Memory-whereabout (Japanese Edition)

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Hakuoki: Memories of the Shinsengumi is a visual novel for the 3DS that contains everything in my list. Part of the Japanese dating sim genre called 'Otome games', Hakuoki is a robust, interesting and incredibly well-told tale of loyalty, betrayal, and potions that make people into demons. You play a wilful young woman in the late Tokugawa shogunate period. She finds herself alone in Kyoto after her father, who is a doctor, has important duties to undertake with the shogunate.

She thinks to disguise herself as a boy to avoid being harassed, but one night is witness to a bloody murder undertaken by Kyoto's infamous Shinsengumi corps - the bakufu-employed, katana-toting special police force. The Shinsengumi initially take her hostage so that she cannot tell anyone about what she has seen, but they find out her father is an important figure, and hope to locate his whereabouts. You are gradually integrated into the inner circle of one of the most notorious samurai squads in Japan's long history. This premise sounds like it might alienate those who are interested in romancing only women, but I'm not convinced of this at all.

The Hakuoki series has become, at least from cursory research, a particular favourite with PSP and 3DS owners who confess no predilection to dating men in real life. I put Memories of the Shinsengumi's pull down to how evocative of the samurai era it is and how well the inner squabbles of the Shinsengumi are portrayed. The daily strife of a samurai police force in the midst of the dissolution of Tokugawa power is painted in detailed, involving strokes that are romantic in the quixotic way. Each samurai has a particular job to do and different affiliations, while the art depicts Bakamatsu Japan in the friezes of cloistered tatami, sliding doors and daintily kept rock gardens that it deserves.

A Gion courtesan turns up to have drinks dressed in elaborate wig and kimono; war and politics feature heavily in almost every conversation; very strong language is used throughout and bloody deaths are heavily implied through the animated blade sweeps across the screen. It's exciting to be among the hustle of six samurai debating whether to assassinate someone or not - even if your role is only to read and press 'next' until you can initiate your next kiss plan.

Perhaps the most surprising thing about Hakuoki is its commitment to the time, place and historical significance of the samurai it winds its narrative around. There's a large 'Encyclopedia' where you can look up terms liberally used in the text, such as 'daimyo' ruler of a fiefdom. This initially seems at odds with a game that markets itself as a dating sim. Most western romance narratives tend to be very overt when people are interested in each other - they will joke around with each other, go out of their way to touch each other, make excuses to see each other.

Men in western films will make drastic gestures of love, give extravagant gifts, suddenly kiss the object of their desire, or will see a woman across a crowded room and immediately go to charm her. There's none of this overt sexuality on display in Hakuoki; instead it is left to the player to try to understand where the object of their affection will be debating important issues of the day and involve themselves in their lives that way. The narrative really benefits from taking the backdrop seriously - not only is it more immersive, but it becomes important to you as a reader.

For a little cultural context, my time living in Japan was spent interrogating Japanese friends on what they thought of western culture, and often, over frosted-glass nomihoudai, Japanese men would tell me of how cheesy, crudely ostentatious, and sometimes overbearing western men seemed in films deemed 'romantic'.

When I dated Japanese men it was a drawn out, subtle process of a seeming multitude of signs and signals I assumed I was missing or misreading until I stopped trying; but I have since learned that often months can go by without any sign the Japanese man you are dating is intimately interested until they suddenly declare their love.

Memories of the Alhambra

Hakuoki holds this refined restraint at its heart; narrative decisions you make throughout the text influence how much a certain rockstar samurai likes you 'romance' bars appear in the 'biography' page next to the six samurai names. When you make a decision that makes a 'positive impression' on a man, some cute cherry blossom dances across their visage, which is certainly something I'd have liked to happen in real life once or twice.

There are six endings, depending on whom you become closest to.

