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A.L.Mundell
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
kitsuno wrote:
A.L.Mundell wrote:


Since Kitsuno did not choose to post it, I figure he had his reasons, the foremost probably being it was a crap sandwich ROTFLMAO


I can post it here if you want. It was some goofy entertainment.


If you and the Tatsunoshi don't mind that would be just fine! Just Kidding I will edit it at some point,and since it is supposed to be about what NOT to do, any ideas that others have would be great for a rewrite/edit.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
They Call Me... Buke Watanabe!
By A.L. Mundell


The computer screen glowed softly back to reflect off the taped cokebottle glasses that Myron Finklestein wore.The bluish light bounced around the room containing colorful anime posters and way too many empty candy wrappers and other junk foods
The glasses magnified the image of the Samurai Archives home page and Myron was incredulous.
"Wow!" he exclaimed,"They got a Show Gun and everything!"
Myron put down the half eaten twinkie and dived into the keyboard with both of his little fat hands.
"I'll show them a thingertoo about the SHIN SIN GOO ME!"he said to no one,and began to register using the name of his favorite anime character,"Buke Wanabe!"
"Now"!he exclaimed,He was ready to begin instructing the masses...
20 Posts later,it was all over,disgraced,and embarrassed,he felt banished from the domain.They even had the nerve to post a LMAOROTF icon above his avatar.Not even allowed to commit seppuku,he began to cry and his asthma attacked him.
"I'll show them guys someday!"he swore into his asthma inhaler.Several year pass and he graduates at the bottom of his class in I.T.,The dimploma clutched in his fat fist,he had a score to settle...

Kistuno could not believe his eyes,someone had attacked the Samurai Archives!he stared in disbelief as thousands of tiny icon samurai seemed to grow and flow from nowhere attacking everything,they even had little sashimono.He could barely make out,what was that?some kind of manga? He checked everywhere,things began to burn in animation as the "army" flowed everywhere.They raised animated banners that said " Bansai!Buke Wanabe!"It had to be some kind of virus,but for it to do that,it would mean someone had to target S.A on purpose. He reached for the phone,time for a war council, Tatsunoshi would know. The U.S Treasury Computer Crimes Detection Units phone rang...

Myron was having a bad day.The cuffs around his fat wrists hurt and he could feel a bad asthma attack coming on,"The Treasury Department?!"he whispered to himself,they were combing his computer!"Damn!Hope Mom didn't see his porno" he lamented as they led him away.

Across the "DomainS" of Samurai Archives,all was quiet,everything restored to order.The man known as"The Shogun" felt relaxed. Kitsuno poured a drink. He imagined an icon for beheading...
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Hikonyan
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
onnamusha wrote:
Say, is there a cute anime dog for Tokugawa Tsunayoshi?


Why, yes there is! 'Macot Puppy Tsunayoshi' is the interactive host of an educational game for the Nintendo DS here in Japan: Edo Bunka Rekishi Kentei (江戸文化歴史検定).

Quote:
OK, this post is going way off track, but what sort of creative process does it take to come up with something like Hikonyan? Surprised


I'm not really sure, but I do know my creator sued the ass off the city of Hikone! Nyan nyan! For my Offical Origin, look for it on "Hikonyan's Guide To Japanese History"! One of the nice ladies on the board has given me space to post my VERY OWN WEBSITE on her server. And it's coming before the end of October! Oh, the suspense!
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A.L.Mundell
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hikonyan, with such a nice kabuto and blade you must have a stipend, perhaps its time to think about settling down. I bet a matchmaker could introduce you to Hello Kitty? Purrfect Cool Thanx for your mentioning me! It got everyone talking about lil' ol' me Surprised
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
[quote="kitsuno"]They Call Me... Buke Watanabe![quote/]

