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Sinnesspiel ([personal profile] sinnesspiel) wrote2013-11-07 07:49 pm
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Shiki Novel Translations 7.0 and notes

Links to Chapter 7
Chapter 7 Translation Notes
Bon notes from chapter 1 expanded upon with information relevant to Chapter 7 here: These include the cucumber horse and eggplant cow, a Bon tradition.

Chapter 7 - 2

Marriage Interviews
(O)miai, usually translated as arranged marriages, are more like meetings and dates with the explicit intent of marriage. Typical ages for these meetings are 23-30, and are often set up by parents who feel the adult child is not seeking enough initiative to wed on their own. Marriage Interviews can be set up by family, friends, or by the person themselves, either formally with a company or otherwise. In the more formal ones, the families meet and compare their compatibility. Looks, education, employment, pedigree, social status, etc. are all considered, usually before the first actual meeting between the two to be wed. After the decision is reached based on the statistics on paper, and the first in person meeting, there are usually three to five dates had before determining whether to wed or not. The initial vetting process is ideally strict enough to avoid the potential embarrassment of an embarrassingly personal refusal at such a late stage.

They are declining in popularity as ideas of a more natural romance and courtship have become more popular. In a closed region such as Sotoba where new prospects are understandably harder to come by, the appeal is obvious. This is how Junko and other women who married out of the town into Sotoba most likely met up with their husbands, if they did not meet in college such as Kyouko and Toshio. The woman typically moves in with the man rather than the reverse, so Sotoba women who have interviews would generally leave the village upon deciding to wed. 

Chapter 7 - 3

Cucumber horses and eggplant cows.

A Bon tradition. In some regions, they are both put out, facing the house, for the spirits to ride in on. In others, the horse is put out during Mukae-bon for a fast return home and the cow during Okuri-bon for a slow return to the afterlife. The opposite also occurs, to express fear/respect of a lingering spirit. Example image from Musashi Restaurant.

Chapter 7 - 4

"I'm sure there'd be a mother-n-law like Rottenmeier-san." -
A reference to Johanna Spyri's work, Heidi. Miss Rottenmeier is strict and decidedly not fun nanny figure within the story. Heidi was made into a very successful, popular anime series in the 70s and is very well known amongst Japanese adults (or at least, people who were adults in the 90s such as in Shiki; people currently in their 20s, perhaps not so much).

Chapter 7 - 5

Japanese RoSCAs, historically run by communities since before Japan was strongly united under a single government or wide scale banking. Set up by communities for themselves, all members bring a fixed amount of money to the pot and then who gets to take out how much at each meeting is decided, by a representative, by putting in more money/bidding, or by lottery. Those who received continue to pay into the pot at future meetings, with an interest-adjusted rate to assure those who had their share of the pot later have not put in more than they receive when their turn arrives. The people continue to come to meetings until everybody has has had a share. Once all people have had a share, the unit may be dissolved. At times small local governments would form organizations of this nature in order to fund welfare programs, such as during poor harvests, by delegating it to the neediest portion quickly. Because such arrangements were largely regional, the likelihood of failing to meet one's obligation or leaving early was low. As they were frequently community endeavors, at times who received first could be determined based on need or by a representative with little risk, as involvement was voluntary. 

Three Pillars - a continuation of the Murakata matter. 

The situation described between the temple, Kanemasa, and the Ozaki house is a reflection of the common style of governance of villages during the Edo period. Called the Murakata Sanyaku, or the three roles of the Murakata, it consisted of the following roles: The village headman, the village elder (also occasionally called the group leader) and the people's representative. How each position was assigned varied from votes to appointment by outside sources, throughout history and territories. In summary, the three were involved in civil administration of the village.  

The village headman was generally responsible for the overall delegation and governing of the village. the elder assisted, and the people's representative was an auditor. This was the general rule and not an absolute, as things varied region to region.