How I Learned to Memorise Japanese Easily

I've been coached by Otome game enthusiast and ex-Irrational lady Amanda Cosmos that this is typical of the genre. Parks were placed all over Tokyo as refuge spots, and public buildings were constructed with stricter standards than private buildings to accommodate refugees. The outbreak of World War II and subsequent destruction severely limited resources. Frank Lloyd Wright received credit for designing the Imperial Hotel, Tokyo , to withstand the quake, although in fact the building was damaged by the shock.

The destruction of the US embassy caused Ambassador Cyrus Woods to relocate the embassy to the hotel. The unfinished battlecruiser Amagi was in drydock being converted into an aircraft carrier in Yokosuka in compliance with the Washington Naval Treaty of The earthquake damaged the ship's hull beyond repair, leading it to be scrapped , and the unfinished fast battleship Kaga was converted into an aircraft carrier in its place.

In contrast to London, where typhoid fever had been steadily declining since the s, the rate in Tokyo remained high, more so in the upper-class residential northern and western districts than in the densely populated working-class eastern district. An explanation is the decline of waste disposal, which became particularly serious in the northern and western districts when traditional methods of waste disposal collapsed due to urbanization.

The earthquake led to record-high morbidity due to unsanitary conditions following the earthquake, and it prompted the establishment of antityphoid measures and the building of urban infrastructure. The Honda Point Disaster on the United States west coast, in which seven US Navy destroyers ran aground and 23 lives were lost, has been attributed to navigational errors caused by unusual currents set up by the earthquake in Japan.

Beginning in , every September 1 is designated as Disaster Prevention Day to commemorate the earthquake and remind people of the importance of preparedness, as August and September are the peak of the typhoon season. Schools and public and private organizations host disaster drills. Tokyo is located near a fault zone beneath the Izu Peninsula which, on average, causes a major earthquake about once every 70 years, [47] and is also located near the Sagami Trough , a large subduction zone that has potential for large earthquakes.

Every year on this date, schools across Japan take a moment of silence at the precise time the earthquake hit in memory of the lives lost. Some discreet memorials are located in Yokoamicho Park in Sumida Ward , at the site of the open space in which an estimated 38, people were killed by a single fire tornado. In Japan Sinks , in one scene in the book, due to the fast-moving subduction of the Pacific and Eurasian plates, the Sagami Trough ruptures in a magnitude In Oswald Wynd 's novel The Ginger Tree , Mary Mackenzie survives the earthquake, and later bases her clothes designing company in one of the few buildings that remained standing in the aftermath.

In Tokyo Magnitude 8. Benio barely survives when the Christian church she's getting married in collapses, and then she finds her long-lost love Shinobu whose other love interest Larissa is among the victims; they get back together, and Tousei allows them to. The josei manga and anime Kasei Yakyoku by author Makiko Hirata also finishes few after the earthquake, as a corollary to the main love triangle between the noblewoman Akiko Hashou, her lover Taka Itou, and Akiko's personal maid Sara Uchida.

The Hashou's mansion is destroyed, leading to an emotional confrontation between Akiko and Saionji; meanwhile, Sara's humble house in the suburbia is also destroyed and her and Junichirou's mother dies of injuries she sustained in the earthquake.

The josei manga Akatsuki no Aria by Michiyo Akaishi features the earthquake in volume 8. Several places frequented by the protagonist Aria Kanbara, like her boarding school and the house of the rich Nishimikado clan that she is an illegitimate member of, become shelters for the wounded and the homeless. Aria's birth mother is severely injured by debris and dies few later, and this triggers a subplot about Aria's own heritage. In the animated film by director Hayao Miyazaki , The Wind Rises , the protagonist Jiro Horikoshi is traveling to Tokyo by train to study engineering.

On the way, the earthquake strikes, damaging the train and causing a huge fire in the city. After a brief time there, she's sent back to the already destroyed Tokyo and she, alongside her soon-to-be love interest Seiji Horie and two young boys named Hidero and Kenichi, are taken in by a friend of the late Takao, Dr.