I checked the file, it was supposed to say Wanabe,as it does on my file,maybe I inadvertantly put it in Embarassed
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 2:29 pm    Post subject: Re: The Street Sweeper Reply with quote
onnamusha wrote:
Wave Tossed wrote:
Posting from Tokyo, having a great visit here. I see that my story got posted. Any comments, even including rotten tomatoes, will be accepted. I think that perhaps the character's change was a bit too sudden. However, it was a short story. I think it would work better as a novel with far more character development.
Ah, good, so Wave IS here! Very Happy In that case, I'll make some comments about your story. I'll start by saying I really loved the premise and the details; I'm sure there were samurai who froze up like this and did not do their duty; usually, they're viewed from the outside, and we are encouraged to revile them. I felt that Kingo existed in a very narrow realm, like he had a sort of mental fugue going that did not allow him to see where he stood in the greater scheme of things, even though he assumed a role whose requirements were well understood by him. The dimension that I missed was the actual concrete consequences of Kingo's failure to protect. He would have been sought not only by the assassins, but by his old clan. His enemies would be manyfold, and the conflict inherent in facing old comrades as enemies would have been a very interesting part of this tale. In fact, I could see Kingo perhaps recognizing his future role in the face of the ronin he encountered. I do think it could be expanded quite nicely into a full novel, because of all the ramifications of Kingo's failure. His sudden change after the temple vision would gain new dimension thereby. Is Yamamoto Yoshinobu a reference to the artist, or am I reaching? ( http://www.lrma.org/Yoshinobu.pdf )

I enjoyed the mental claustrophobia you evoke by keeping the story's POV limited to Kingo's new, diminished status, and when he emerges into an enlarged realization of his samurai persona, we are given hints that suggest Kingo has only just become samurai in his soul after this experience. It speaks of a warrior's journey and a harsh lesson in humility and responsibility. It would definitely lend itself to expansion and further exploration of the responsibility angle. The only flaws I could find in execution besides its limited scope are a few awkward word choices here and there.

Cheers, and I know, you're enjoying yourself in Japan! (yes, I'm jealous!)
I think you were correct. My portrayal of Kingo's freezing was too rushed and not detailed enough. When I expand this into a novel, I will definitely spend more time on this. There is a lot more than just mysterious hooded assassins appearing. However, I was limited in space. When this becomes a novel, I can go far more deeply into this.

On a historical note: I did some study of the hinin ("non-human") outcaste class while writing this story. Unlike with the eta class, a person didn't have to be born a hinin (though some were). A person could be taken into the hinin class. Especially if he/she were a homeless vagrant discovered by the authorities (which is what happened with Kingo). They would put him into the outcaste hinin class. He would be given a "territory" in which to beg. And then frequently these authorites (who were hinin themselves) would assign him a lowly, unsavory job (such as street sweeping outside of a temple) and then he would have to "beg" while working. Theoretically, a person could escape from hinin status by being allowed to be "purified" and then restored to "regular" status. However, this rarely happened. It was MUCH easier for a person to be consigned into the hinin caste than it was to escape the hinin caste. And on a "fashion" note, a hinin man was required to keep his hair short in order to mark him as a hinin outcaste.

It would be very tempting for me to "revert" Kingo back into a samurai (actually a ronin) and then use his flashing swords to attain redemption and revenge. However, that would be "reel" history rather than "real" history. So he becomes a warrior inside but he has to hide his swords until he is ready to take action. And still on the outside remain a hinin outcaste still sweeping the streets.

And so I keep rushing around here in Japan, having fun and meeting lots of great people. More when I return home and upload my photos. I am
SO GLAD to have obtained a Rail Pass; I've certainly used more than what I spent for it. I went all the way from Tokyo to Osaka (where I met and stayed with a friend) and then off to Ako Castle. And then back.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 6:31 am    Post subject: Re: The Street Sweeper Reply with quote
Wave Tossed wrote:

It would be very tempting for me to "revert" Kingo back into a samurai (actually a ronin) and then use his flashing swords to attain redemption and revenge. However, that would be "reel" history rather than "real" history. So he becomes a warrior inside but he has to hide his swords until he is ready to take action. And still on the outside remain a hinin outcaste still sweeping the streets.
Hey, this reminds me of a certain blind masseur I've heard of in some circles... Cool Could this be one of your influences? Ichi may not be former samurai, but he does a rather excellent job of hiding lethal capability behind an unassuming exterior; of course, I see significant character differences in Kingo that promise to make him unique! Cheers and all that!
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A.L.Mundell
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 11:24 am    Post subject: Re: The Street Sweeper Reply with quote
Quote:
Hey, this reminds me of a certain blind masseur I've heard of in some circles... Cool


Zatoichi is a great example of how the truth takes away the entertainment value. Even Eta and Hinan deaths were investigated and any such behavior would have been seen as rebelious and qwelled quickly, but the flavor, the style of those movies...unmatched by any other films I have seen about the subject. I ask myself why I can keep watching them,I am still trying to answer it.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Absolutely, Zatoichi has been an influence. Have you watched the final two Zatoichi TV episodes? Alas, they are only available on the "gray" market from SamuraiDVD.com. In these two final episodes, we see Ichi being exploited, a higher-ranked woman makes sexual advances on him while he is performing a massage. The question comes up: could Ichi refuse her advances, given that she is higher-ranked and he is only a "non-human." So he allows her to have a sexual relationship with him. She is only using him for her pleasure -- no concept of any sort of human relationship. Later on, during questioning, the woman's father refers to him as a "dirty masseur." He is forced to sit there quietly and listen.

