

 

Yoshizane smiled.

“Master Anzai, you’re quite correct. On the other hand, people talk. Ever since I arrived in this province the grapevine keeps telling me the one rumour. It’s one thing that folk will be critical of whatever you do, but it’s completely another when your own men will not let you hear of such criticisms nor reprove you themselves; can such an attitude be called loyalty? Even if Ujimoto and Sadayuki received an unexpectedly large sum of reward, they wouldn’t want to serve an unhearing master in the same camp as disloyal men.”

Kagetsura’s face changed colour at this.

“What slander is this?! What rumour are you talking about?”

Yoshizane stuck his fan on his lap.

“Are you not aware yet sir? This involves not just you but Master Maro also. The three families Jin’yo, Anzai, and Maro have been close collaborators for many years helping each other like their own hands and feet so that this country has long been peaceful, until now when Jin’yo’s best-loved servant Yamashita Sadakane harmed his master, instantly robbed him of the two counties and called himself the lord upon recommendation. Folk would naturally blame you if you didn’t crush the man for the sake of Jin’yo, unabashedly submitted to him and disgraced yourselves. My wish was to work like a horse with all my might for you if you ever took me up upon the information I provided, but it was all in vain and I don’t see any war preparation nor do you bring it up. There’s no place for my humble opinion. While you’re busy scrutinizing the courage of my men and me you’re not about to act on courage and justice to avenge Jin’yo. Such a samurai is no master of mine, and this is where we part. Let us take our leave.”

As soon as he uttered these words he made a move to leave, so Kagetsura called out to him in a hurry. Continue reading