Chapter 3 Notes - Kinmousou The Glorious Haired Mouse

* I have NOT changed the page order. In the manga, page one is before the title page.

Gyokudou (Kinmousou/Glorious Haired Mouse) sometimes speaks funky Japanese. I’m not fluent enough to tell you what accent specifically he’s affecting. I *think* it is him trying to sound affluent or haughty because he drops it after he wakes up, but I could be wrong. He almost never uses any honorifics on names (except his own).

Kinmousou – As best I could decide, this means Glorious Hair Mouse. This makes sense as a nickname as we get more into the chapter (really).  Eagle107 gave me the hint that this guy is a character from the classic ‘Seven Heroes and Five Gallants’ story, and when I checked for details, found a list on Wikipeadia that I’m going to use for their names. >.> Except for this guy, because I think “glorious haired mouse” fits him better than “brocade-coated rat” XD

 * Generally, mouse and rat use the same symbol. So sometimes you can be talking ‘bout little mice and sometimes the larger rats. I cannot really imagine this guy calling himself a rat, and he’s kinda short, so I’m using mouse for him, though I’ll use rat for the other brothers.

Pg 4 – The Japanese reading of his name is Haku Gyokudou. The Chinese reading is  Bai Yutang (白玉堂).

-dono – This is a polite name ending that usually implies someone works for the government or in some sort of official capacity. I’ve also learned that it is a polite way to refer to someone you consider in a lower station than yourself, especially if you are on business. The latter meaning is probably more correct where Zhan Zhao is addressing Gyokudou. Either way, I’m using ‘Sir’ as I have before.

Pg 7 – He calls himself “Yutang-sama” which is pretty pretentious. You might add humbling tags to your own name (like ‘your humble servant’), but you don’t add honorifics to yourself.

Pg 11 – When Bao says he’s never practiced martial arts like that, he’s pointing out that he’s got no training at all so he doesn’t see the point in trying to resist someone who is obviously well trained. Because he’s smart. This is also a nod to a literary trick in plays where Bao and Zhan Zhao are often depicted in a very yin-yang sort of way. Bao is everything to do with civil works and literature, whereas Zhan Zhao is everything martial.

Pg 12 – “The color of his face doesn’t change” is what he literally says, meaning Bao neither shows fear (pale) or anger (red).

Pg 14 – Just felt like leaving the original kanji here for the mouse’s name. XD Remember, I put in the Chinese version of the name, so the kanji reading on the side doesn’t match.

Zhan Zhao calls Gongson (Bao’s aide) “sensei” which can mean any of a great deal of things. It could indicate that Zhan Zhao recognizes that Gongson has more learning, but in this case it probably more closely indicates that Gongson has some medical training.

Page 15 – This is the page with the nicknames that nearly broke my head the first time I translated this, before I knew they were references to other literary figures.

Pg 17. The “hero” term is “kyoukaku” – literally “Chivalrous Guest.” This could be a knight or a hero or even a mercenary. The problem with knight is that it implies knighthood, which isn’t necessarily the case with these people. Hero is the more common translation, I think, even though one’s definition of “hero” could be quite fluid. Mercenaries can be these sorts of guests, as well, since the term focuses more on “chivalry” than on whether or not the person was paid to help or just volunteering their time. I chose “Hero” because that seemed to fit the easiest (and it has the least number of letters….).

Nankyou and Hokkyou– lit. South Chivalry and Northern Chivalry, I translated this as Southern Hero and Northern Hero, which turned out to be the common Chinese translation. XD

This story about Northern and Southern hero is part of Zhan Zhao’s classic story, btw. Remember that the government was considered decadent and totally corrupt during this time period.

Pg 18 – Fourth Rank Official. I mentioned this in a previous chapter, but just as a refresher… This is pretty much what it sounds like – 1 is the highest rank. I don’t know what the lowest rank is, but I know of at least six in the higher levels of court, so jumping straight to four in the higher court is pretty significant, which is why Yutang is so angry.  Zhan Zhao’s a 4th Rank, Bao is 3rd Rank, and Grand Tutor Pang is 1st Rank.

