Chapter 4 Notes - Bunkyoku Star - Star of Justice
Okay, it's probably better translated as Star of Fate, but see the story for the details. XD
First- I got so many comments on my website log in "correcting" me for Houjou vs Bao. I clearly stated at the beginning that I was going to use the JAPANESE versions of the names rather than the CHINESE because it's a pain to remember the actual names. If you'll look at my notes for chapter 1, I have even already LISTED OUT the names. -.-;;
So, I'm a little pissed, but making the change over.
Houjou- Justice Bao
(crescent moon guy)
Tenjou - Zhan Zhao (bishi fighter)
Oochou - Wang Chao (bodyguard 1)
Bakan - Ma Han (bodyguard 2)
Chouryuu - Zhang Long (bodyguard 3)
Chouko - Zhao Hu (bodyguard 4)
Couson Saku - Gongson Ce (assistant/advisor/doctor dude)
Do remember that according to the story, the four bodyguards were bandits and former convicted criminals who were spared by Bao and his ability to parse out cases to find the truth.
Pg 1 - those signs the attendants are carrying? Those are symbols of the Justice, signs that are posted in the courtroom. This is another of those Chinese mystery things to me. XD One says "Silence" I think and another is "call to order" but I'm not sure of the last two.
Pg 2 - Seishu, remember that from Chapter 1? I told you it was a plot point. Say 'Hi' to the plot point. XD
pg 6 - Her family name is actually "You." -.-; This gets confusing.
pg 6 - The master of the house, "Danna-sama" really sort of does translate to Master, but it's just an indication of the ranking male in the household. It's a polite phrase, and Minmin almost always calls him "Danna-sama."
pg 7 - Imperial Examinations (Kakyo) - Ancient China had a series of exams for those who wanted to go into politics. Before one could work for the government in any capacity that required trust, one had to pass a certain level of the examinations. These exams were on everything from political and philosophical ideas to quoting famous lines of poetry and literature. There were different levels of examinations for different levels of government work (the county might have one test, and then the state another, ending with the national exam), and one COULD NOT be an official without first passing the exam. It meant that anyone who could work through their education had the opportunity to obtain political status regardless of birth rank. Neat system, though it had it's flaws and certain requirements that kept anyone from taking the exam.
pg 10 - Eunuchs. I'm pretty sure I explain it well enough on the side note, but... Men who worked as servants in the Palace and actually lived there were eunuchs. To a man. This does not include guards, because the general ranks of guards did not sleep in the Palace, though some personal bodyguards were eunuchs. This was to help ensure that any pregnancy that happened on Palace grounds among the concubines were the Emperor's. Eunuchs had a lot of power, and have been credited with some major behind-the-scenes political manipulations. They are also, it is thought, the reason behind some of the sudden decline of the monarchy, as eunuchs were accused of stealing from the Palace and making off with some pretty significant treasures.
Pg 12/13 - Song Dynasty was pretty strict on the separation of men and women, so it's not as unusual as you might think that the Master's first thought when he sees the two together at night is that they are having an affair.
Pg 17 - that round thing he grabs is a typical stone or jade ornament of the time. They hung off the belts and as they were hand made they were quite distinctive. It's the sort of thing that a person could give to prove that a messenger had been sent on your orders.
Minmin's story - Basically, Minmin's saying that on her own, she didn't have anything that would make her want to stick around as a ghost, but by Chinese tradition, if a body doesn't have a proper burial service, the spirit -cannot- pass on because the spirit's worried about their body. Theoretically, she could have passed on, even without the burial if she were willing to do so. Then, when the young mistress refuses to report that the killer might have been her father, Minmin gets angry, and that anger leads to her being stuck as a ghost.
pg 27 - Zhao actually says "I understand" again on this page, but it's the informal version, so I went with the more casual sounding "I got it." Also, Gongson gets the startled dashes because he's really surprised that Bao wants to talk about a "personal matter" with the ghost. Minmin's response of "even my 3 sizes" on the next page should hint to you what "personal matters" usually refer to. XD
pg 28 - If I have to explain "three sizes" you are too young to be on Manga fox.
Pg 28 - I left the "Seishu" kanji in so people could see what they were.
pg 28 - Meibu. I called it Meibu this once, and then went back to Spirit Office, because "spirit office" usually fits in the speech bubbles. "Meibu" is a recognized term, apparently, sort of the paperwork shufflers and government officials reigning over the dead and where the spirits go.
Pg 30 - PLOT POINT. XD I don't really think this is part of the usual Bao myth, but it does fit. I refer to one of the Seven Litty Lucky Gods on this page because the text of the conversation specifically uses examples whose kanji add up to Fukurokuju - the name of the god in particular. I stared at it for a long time before it clicked because the symbols are just far enough apart in the text bubbles so that you don't accidentally read it as the fellow's name. I did some research and discovered that that fellow correlates roughly to the Lu Star of "Fu Lu Shou." Lu is, in fact, this star that the image points out. Shou is a star of the nearby constellation that Gongson refers to. Lu is the god of Fate, Fortune, and Influence. He also is the god of passing the Imperial Exams (remember that Bao passed his exams at one of the youngest recorded ages in history). This Entire Page Broke My Brain. I tried for a long time to figure out the other constellations and what the Euroamerican name of the stars are, but gave up finally. The Big Dipper is called the "Hokutoshichisei" or the Seven Northern Stars Constellation. Bao's star, Tenken, is one of those stars that has a symbol name rather than something we can actually look at and pronounce. Just FYI.
pg 33 - Second page to Break My Brain because it used several verbs that my kanji look up recognizes, but that none of my six dictionaries will find. I guessed on much of this page. -.-;
pg 35 - I looked up the first symbol, saw it was archaic usage in Japanese, and didn't even try to translate the name of the headrest. So, I left the symbols in. <3
~~~~ This is the first half of the chapter. I'll replace this with the entire chapter once I've finished the second half. This seemed like a good pausing point though, and lets you know I'm still alive. >.>;;; ~~~~
The last 40 or so pages don't have anything particularly difficult, so hopefully I'll speed right through those and have the first book finished shortly.
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