Later on, some ronin attack him. Finally he resists, slashing out with his sword. One of the ronin ask, before he dies: "Who are you?" He replies with a menacing voice full of rage: "I am nothing!" Then he administers the death blow.

In the final episode, he has dreams. He has his sight and thus is a respectable human being rather than a "non-human." Later, he has nightmares, some about the people he has killed and some about his sexual encounters, including the one from the preceding episode. He wakes up -- he is still Zatoichi the lowly blind masseur.

When I return, I'll discuss my trip (I'm still in Tokyo, awaiting my Narita Airport bus). I met with some activists fighting against discrimination that still happens against Burakumin (those descended from former outcastes). I'll also discuss my trip to Ako Castle and Sengakuji.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
OH MY GOD! you mean that people are still holding the old caste system to peoples realtives? hmm,if you grow up in one place,I can understand, but why not just move to Tokyo or some other large city? Maybe they will have a sign in the place for rent: "will rent to eta" Mad like I read about for Gaijin You out-castes stay down for your rights!

ok,getting a little off topic Confused the contest? oh yes, I would like to read the last one I have not read.[/i]
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Not too many years ago, a major firm (I can't recall which, and I don't care to dig) got into big trouble for having a copy of a big old "buraku register" listing all the old buraku neighborhoods and families, so they could check employment applicants against the list of people "not to hire."

They got in big trouble, but many copies of the book are still in circulation.


Tony
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Well, since you brought it up... what is the reasoning behind this? Good old fashion prejudice? Genetics proves we are ALL related! haha! Just Kidding I would think that as innovative as the Japanese have always been the idea of judging someone on their merits would have trumped old caste system irrationality. That is really interesting AJ, I what the basis of the list was...what did the people do to have that kind of stigma attached? Confused
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burakumin
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
AJBryant wrote:
Not too many years ago, a major firm (I can't recall which, and I don't care to dig) got into big trouble for having a copy of a big old "buraku register" listing all the old buraku neighborhoods and families, so they could check employment applicants against the list of people "not to hire."
The major "identification" for buraku is the address (honseki) listed on your family register (koseki), which is not necessarily your current residence. The honseki used to be always put on copies of your residence register (jûminhyô), which you need to present for almost anything --schools, employment, loans, renting, etc. But some time ago--perhaps 10 years ago?--they changed it so when you apply for a copy of your residence register, you can choose whether or not to include such matters as your honseki address. I think this change was probably to discourage discrimination. Furthermore, it used to be that when you created a new family register, as when you got married, the honseki address had to be either the honseki of one of the partners or the current address. However, someone who got married 5 years ago told me that now you can choose any address you please for your honseki, and the address of the imperial palace is one of the most popular.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 3:48 am    Post subject: Hitogoroshi no Ame Reply with quote
I finally got back to Jake's story and read it through this morning; I have a few thoughts on it. It had a lot of good action and some pockets of truly evocative stillness in descriptions of scenery. But the tone was uneven for all that. I think it needed a lot more editing, and I recognized the telltale syndrome of letting spellcheck do its evil work without checking it over. There were several inappropriate words that made me think of this phenomenon ("composer" used for "composure" and so forth). The thing I liked best was the action, although certain quiet turns of phrase added stillness in the middle of it. I found the storyline a little confusing at times. Somehow the presentation bespoke a yakuza-type conflict, but it was the operation of a daimyo and his ninja operatives. I wasn't sure of the time period. Also, does the title translate as "Rain of Murder?" That's a great pulp fiction title, and in fact, I got that sort of cameraderie feeling between Akira and Kenji at the outset. I think Kenji should have been more closely interwoven in the story, though--that's just my opinion. It has promise, but it needs editing and some re-working in my opinion.

Now I need to check and see if arthur-sama's stories are up...or just continue to figure out how to kill people with Satsuma potatoes...Cheers!

