Posts Tagged ‘baka’

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

The Woes of Winter

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

I have been busy in Ichimen, even as the winter becomes colder. The Keishutsu district remains solidly in our control, and the gangs of Miseru-Kakusu remain in disarray. I have moved on, to the neighboring districts of Kuraberu-no-Hako and Shiryō-no-Hako. I have also spent much time in meetings with Seijun and Rajan, the samurai who will be waging battle outside the city. We have agreed on how we will coordinate our efforts, and they have introduced me to Nayumi. She is another samurai who will be assisting them.

In the meantime, the nobles and priests continue to argue about what our strategies should be in those areas.

We are now fully committed to striking using the Bright Square strategy. But Jōichi’s plan involved capturing certain warehouses with the Floating Word technique. And Floating Word is completely incompatible with Bright Square.

There is consternation in the high towers of the castle, as the nobles are becoming aware that this campaign will probably not be done on time. I see messages going back and forth, as they ask Kento how we will capture the warehouses. “What tactic can we use, if Floating Word is not available to us?” Kento has just gone on winter holiday, however, and he will not return until next week.

In the meantime, I am sneaking through Kuraberu-no-Hako and Shiryō-no-Hako, trying to identify all the people I might possibly be asked to kill. As soon as the nobles figure out what to do and who the enemy is, I intend to present them with those people’s heads.

A Busy Week of Dealing With Upstarts

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

This week has been quite busy with interviews and combat tests. On Monday, I traveled far off to the Mikawa Peninsula (requiring a journey by boat) to talk to Clan Kokkyū. They are a quite large clan, but it turns out that the group that is interested in me are a very small detachment who operate like one of the new, upstartstartups, that isstartups, that is groups.

Yesterday I went to a grueling interview with all the warriors of Clan Shōshindō except for Kirika. I was questioned about my history, about tactics, and about the uses of various weapons, and I also did some sparring. Their warriors are quite skilled, but they are yet another upstart clan, and I would not be well suited for a life with them.

After that, I stopped by Yagyū for a kataA sequence of moves in martial arts, performed as a practice exercise to train the fighter’s muscle memory and reflexes in preparation for real combat. May be anywhere from a brief, 15-second movement to a full sequence that takes five minutes or more to complete. Usually solitary, but there are some two-person kata.

You may wish to see some videos of standard karate katas.A sequence of fighting moves used as a practice technique in martial arts. test for the mysterious gumi“group”Japanese for “group”; can refer to anything from a “five-person group” (a common work-unit in Japanese corporations) up to an entire branch of the Yakuza such as the Yamaguchi-gumi. from Kawachi Province. They wished to see me perform some kata using 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 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.)
. Unfortunately, I made an elementary blunder with the manrikigusari, trying to use the Jeikyū grappling hook (which I’ve been using more and more lately) in a way that only works with the Pirōto hook (which is what I started off with, years ago). By the time I realized my error, it was too late; I had already failed.

I returned home to Hoshiakari and Akane in low spirits. A visit from our friend Arujin was a helpful restorative, as he is most convivial and witty.

Today, I have spent the morning exchanging messages with a herald who represents Clan Ōkiten, who are based in the pleasure district of Kamishichiken, near where Clan Iwinaga once had its castle. Apparently they are a larger, more mature clan, and I am to speak with one of the lower nobles in their leadership. I must prepare myself.

Your Herald Only Hurts Your Clan’s Cause

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

I have just spoken with a man from a clan called Supurānku, who have need of fighters. They are growing quickly; already they are large enough to meet my size requirements easily. But they are still a young clan, and they retain the mentality of one. According to the captain I spoke with, the clan “strives to retain the culture of a small, young, and eager clan.”

This is exactly what I do not need. I told him of my misgivings, and this is a great step for me. Normally, when a clan’s representative tells me that they like my skills and they want to move forward with negotiations, I do not know how to say, “I am honored, but I must respectfully decline, for your clan’s Way and mine are not in alignment.” But I am learning, and I told the captain that I was doubtful.

It only makes me angry then, to have this politeness and professionalism returned by the sudden arrival of one of their heralds, who tried to convince me that I should continue negotiations with Supurānku, and that I will never find an army that gives me what I need. He proved entirely unable to notice my polite statements that we had nothing further to discuss, and I spent far longer talking to him — and listening to his unwanted pep talk — than he deserved.

So even as I am learning to say, professionally, “Your clan is not for me”, it seems I must work harder on learning to say, professionally, “You are irritating me and wasting both our time. You will go away, now.”

When the captain left, my impression of Clan Supurānku was simply that it was a nice enough clan, but not for me. Now, my impression is one of distaste and, honestly, anger. But I have no time for rage; I must put on my tabithe split-toed boots worn by ninjasthe split-toed boots worn by ninjas and prepare to journey into Yagyū, to meet with a man from Clan Kaiketsusaku, who may perhaps be more reasonable.

Hello world!

Saturday, May 23rd, 2009

This is the initial WordPress post, that normally just says “Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!”

I could delete it, but it makes a great honeypot for spammers, so I’m leaving it here. Anything that comments on it will be assumed to be a spambot and dealt with accordingly.