“Œ‚ÌŠC_@¼‚ÌŸéŠC

Higashi no Wadatsumi, Nishi no Soukai
<The Sea God in the East, the Vast Sea in the West>

Copyright Fuyumi Ono, Koudansya, 1994

 


Information -- Juuni Kokki novel FAQ

 

Here is a compilation of questions I received in emails. If you want to ask me any questions about Juuni Kokki, leave a message at the forum, or email at bkwrmjoy@yahoo.com.

1) Where shall I start reading? |ANS|
2) Which title is the beginning of Juuni Kokki? |ANS|
3) How many titles are there in Juuni Kokki? How big is each volume? |ANS|
4) In what order shall I read? |ANS|
5) Can you tell me more about Ono Fuyumi? |ANS|
6) I'm learning Japanese. What level of Japanese do you think I need in order to understand the novel? |ANS|
7)
What are each novel about anyway? |ANS|
8) Why do the novels I bought have none of those pretty illustrations and covers in your web? |ANS|
9)
Please, please... give me some hope that there would be a Juuni Kokki novel to come! |ANS|


1) Where shall I start reading?

There is a short answer and a long answer:

SHORT ANS: Read from Tsuki no Kage, Kage no Umi (ŒŽ‚̉e@‰e‚ÌŠC).

LONG ANS: Do you want to read the first one published, or the first one in terms of when the story took place? (The answer is on the next FAQ.)

No matter which answer you pick, I'll suggest the same thing: read from Tsuki no Kage, Kage no Umi.

2) Which title is the beginning of Juuni Kokki?

Depending on your definition, I can identify three "starts" of the Juuni Kokki story.

i) Tsuki no Kage, Kage no Umi (ŒŽ‚̉e@‰e‚ÌŠC):
The start of Juuni Kokki in the sense that it provides the best introduction to the Juuni Kokki world. Also, the anime starts here. About Youko's adventure in the Juuni Kokki World.

ii) Masyou no Ko (–‚«‚ÌŽq):
The first story ever published which is related to the world of Junni Kokki. About Taiki (Takasato)'s second return to our world.

iii) Higashi no Wadatsumi, Nishi no Soukai (“Œ‚ÌŠC_@¼‚ÌŸéŠC):
The first story ever happened among the volumes of Juuni Kokki. About the Kingdom of En around 600 years ago.

3) How many titles are there in Juuni Kokki? How big is each volume?

Juuni Kokki has seven novel titles and one short story collection. Four of the novel titles have two volumes each, so total number of volumes equals 12.

Each novel is around 250 - 350 pages long.

4) In what order shall I read?

The recommended reading order is according the publishing order. It can be divided into four time spans. The order of reading within one time span doesn't matter, but reading a later time span before an earlier time span will probably undermines the fun.

* The five short stories in the short story collection "Kasyo no Ume (‰Øãï‚Ì—H–²)"
** The 40-page story that accompanies the drama CD of "Higashi no Watatsumi, Nishi no Soukai (“Œ‚ÌŠC_@¼‚ÌŸéŠC)"

1st time span Masyou no Ko (–‚«‚ÌŽq)
Tsuki no Kage, Kage no Umi (ŒŽ‚̉e@‰e‚ÌŠC)
2nd time span

Syoukan (‘ŠÈ)*
Kaze no Umi, Meikyuu no Kishi (•—‚ÌŠC@–À‹{‚ÌŠÝ)
Higari no Watatsumi, Nishi no Soukai (“Œ‚ÌŠC_@¼‚ÌŸéŠC)

3rd time span Kaze no Banri, Reimei no Sora (•—‚Ì–œ—¢@êt–¾‚Ì‹ó)
Tonan no Tsubasa (}“ì‚Ì—ƒ)
Touei (“~‰h)*
4th time span Jyougetsu (æŒŽ)*
Kasyo (‰Øãï)*
Kizan (‹AŽR)*
Hyouhaku (•Y”•)**
Tasogare no Kishi, Akatsuki no Sora (‰©¨‚̊݁@‹Å‚Ì“V)

5) Can you tell me more about Ono Fuyumi?

Surprisingly, conflicting information exists in sources that I have found. The most comprehensive source is from Kato Hideaki, and conflicts are commented as notes below. For those who know the truth, pls email me^^

Ono Fuyumi (¬–ì•s—R”ü) was born in December 24 1960. Zodiac: Capricornus. Blood Type: O.

Born in Nakatsu City, Oita Prefecture (‘啪Œ§’†’ÃŽs). Graduated at Buddhism Department, Otani University (‘å’J‘åŠw) (*1). Living now at Kyoto. When she was studying in Nakatsu-Minami High School (’†’Ó썂Z), she was the first president of its Animation and Comics Club.

She was member of the Kyoto University Detective Novel Club during her university years (*2). Her seniors included Ayatsuji Yukito (ˆ»’ҍsl), and her juniors included Norizuki Rintaro (–@ŒŽãd‘¾˜Y) and Abiko Takemaru (‰ä‘·Žq•ŠÛ), all contemporary Japanese detective novelists.

Hobbies include manga, anime, computer, ballet, Kabuki, Pro-wrestling and many others.

