At any rate, "akakagachi" is written 赤酸漿------ in other words, a hohodzuki, and has been used since long ago as an allegory to a snake's eye. (TN: Hohodzuki - a type of lantern used in certain festivals, particularly Obon, I believe. It is made of a hollowed out fruit with a light inserted. Shines in bright red. Akakagachi is an archaic word for this object.)
with eight heads and eight tails.
Eros carried arrows of gold and arrows of lead. Those pierced by the gold arrows would fall into an absolute romantic love with the first person they saw, while the lead arrows had the exact opposite effect. His marriage to Psyche is also tied in with these arrows. Because Psyche was an atypically beautiful girl, Aphrodite, in her distaste for the mortal, ordered Eros to make her fall in love with a hideous man. Just as he was about to put his arrow to the task, Eros pricked his finger, and found his heart stolen by Psyche.
A deciduous tree from the Pinaceae family. It grows to a height of about 15-20 meters, and blooms with white flowers in the shape of butterflies around August. After the flowers scatter, a bean pod-like fruit grows in their place.
When Buddhism was transmitted to Japan, the Enju was brought over as a medicinal tree, mainly by way of dried Enju flowers, Kaika (槐花), and the Kaikaku (槐角) that grow from the fruit, but aside from those, almost all of the tree, including the leaves, fruits, young branches, all bark aside from the phellem, and the sap from the trunk, can all be used as medicine.
In Chinese, the name is written as "槐樹" and read as "huái shù" and that word is derived from another word, "huái yùn," which signifies an expectant couple, thus it is a Chinese custom for such couples to hang an Enju branch under the overhang of their roof to wish for children. In Japan as well, it is planted in Hachiman
territory all over the country as a "Koyasu no Ki (子安の木)," a tree planted to wish for safe childbirth. This is because such a tree was recorded present when Empress Jinguu
gave birth to Emperor Oujin
, the historical figure who is the object of worship at Hachiman Shrines
God of the Mountain - 山の神 - やまのかみ
Since time immemorial, the mountains were the domain of the gods.
Reaching up high, they were the places closest to the heavens, all the while reaching deep into the earth, an entrance to the underworld.
Throughout the world's religions, there are divine myths that follow the basic pattern of a god descending upon a mountain summit, just as the Tenson
descended from the sunlit mountaintop of Mt. Takachiho
, as written in the Kiki writings. (TN: Kiki - the Nihon Shoki
. These are also items in the glossary.)
Izanagi no Mikoto - 伊邪那伎命
After his escape from the underworld, Yomi
(refer to Izanami's entry, if it's there, or the "creation myth" wikipedia link), Izanagi took a bath to ritually purify himself, at which point the three noble children, , Tsukuyomi no Mikoto
, and Susanoo no Mikoto
were born, along with twenty-six other gods. Although this took place after Izanami
's divorce from Izanagi, Susanoo still refers to her as his mother, so one can reasonably infer that their birth was a product of the two parent gods' union.
After this event, Izanagi retires from his role and leaves the rule to his three noble children.
Jagansou - 蛇含草
Title of a comic story.
Deep in the mountains, there are pythons who will occasionally eat passing travelers and hunters. But, no matter how big the snake is, it has to eat the victim whole, and a whole human body can't help but stick in its digestive track. When this occurs, it eats grasses to help its digestion. This is where the jagansou joke comes into play.
A man goes to a retirement office and, giving tit for tat, stuffs his gullet full of mochi (rice cake). And would you believe that having to go home with a belly full of nothing but mochi, he puts some jagansou in his mouth and------
"Oh my god! The mochi put on human clothes and sat down!"
(TN: The punchline is that he thought the grass would help with digestion, but in reality it dissolved his body instead.)
Kashima Shintou-ryuu - 鹿島新当流
A sword style established by the sword saint, Tsukahara Bokuden, as a combination between the martial arts of what can be called the two great holy lands of martial disiplines, Kashima
The main premise, said to be transmitted only to the successors by word of mouth, appears in the representative military book of the Edo Period
, Kouyou Gunkan
, only as the description, "To the stone tachi
, one place, one tachi, one tachi, and in this way you make distinct three blades of one." Anything more descriptive than that is still shrouded in mystery.
