Posts Tagged ‘baka’

Note: “Baka” is Japanese for “fool” or “idiot”, often used as an insult.

Why I Am So Busy Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

I arrived at the castle yesterday morning, collected my weapons, and went out to Zaiseikyōiku to see how things were progressing. Imagine my dismay when I discovered that Sakito had killed the wrong targets. I gave him very precise instructions, but he apparently did not understand them.

Luckily, the people he killed will not be missed… or at least, their deaths will not be traceable back to Clan Noriaibasha. He has at least that much competence at his ninja skills.

But the people we do need killed are still very much alive. Snarling curses upon Sakito and his ancestors, I set about finding and slaying them…

…only to be visited by Makishi, who asked me to return to the castle for a meeting with Sakito, Kento and him, to discuss our progress in Ogaribamen and Zaiseikyōiku.

I was very good. I did not state, “Sakito is incapable of following simple instructions.” Instead, I simply reported that we still have people to kill, and I am taking care of that today, and I had been doing so before I was pulled back to the castle. After the meeting was done, I spent the rest of the day in Zaiseikyōiku, frantically hunting down and killing enemies.

I have more to kill today. Then tomorrow there is another of those strategy-planning meetings which will occupy the entire afternoon. Before it starts, I have sworn I will have all our opposition in Zaiseikyōiku cleared away.

That is why I am very busy.

Why I Am So Busy Lately

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Last week, I was assigned to recon — and eventually kill — a mercenary unit called the Naihō Cadre. They are operating in various places within Zaiseikyōiku. It turns out they are also well-organized, well-equipped, and professional.

It will take some slick 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. work, and all of my skill with the manrikigusariA chain weapon with weights at both ends, which can be used for striking or entangling.A ninja weapon consisting of a length of chain with stuff at one or both ends. Generally has weights at both ends, but occasionally one weight will be replaced by a hook. The weapon can be used for entangling (by wrapping a weight around an enemy’s limb) or for a direct strike with one of the weights. It can also be used to entangle an enemy’s weapon with one end, then strike the enemy’s body with the weight on the other end. They hate that.

When the chain has one end attached to a kama, it’s known as a kusari-gama. (Kusari means “chain”; when it’s the second item in a compound word, it becomes -gusari. Similarly, kama becomes -gama in compounds.)
, in order to defeat these fighters. Also, I must be cunning and use careful tactics. It will be quite an adventure!

In the meantime, there are other things going on outside the Saitekika campaign and the region of Sanigata. There is the ongoing Pagoda Bearer project, which requires a shrine to Bishamonten. We have a scroll that describes a ryūA school, tradition, or style in martial arts.A school, tradition, or style in martial arts. called the Tsuiseki-Dō, which we wish to experiment with. Sadly, it turns out that the Tsuiseki-Dō requires that the shrine be equipped with sandalwoodthis codebase assumes it’ll be installed in the DOCUMENT_ROOT directory of the web server it’s on, not a subdirectorythis codebase assumes it’ll be installed in the DOCUMENT_ROOT directory of the web server it’s on, not a subdirectory incense.

Ours has camphor and camellia incense. And the priests of the Jōdō Shū branch, who oversee such things, tell us we may not use sandalwood incense here.

So we will have to modify every step of the entire ryū to work the way we need it to. This will be quite an arduous task.

We have a mercenary helping us, a man named Shinju. He has been assigned to read through every move, looking for the cuts, parries, and attacks that will need to be modified. I am acting mostly in a supervisory capacity, alongside the priest, Riki who is in charge of this project.

As much as I enjoy the Pagoda Bearer ryū, this Tsuiseki project becomes less enjoyable every day, as I keep having to come back to Castle Noriaibasha instead of scouting the Naihō Cadre or other enemies in the field.

Do Not Make a Ninja Angry. You Wouldn’t Like Him When He’s Angry.

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

Someone in Clan Hekoayu needs to die. Possibly multiple someones.