Special ability: Layout design. She was the illustrator for Ayatsuji Yukito's Murder at the Kirigoe's (–¶‰z“@ŽElŽ–Œ).

Ayatsuji Yukito is her husband. SF writer Suga Hiroe (›_]) is her "spiritual young sister."

<Courtesy of Kato Hideaki>

Conflicts:
(*1) The profile at the back of all Juuni Kokki books said that Ono Fuyumi graduated at the Literature Department of Otani University.
(*2) Some other sources said that Ono Fuyumi was a member of Kyoto University Mystery Club.

6) I'm learning Japanese. What level of Japanese do you think I need in order to understand the novel?

The problem is not exactly the kanji names that you cannot find in a dictionary; you can treat them like terms in biology (no insult to biology majors^^). The main problem is on honorific form (keigo) and some classical japanese expressions (like using "nu" for negating a verb and such).

I'll say the basic requirement is upper intermediate Japanese (like third year in college, or 2nd level of JLPT). Basic honorific form and classical Japanese knowledge is preferred but not necessary. Chinese history (Zou Dynasty) and folklore knoweldge helps one appreciate the story more, but again not necessary.

7) What are each novel about anyway?

According to publishing order...
(Two ISBN# mean there are two volumes for the title)

Title
About...
ISBN
Masyou no Ko
(–‚«‚ÌŽq)
"The Demonic Child"
Taiki's story in modern Japan
4-10-124021-3
Tsuki no Kage, Kage no Umi
(ŒŽ‚̉e@‰e‚ÌŠC)
"Shadow of the Moon,
Sea of the Shadows"
Youko becomes Empress of Kei
4-06-255071-7
4-06-255072-5
Kaze no Umi, Meikyuu no Kishi
(•—‚ÌŠC@–À‹{‚ÌŠÝ)
"Sea of the Wind,
Shore of the Labyrinth"
Taiki chooses the Emperor of Tai

4-06-255114-4
4-06-255120-9

Higashi no Wadatsumi,
Nishi no Soukai
(“Œ‚ÌŠC_@¼‚ÌŸéŠC)
"Sea God in the East,
Vast Sea in the West"

Emperor of En suppresses rebellion
4-06-255168-3
Kaze no Banri, Reimei no Sora
(•—‚Ì–œ—¢@êt–¾‚Ì‹ó)
"Thousand Miles of Wind,
Sky of the Dawn"
Youko, Suzu and Syoukei free Wa Province in Kei
4-06-255175-6
4-06-255178-0

Tonan no Tsubasa
(}“ì‚Ì—ƒ)
"The Aspired Wings"

Syusyou becomes Empress of Kyou
4-06-255229-9
Tasogare no Kishi,
Akatsuki no Sora
(‰©¨‚̊݁@‹Å‚Ì“V)
"Shore in Twilight,
Sky at Daybreak"
Risai meets Youko to request help in summoning Taiki
4-06-255546-8
4-06-255550-6
Kasyo no Yume
(‰Øãï‚Ì—H–²)
"The Dream of Prosperity"
(Various short stories: Tai, Hou, Kei, Sai, Sou)
4-06-255573-5

For more information, look at the Juuni Kokki merchandize official web.

8) Why do the novels I bought have none of those pretty illustrations and covers in your web?

All titles in Juuni Kokki series have two versions: the Koudansha Bunko version (u’kŽÐ•¶ŒÉ”Å) and the Koudansha X Bunko White Heart version (X•¶ŒÉƒzƒƒCƒgƒn[ƒg”Å). As far as I know, the only differences between the two versions are:

i) X Bunko White Heart version has the pretty illustrations and covers;
ii) Koudansha Bunko version is published earlier than X Bunko White Heart version;
iii) Koudansha Bunko version is cheaper than X Bunko White Heart version;
iv) X Bunko White Heart version sometimes splits titles into two volumes; Koudansha Bunko version doesn't.

As far as contents go, the two versions should have no difference.

9) Please, please... give me some hope that there would be a Juuni Kokki novel to come!

Realistically -- not much. Ono sensei is now doing a new series of ghost/mystic novels (Kaidan Soushi ‹S’k‘Ž†), and there is no evidence that she is coming back to the Juuni Kokki series. Unfortunately.

Statistically -- Well, if history and numbers can tell anything, they tell us to wait. Observe the following publishing dates.

Title
Publishing date
Masyou no Ko
1991/09
Tsuki no Kage, Kage no Umi
1992/06 . 07
Kaze no Umi, Meikyuu no Kishi
1993/02 . 03

Higashi no Wadatsumi,
Nishi no Soukai

1994 / 06
Kaze no Banri, Reimei no Sora
1994/08 . 09

Tonan no Tsubasa

1996/02
Tasogare no Kishi,
Akatsuki no Sora
2001/05
Kasyo no Yume
2001/09

Using exponential forecasting trendline (you can do it yourself on Excel!) the expected publishing year for the next novel would be at Y=16 years. I.e. there would be a novel as early as in year 2006 (!)

If that can comfort your unsettled heart, please take it.^^

-=More FAQ to come (if I receive more questions...) =-

INDEX


Sources:
Juuni Kokki no Heya (Juuni Kokki's Room)
12ktp homepage