November 15, 2008
Chapter 3 (Pen-pals)
I discuss azana here. Hanjuu (半獣), lit. "half beast," is a person who can switch between human and animal appearance.
鳴賢 [めいけん] Meiken (crowing + intelligent)
蛛枕 [ちゅちん] Chuchin (spider + pillow)
進達 [しんたつ] Shintatsu (advance + accomplish)
文張 [ぶんちょう] Bunchou (literature + stretch out); this is a play on Rakushun's given name, Chou Sei (張清), that I render as "Captain of Composition."
In Japan, archery (アーチェリー), using western-style bows, is distinguished from kyuudou (弓道), using the traditional Japanese bow, or yumi (弓). It is a martial art where form and execution are considered two aspects of the whole.
Juku (塾) are private "cram" schools. Meiken's description of the educational system in En shares many similarities with Japan at the junior high and high school level.
The koseki (戸籍) system is still used in Japan. The koseki is a locally-stored census record that records all of a person's demographic information, including birth, death, marriages, divorces, and criminal convictions.
An allotment is a plot of land granted to a citizen upon reaching adulthood. The allotment system is described in chapter 25 of A Thousand Leagues of Wind.
"All I did was pick up something lying at the side of the road." This is how Rakushun and Youko meet in chapter 35 of Shadow of the Moon.