For some weeks now, they have been providing us maps outlining the territories we’re supposed to be capturing and subduing. In many places, these maps are extremely detailed. This is no coincidence: It is because we specifically required them to give us very detailed maps. After all, we are the ones who will have to operate in these territories, waging life-or-death battles.

Yesterday, I was in Zaiseikyōiku, following the map I had been given. It claimed that the little alley past the marketplace was an excellent shortcut to the back window of the Iron Monkey inn, one of the more important taverns in town. Being able to sneak in the back could be quite important.

Imagine my surprise and dismay, then, when I went down the alley and found a small building up against the back wall of the inn — completely covering the window. Imagine also that it was nothing compared to my surprise and annoyance at finding that the building housed a group of thugs affiliated with one of the gangs of the town center.

Luckily, they were also startled by appearance. Luckily, I have much practice in quick-draw techniques, and was able to pull out my 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. and defend myself before the first one’s attack could strike me. And luckily, I was able to escape unharmed.

Whoever produced this map should not be so lucky.

I spent the rest of the afternoon checking other details. There is a place where the map says the gap between two buildings is eight feet wide. It is actually ten feet. If I had attempted to leap that gap unprepared, I could easily have fallen to the street below, risking broken bones or even death.

I have reported the problem to Amon, Makishi, Kento — and of course, to Sakito, who is the only other actual ninja in the field, and who is hence relying on these maps just as much as I am. I have urged them to escalate matters to the priests and the nobles, and to ensure that someone has harsh words with Hekoayu.

For now, we cannot trust anything in these maps. It seems that at least nine parts out of any ten are correct. In any ten claims that the map makes, only one is incorrect. But which one?

Beware the Tricks of Tanuki

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

I have a shameful confession to make. It is an explanation for why I have been so quiet.

Last week, as I was preparing to leave Hoshiakari and go to Castle Noriaibasha, there was a knock at the door. “Who can that be?” I wondered, and opened it… to find a short, plump traveler in a straw hat.

“Pardon me, good sir,” he said, “would you happen to have any sake you can spare?”

“Is it not early in the morning for drinking?” I asked.

“Perhaps you may be right. Then might I trouble you for some tea?” he continued, insistently.

I felt wary, but… I would not wish to begrudge a traveler such simple comforts. “Wait here, and I will bring you a cup,” I said. I turned away to the kitchen. When I looked back, the traveler was in my living room! Bouncing a small golden ball!

“You should not be inside my house!” I told him. “I asked you to wait outside. It is a pleasant morning.”

“But I am inside,” he cried. “You let me in!” He laughed, and his face melted into the wide-eyed, short-snouted, furry face of a tanukiAn animal native to Japan, usually translated “raccoon-dog”. In folklore, tanuki are tricksters, known for their shapeshifting abilities and powers of illusion. They are mischievous, but usually not physically dangerous. They also have very large testicles and scrotums, and are able to expand and distort them to the point that they can use them as backpacks, drums, boats, and even houses.An animal native to Japan, usually translated “raccoon-dog”. In folklore, tanuki are tricksters, known for their shapeshifting abilities and powers of illusion. They are mischievous, but usually not physically dangerous. They also have very large testicles and scrotums, and are able to expand and distort them to the point that they can use them as backpacks, drums, boats, and even houses. — then he bolted past me, out the door, and ran away, quick as a whirlwind.

A tanuki! I knew I was in trouble now. Carefully, I checked around the house to see if anything was missing.

I quickly found the problem: My ninja-tōThe short sword most associated with ninjas. Note that unlike the katana and wakizashi carried by samurai, the ninja-tō was straight rather than curved. It was roughly the length of a wakizashi.

The ninja-tō was also generally of inferior workmanship compared to the more expensive blades available to samurai. Even if a ninja could acquire a katana, it would be too long and unwieldy to carry on most missions; ninja generally relied on smaller weapons like the shuriken and manrikigusari, and on more deniable weapons like the kama.

