Posts Tagged ‘announcements’

Breaking My Long Silence

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

I am not dead. I assure you of this.

I have been quite busy. The word for this summer is 「結婚式」、 or “kekkonshiki”, which is Japanese for “marriage ceremony”. Last year, I asked Akane if she would marry me, and she was delighted to say yes. The ceremony itself will be later this summer, and we are both consumed with preparations. Relatives will be arriving from all over Nippon, and many of our friends from here in Iga Province will be attending as well. It will be an occasion of much joy, but it also requires much planning and effort.

Aside from this, the Saitekika campaign proceeds apace. Every day, I must meet with the Nichiren priests and sometimes even the Tendai priests, to ensure that our path is Righteous and Harmonious. When there is time between those meetings, I must go to the cities we are trying to capture, and find our enemies and slay them.

And finally, I have resumed progress on my own Kongōshu style. After a day of battling Noriaibasha’s enemies with the chain and kamaTechnically, a kama is simply a farming tool. It’s like a sickle, or a small, one-handed scythe. Since farmers make up a huge segment of feudal Japan’s population, there’s nothing suspicious about carrying one around. And ninjas like to avoid suspicion.

If you take a chain with a weight or hook on its end and attach that to a kama, you’ve got a kusarigama… much more useful as a weapon, but also obviously a ninja weapon, instead of a farming tool.A farming tool, like a sickle or a small, one-handed scythe. Commonly used by ninjas because they arouse no suspicion – farmers are everywhere, after all., it’s nice to come home and get out the sansetsukonA three-sectional staff. Looks vaguely like a nunchaku with an extra section. Famously used as an intimidation technique by one of the bad guys in Raiders of the Lost Ark, who smiled evilly and then folded it up into a coat-hanger.

Three-sectional staff; weapon that looks like a nunchaku with three sticks instead of two. and keep up my skills in the Steel Road ryūA school, tradition, or style in martial arts.A school, tradition, or style in martial arts..

But all of this leaves me very little time to write these tales. I regret that this is not likely to change soon. Some time ago, I wrote that I would be updating more frequently. I must now change that; I should not promise that which I cannot deliver.

There may occasionally be short messages. And these tales will not cease altogether. But I do not know how often I will be able to write them.

Going on Vacation Soon

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Plans are made and ready. Next month, Akane and I will be voyaging to a sunny island, south of far-off Kyūshū. It will be restful and relaxing.

Of course, there will be no enemies to spy on or slay there. No castles to infiltrate, no need for combat on the rooftops. So I shall have little — probably nothing at all — to write about while I am away.

I will post at least one farewell message before I leave, and then another when I return. I should be gone for about ten days, starting ten days from now.

A Change in These Tales’ Style

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

On Friday, I wrote about the “great and deadly battle” that awaited me… or so I thought. And shortly afterward, I wrote one of my short messages, in which I mentioned that winning that battle had been almost disappointingly easy.

On Saturday, a friend of mine came to visit. She asked how my battle had gone — which made it clear that she had not read my short message.

For some time now, I realize, I have been using this — my main scrolli.e., “this blog”i.e., "this blog" — as a place to start stories, but not to finish them. This is an unwise practice. In particular, it means that those who don’t read the short messages are given only the beginnings of my tales, but never their conclusions.

For this, I most humbly apologize. I am sure it must have been quite frustrating.

In the future, I shall ensure that this chronicle is complete in itself, self-sufficient. The short messages will serve only as a supplement to this journal, never a replacement for it. This also means I will be writing more often here — sometimes more than once a day. (For example, on Friday I would have posted the conclusion to my battle with the rōninA masterless samurai, effectively an independent sword-for-hire. A samurai could become a rōnin if his lord died, or if his lord became displeased with him and effectively fired him. During the Sengoku Jidai, things were very loose, and some samurai voluntarily left their lords and went in search of other opportunities, becoming rōnin temporarily until they could find new lords. Some peasants even declared themselves to be samurai, and then went in search of lords to take them in — for them, being a rōnin was a step in their personal advancement plans.

The word rōnin literally means “wave-man”: the image is of a man who wanders endlessly, without direction, like a wave on the ocean. At the end of Pulp Fiction, when Jules Winnfield says his plan is to “walk the earth… like Caine from Kung Fu”, he’s effectively saying he’s going to become a modern rōnin after leaving Marsellus Wallace’s service.A masterless samurai; a wandering warrior whose sword was for hire. from Hikone, making a second post in a single day.)