Okami imps

Oct. 5th, 2011 01:11 pm
wombat1138: (spot)
Noodling about with some possible research/apopheny. This originally started as part of a thread on the Okamiworld forums, but I'm gradually disengaging from the site out of despair wrt lack of wiki spamproofing.

The bssic question is whether the color-coded musician Imps in the original "Okami" game have any systematic connection to the traditional Asian elemental framework(s).

Very messy list format as I type/paste in notes; may attempt to summarize into table form later.Read more... )
wombat1138: (spot)
Bumping links up out of LJ comments from the Trust/Betrayal Blu-Ray review (the liner notes finally explained Tomoe's mystery bleeding scene in ep3 as menstruation):

Early 20th century Japanese instructions for making pads, with some woodcut illustrations for comparison.

A book chapter of bawdy classical poetry about menstruation.

An 1877 account of menstruation in Japan (English translation; originally written by a German doctor)-- in this case, the "usual" T-shaped cloth pad is referred to as kama (no translation given), rather than uma (horse). He also mentions women rolling small nut-shaped paper tampons, and of an "old pernicious custom" (now abolished) of samurai girls never being officially told about menstruation by their parents, but instead being slipped "books which contained an accurate description of menstruation, and at the same time obscene allusions." (Snert.)

Another Google Books search suggest that kama may be a typo (or possibly a reado) for koma, "pony": 駒

Not entirely related, but still in the same general area of female maintenance: linked diagram and simple translation about wrapping sarashi (the long chest/abdominal cloth bindings).
wombat1138: (spot)
Gone back to investigating the eight kanji in the Reflector sub-block circle. Best bet so far is that they're related to the hakke trigrams, although the kanji aren't the same-- similar to the traditional zodiac kanji not matching the normal animals, the hakke seem to use a set of kanji that don't match the standard ones for those elements.Read more... )

...then again, someone on the Okamiworld forum has suggested that the kanji are randomly chosen from the brushstroke display pool, which in some ways would be much more elegant.
wombat1138: (Simpsonized)
Have concluded that Naomi Novik's "Temeraire" series has succeeded in eating me as a new fandom, at least to the extent of getting me to read (or at least browse) assorted reference materials that I probably wouldn't've read otherwise, ranging from world butterfly compendia to early Qing histories/biographies.

A particularly odd book that I found in the local library system is A Manchu Monarch : an Interpretation of Chia Ch'ing by A.E. Grantham; this particular copy was a 1976 reprint with no original publication details inside. It's "odd" in that its subject breadth isn't too different from a standard popular history and it doesn't wander into historical novel by inventing dialogue, but it keeps having stylistic freakouts into florid narrative overkill; e.g., "as the newly liberated spirit passed away from the sick-bed in the early hours of a spring morning, grateful itself, it may have merged more readily into all the blossoming loveliness outlined against the blue of a cloudless sky."Read more... )
wombat1138: (Default)
Mostly working notes as I try to hash out the whole COE thing.Read more... )
wombat1138: (Default)
copper colloids: Astralite and porpora )

Faberge "purpurin(e)": appears to be a dichroic aventurescent glass, ranging from tawny orange to indigo depending on angle of reflected light; appears to be opaque?

gold colloids )
wombat1138: (Default)
My main collaborator on the Keōpūolani article just provided me with another generation of ancestors. Yikes.

This is a relatively temporary draft, since the file is unlinked and may get deleted, but behold:

She had 3 grandparents (instead of the usual 4), 5 great-grandparents (vs. 8), 7 great-grandparents (vs. 16), 13 great-great-grandparents (vs. 32), and 17 great-great-great-grandparents (vs. 64).

Up a tree

May. 17th, 2010 01:57 pm
wombat1138: (Simpsonized)
Finally finished the family tree graphic I've been hashing out for Keōpūolani. I have no idea how I got started on the project in the first place, but hey.

wombat1138: (marker sketch)
The movie version of Possession falls into my category of major disappointments in media adaptations-- not epic fail as such, but one of those prestige projects with respected directors/actors and good source material whose sum total (imho) didn't live up to any of those parts. (The main other example that comes to mind is Les Miserables with Liam Neeson, Geoffrey Rush, and Claire Danes.)

I was re-reading the book over the weekend and started jotting down notes about the characters' names and various other elements. I'm still mystified about a few names which may either cause me to klonk myself with obviousness when I finally get them, or which I just don't have the requisite familiarity with Victorian literature to pick up (frex, I can't remember whether I've read all of the epic poems associated with the modern leads), but hey.Read more... )
wombat1138: (narbat)
"Walking" text through snippet-view sources for info about "dragon's breath" glass.Read more... )
wombat1138: (Default)
Other "Girl Genius" readers are likely to've tried this already, but here's my stab at identifying Van Rijn's muses as seen from left to right, with brief rationales:Read more... )
wombat1138: (Default)
Ascribed to an Assyrian tablet from ~2800 BC: "Our Earth is degenerate in these later days; there are signs that the world is speedily coming to an end; bribery and corruption are common; children no longer obey their parents; every man wants to write a book and the end of the world is evidently approaching."Read more... )

On a different note, no one seems to know when/where the "French braid" hairstyle originated. (The French names for the hairstyle translate as "African braid" and "Indian braid".) There's an 1871 mention of it as a new hairstyle, but w/o a corresponding illustration or set of instructions, there's no way to know if it meant the same thing then as it does now. However, I was chuffed to find a set of instructions from 1882 for the style now called the "fishtail braid" and then called the "Grecian braid".
wombat1138: (Default)
Mediterranean/Near East "royal purple": 6, 6-dibromoindigo
Japanese murasaki/shikon purple: shikonin.

