May 21, 2017

Hisho's Birds (1)

I've posted chapter 1 of "Hisho's Birds."

The magpie belongs to the corvidae (crow) family. These particular birds would be Eurasian magpies ("believed to be one of the most intelligent of all non-human animals").

The nengou dating system begins with an era name devised specifically for the reign of that emperor and counts the ascension of the emperor as year one. The era name of Emperor Hirohito's reign (1926-1989) is Shouwa ("shining peace"). The current era name is Heisei ("peace everywhere").

In Youko's case, the era name is Sekiraku (lit. "red" + "Rakushun"). This story begins in the "seventh year and seventh month of Yosei," which is the era name of Empress Yo. The end of one era overlaps with the beginning of the next. Showa 64 was Heisei 1, and Yosei 7 would also be Sekiraku 1.

To make things even more confusing, the posthumous name of an empress is often different from her given name. Empress Yo's given name was Jokaku.

Skeet is trapshooting in which clay pigeons are thrown in such a way as to simulate the angles of flight of birds. The targets are also know as "clays." In skeet shooting they are disc-shaped and don't look at all like birds. Here I'm using "skeet" to refer to the clay targets themselves.

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# posted by Anonymous Lims
Amazing! Thank you very much for continuing your translations with the newest edition of the Twelve Kingdoms series. The first chapter was very interesting, introducing Hisho's post and the ceremonial duties, which I do not belive have been explained before.
I found your addditional notes very helpful in understanding the details in the text.

Thank you so much for your dedicated work!
I will definitely look forward to the next chapters.

5/22/2017 1:36 AM

# posted by Anonymous Lims
Just one note: on page 12, there is a typo mistake.
"Hisho was summed to the office of the newly appointed Sekichou-shi..." should be "summoned", right?
5/26/2017 6:21 AM

# posted by Blogger Eugene
Typo corrected. Thanks.
5/26/2017 8:16 AM