Pg 21 – The hat. “kanbou” which means “Official Hat” I guess. All those funky hats people wear in period dramas and comics are indicators of rank, and are part of the required uniform. Bao wasn’t “on duty” when he was kidnapped, so he wasn’t wearing his hat and is instead wearing the informal hair pin. As you’ll see in a few pages, Zhan Zhao’s expression and Zhao Hu’s surprise are because Zhan Zhao took off the hat while he was still “on duty,” which could be taken to mean that he intends to resign. Think of it like a police officer tossing his badge to a by-stander before wading into a fight. In any case, the toss of the hat (poi sound effect, which indicates it's like a one handed flip and not even a careful throw) is really, really not okay. XD

Pg 22 – Bad at gauging swordmanship. He’s not saying Yutang is a bad swordsman, just bad at judging other people’s skills.

Pg 24 – Balls rotted. Well. This could be ‘character’ for “your personality has rotted” but the kanji themselves are “sex/nature/gender” and “root/head.” I decided that the feeling was probably more vulgar than tame, especially considering the situation where Yutang has decided that Zhan Zhao has lost the will to fight.

Pg 24 – Hyoutou. The note is pretty much how Takiguchi wrote it. One of the kanji implies a flipping or reverse action in the throwing, but, eh…  This is pretty much what my dictionary said, too, except my dictionary gave the subtle distinction between this and a shiruken, as a hyoutou being more of a knife. Eagle107 seconded this distinction.

Pg 26 - “heave ho” Yoisho is this sound Japanese make when they haul up something heavy, or do something physically straining. Middle-aged men in Japan tend to make this sound at the smallest of effort (like when they get up from a chair).

Pg 30 – “If you are helpful in your duties, you have become an Official.” This is a play on words. “Yaku ni tateru  narabato, yakunin ni narimashita.” The two half of the phrases use similar readings and the same kanji. “Yaku ni tateru” (to be helpful/useful, lit: stand in your role/duty) uses the same kanji as “yakunin” (Court Official, lit: Office/Duty/Role, Person). It’s poetic, and I can’t do it justice in English.

Pg 34 – Zhan Zhao and Bao refer to each other in third person all the time (instead of saying ‘you’ Zhan Zhao says ‘Lord Bao Zheng’ though I tend to shorten it to Lord Bao). This is common in formal Japanese. This particular page, Zhan Zhao gets very formal. Between this sudden distancing of formal Japanese and Bao’s little quiz on the previous page (he has his own answer, he just wanted to hear Zhan Zhao’s response and the series of dots in his thinking plus his expression indicate that he’s pleased by the answer), you are supposed to see that the two are still pretty new acquaintances. Neither is entirely sure of the other, yet, other than Zhan Zhao knows Bao is smart and just and Bao knows Zhan Zhao kicks  serious ass.

Also, this is what Bao was referring to when he was trying to warn Yutang about his actions. It doesn’t matter how the fight with Zhan Zhao would have turned out, Yutang would be put to death for kidnapping a Court Official, especially one of Bao’s rank.

Pg 37 – He literally says, “I’ll be waiting for you to wash your neck.” This could be a reference to getting fired, but judging by Pang’s reaction, I’m thinking it is entirely literal. So, that seems to be something like “wear clean underwear when you go to the hospital” or “Use a breath mint before you kiss.” You know… “wash your neck before you are executed.” Didn’t your mother teach you that one?  XD

Random history note:

Historically, the youngest Bao can be here is 29 years old. He was one of the youngest people to ever pass the highest level of the Court Exam (a test they had to take before becoming officials, there are several levels), but because his parents were elderly and he felt they needed his care, he declined to take a position right away. He stayed with his parents for over ten years before they passed away. Once they had passed, he was immediately snapped up into the higher rankings of Court Officials. This familial piety was one of the first signs of his generally considered just mien.


 

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