“Ninja-ken” is another perfectly acceptable name for this weapon; it’s like the difference between saying “ninja blade” and “ninja sword” in English.The short sword most associated with ninjas. Note that unlike the katana and wakizashi carried by samurai, the ninja-tō was straight rather than curved. Also known as a “ninja-ken”. was covered with rust. In fact, it was completely turned into rust, as if it had forged from pure rust in the first place! And my 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.… its blade was bent into a knot! And every one of my manrikigusariA chain weapon with weights at both ends, which can be used for striking or entangling.A ninja weapon consisting of a length of chain with stuff at one or both ends. Generally has weights at both ends, but occasionally one weight will be replaced by a hook. The weapon can be used for entangling (by wrapping a weight around an enemy’s limb) or for a direct strike with one of the weights. It can also be used to entangle an enemy’s weapon with one end, then strike the enemy’s body with the weight on the other end. They hate that.

When the chain has one end attached to a kama, it’s known as a kusari-gama. (Kusari means “chain”; when it’s the second item in a compound word, it becomes -gusari. Similarly, kama becomes -gama in compounds.)
’s links had been turned into a loop of udonVery thick Japanese noodles, made from buckwheat flour. Imagine spaghetti, only each strand is about a half-inch thick. (This makes them thick enough to match the metal in a sturdy chain, doesn’t it?)Very thick Japanese noodles, made from buckwheat flour. Imagine spaghetti, only each strand is about a half-inch thick. noodle. The Jeikyū grappling hook had been turned into an artful bouquet of flowers.

As for my 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.… in that case, the tanuki left the metal fittings alone, but the wood was transformed into nattōA Japanese foodstuff, made of partially fermented soybeans. It is very much an acquired taste… and Ichirō has not acquired it.

If you wish to know more, Wikipedia can help.A Japanese foodstuff, made of partially fermented soybeans. It is very much an acquired taste… and Ichirō has not acquired it.. As was my bō staffA fighting staff, generally about six feet long. Similar to the European quarterstaff. Often carried by mountain men and travellers as well as dedicated warriors.A fighting staff, generally about six feet long. Similar to the European quarterstaff. Often carried by mountain men and travellers as well as dedicated warriors., which was thankfully outside in the yard at the time.

I had no time to weep over my now-weaponless state. I had to go to Castle Noriaibasha and perform my daily duties there. Since the clan supplies the weapons I must use on their behalf, I was able to do my work. But for the past few days, I have come home every evening and been very occupied with trying to restore my own weapons.

I have had to cut and whittle new kama handles. I have had to visit the blacksmith’s shop to have him forge me new blades, and new chains, and a new grappling hook. My new bō is now ready, and the blacksmith will have my sansetsukon done tomorrow.

I will be much more wary of tanuki in the future.

Red Star, Black Star — Who Must I Slay?

Friday, January 13th, 2012

I awoke before dawn today, to have a meeting with the samurai who will be fighting in the forests as part of a small project that I am assigned to. It is called Operation Iraisho. While she fights in the forests, I must handle some scouting in the small village of the same name, and ensure that there will be no opposition — especially not from a group called the Red Star gang (who often wear such an emblem on their kimonos). A nice, simple operation.

So I have been creeping through Iraisho, keeping alert and ready for any trouble. Along the way, Kento came to visit me. He had a few questions about another operation. When I answered them, I also said, “And things are quiet here. No members of Red Star in evidence.”

Red Star?” he asked. “But what about the Black Star gang?”

As you can imagine, I was quite confused. “I… was told to watch for a gang with red stars. Should I be looking for black ones, instead?”

In the end, I left the village, along with Kento, and we are going to talk to Kaimei, the Nichiren priest in charge of this operation. If I kill the wrong people, it will reflect badly on the clan!

The Forgotten Message

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

Yesterday, on my way to my meeting with Sakito, I noticed something important in my weapons-locker: A message from Raitsu to Furashi. Oh, no! How could I have forgotten?

