Sunday, January 29, 2012

A breezy yōkai

This entry takes me back to adding more yōkai entries. This one from the island of Shikoku.

muchi [yōkai] 鞭

I plan to do many more due to the large number of significant yōkai in the Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan manga. If you have not checked out this manga I highly recommend it.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

What is that kinky thing?

Japanese-English Guide to Sex, Kink and Naughtiness
By Nate Jensen 2009
181 pages, black and white illustrations

Writings dealing with Japanese sexuality fall into three broad categories:

1. Academic writings

2. Informative general writings

3. The author knows not of what he writes.

This book is in category 2. Basically this is a dictionary of sexual words and terms that are used in Japan. Until this book came out there were no good single English sources for this information, one had to dig through a variety of works to find a few words.

The organization of entries is simple, in alphabetical order by the Japanese terms. Each entry is Romanized followed by the kana and kanji for the term. Handy indexes exist for the English equivalent terms and the words in Japanese. The illustrations that are used are simple and to the point.

The range of topics covered is broad. I have only been able to find a couple of terms that are not included and discovered far more that I did not know. Given that most popular writing on sexuality in Japan tends to be a mixture of misconceptions, cheap fantasy and weird stuff the writer pulled out of their (or someone else's) ass this book is a rare gem in a pile of dung.

If you are a translator or just casually interested this work will likely prove useful. This book would fit nicely on the shelf next to Peter Constantine's Japan's Sex Trade or Joan Sinclair's Pink Box: Inside Japan's Sex Clubs.

I'd like to thank John C. Watson for informing me of this work. It was far below my radar and I doubt I would have found it otherwise.

Monday, January 2, 2012

First of the year

Happy New Year. May this one be a good one for all of us.

I have the first Anime Companion Supplement entry for the year.

I start 2012 with the Hannya shingyō (Heart Sutra) 般若心經

Last year was a slow one for the supplement. Other projects forced me to slow down to only one entry per week and the lasts few months had less. The total for the year was 45 new entries/. That does not seem like much but each entry can take some time to write and then it has to be added to the web site with all the proper tagging and links. It can take hours for the harder entries.

In 2012 I will probably produce even less as I have to give priority to other projects.

However please feel free to make requests for other entries, or any other feedback on this and other projects.