September 18, 2005

Prologue 1 (12 Kingdoms)

The context places this chapter in the early Meiji, or latter half of the 19th century.

Traditionally in China and Japan, a child was counted one year old at birth, and then a year older every lunar New Year. So, technically, a child born in December could be 2 years old a month later.

In Tonari no Totoro, Satsuki falls into Totoro's burrow at the foot of a giant camphor tree.

青柳 [あおやぎ] Aoyagi
鈴 [すず] Suzu
風呂敷 [ふろしき] wrapping cloth, cloth wrapper
虚海 [きょかい] Kyokai
慶東国 [けいとうごく] The Eastern Kingdom of Kei

# posted by Anonymous
What kind of apprenticeship was Suzu going to Tokyo for?

The lunar New Year birthday thing really sucks :-)

9/19/2005 6:46 PM

# posted by Eugene
In this case, "apprenticeship" (年季奉公) is a term of art to avoid the starker reality. It can also mean "indenture." The man taking Suzu away uses it in the second paragraph on page 8. In the first paragraph on page 9, however, it is accompanied by the verb phrase, "was sold into" (売られていく). To reflect this, I changed the text to, "Suzu was indentured as a servant."

9/20/2005 6:23 PM

# posted by Jinx
I've always thought (From when I first saw the Anime) that Suzu was going to be tricked and sold into prostitution by the shifty recruiter - and it was a good thing that she ended up in the Twelve Kingdoms.

Just to make her whining nicely ironic.

12/16/2005 6:22 AM