Of course: I have been dealing with the many meetings with Clan Hekoayu, and now more meetings to plan our strategies for the Saitekika campaign, and Kento never made this message sound like a particularly high priority, and… well, I was very forgetful, and this must be corrected.

Of course, I could not do anything about it at the time. But now, I have a few hours to spare. Off to Nagoya I go!

Dealing With Three Things At Once

Friday, August 19th, 2011

I am no longer dealing with only one campaign. I had thought that my association with the Teitōken campaign was done, having pacified the city of Ichimen. Now I find that there is one final push happening this weekend. They may need a ninja on call, just in case they encounter any resistance that requires assassination or city operation.

Hence, I must hold myself in readiness, prepared at any moment to rush to the battlefield. I will serve, but I hope I am not called.

In the meantime, the Shiemesu Raisei campaign is becoming contentious. Ryōsuke wants to have everything complete within six weeks. The other warriors have all just pointed out that we are trying to learn an entirely new ryūA school, tradition, or style in martial arts.A school, tradition, or style in martial arts., and we have no idea how long anything will take. We certainly do not wish to commit to an untried, unfamiliar strategy and claim that we will have such-and-so accomplished, and then discover that we can only accomplish half of it in the time allotted.

Ryōsuke is adamant about the six-week deadline. We will see what we can commit to — if anything.

Aside from that, there is a problem occurring in Settsu Province. I need to deliver a message and some small supplies to one of our operatives there. It will be an interesting case of courier duty, combined with some reconnaissance — when I am done, I should report back to Tsukimi on what I saw while delivering the message.

It will be a busy day.

Everything Falls Apart

Saturday, June 11th, 2011

The Teitōken campaign is in a shambles.

For all of its history, the Teitōken campaign has been part of the greater, overarching Futa Jūichi-yon schedule. In order for us to meet that schedule, all enemies in Ichimen and the surrounding forests and wilderness had to be neutralized by June 20th.

On Thursday, as it became clear that this was never going to happen, the nobles made a decision: The entire campaign was shifted to the Mitsu Jūichi-rei schedule. This would give us another full month to get everything complete…

…but things are never that easy. In addition to all the foes we’ve been worrying about, there has been a resurgence of the Mōjin resistance movement. We can no longer ignore them.

To make matters worse, the Tendai priesthood is insisting that we capture the suburb of Koyōshi, on the outskirts of the Keishutsu district. Kento is quite upset at this news; he asks, “Where were they during all the strategy meetings? We showed them the maps, we asked them if there was any other territory we might need. They said nothing! Why do they think they can suddenly ask for new conquests now?!”

I agree with him completely, but there is no arguing with them.

Finally, because I am now a full member of Clan Noriaibasha, I must have entirely newI can’t use my previous login any more. I have to switch to a new employee ID and a new user login on my work computer.I can’t use my previous login any more. I have to switch to a new employee ID and a new user login on my work computer. weapons with the clan crest on the pommels and scabbards and so forth. I am sure it doesn’t matter to my enemies if the manrikigusariA chain weapon with weights at both ends, which can be used for striking or entangling.A ninja weapon consisting of a length of chain with stuff at one or both ends. Generally has weights at both ends, but occasionally one weight will be replaced by a hook. The weapon can be used for entangling (by wrapping a weight around an enemy’s limb) or for a direct strike with one of the weights. It can also be used to entangle an enemy’s weapon with one end, then strike the enemy’s body with the weight on the other end. They hate that.

When the chain has one end attached to a kama, it’s known as a kusari-gama. (Kusari means “chain”; when it’s the second item in a compound word, it becomes -gusari. Similarly, kama becomes -gama in compounds.)
I strangle them with has a tassel in the Noriaibasha clan colors just behind the grappling hook or not, but it does change the weapon’s balance and slows me downThis means I have to set up and reconfigure a huge number of things to customize the new login the way I had the old one working.This means I have to set up and reconfigure a huge number of things to customize the new login the way I had the old one working..

