February 21, 2013

Tonan no Tsubasa (18)

Rikou's little lecture at the end got me thinking of Henry V, act 4, scene 1. King Henry, wandering about the camp (in disguise), gets into an argument with one of his soldiers about "just war" and the moral responsibilities of a soldier:

But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all: "We died at such a place."

King Henry, in turn, defends the prerogatives of the king:

The king is not bound to answer the particular endings of his soldiers, the father of his son, nor the master of his servant; for they purpose not their death, when they purpose their services. Besides, there is no king, be his cause never so spotless, if it come to the arbitrement of swords, can try it out with all unspotted soldiers

But alone by himself a few minutes later, he cries out:

Upon the king! let us our lives, our souls,
Our debts, our careful wives,
Our children and our sins lay on the king!
We must bear all. O hard condition,
Twin-born with greatness, subject to the breath
Of every fool, whose sense no more can feel
But his own wringing! What infinite heart's-ease
Must kings neglect, that private men enjoy!

Of course, King Henry always had the option of not getting involved in a pretty pointless war to start with, a game of thrones that had been going on for almost a century, and would continue for several more decades after Agincourt.

Considering the "Prime Directive" enforced in the Twelve Kingdoms, and the rule that no emperor can be succeeded by anybody with the same surname, such a conflict wouldn't last very long there.

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# posted by Anonymous JP
pg 170 "wishing for an youma attack" should be 'a'.

pg 174 "How is using me as a shield and different" should be 'any'.

Rikou's comments also lend some justification as to why the shouzan exists at all. It's seems crazy to put a potential ruler through such an ordeal that costs so many lives, especially when we know the kirin is not barred from leaving Mt Hou, but it seems that this trip is almost a teaching device to equip the new ruler with lessons in hardship, sacrifice, teamwork and perseverance. Fail the test and you likely die.

Combine this with the earlier observations about which social classes have the resources needed to attempt the shouzan in the first place and it certainly makes for an interesting filter on who actually makes it before the kirin.
2/23/2013 9:25 PM

# posted by Blogger Eugene
Fixed. Thanks.
2/24/2013 11:08 AM