(TN: The original text of the Gunkan is not only archaic, but seems like a riddle, most likely by design. This is by no means a studied and articulate translation, mind you.)
Kashima Shrine - 鹿島神宮 - かしましんぐう
A shrine established back during the reign of Emperor Jinmu
(and the first shrine ever built). The god worshipped there is Takemikadzuchi no Kami, who was active about the time of the nation's bequeathing unto human beings. During the Eatern Expedition, when Jinmu's army was passing through the Kumano region, they fell unconscious from the poison gas of the regional god, who had transfigured into a bear. It was the spirit sword, Futsu no Mitama,sent to the earth by Takemikadzuchi, that dissolved the evil god's poison mist with its heavenly light. Thus Kashima was built to enshrine the sword.
In the courtyard of the shrine that favors this god is a stone called Kaname Ishi (要石), or "The Cornerstone." This is a National Protection stone, and is said to extend deep into the earth to keep something sealed. Thanks to certain Ukiyoe that grew popular after the Great Ansei Earthquake
, it became widely believed that the stone pressed down on the head of a giant, earthquake-causing catfish, but an older variation tells of a giant serpent encircling the Japanese Islands such that its head overlaps its tail, and the cornerstone is said to calm it. (TN: The Ukiyoe that started the catfish craze is likely the one pictured here
Yurugedomo (even should it lash out)
Yomoya nukeji no kaname ishi (the cornerstone shall surely stand firm)
Kashima no kami no (as long as the god of Kashima)
Aran kagiri wa (remains there)
There is a legend in the Filipino island of Mindanao where the gods steady the earth with a pillar, while a giant snake lies at its base. In Norse mythology, the world is encircled by the giant serpent Jörmungandr
, which swallowed its on tail to form a ring, and the world tree, Yggdrasil
, more than fit to be called a "pillar", is said to have countless snakes biting at its roots, causing the world to grow unstable.
Kojiki - 古事記 - Ancient Chronicles
Japan's oldest historical book, comprised of three volumes(Upper, Middle, Lower) that detail the period between the creation of Heaven and Earth and the imperial reign of Empress Suiko
, grouped together with the "Nihon Shoki
" under the name "Kiki." Dictated by Hieda no Are and incribed by Oo no Yasumaro into a compilation.
One of the most important compilations, a great percentage of all legends set in Japan draw from it as a source.
Its name used to be read "Furukotobumi," but in present times, the greatest majority call it "Kojiki."
Min - 旻
Redispatched to China alongside Ono no Imoko
as an Imperial Embassy
, he spent the next twenty years studying the culture of the Tang Dynasty
before returning to Japan in the company of Inugami no Mitasuki. (TN: Mitasuki - another imperial envoy. He crossed over during the Chinese Sui Dynasty, and later became the first embassy to the Tang Dynasty.) In the Taika Reforms
to follow, he was appointed to the position of Kuni no Hakushi by the newly established government. Kuni no Hakushi is a type of political position. (TN: Kuni no Hakushi - 国博士 - literally means "Professor [with regard to matters of] the State." See the link for "Taika Reform" for a few more details.)
Miwa Mountain - 三輸山 - みわやま
A mountain in Nara Prefecture cleanly shaped as a three-sided pyramid. Lies within the precincts of a Shintou shrine that pays homage to the God of Miwa - Oomononushi - and is barred from entry.
Nakatomi no Kamatari - 中臣鎌足
Worked with Prince Naka no Ooue - who would later become Emperor Tenji
- to assassinate Soga no Iruka
, and played a prominent role in the Taika Reforms
. After that, he took the family name, Fujiwara
, and as the progenitor of that powerful family, wielded his political might for a long time after.
With an extensive family line of shintou priests, the name "Nakatomi" was said to mean "standing between humans and gods." In the disputes against the spread of Buddhism, which could be seen as the rallying cause of the Soga
dictatorship, Nakatomi fought alongside the Mononobe
and Miwa Clans against the religion's spread.