More general list of trad. Asian dye chromophores here, including Japanese color terminology.
wombat1138: (Default)
Background sourcebook for the game, listing legendary/literary/historical origins. Someone else's quick outline overview here.

Some minor additions to her notes:

1.) The entry in part two which she glosses as "Orders of many restaurants(?)" should be "The Restaurant of Many Orders", according to the artbook... ).

2.) In part three, she points out the "hammer" pun in the moles's names: Otsuchi and Kotsuchi... ). This seems to be the intermediate step in a pun based on the "D.Gray-man" series... ).
wombat1138: (spot)
Currently bouncing off another attempt to appreciate John M. Ford's The Dragon Waiting, and am heading into a tangent to chase down one cryptic reference that still baffles the book's fan concordance:
"My son thought you were a witch. Are you?"
"No, my lord."
"But you know the power of the crocus." [Federigo] pointed to Cynthia's pendant. "Guidobaldo doesn't know it, but his grandmother was a witch. She healed me with the crocus..."
Read more... )
wombat1138: (spot)
Finally bought a copy of Kunihiko Kasahara's The Art and Wonder of Origami, from which I snarfed the tamatebako folding pattern a while back. He gives a historical overview of the object, documenting its first appearance in an 18th-century woodcut illustration of a decorative panel carved with several different traditional origami models and its first known folding patterns to one of Isao Honda's origami books in 1933 (both the basic six-part cube and a fancier "hexahedral" version that connects the flaps of the six square faces into overlapping triads, creating eight additional triangular faces as the truncated vertices of a larger cube). Kasahara also lists the earliest English-language pattern as a "stamp box" (cube only) in a 1937 book.

Semi-coincidentally, last night I browsed through a Barnes and Noble reprint of Harry Houdini's 1922 book Houdini's Paper Magic which turns out to have the pattern for the "hexahedral" tamatebako as a "Japanese hexagon puzzle box", listed with various other traditional models which Houdini learned from a Japanese acquaintance. Sent an email note to the English-language publisher of Kasahara's book hoping to pass the info on to him if he doesn't already have it; got a vacation autoreply.
wombat1138: (Default)
Tablesplat, carried over from another fit of geekage on the Okami wiki. I still want to find/integrate some other info, so this may be an ongoing project. Then again, I may wander off and get distracted by something else instead.

Quick overview: the 12-year cycle of the Asian "lunar" zodiac seems to be originally based on the apparent circuit of the planet Jupiter around the solar ecliptic. The "lunar" label derives from the lunar determination of the new-year date (usually the 2nd new moon after winter solstice). The 12-critter sequence (Rat to Pig) is fused onto a different tradition of the "Twelve Earthly Branches"; the result has been applied onto several different systems in addition to the yearly calendar cycle. (Bonus randomness: Onmark has a nifty chart here syncretically assigning eight Japanese Buddhist protectors among the critters.)

It reminded me of a factoid that I can't remember if I've previously mentioned here, though it may've come up in an old discussion on RKDreams-- according to the RK chronology, Tomoe's birthdate was in a Year of the Fire Horse. In Japan, Fire Horse women are thought to be dangerous and nearly unmarriageable; if they do marry, there's a superstition that they'll kill their husbands. As recently as 1966, the last Fire Horse year, there was an uncharacteristic plunge in births in Japan because apparently/supposedly no one wanted to have Fire Horse children. NYT article here.Read more... )
wombat1138: (narbat)

The key chromophore responsible for the fluorescence is allegedly cadmium sulfide. Since finding this goblet, I've found a few Czech glass beads that seem to be made of the same stuff, but so far I haven't spotted any obvious pointers from my previous attempts to data-mine the Czech glassmakers' color-coding system wrt uranium glass-- and even in the strand that I found at Global Beads down in Mountain View, there are several distinctly different levels of fluorescence brightness despite all of the beads looking identical under normal viewing conditions. I suppose that's not too surprising, considering the difference just between the inside (middle image, UV light from top) and outside (rightmost image, UV light near bottom) of the goblet.


May. 23rd, 2009 06:39 pm
wombat1138: (Default)
The Okami wiki's reCAPTCHA still doesn't seem set up properly.

Refsplats for Peony (Shakuyaku) and Peoni (Botan)--

Original Japanese names: http://www.okami-libreto.ya.st/
Tree/non-tree peonies: http://www.treepeony.com/faq.htm
Proverb: http://worldkigodatabase.blogspot.com/2006/04/peony-botan.html


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