April 10, 2014

Poseidon of the East (14)

Twice in this chapter, Itan addresses Shouryuu as kisama (貴様). Is it technically a pronoun that means "you." Except that in Japanese, a few taboo body parts aside (the "c" word in particular), personal pronouns are the most socially volatile.

An expletive like kuso (糞) can mean "crap" or "shit," depending on the context, so you hear it freely uttered by both children and adults. Baka (馬鹿) or "fool" can also mean not much or a lot worse depending on how it's said.

Even in modern Japan, social superiors (including family members) are always addressed by title. Referring to somebody—especially a superior—as kisama is cruising for a bruising. Basically, it's the equivalent of saying, "Hey, you son-of-a-bitch!"

Which only emphasizes how laid-back a leader Shouryuu is.

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