January 22, 2006

Part 9 (A Thousand Leagues of Wind)

Chapter 34

山客 [ざんきゃく] zankyaku, lit., "mountain visitors," those swept into the Twelve Kingdoms from China, across the northern range of the Tibetan Plateau.

海客 [かいきゃく] kaikyaku, lit., "ocean visitors," those swept into the Twelve Kingdoms from Japan, across the Japan or Yellow Seas.

必王 [ひつおう] Hitsu-ou, an early king of Hou
芝草 [しそう] Shisou, capital of Ryuu

Chapter 35

温石 [おんじゃく] onjaku, lit. "heated stone" (wrapped in cloth and kept next to the body for warmth); the author describes this one as a box made from metal in which the headed stone or coals are stored for warmth.

Chapter 36

"A whiter shade of pale." The relevant adverb here is「白々」which Daijisen (Shogakkan) defines as "the state of the brightening sky at dawn" (白 by itself means "white"). It's close enough in meaning that I couldn't resist the allusion. Here is the context for the lyric by Keith Reid:

And so it was later
As the miller told his tale
That her face at first just ghostly
Turned a whiter shade of pale

合水 [ごうすい] Gousui Gorge
止水 [しすい] Shisui (Prefecture), lit. "stagnant water"
夕暉 [せつき] Sekki

Chapter 37

昇紘 [しょうこう] Shoukou, governor of Shisui Prefecture

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# posted by Anonymous Anonymous
1/25/2006 1:51 PM   
It was mentioned that the layout of the post buddhist building in Hou are different than pre-buddhist. I assumed the pre-buddist layout matched the Forbidden City. Do you know what the main differences would be?
# posted by Blogger Eugene
1/25/2006 3:04 PM   
I found some clues at this site, which points out that during the "earlier period" of Buddhism in China (first to fourth centuries A.D.), "temple layout followed its Indian counterpart with a pagoda as its central focus surrounded with halls and towers." After the fourth century, temple architects began to employ a "systematic arrangement similar to the symmetrical palace structure rather than the early pagoda-centered form."
# posted by Blogger Greki
6/18/2009 5:05 PM   
Page 321: "...and a year ago the empress of Kei died."

Just to clarify, Yo-Ou died 1 year after the Royal Hou, or was that statement correct?
# posted by Blogger Eugene
6/20/2009 8:33 AM   
Page 321 corrected: Three years ago it was Hou and the year before last the empress of Kei died.
# posted by Anonymous Anonymous
12/16/2014 8:23 PM   
I liked what you did for the last line of ch 36 :)

And honestly I've been meaning to thank you for your translations! Wonderful work. I never thought I'd get to read Twelve Kingdoms. I also enjoy your notes, since there's still so much history and culture I do not know.