The translation “Seijō no Ran (青条の蘭)”-#4.

   Thanks for your patience (^_^;). Today, I’ve posted the first part of chapter 2, “Seijō no Ran (青条の蘭)”. He-he.

   I have removed the kanjis from the translation “Seijō no Ran (青条の蘭)”, and about the explanations of them I wrote on my notes. Though the older translations still have kanjis in them, I promise I will change them gradually.

private remark

Totsuki Tōka (十月十日).

   In Juuni Kokuki, Ono sensei writes the pregnancy duration is ten months. This depends on not only lunar months but also counting from 1 instead of 0. In Juuni Kokuki world, they often use East Asian age reckoning system about characters’ age. So, I think they use old Japanese counting system in other ways as well.

   When we read 十月十日 as Jūgatsu Tōka, which means October 10. But, Totsuki Tōka (十月十日) means ten months and ten days, and also means the normal pregnancy duration. Sometimes, today’s Japanese people say it is longer than the true pregnancy duration. But I don’t think so.

   I will write my opinion about this, though a lot of texts about it already exist on the Internet. The opinion is not academic but experiential. Shall we start?

   First, you think of yourself as a Japanese woman who lived in more than 150 years ago.
   She doesn’t know her ovulation days and doesn’t have thermometers nor pregnancy self test kits. She uses a traditional Japanese lunar-solar calendar, so in her mind a month basically has 29 or 30 days alternately.

   If she is in such circumstances, how does she know her pregnancy by herself? Probably, by her morning sickness or by missing her period. When she has got her pregnancy, she would recall her last period. If she is a healthy woman, the last period should be within a few months when she knew her pregnancy. And then, she counts months of her pregnancy. At this time, she must think the first day of her last period as the first day of the pregnancy. And she thinks the month is the first month of the pregnancy.

   According to counting system from 1 instead of 0, Totsuki Tōka (十月十日) is approximately 280 days. For example, imagine the first day of her last period is October 13. October is the first month by counting from 1 instead of 0. Then the tenth month is July and July 23 is her expected delivery date. As pointed out above, in the old Japanese calendar, a month basically has 29 or 30 days alternately.

   Now, we try to calculate the number of days from October 13 to July 23.
   It is 29 days x 4 + 30 days x 5 + 10 days = 276 days or 29 days x 5 + 30 days x 4 + 10 days = 275 days.
   This is very close to 280 days.

   As you know, the pregnancy duration is vary considerably from person to person. So, Totsuki Tōka (十月十日) was a very practical and useful way in the past.


The translation “Seijō no Ran (青条の蘭)”-#3.

   I’ve posted the last half of chapter 1, “Seijō no Ran (青条の蘭)”.

   I wanted to add some notes about this part of the story. For example, Sekijin(迹人) is literally a “tracker” who gathers wildlife and vegetation from wild trees. And, Sekijin(迹人) is Hyōchū(標仲)’s position. But I have not done, yet.

   By the way, for the Juuni kokuki series Ono sensei borrowed many words from ancient Chinese administration system, like 地官, 迹人, etc. And, she gave different meanings to some words. Originally, Chōsai(冢宰), Taisai(太宰), and Saiho(宰輔) had the same meaning. But in the series, these three express three different positions. Honestly, I want to write about such things. However, in English, always, “I cannot find adequate words to express my feelings” (in Japanese 「その心あまりて,ことばたらず。」 from the kana preface of Kokin Wakashū).

   Actually, if I translate the meaning from the original context of the kana preface, it is “He cannot find adequate words to express his feelings”. But, the 「その心あまりて,ことばたらず。」 has neither I/he nor my/his. This is one of differences between Japanese and English.


The translation of “Hisho no Tori (丕緒の鳥)”, Third Edition.

   Yesterday, I released the translation of “Hisho no Tori (丕緒の鳥)”, Third Edition. I think this edition has more reader-friendly English because Delonix helped me so much. He is so kind as to have offered me some help for my translating. We’ve worked together since June 17.

   I posted the article about the difficulty of my translation, and the person like him is very helpful to such a situation. He is not like a helicopter parent but like a good parent. He told me a lot of points to be corrected. He does not only blame my translation, but gives the alternatives.

   I really appreciate his help. We completed our mission. If the result makes you happy, which will make me happy. (^^)

   In addition, Delonix has a site on Flickr, and you can see beautiful flowers on it.

everyday life

An advance order of the “Juuni Kokuki” calendar 2014.

