November 13, 2005

Chapter 12 (A Thousand Leagues of Wind)


The word translated in this chapter as "cot" or "bed" is nedoko (寝床). However, Ono uses the nonstandard kanji compound 臥牀 (lit. lying down + bench/couch") and glosses it as nedoko using furigana. This bit of poetic license is often employed by Japanese writers to lend nuance to otherwise common words, a way of sneaking two meanings into one usage.

It is also a way to introduce foreign words into the narrative. Masamune Shirow does this (perhaps to excess) in Ghost in the Shell, for example, glossing 確認 (confirmation) as "information" (infuomeeshon) and 素子 (device) as "device" (debaisu). He also invents new words like 脳潜入 (lit. brain infiltration), which he glosses as "brain diving" (burein daibingu).

"Setsuko" is a popular girl's name. The kanji Ono uses are 赤虎or "red tiger," which she uses both as a name as a descriptive noun.

甘蕈 [かんきん] kankin, lit. "sweet + mushroom"
海客 [かいきゃく] kaikyaku, lit. "sea visitor" (visitor from across the sea)

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