Chapter 3 Notes - Kinmousou The Glorious Haired Mouse

 

Gyokudou (Kinmousou/Glorious Haired Mouse) sometimes speaks funky Japanese. I’m not fluent enough to tell you what the point of it was. I *think* it is an affectation of 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.

Kinmousou – As best I can figure, this means Glorious Hair Mouse. This makes sense as a nickname as we get more into the chapter (really). The only kanji I’m not sure of is the first one, which seems to never be used alone anymore. It’s on the title page (page 2) if you want to try looking it up and it is found in words like “brocade” “fancy dress” and “honors” (as in you win a high ranking).

-dono – This is a polite name ending that usually implies someone works for the government or in some sort of official capacity. I’m not entirely sure why Tenjou uses it for Gyokudou. Regardless, I’m translating it as “Sir” since it is more formal than “-san.” Gyokudou also uses this for Houjou later in the chapter.

Pg 7 – He calls himself “Gyokudou-sama” which sounds as pretentious in Japanese as referring to oneself as “Lord” in English. Maybe even a little more pretentious in Japanese than in English…

Pg 11 – When Houjou 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 Houjou and Tenjou are often depicted in a very yin-yang sort of way. Houjou is everything to do with civil works and literature, whereas Tenjou is everything martial.

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

Pg 14 – Just felt like leaving the original kanji here. XD

Pg14 – Tenjou calls Couson (Houjou’s aide) “sensei” which can mean any of a great deal of things. It could indicate that Tenjou recognizes that Couson has more learning, but in this case it probably more closely indicates that Couson has some medical training.

Page 15 – This is the page with the nicknames. Each name is a three kanji set ending in “mouse.” I’ve put the rough meanings below for the curious.

Santenso – “Friction that starts a fire” “Heaven” “mouse”  I went with “Touches Heaven” as the least …erhm… provocative translation.

Tecchiso – “Everything/complete” “earth” “mouse” Everything Earth Mouse.

Senzanso – “Bore/drill/dig” “mountain” “mouse” Boring Mountain Mouse

Honkouso – “flip/wave/flutter/flaunt” “creek/bay” “mouse” Flaunting River Mouse. I went with flaunt because it sounded better than the others. ^.^;

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 – lit. South Chivalry, I translated this as Southern Hero.

Hokkyou – lit. North Chivalry, I translated this as Nothern Hero.

Pg 18 – Fourth Rank Official. 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 Gyokudou’s so angry.  Tenjou’s a 4th Rank, Houjou is 3rd Rank, and Advisor Hou 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. Houjou 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, Houjou’s expression and Chouko’s surprise are because Tenjou 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 Gyorudou is a bad swordsman, just bad at judging other people’s skills.

Pg 24 – Balls rotted. Wow. Um. He says that. Really. O.o  I guess it could be “guts rotted” but he’s basically calling Tenjou weak-willed.

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 some sort of subtle distinction between this and a shiruken. I didn’t spend time to translate it. :p

Pg 26 – Takiguchi gives us a little detailed explanation about the tenketsu. I ah... had it translated... really. Then I lost the page and was kinda not interested in re-translating in when it said pretty much what I thought it was going to say. The concept of pressure points is very common in Chinese/Japanese/asian whatever shows with anyone who is supposed to be a kick-butt martial artist.

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 stand up in your role, you become an official” This is a play on words, as “yaku ni tateru” (lit: stand in your role) uses the same kanji as “yakunin” (Court Official). It’s poetic, and I can’t do it justice in English.

Pg 34 – Tenjou speaks to Houjou and refers to him in third person (instead of saying ‘you’ he says ‘Lord Houjou’). This is common in formal Japanese, which Tenjou uses in this phrase. Between this sudden distancing of formal Japanese and Houjou’s little quiz on the previous page (he has his own answer, he just wanted to hear Tenjou’s response and the series of dots in his thinking 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 Tenjou knows Houjou is smart and just and Houjou knows Tenjou kicks  serious ass.

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 Hou’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.” You know… “wash your neck before you are executed.” Didn’t your mother teach you that one?  XD

 

There really is a legend about Zhang Zhao (Tenjou) fighting the Five Rats before he became a royal guard… and the youngest of the five, Bai Yutang, was the most difficult to defeat.  There’s also a movie called “Cat and Mouse” which is focused on the Tenjou character chasing after the five “mice.”

Random history notes:

I did some poking around and it turns out that the official translation of the title given to the Emperor’s Father-in-law at the time (Hou-daiji in our story line) is Grand Tutor Pang. O.o;  I really don’t know why. XD I’m not going to change it from Advisor Hou, because “Grand Tutor Hou” takes up more room.  He and Bao reportedly really did have a feud thing going on, though from what I’ve seen there are no official records indicating why. Just realize that there is only ONE “taiji” at this time, so characters often refer to him by his title.

Also, I made note that the Kaihoufu was at the prefecture seat, but it turns out that the prefecture in question is the one the Capital of the time sits in. So Houjou’s one of the major Court Judges for the capital of the NATION, not just the prefecture.

Hou is, at his youngest here, 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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