August 29, 2020

Hills of Silver Ruins (1/15)

Kou (狡) can also mean "cunning."
Tora (虎) can also mean "tiger."

Koushu (黄朱) are citizens of the Yellow Sea. Shusei (朱旌) are traveling entertainers. Also citizens of the Yellow Sea, they travel throughout the Twelve Kingdoms, incorporating regional history and folklore into their performances and functioning as an informal news network. Suzu joins such a troupe in A Thousand Leagues of Wind.

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August 15, 2020

Hills of Silver Ruins (1/14)

The Minister of Summer (夏官長) heads the Ministry of Defense.

The Star Trek: TNG episode "The Drumhead" offers this succinct definition of a drumhead court martial: "Military officers would upend a drum in a battlefield, sit at it and dispense summary justice. Decisions were quick, punishments severe, appeals denied. Those who came to a drumhead were doomed."

The Chosai (冢宰) serves as the Chief Cabinet Secretary of the Rikkan. The Minister of Heaven (天官長) runs Administration. The Minister of Winter (冬官長) is responsible for Public Works. The Minister of Spring (春官長) is in charge of Protocol. 

Haboku (芭墨) was the Minister of the Two Cries (二声氏) who tended to the White Pheasant. 

A hidden village (隠れ里) was a "remote settlement in Japan during its Feudal Period. Often characterized by their inaccessibility and ease of defense, tradition holds that these villages were the dwelling place of the Ninja."

Asen's full name is Jou Asen (丈阿選).

The majority of Chinese surnames are a single character. As a result, the top 100 surnames account for 85 percent of the population. The opposite is true in Japan, where the top 100 surnames cover a third of the population. In the United States, the top 100 surnames account for 16 percent of the population.

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August 08, 2020

Hills of Silver Ruins (1/13)

During the Zhou Dynasty, the squad (伍) was defined as five members and the platoon (兩) as twenty-five. The ad hoc platoon organized by Gyousou has three squads (三伍) or fifteen. Modern military platoons typically have two to three times that many soldiers, though some sources list fifteen on the low side.

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August 01, 2020

Hills of Silver Ruins (1/12)

The Daishikou (大司寇) is the Justice Minister and runs the Ministry of Fall. The Shuushikou (州司寇) is the Provincial Justice Minister. This terminology dates to the Zhou Dynasty. "Prison of Dusk" in Hisho's Birds focuses on the work done by the appellate courts in the Ministry of Fall.

A blue bird (青鳥) is a bird-based voice mail system. The sender dictates a message. The bird flies to the recipient and repeats it verbatim. A blue bird can also perform the same tasks as a carrier pigeon. "Pen-pals" in Dreaming of Paradise has Youko and Rakushun corresponding using a blue bird.

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