Posts Tagged ‘kami’

Ready to Attack My Week

Monday, March 21st, 2011

This morning, I stopped by Castle Noriaibasha very briefly. In the chamber that I share with the others, I said hello to Fumiaki and Chifumi. (Ginsaku, as usual, had not arrived yet.) Chifumi will soon be leaving us to join one of the clans of Settsu Province, headquartered in Naniwa. Today, her replacement has just arrived from the monastery, and Chifumi is training her.

I made my polite greetings, then took 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.)
from its locker and departed for Ichimen. I have much to accomplish there before tomorrow is done.

In one week, we shall have two more warriors in the Keitai Team to assist me and Ginsaku. Two of the fighters I have recently tested were able to perform the Three-and-Five Strike, and have accepted positions with our clan. Haruna is a somewhat junior kunoichiA term for a female ninja.A term for a female ninja.. She is shy and deferential, but she has good warrior skills. With some training, I think she will be quite deadly. Then there is Denkurō, who is more skilled and experienced. He knows how to use the Jeikyū grappling hook, and has experience in city fighting and rooftop combat.

In the meantime, I have now arrived at Ichimen, and I’m ready for a little rooftop combat of my own. The Machigaeru gang are running scared, but not yet vanquished. And there are still those Hikone mercenaries to deal with.

There were storms and rain over the weekend, and I hope the roofs will not be too slippery. May AmaterasuOne of the greatest Shinto deities, and specifically the Goddess of the Sun.One of the greatest Shinto deities, and specifically the Goddess of the Sun. shine Her sun on me today! I will need luck to assist my skill, for I have so very much to do.

The Return of the Oni… Again

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

I received a message from General Wāro recently, asking if I would give a good report about him to a clan that is considering taking him in. I told him that of course I would do so. On Tuesday night, I was supposed to receive a messenger from his prospective new clan, who would ask me my impressions of the General.

Instead — as readers of my brief messages will already know — a runner came from the other side of Hoshiakari. “There is trouble in the shrine!”, he cried. “Noise and disturbance! Can you help?”

So, instead of dinner with Akane, I laced up my tabithe split-toed boots commonly worn by ninjasthe split-toed boots commonly worn by ninjas and rushed through the woodsIt’d be nice if I could find some colo space for my server that isn’t 50 miles away. Rebooting it when it’s hung is a chore, but traveling all that way makes it so much worse.It’d be nice if I could find some colo space for my server that isn’t 50 miles away. Rebooting it when it’s hung is a chore, but traveling all that way makes it so much worse. to the shrine. I hoped to find nothing more than a few bandits — or, even better, perhaps a vagrant simply looking for food. But in my heart, I knew better.

Sure enough, the oni had returned. The same one who bedeviled us last September, and then again in November. It crouched in the doorway, grinning foully at me.

And of course, not being a priest, I had no o-fudaShinto talismans against evil. They are shaped like tall rectangles, either made of stone or of paper, and have kanji written on them. If you have a paper o-fuda, sticking it to the forehead of a supernatural creature is a powerful attack against it, and may even stop it in its tracks.Shinto talismans against evil. Little paper rectangles with kanji written on them, like mini-scrolls. Sticking one to the forehead of a supernatural creature is a powerful attack against it, and may even stop it in its tracks.. All I could do was attack with my ninja skills.

It threw off my chain with a laugh, and nearly clubbed me in the heart as I scrambled to dodge. A few quick acrobatic rolls got me out of range of its next few strikes, and I tried 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”.. No use. I managed to use 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. to cut a mostly-straight branch from a nearby tree and use it as a 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.. That at least gave me enough reach to stay out of the huge monster’s range.

The battle was long and gruelingEven once I got the server restarted, there was still some trouble with email and spam-filtering services.Even once I got the server restarted, there was still some trouble with email and spam-filtering services., but eventually I managed a solid strike against its wrist, and it dropped its club. As I assailed it with blows about the shoulders, it roared and then fled off into the night.

I must find a way to kill it, once and for all.

Ominous Clues Around the Shrine

Sunday, September 12th, 2010

I visited the shrine of Amaterasu last night. For many hours, I kept watch, lurking and waiting to see if anything would appear. But even a ninja cannot remain awake forever.

Before leaving, I scattered a bit of rice flour around the entrances to the shrine, and some of the most likely avenues of approach. Then I went home, to sleep by Akane’s side.

I have now returned, and I see some very large footprints in the flour. Not merely the footprints of a very large man, either; not merely the prints of anything human. These prints are larger than even the mightiest sumo wrestler’s feet… and they have claw marks at the tips of the toes.

Kwannon defend me, I think I am dealing with an oniA supernatural creature. Usually translated into English simply as “demon”, but oni combine aspects of demons and ogres. Like Western demons, they have horns on their head and colored skin (generally red or blue). They also have sharp teeth, which may be fangs or tusks. Like ogres, they live in mountains and wilderness places, and are generally depicted as being larger than human scale (generally about 8-12 feet tall). They usually carry long clubs with studded iron on the striking end, and are sometimes dressed in animal-skin loincloths.Often translated as “demon”, but also similar to an ogre: Humanoid, generally 8-12 feet tall, with red or blue skin, horns on its head, fangs or tusks, and a large, iron-shod club. Usually lives in mountains and wilderness..

A Mystery Foe in the Night

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

There is something lurking around the shrine of Amaterasu on the outskirts of Hoshiakari.

I do not know what, but the village woman who tends the shrine says that every morning, the offerings are scattered about. Whatever is edible has been eaten, and candles are often knocked over.

I will have to investigate. I am very busy learning the ways of Clan Noriaibasha, but any threat to Hoshiakari is something I cannot ignore.

Whatever lurks in the night, I must vanquish it.