P.S. Really enjoyed "Buke Wanabe," and I think maybe he could become a mascot of sorts--well, perhaps a whipping boy...amusing!
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Oh, How nice for your nod! too bad it was supposed to be off the cuff, how about just plain Arthur? I am not deserving of the title 'sama' and I wonder if anyone even uses that anymore? Anyway, off the cuff is a bad habit I am trying to break. The unedited story is good proof that it doesn't work well. Your criticicsms are very introspective,cant wait to see what you think about my polished material

I wish instead if the Archives had a mascot it was Hikonyan! Samurai Kitty!! He Rocks!>(^_^)<

Also, there are certain people that ought to be granted an honorific but the Webmaster has already recognized this Wink

Best Ending? Is this suppose to be a razz? That story was confusing and I wondered if it meant that
the judges were glad it ended? I was reading it and then I was: "Wow! wait... what?" Ah! but who am I, a mere mortal, to ascertain the lofty minds of our esteemed judges? Really,I can't write well enough to judge others so I am full of steamers. I doubt it
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
A.L.Mundell wrote:


Best Ending? Is this suppose to be a razz? That story was confusing and I wondered if it meant that
the judges were glad it ended? I was reading it and then I was: "Wow! wait... what?" Ah! but who am I, a mere mortal, to ascertain the lofty minds of our esteemed judges? Really,I can't write well enough to judge others so I am full of steamers. I doubt it


It was such a stunning <img src=?" border="0" /> moment for the judges, they just had to give it "best ending", since NO ONE could see that one coming!
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 4:25 am    Post subject: Falling Leaves, Hikonyan and WTF???? Reply with quote
A.L.Mundell wrote:
Oh, How nice for your nod! too bad it was supposed to be off the cuff, how about just plain Arthur? I am not deserving of the title 'sama' and I wonder if anyone even uses that anymore? Anyway, off the cuff is a bad habit I am trying to break. The unedited story is good proof that it doesn't work well. Your criticicsms are very introspective,cant wait to see what you think about my polished material


I read "Falling Leaves" last night and this morning (my ISP had a major "incident" yesterday, and I did everything in two parts it seems). I thought the story, in its conceptual aspect, was a good extrapolation into motivations. I found the thread where you're researching the wheres and whys of the Battle of Okuchi Castle (it seems to be quite a matter of piecing together many sources before one can get a clear "picture" of history in this case); the idea of explaining the pages' motivation in the attack by the redemption of shame is a great theme. I had to read the story through twice, though, to get the firm thread of this. There were some distracting turns of phrase and words that interrupted the flow for me. The second time I read it, everything was clear. It is interesting that you can find SO many metaphors for the intimate page/warlord "interaction," so to speak. I especially liked the way Iwamura focuses on the "detail" of the map during his "service;" that rings true and put me in the mind of the character. The comment made at the outset about wives and prostitutes seems like it might have been better to have been set during, instead of before, the tent encounter. It might have enhanced the effect. There were a few instances of spell-check syndrome (sword wrack instead of sword rack e.g.); I think it just needed an editing polish and smoothing. The story itself is great, and the elements of pathos are all present. Parts of it read like slash fiction, and that was unavoidable perhaps; there were a couple of sentences that made me chuckle despite the serious nature of the story. The fact that this is a historical occurrence that you've tried to "get inside" with this analysis is quite fascinating though. It makes me want to read about the incident. So, in that way, your story was a success!

Quote:
I wish instead if the Archives had a mascot it was Hikonyan! Samurai Kitty!! He Rocks!>(^_^)<
Hmmm...I dunno; I have reservations about aligning myself firmly with the House of Ii, even if they have a cute and auspicious kitty roaming around at Hikone-jo! Wink I somehow think the likes of Myron Finkelstein would be more universal (and easy to lampoon! Just wait til the Mito ronin catch up with him...) Just Kidding

Quote:
Best Ending? Is this suppose to be a razz? That story was confusing and I wondered if it meant that
the judges were glad it ended? I was reading it and then I was: "Wow! wait... what?" Ah! but who am I, a mere mortal, to ascertain the lofty minds of our esteemed judges? Really,I can't write well enough to judge others so I am full of steamers. I doubt it
Yup, I sure didn't see that one coming! I wonder if he just read the requirements page and accept that Nobunaga was really a mythical vampire and Hideyoshi a mythical werewolf? It was like this was taken for granted at the outset! It made me want to go back and put all of the warlords in a department store setting, with Akechi Mitsuhide as the floorwalker. This picture arose in my head after I watched "Shinobi no Mono 2" and witnessed the indignities heaped upon Mitsuhide's head, how he bore them and bore them, and seemed to complain about them much like an old 1930's actor named Franklin Pangborn, who played prissy floorwalker-type characters who were endlessly abused and taunted. So, once again, a character casts himself! Anyone want the story of Akechi the floorwalker? Laughing (How in the world do I come up with stuff like this?) I'm not super well-versed in this period, so perhaps further study will place all our main players in their respective proper positions at the Sengoku Department store...

