Hokusou Fuuunden Chapter 2 notes


Let me start out by thanking one of my Japanese friends and a former student, *S*, for indicating to me that, yes, those nicknames really were as silly as I thought they were (you’ll see on the teaser title page for Chapter 3). He and several of my Japanese students also laughed a *lot* when they saw the manga and realized what I’d been muttering over as I translated.

That said…. I *totally* gave up on those names of the locations on the first page. Souto and Kaihou could be anything, I stopped caring. XD Basically, we’re in the palace. Same thing with the residence name – especially since I couldn’t even figure out the stroke count for the kanji that looks especially like a little scribble on the page. The author provided a reading and I went with that.

The kanji for “Cou” Residence and “Chou” queen are not the same. As mentioned, I can’t figure out the Cou kanji. “chou” is the dragon kanji with a three stroke roof radical (same radical as on top of letter). I use the word “queen” for her title, but she could very well just be a concubine, since the second symbol which does mean queen is probably modified by the Chou.

Tenka/denka/heika – Shin'ou is referred to universally as tenka or denka, which uses one of the same kanji as heika (emperor). I’m not entirely convinced that the Japanese words or the Chinese noble lines translate well into the European ones, so I’m simply calling Shin'ou “Lord” and reserving Emperor/Majesty for the "heika” honorific. My dictionaries actually also translate Tenka as “your majesty” but there is clearly a level difference in the manga.

The Emperor almost universally uses the extremely formal “Chin” when he actually refers to himself - something that had thrown me for a loop until I watched Onmyoji a couple of weeks ago and went "duh!" It’s not really a royal plural, I don’t think, just more like a third person reference to himself, so I'm not using “We” for the most part in the translations. Pg 25, he starts to say “chin” then changes to the much more informal “watashi" which accounts for the pause.

Daiji- I started calling Hou-daiji “Advisor Hou”

Pg 1 – Hou-daiji’s “yeah” is just an “un” which combined with the face is sort of like a sulking child “yeah.” (-Did those mean men take your candy? -Yeah.) Thought it was worth noting. XD

Pg 4 - Higoro Heika. Heika is the title, Higoro is his actual name. Hereafter, though, he is referred to as "Shin'ou." Shinou is actually a title, but I'm not sure if it is something like "brother of the king" or if its is Crown Prince. In the rare circumstances I've seen/heard it, it was a brother or adopted brother, so it's hard for me to pin down. Again, this isn't something in the dictionaries I have. With that in mind, since this really is the only time they use his name, I just call him Shinou after this. I felt it deserved a note, though, that "Shin'ou" isn't actually his name. (Also, Shin'ou vs/ Shinou - that's just me being anal versus me watching my space count. The two kanji are read "Shin" and "ou" with the apostrophe is inserted to indicate that the "n" and "o" are two different symbols. The reading is "shi" "n" "o" "u" instead of "shi" "no" "u." The average English reader doesn't care about the distinction because we don't write out the hiragana, and the sound to our ears is the same. I left out the apostrophe in the scan because it seems to confuse most readers rather than helping.)

Pg 8 – Tenjou literally says something like “insult” as the object of a verb, meaning he’s about to do something rude. It’s kinda like saying “I’m intruding” or “I’m disturbing” (the literal translation of “jamashimasu”) when you first go into a house. Don’t ask me, it’s just what they do sometimes, warn you before they insult you or do something rude.

Pg 26 – he says Kannon Bodhisattva, but rather than putting her proper name (which most of us probably aren’t familiar with), I used her title of "Goddess of Mercy."

Pg 28 – Tenjou actually uses the word “regret” which as far as I can tell is how they describe anything that makes a ghost unrestful. It doesn’t make sense in English, though, so I changed it to “anger.” The implication here is that if Shinou goes free, it will upset the spirits of those who died.

Pg 29 – The commoners aren’t using any honorifics here for Shinou, fyi. Don’t yell at me for skipping them.

Pg 32 – This is one of those phrases that my Japanese friends laugh at when I ask them what it means because it’s horribly old court. -.-; They ended up just saying it’s one of those things that higher ranked people used to say to lower ranked people (which is all my dictionary said, too, so *fail*). Based on the Emperor’s mood on the next page, I guessed an English approximation.

Pg 40 – Compensation money is a pretty common practice, or seems to be since I see it a lot in various dramas and the like. I never had personal experience with it (thank goodness), but I’d heard of it before. Think of it sort of like getting a settlement after an injury, except that it didn’t usually take years in court to get, especially if one party is declared guilty. In this instance it’s only odd in that rather than coming from Shinou’s family coffers, it’s coming from the Emperor’s, and presumably in greater amounts than normally would have been required.

Shinobu/shinobi - The author is treating the word with something of a "wink wink" feel in the text, probably since during this time period "shinobi" had not yet come to be used in reference to the people. So, while the author makes a reference to it by using it as a verb when Tenjou sneaks up on the Emperor and again at the end of the chapter when the Emperor asks Tenjou to "shinobi" about again, it's just a bit of humor. I'm mentioning it here just in case the joke wasn't apparent from the on-page notes.

Thanks for reading. Let me know if you have questions!




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