Learning Japanese Terms with Aku and the Hime!

*The Hime no Argh is sitting on a pile of brimstone a great big cavern full of fire, sweating and fanning herself with a shukusen. She wears a bathing suit.*

Hime: *tiredly* Welcome, readers, to Aku's secret lair.


Hime: Yes, thank you, music. Sorry for the less-than-enthusiastic hello, everyone. It's really, really hot in here.

*There is a little "pop!" and Aku appears out of thin air.*

Hime: Omigosh, folks, it's the evil Aku!


Aku: *points to the Hime* WHO ARE YOU???

Hime: I'm Hime, the author of The Treasure of Shangri-La! Nice to meet–

Aku: SILENCE! How dare you invade my secret lair?! You will cower before my evil!

Hime: But Aku, I thought you were going to explain the Japanese terms to everyone!

Aku: This was NOT in my contract!

Hime: Please do it anyway? For me? ^.^

Aku: Hm... *thinks it over* ... NO! I will destroy you and cast your soul into my Pit of Hate where you shall be tormented for all–

Hime: *in a sing-song voice* If you don't, I'll make Samurai Jack go back in time and kill yoooooouuu...

Aku: You cannot do that!

Hime: Sure I can! I'm the author! ^.^V

Aku: Hmmm... ...VERY WELL! I shall explain your terms and then I will ravage your soul until you know nothing but pain and fear!

Hime: Okay! Here's the list of terms! *sticks a piece of paper under his nose*

Aku: *snatches the paper and reads* Grumble...curses...destroy you...eternal torment...VERY WELL!

*Aku draws himself up impressively and bursts of flame and shooting fireworks and all sorts of neat pyrotechnics are seen around him. Aku clears his throat. Hime settles back on the brimstone with a bucket of popcorn.*

Aku: LISTEN WELL, READERS! Here are the meaning of the Japanese terms used in The Treasure of Shangri-La for all you illiterate fools–

Hime: AKU!

Aku: What?!

Hime: Be nice!

Aku: you nice...destroy your soul...AHEM! The first term listed here is Nippon, which refers to Japan. Geta are wooden sandals worn by that despicable samurai and his little friend Chisana. Let's see... *flicks through the list* A gi is the white robe worn by my mortal enemy, Jack the Samurai. A fighter's uniform, it is similar to a kimono but simpler in style and material. An obi is a sash that binds a kimono or gi at the waist. Kimono are traditional Japanese dress. Tatami are mats used to cover the floors of Japanese homes.

Hime: *gives a thumbs up* You're doing great, Aku! I knew you'd be the right man for this job. ^.^

Aku: SILENCE! I will destroy you without fail!

Hime: ...The next term is katana.

Aku: Grumble and curses... Katana is the proper name of the magic sword that Jack wields. It is of a long, thin, simple design, and the blade is slightly curved. The Hime, for some reason that is surely idiotic, uses this term only once!

Hime: *shrug* Sword, katana, to-may-toe, to-mah-toe...

Aku: A shukusen, like the one the Hime is using–

Hime: *holds up the fan*

Aku: –IMPROPERLY, may I add, is more than just decoration or a method of keeping cool. Its spines are made of steel and its edges are razor sharp so that it may be used as a cutting weapon. A woman carries it to defend herself without appearing as though she carries a real weapon. *scans the list* And finally we have mahou seishin, the name given to the genie-like creature in The Treasure of Shangri-La. Mahou means "magical", while seishin can translate to "pure heart" or "pure spirit." Used in the context of The Treasure of Shangri-La, mahou seishin means "magical spirit."

*Aku crumples up the paper and throws it at the Hime. It bounces off her forehead.*

Aku: Am I finished now? Let us commence with the TORMENT!

Hime: ^.^ Not quite! First I need you to explain the greetings and terms of respect.

Aku: Grumble...surely they already know this?

Hime: *shrug* You never know who doesn't!

Aku: *exasperated sigh* Konnichiwa means good day! Sayonara means goodbye! Understand?!

Hime: Thank you. ^.^

Aku: Grumble...-san is a suffix that is used formally with someone you do not know very well or someone deserving of respect. -Hime means princess. For example–

Hime: ME!

Aku: Yes, very good. This author-creature calls herself Hime no Argh, literally meaning "Princess of Argh". Rather stupid name...

Hime: *sobs* I'm hurt!

Aku: I am sure I care. Now where was I...ah, yes. -sama, our final suffix, is used for a person in a leadership position, one with great, godlike powers, or one deserving of reverence. Like ME!

Hime: All hail Aku-sama!

Aku: Very good. You shall not die today.

Hime: Thanks! ^.^ Well, everybody, hope you enjoyed "Learning Japanese with Aku and the Hime!" Say goodbye, now, Aku!


Hime: Yes, Aku, we know, we know...