I think I had better quit while I'm ahead...bye now!
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 4:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Warning: A bit "off-topic"

A.L.Mundell wrote:
OH MY GOD! you mean that people are still holding the old caste system to peoples realtives? hmm,if you grow up in one place,I can understand, but why not just move to Tokyo or some other large city? Maybe they will have a sign in the place for rent: "will rent to eta" Mad like I read about for Gaijin You out-castes stay down for your rights!

ok,getting a little off topic Confused the contest? oh yes, I would like to read the last one I have not read.[/i]
Unfortunately, it's still true. Many people in Japan are still prejudiced against the descendants of the old Eta/Hinin castes. It's much more subtle now, and most Japanese won't admit prejudice. A Burakumin (current term for descendants of Eta/Hinin) could move to Tokyo. However, there are databases and family register lists that exist. These are supposed to be illegal, but they still exist. And companies that are hiring and also marriage brokers still consult these lists. So if a Burakumin moves to Tokyo, hides his/her identity and applies for a job, the employer may very well consult one of these secret databases and find out the person's identity and then refuse to hire the person. This sort of thing also happens in marriage, when a person's family consults one of these lists and finds out that the prospective bride/groom has Burakumin ancestry. The marriage might take place anyway, but the family of the non-Burakumin might disown their daughter/son for marrying a Burakumin.

Unfortunately, there are no anti-discrimination laws in Japan. Probably because the official government line would be that "we don't have a discrimination problem so therefore no anti-discrimination laws are needed." Rolling Eyes
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 4:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Bethetsu wrote:
AJBryant wrote:
Not too many years ago, a major firm (I can't recall which, and I don't care to dig) got into big trouble for having a copy of a big old "buraku register" listing all the old buraku neighborhoods and families, so they could check employment applicants against the list of people "not to hire."
The major "identification" for buraku is the address (honseki) listed on your family register (koseki), which is not necessarily your current residence. The honseki used to be always put on copies of your residence register (jûminhyô), which you need to present for almost anything --schools, employment, loans, renting, etc. But some time ago--perhaps 10 years ago?--they changed it so when you apply for a copy of your residence register, you can choose whether or not to include such matters as your honseki address. I think this change was probably to discourage discrimination. Furthermore, it used to be that when you created a new family register, as when you got married, the honseki address had to be either the honseki of one of the partners or the current address. However, someone who got married 5 years ago told me that now you can choose any address you please for your honseki, and the address of the imperial palace is one of the most popular.
One of the problems is that some of the older lists still exist, even though they are supposed to be illegal. Many private detective agencies get a hold of these old lists. So even changing your honseki won't always work if the older lists are still available. Plus even if a person has moved away from a buraku area, his/her ancestry might still be available on some of these lists. A person is still considered a Burakumin if one or more of their ancestors had been a Burakumin. I'm not sure how far back this goes, but I believe that it goes at least as far back as a person's grandparent.

So why would any company or person go to all this trouble just to see if Taro's grandmother was a Burakumin? It's strictly pure prejudice. And prejudice is quite irrational and doesn't listen to reason. We in the U.S. (and also in most other countries) have no business pointing fingers on the subject of irrational prejudice. Irrational prejudice exists throughout the world. Crying or Very sad Rolling Eyes

Now I have to go read the stories. I just arrived back in the US from Tokyo and I'm still recovering from jet lag. Just Kidding Confused
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Oh, OnnaMusha, too much stuff to quote or delete or whateve- Let's just say I will try to edit the story this weekend hoping Kitsuno can put in my fixes, I just want to fix some spelling and? I have to examine it. Now its time for Kantei and to see if they can decipher the Samurai Art I have had the fortune to stumble on. Does anyone know of a clan with dark blue kimono that have white circles trisected by blue spokes and a blue circle in the middle, looks like a life preserver. Damn me for not being able to read Japanese, or not having the time to look at the mon, wrong place for that anyway,Never mind I'm waiting
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
My computer died on the weekend and I'm having to use an old and very slow (and noisy) one until this weekend. I'm off to Japan on 1 November for three weeks, so I've also got packing to do. I am spending an extra day in Kyoto purely to take a trip to Kurama for more 'research'! Funny, I enjoyed writing my own story so much that I've actually written the next bit, what happens to Oniwaka after he leaves Kurama.