That’s not even counting the fact that I spent almost all of Friday waiting aroundAlso, my new login doesn’t have administrative privs, and I’ve been given a new email account that none of my co-workers know about yet… and loads of stuff is still sitting in the old inbox. It’s kind of a nightmare, and I’ll be talking to IT support on Monday.Also, my new login doesn’t have administrative privs, and I’ve been given a new email account that none of my co-workers know about yet… and loads of stuff is still sitting in the OLD inbox. It’s kind of a nightmare, and I’ll be talking to IT support on Monday. for the quartermaster to issue me weapons, and the weaponsmith to sharpen and polish them for use.

Finally, Seijun still has the idea that we will somehow vanquish the previously-identified AyamariDespite our having pushed the entire release deadline back by a month, he seems to think we’re still going to fix all the bugs that had been identified before the date was changed, as if we could have met that deadline. We were going to have a hard time meeting that deadline in the first place, but moving the code to a new branch (which was required as part of the deadline-shift) cost us at least a day.Despite our having pushed the entire release deadline back by a month, he seems to think we’re still going to fix all the bugs that had been identified before the date was changed, as if we could have met that deadline. We were going to have a hard time meeting that deadline in the first place, but moving the code to a new branch (which was required as part of the deadline-shift) cost us at least a day. by the old June 20 deadline. Seijun is deluded. I will have to explain this to him on Monday.

A Scroll of Much Confusion

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Yesterday, Kento and I met with Rajan, Seijun, and another of the forest samurai. Rajan has a scroll written by some warrior-sage high in the clan, describing some battle tactics which are supposed to ensure the safety of our warriors.

This scroll is very confusing, and at least one of the manrikigusariA chain weapon with weights at both ends, which can be used for striking or entangling.A ninja weapon consisting of a length of chain with stuff at one or both ends. Generally has weights at both ends, but occasionally one weight will be replaced by a hook. The weapon can be used for entangling (by wrapping a weight around an enemy’s limb) or for a direct strike with one of the weights. It can also be used to entangle an enemy’s weapon with one end, then strike the enemy’s body with the weight on the other end. They hate that.

When the chain has one end attached to a kama, it’s known as a kusari-gama. (Kusari means “chain”; when it’s the second item in a compound word, it becomes -gusari. Similarly, kama becomes -gama in compounds.)
techniques that it calls for makes no sense at all. It’s a needless flourish which won’t make us any safer or assist us to strike the enemy harder.

Over and over again, the scroll says things which are completely unclear. Many times during the meeting, all five of us were scratching our heads and asking each other, “Do you know what that means? No? I don’t, either.”

Since these techniques were presented to us as “guidelines”, not orders, Kento made me very happy by saying, “I can tell you now: My ninjas will not be following these guidelines.” Rajan thinks the sage must know something we don’t, but even he must admit that he isn’t sure what it could be.

He is trying to set up another meeting, where the sage himself can explain to us why and how these techniques can help. We shall see how that goes.

In the meantime… today may involve another trip to Nagoya. It’s supposed to be a simple pick-up: just meet with our operative at a restaurant, where he’ll pass me a message that I must bring back here to the castle. But things have a way of going wrong in Nagoya. Wish me luck!

More Trouble Befalls the Teitōken Campaign

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

We are about to have some very major problems in Ichimen. Jōichi and I have just had a meeting with one of our scouts, who says that the Mōjin army is moving into the area. I will have to eradicate them from Ichibanyōshi and from Keishutsu. According to our scout, a man named Jun-ichirō, the Mōjin are already infesting Keishutstu, and will be very difficult to dislodge.

By the time we succeed in that, they may well have occupied Kuraberu-no-Hako.

In the meantime, our objectives in Ichibanyōshi continually change. Every time I think we have cleared all opposition, the nobles change their minds and decide that yet another group of people need to die. Seijun, the samurai, is getting worried about the schedule; he has the rest of the army’s movements to think of.