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Retrieved 15 April At last the thirst is gone. This critical passage raises several issues, none of which is easily solved, and which do not aid in reading the story as a generic tale of a village temporarily disturbed by immorality. This scene in particular, and the story as a whole, muddies the distinction between victim and aggressor. Water figures prominently in the work as evidenced by its title and the contents therein, suggesting that Medoruma is probing folk beliefs of Okinawans, who according to Nakamatsu Yashu, revere and worship the spiritual power of water.

Not only does Dr.

Rather than depict a clash between public and private memory, Medoruma pits the indomitable weight of tradition against those mechanized forces that have come to erode long held communal values. A startling predator with fierce pincers, the crusty crab figurally rends the superficially smooth aspect of contemporary Okinawan society. Spying the eggs of a sea turtle, Omito began to collect them for sustenance just minutes before she is killed by artillery fire.

Uta was sitting in the open veranda, gazing at the brilliance of her dew-drenched garden, growing brighter in the morning sun, when the calisthenics music from the radio in the community center nearby began to play. She sneered humph and sipped her tea through a chunk of raw sugar in her mouth.

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For generations the elderly had started the day with a cup of tea before getting to work. Naturally they urged Uta to join them. From this subtle aside on the rapid disappearance of morning tea under the onslaught of centralized culture, Medoruma segues to the heart of story, which underscores another absence—that of faith in contemporary times.

Finally, a fellow villager is able to hack the elusive crab to pieces with a scoop and hoe just seconds after Uta realizes that the feisty crab must be a reincarnation of Omito, and that it, like the sea turtle, signals, through a reunion of mother and son in death, a restoration in the natural world. Uta was the sole person on the beach.

Memories of the Alhambra - Wikipedia

The light of sea fireflies faded in and out in the warm waves lapping the shore. Uta stopped, turned toward the horizon, and brought her hands together. But her prayer never reached its destination. Medoruma beguiles his readers with clever contrivances—a certified healer, a mythic sea turtle, a predatory hermit crab—yet neither Uta nor the sea creatures are ever securely attached to any convincing symbolic meaning. Nor, in the end, are they any match for the war that engulfs them.

To be sure, ingenious inventions such as drops of water trickling from the toe of an impossibly large, gourd-shaped leg, or a lusty crab staking its territory in a human body serve to entertain; they also force one out of conventional ways of thinking about war, memory, and identity. In both stories cultural memory, that suspect version of history, which the island projects to others in its assertion of group identity, clashes with a different kind of memory, one that is contestatory, idiosyncratic, political.

Uta or NHK? While Medoruma gives voice to the former in each case, these stories show clear tensions between and among local and national forces as they vie to narrate the past. As the annual festivities take place, Yoshiaki is slowly drawn toward traditions in which he had long been uninterested. These include music, dance, and the performance of melodramatic but beloved plays that depict rampant prewar discrimination toward Okinawans. This whitewashing of material included the removal of a gun from a proposed exhibit on the daily lives of civilian refugees during the Battle of Okinawa.

Further changes were made in terminology. In every case the former term is more benign than the latter. Understandably, many Okinawans were outraged by the fact that a peace museum in Okinawa was itself now part of a national attempt as in the school textbook controversy to conceal the facts of Japanese wartime violence toward Okinawans. Without a doubt, Medoruma has emerged as the most prominent intellectual to voice his dismay at the conservative turn of the tide that has swept Okinawa in recent years. The steady stream of political essays published by Medoruma since effectively quells any doubt as to his preeminence in matters of public concern.

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It was into this political cauldron that Medoruma stepped when he left quiet Miyako for once quiet Nago. Inamine employed a convincing argument to support his gubernatorial design choices for the new Peace Museum. That is, as Medoruma fills in what Inamine strategically leaves out of representations of the past, he too, is putting forth a different interpretation of the Battle.

Lest one think that his is yet another portrayal of Okinawa-as-victim, Medoruma pointedly includes references to Korean sex slaves who are below Gozei in hierarchy, given that their sexual services are restricted to lower-ranking enlisted men. One of the few civilian men left in the village, he worked as a servant at the inn.