I liked Falling Leaves, the premise of it, like what would motivate these boys to take on a castle and win?
A very difficult subject, one that few would write about. Arthur, you have an eerie, haunting quality with your writing - it may not be grammatically perfect, but it really does transport the reader. Don't lose that by worrying too much about technique!

As for the Best Ending, I imagine it was because it came quickly. Does that mean that my Best Dialogue induced a similar reaction in the judges? Laughing I sure hope not!

I liked the Street Sweeper very much, and thought it actually had a very effective ending. I liked the thought of this cowardly man, so willing to accept his reduced circumstances to stay alive, becoming a man with a mission, a sense of justice. It was a small step for him, but a significant one.

I loved Getting Ahead, I thought it was amusing and clever and perfectly paced.

Could the judges be persuaded to give their own take on each story, or do they wish to remain anonymous?

I would also be very grateful if Kitsuno could make the small change to my story, if you haven't already done so. I'm off to work in a minute, another day another paltry sum not appropriate to my skills.... Wink
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onnamusha
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
A.L.Mundell wrote:
Oh, OnnaMusha, too much stuff to quote or delete or whateve- Let's just say I will try to edit the story this weekend hoping Kitsuno can put in my fixes, I just want to fix some spelling and? I have to examine it. Now its time for Kantei and to see if they can decipher the Samurai Art I have had the fortune to stumble on. Does anyone know of a clan with dark blue kimono that have white circles trisected by blue spokes and a blue circle in the middle, looks like a life preserver. Damn me for not being able to read Japanese, or not having the time to look at the mon, wrong place for that anyway,Never mind I'm waiting

Arthur-sama (I'll keep the -sama for now!) Wink , my critiques are just my own impressions from reading the story, based on my own experiences and practice with it. Definitely don't lose your style to worry over technique. If anything, technique, while important, should always serve the story, rather than overshadowing it.

My husband teaches creative writing, and he has written many more (and IMHO better) stories than I have, and many of them employ very unorthodox or even dead wrong grammar. But, in the framework of his tales, he needed to use immediate-sounding phrases at the expense of correctness. The only important consideration is flow and how it sounds to you if you can put yourself in the shoes of someone who comes into the story cold (that's not easy to do--authors often assume knowledge on the part of the audience that isn't there). I was really afraid that my story was so rarefied that no one who doesn't know something about the period and setting could enjoy the story. I'm still not sure it would fly to a general audience. Such is the tradeoff I accepted.

Long story short--don't listen to me if my suggestions would compromise what you feel is the voice of your story. I'm just one schmo among many! And I did enjoy your story quite a lot! As for gozen's suggestion about judges' impressions, I guess I would be interested to know why on earth my story won (it might help me know what worked, because I had many fears about it). No one has yet given me a grilling like I've handed out to everyone else, so I am understandably curious. Cheers!
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A.L.Mundell
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Dear OnnaMusha, if I could critique your story like a writing assignment it would involve more knowledge than I currently possess. I am curious to see where I might have slipped character in the dialogue,but as I have only just read about this in the last week! I need some more time and less grind from my jay-oh-bee to set it right but I get it.In fact its what I was looking for in someones opinion of my writing.I am going for an ethreal style to my writing becasue I often have that impression of long ago Japan. It some how seems brighter and unreal and at the same time like the twilight of Tuatha de Nan(spell check~!) I get this idea from Kurasawa et al. I often feel it is so wrong to feel this way and so I seek to balance it out with knowledge of the common things, ah hell! Evil or Very Mad the devil is in the details Twisted Evil Your opinions are supported and that is great for learning, I wish you will critique my other entry as well. Hmm,I think there is some ice tea with my name on it Just Kidding PS, please call me Arthur, its embarrassing to be called something I did not deserve. Wink
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gozen
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Damn, just saw a tumbleweed blowing through my last post[/img]
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