We’re back at last with Gaiakitan! Sorry for the delay on this one, as we had to bring it in-house after a lengthy delay in editing. Big thanks to voo, whose usual stellar editing skills enabled us to get this release out the door at last.
I’m starting to regret that bit in the foreword where I said historical knowledge wouldn’t be necessary for this series. A reader without knowledge of the setting is likely to miss a lot of important background info. Take today’s history lesson:
Hōkō-ji is a temple in Kyoto that dates back to this particular era of Japanese history, the Warring States period. One of our competing warlords, Toyotomi, sponsored the casting of a great bell at the temple. Four years later, the bell is completed, with countless Buddhist sutras engraved into its surface. Two particular spots stood out, though. First, “国家安康”, “Peace and Prosperity to the Nation”, contains the kanji for Tokuagawa Ieyasu’s name (家康), but with a kanji in between them which was taken as an aggressive slight. The other, “君臣豊楽” contained Toyotomi’s name, but unbroken. Whether this was an intentional dig or just coincidence seems unclear. But Tokugawa Ieyasu, no pacifist himself, seemed happy to use it as an excuse to try and smash Toyotomi once and for all.
I try not to clutter up the pages with translation notes for stuff like this, but for this series especially I feel like there’s a lot of context missing once you take it outside of Japan. Between the setting research, the generally old language, and phrasing challenges, this is by far the most time-consuming project I work on. We’ll see you next time!