The game mentions that this was passed down in the Rikutou, but the above is by Kamatari's own viewpoint in the Taishokukanden writings.
Oomononushi - 大物主
The god who is paid homage at Miwa Mountain, who appeared before the gods who would create Japan and proclaimed, "If you do not worship me, I doubt this country's creation will proceed as smoothly as you hope." His basic nature is of a god who curses, and it is supposed that an epidemic came about during the reign of Emperor Sujin
because he was not being worshipped at the time.
Oomononushi is equivalent to Oooninushi, meaning an oni god, or a ruler of evil spirits.
Rikutou - 六韜
Compiled by Jiang Ziya, the Rikutou are considered one of China's Seven Military Classics
, and consist of six scrolls: Civil Teaching, Military Teaching, Dragon Teaching, Tiger Teaching, Leopard Teaching, and Hound Teaching.
"Tou" holds the meaning of "secret teachings," and among these six, the Tiger Teachings are typically referred to as "The Tiger Scrolls."
Another piece of strategic literature, the Sanryaku (or "The Grand Duke's Art of War"), was compiled by Zhang Liang
, a strategist of the Hán State
who said he received the teachings from "the yellow boulder hermit," is often combined with the Rikutou and read "Rikutousanryaku."
Seyadatarahime - 勢夜陀多良比売
Princess of Mishima no Mizogui. Together with Oomononushi, god of Miwa Mountain, she gives birth to Himetataraisukeyorihime, who later goes on to wed Emperor Jinmu
(TN: As far as I am able to tell, the village of Mizogui was assimilated into Ibaraki City, in the Mishima District of Oosaka Prefecture. Visit the link to learn about Jinmu. The rest will be covered in other entries.)
Spanish lifestyle customs - スペインの生活習慣
Spaniards sleep twice, not only in the evening, but noontime as well, in a custom called "la siesta
It might seem logical to sleep through hot afternoons in warmer climes, but there are many cultures closer to the equator than Spain that haven't established afternoon naps as a custom.
Takamuko no Kuromaro - 高向玄理
After crossing to China as an Imperial Envoy
for the third time, by way of the Taika Reformation
that occurred afterwards, he took on the title of Kuni no Hakushi alongside Min. After that, he once again crossed over to China as an envoy, where he died before he would have returned again. (TN: Kuni no Hakushi - 国博士 - literally means "Professor [with regard to matters of] the State." See the link for "Taika Reformation" for a few more details.)
Three Sacred Treasures, the - 三種の神器 - さんしゅのじんき
Takemikadzuchi no Kami - 武御雷神
In light of his birth by sword and flame, his capacity as the god of war is no surprise. He was worshipped at Kashima Shrine
, and later became the patron deity of the Fujiwara Clan
He turned his own arm into a sword blade, and can create giant pillars of frigid ice------ though in writing that, he sounds like some anime or comic character, but it is his exact portrayal. Sitting cross-legged, upside-down, balanced on his sword arm atop a wave crest, all the while supporting other characters (some really heavy ones) and yet still having the composure to think to himself... he must've gone through some Yoga training or something.
Tsukahara Bokuden - 塚原卜伝
After thirty-nine battles and nineteen duels to the death, he remained undefeated. Said to have gone his whole life without defeat, as a warrior, he is worthy to be called a "sword saint." He is famous for an episode with the dual-wielding Miyamoto Musashi
, in which he parried one sword with a set of tongs and blocked the other with a soup pot lid, but this was apparently a posthumous achievement.
Valentine - バレンタイン
The confectioner's defining business period.
(TN: Don't ask me why they had to make an entry for this.)
Watson - ワトソン
Appearing together with the genius detective, Sherlock Holmes, who was born in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's book, "A Study in Scarlet
." His friend and flatmate, a veteran medic of the continental army, is John H. Watson, M.D.
Based upon the precept of an inexperienced observer of Holmes' exploits, as a character, he is closest to the reader.