   On Aug. 1st, Shinchōsha announced they would publish a “Juuni Kokuki” calendar 2014. It has Yamada Akihiro illustrations for the entire “Juuni Kokuki” edition. But, I didn’t know they were going to accept orders from out of Japan. Today, I found a page on Japanese Amazon. It seems you, who don’t live in Japan, can get the calender.

   If you care a great deal about it, please jump to the page “Juuni Kokuki” calendar 2014. (^o^)

   For you it might not be reasonable about its price. It is ¥1890 in Japan.


The translation “Seijō no Ran (青条の蘭)”-#2.

WritingBrushes   I’ve posted a part of Chapter 1, “Seijō no Ran (青条の蘭)”.

   Every time when I translate the story, some Japanese words task my brain. A word, not a sentence. Of course, sentences task my brain much more (^^;).

   When I translated “The Birds of Hisho (丕緒の鳥)”, I used “a writing brush” as the meaning of “筆”. We still use a writing brush when we write calligraphy, and, in the old days East Asian people used “筆” on a daily basis. But at least two people asked me “what is a writing brush exactly?”. Please take a look at the image right. They are writing brushes, i.e. “筆”.

   At this time, I use “a fur coat” as the meaning of “kawagoromo (裘)”. This is maybe O.K. But, I worry about I use “a boxy knapsack” as the meaning of “oibako (笈筺)”. 笈筺 is a thing like this in my mind.


I’ve released the first part of the translation “Seijō no Ran”.

   On July 1st, I started to translate a story again, despite the difficulties. (^_^;)(^_^;)
   So, today, I’ve released the first part of the translation “Seijō no Ran (青条の蘭)”. (^o^)(^o^)

   Has anyone else translated the same story, yet? Well, that’s O.K.

   I almost forget to write. The day before yesterday, I added the new link to the post “You can look inside!“.


“Seijō no Ran (青条の蘭)” and “Fūshin (風信)”

   The day before yesterday I finally had the book 「丕緒の鳥」, and got to the end on the same day.

  • “Seijō no Ran (青条の蘭)”
    A story about a man, who is a minor national public official of En (雁), struggles to do his duty for saving his people and his country. This is the story around the time when Shōryū (尚隆) ascended the throne.

    By the way, Ono sensei wrote 青条 resembled 白条 except petal’s color. 白条? What is it? I searched 白条 and 白條. Because 条 was used as one of nonstandard characters of 條 in the past. Ono sensei also wrote 白条 had a orchid-like flower and was used as a medicine. After my searching, I found only 白條參 in Bencao Gangmu (本草綱目). It has a character 參, so I think it is a kind of Ginseng. Ginseng’s flower doesn’t resemble orchids’. 白条 might be purely Ono sensei’s imagination.

    Therefore, I translate “青条の蘭” into “The Blue Orchids” without standing on it has lines or not.

  • “Fūshin (風信)”
    A story about a girl named Renka (蓮花) (Ins:Jul/9), who lives in Kei (慶) and was orphaned by Ruler Yo (予)’s insane issue.

    By the way, I was going to translate “風信” into “Rumors” or “The letter” before I read it. After I finished to read it, I think it is not good. 風信 has other kind of meaning, for example, the wind direction. I wrote the post that “It depends on the story.”, and now I think it is better to translate “風信” into “Which way is the wind blowing?”.


Another information about ~-#6.

   I added a new translation to “The translation of Juuni kokuki newsletter by Shinchōsha

   By the way, on 26th, the book “Hisho no Tori (丕緒の鳥)” should hit book stores in urban areas. In contrast, me, live in the country side, have to wait until 28th. At times like this, I express disappointment that I live here.


Another information about ~-#5.

Update information      Edit(Jun.30)

   Hey, I got another information about the new collection of short stories. You know, its name piece is “Hisho no Tori (丕緒の鳥)” and it contains four short stories. The two of them are “Hisho no Tori (丕緒の鳥)” and “Rakushō no Goku (落照の獄)”, and nobody knows the other two titles until yesterday.

   Yesterday, they announced them. 「青条の蘭」 and 「風信」.

   I have a little trouble with 「青条の蘭」’s reading. It has two readings: “Seijō no Ran” or “Aosuji no Ran”. Its English title is perhaps “Bule line orchid”.
   「青条の蘭」’s reading is “Seijō no Ran”. (Edit: 06.28)

   「風信」 is “Fūshin”. Its English title is “A/The Letter(s)”, “Rumor(s)”, or something. It depends on the story.

   I added a new translation to “The translation of Juuni kokuki newsletter by Shinchōsha“.

   I decided to translate “風信” into “Which way is the wind blowing?”. See here.