8 votes
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Where can I find details on the original manuscripts for the Miyamoto Musashi texts?

William Scott Wilson writes in the introduction to his translation (Shambhala Publications, 2002; p. xii), Musashi's original manuscript of five scrolls no longer exists, but the various copies ...
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5 votes
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What Kanji startles Otoko so much?

As someone currently in possession of a Japanese-language edition of 美しさと哀しみと, I can confirm that the relevant kanji is 「思」 (omo). The section reads: 音子は手紙を書いていて国語辞書を開くと、そのペェジの 「思う」 という字が目についた。日木語の「...
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  • 7,301
5 votes

Does 'In a Grove' assume that dead people don't lie?

Personally, I have not found any early 20th century Japanese literary work that has the notion of "the dead don't lie". One would assume that dead people do not lie because they lack such ...
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  • 51
4 votes

Do traditional Japanese haikus always describe a moment?

TL;DR: The extreme shortness of haiku, and the traditional requirements of the form, mean that they are most suited to describing moments. But it’s not a rule and there are some exceptions. ...
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4 votes

Why does the cat call the children 'dear little things' if they treat the cat badly?

He's most likely being sarcastic. I'm having trouble finding anywhere else where the cat uses that kind of direct sarcasm, but such sarcasm definitely fits with the style of ironic verbal abuse that ...
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  • 1,853
4 votes
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Why should a teacher's cat care less about human robbery?

The passage ahead of this is implying, by showing how the cats react to the cruelty of humans, that the cats take on the traits of their human masters. Miss Blanche, who lives with the military man, ...
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  • 1,853
4 votes
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pre-Meji Japanese book/essay about Strategy

Heiho Kadensho One possible candidate is A Hereditary Book on the Art of War / Heihō kadensho (兵法家伝書) by the samurai Yagyū Munenori. It was written in 1632, so it fits the time frame. There is a ...
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4 votes

Which English translation of The Tale of Genji is the most accurate yet readable?

First, from Wikipedia: The first partial translation of Genji Monogatari into English was by Suematsu Kenchō, published in 1882. Arthur Waley published a six-volume translation of all but one chapter,...
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  • 1,316
3 votes

Life of Clara A. Walsh

An interim non-answer. The only obvious internal clues in The Master-Singers of Japan about about the life of its author are its dedication to Professor H. J. Weintz, and the signature line at the end ...
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  • 3,860
3 votes
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Who translated the Baccano! series into English?

Taylor Engel The official translations of the series are done by Taylor Engel. Here are 1, 2, 3, 4 more supporting links, since I'm not sure what would count as proper/official evidence. Everyone I've ...
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  • 7,301
3 votes
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Which book is the maxim 大道無門 from?

“大道無門” is the first line of a verse: 大道無門 千差有路 透得此關 乾坤獨步 This is from the introduction to 無門關, usually translated as The Gateless Barrier or The Gateless Gate, a collection of kōans by Zen ...
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3 votes

What Kanji startles Otoko so much?

I suspect anybody who can get their hands on the original Japanese book can trivially and definitively answer this, but I don't have it and can only guess. A very promising candidate is 懐. It's one ...
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  • 6,644
3 votes

What is the meaning of O-san having a blank face?

Because O-san was told to yank the rice-cake out of the cat's mouth, though she wanted to see the cat dancing longer. The original Japanese sentence is 御三は御馳走を半分食べかけて夢から起された時のように、気のない顔をして. I think "...
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3 votes

Why should a teacher's cat care less about human robbery?

I think the "matters" being referred to here are not just about robbery, but earlier text as well. Reread the lines directly proceeding your quote: Miss Blanche, the white cat who lives opposite ...
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  • 981
3 votes

Does Nausicaä not develop as a character at all?

Her innocence was broken by the end of the manga. She once hoped for humanity to be saved, then she willingly murdered the progenitors even though she knew they would have been the best humanity that ...
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3 votes

What is the meaning of this tanka by Saigo Hoshi?

In my point of view, generally it may suggest that people will say or ask other people to "remember" certain things because they think those things will be forgotten by them. If they believe that they ...
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2 votes

Does Nausicaä not develop as a character at all?

You might find this of interest: https://thenovelsmithy.com/character-arcs-flat-arcs/ Nausicaa's story is essentially that of a Messiah figure. It's less about her learning and growing as a character,...
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  • 21
2 votes

At the start of 6th Spice and Wolf light novel, what's up with the discrepancy between "like" and "love"?

In Japanese to show affection to a loved one they usually use 好き pronounced suki which means to like something like ‘I like sushi’ or to show romantic affection like ‘I like you (romantic sense)’ or ...
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  • 161
2 votes

Does 'In a Grove' assume that dead people don't lie?

No, it's left open whether the samurai's account is also partially untrue. Obviously, most people encountering 'In a Grove' are coming to it as one of the great examples of conflicting accounts and ...
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  • 243
2 votes
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Is there a translation of the 雑兵物語 (zohyo monogatari)?

Possibly, there is a book, Samurai War Stories: Teachings and Tales of Samurai Warfare that appears to have a section by the same name. Based off of the online discussion of it in the Samurai Archive, ...
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  • 5,835
1 vote

"That’s because you’ve already made your wish." What does it mean?

He already has his wish by having a life where he can't think of an improvement I do not have any textual proof that this is the answer, but I think that the simplest answer is fairly evident. She ...
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  • 7,942
1 vote

What Kanji startles Otoko so much?

While I lack the japanese edition, I found this one promising: tangorin suggests 思 with the compound 思慕 - yearning Jisho suggest also 思 with the compound 相思 - mutual affection and 哀思 - sad feeling
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  • 253
1 vote

Dramatis Personae of Beauty and Sadness

I'm not sure how much detail to go into here or even how to write what I do put in. But anyways, here's a list of notable characters, with first/last names pulled directly from my translation (Howard ...
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