Updated as of October 2003
Disclaimers: I don't own, nor will own anything of exceptional value regarding Inuyasha. And by this, I mean Sesshoumaru and his furry boa. I couldn't care less about the rest.
Foreword: I would like to thank Shikome kido mi-san for bringing up an important point regarding the two blades wielded in the Inuyasha universe – Tessaiga and Tenseiga. And since this point came up, I have taken it upon myself to present a glossary of terms that will crop up fairly frequently throughout this fic. And seeing as how incredibly lazy I can get (as well as being thoroughly ambivalent) with regards to my readers being aware of the Japanese terminology use, I've opted to stick it right in the front so that everybody can see it whenever they enter the site. I won't be pasting their meanings anywhere else in the fic, so you might want to start a crash course in Inuyasha 'slang'.
Glossary:All the vocabulary you need to know to follow the story. It will never be repeated beyond this page because I don't want to.
Tessaiga– Most of the time fanfic writers tend to spell / call it Tetsusaiga. I'm assuming that this is due to the Kanji "tetsu" meaning 'iron'. I've checked my resources [namely by watching and listening to numerous episodes of Inuyasha and from that invaluable original full-Japanese tome the Inuyasha Illustration Collection; I don't own the manga although the Art book has some of the colour manga pages] and discovered that the spelling of the blade is Te-[tsu]-sa-i-ga.
Here the [tsu] is written small (I can't recall the 'proper' grammatical term for it, I think of it as a small 'hiccup' in the writing of the word). Thus, the romaji is Te-s-sa-i-ga. I've also asked around and the fact is that due to the print limitations, the [tsu] is reduced only marginally - thus accounting for the apparent 'tsu'. And after getting a hold of the Viz translated book, I can't vouch for the English spelling of the sword's name as someone over there has to go back to Japanese class 101. This is why one must note the Furigana by the side.
To present a more technical explanation:
Usually, when a Kanji ends on "tsu" and the following Kanji starts with a "t", "s", "h", "p" or a "k", the 'tsu' gets small and the word is then pronounced with the double consonant.
This holds true for 95% of the words although there are probably a few exemptions when it comes to names.
But as this is not an "official" word, both pronunciations are possible. It would depend whether you want a strong link between "tetsu"+"sai".
In this case it would be "Te[s]sai-ga" i.e.: "Iron Smashing Claw" -- Or if you want a soft link between the two, then it would become "Tetsu-saiga" i.e.: "Smashing claw of iron".
In this case, I believe it to be the stronger, as it is more in keeping with the sword's name. Besides, either listen closely to Sesshoumaru's pronunciation or watch a fan-sub episode to note the spelling to get a more accurate interpretation.
**FYI: Sesshoumaru's name written in Hiragana also bears the small [tsu]; that is why it's generally spelled Se-s-sho-ma-ru. Again, it follows in line with the grammar - and "se[tsu]sho" is also a legitimate word meaning 'killing; destruction of life'. The last part "maru" means [n] (1) circle; (2) full (month); (3) perfection; purity; (4) suffix for ship names; (P). But I'm betting on it being (3) perfection; purity.
Tenseiga– The sword bequeathed to Sess by his late father, Inutaisho. It is also Sess' Guardian sword although he refuses to acknowledge it's true worth. Its twin is Tessaiga; the slaying sword. Its power is to resurrect the dead and of healing when wielded with compassionate intention. Only goes to show how 'popular' it is with our dear 'heart of gold' Sess. *giggles*
Dokkasou– Sess' ultimate poison attack. The literally translated name is Toxic Flower Claw [which makes me cringe in its utter wussiness]. In his humanoid form, Sess's right hand glows green as a prelude to attack and the poison literally drips from his fingertips. It is capable of melting almost anything and forms a toxic killing gas when it touches the air.
From the anime, he's seen to spray it in the direction of Kagome and causing her to be buried under the poisonous melted goo. However, in his true dog form it simply drips from his jaws. Needless to say, I wouldn't want doggy-boy to lick me then. I'll be using it depending on the situation it calls for.
Youkai– Simply means 'demon'. Had a blasted headache trying to figure out whether to use youkai for the 'bad' ones, and substituting 'demon' for the 'good' guys. Finally Sess told me in no uncertain terms that he is an inu (tai)youkai and so I put 'youkai' as the default. Inu means 'dog', while tai indicates of a higher or more powerful form [Just right for Sess, eh?]
And just FYI– youkai are spelled similar to sheep or deer in its plural form. I've also realised that it is not correct to add the 's' at the end of Japanese terms. The word if used in its original format as it is should remain untouched, regardless of the number of persons, objects or things it may refer to.
Youki– It's very different from "jaki"(see below). It's kind of like the 'ki' or 'life energy' in humans, only it's applicable to youkai. Sess appears to have the ability to manipulate his to form that cool cloud transport. If you've seen the anime, whenever he does that, his boa-thing suddenly grows and waves about giving the impression that it has multiplied. Kinda weird in my opinion but then again, it's Sess. I also think that is what consists of his whip-like weapon too.
But if it's utter crap, you may correct me; but if nobody knows, then accept it as "Bern's fic truth".
Jaki– The dark energy Naraku is famous for possessing. Usually sensed and seen in the form of a palpable black cloud. Some translations have called it 'miasma'. Cool sounding but not everybody may get it. That guy is either a walking environmental hazard or he really needs to do something about that BO. Either way, it's lethal stuff. However, it's usually mentioned only when it's scented in the air by youkai due to their sensitive sense of smell. Similar to when Sess' poison touches the air, it too gives off toxic fumes and capable of killing people and youkai. Sometimes, the word 'Shouki' comes into use but I'm unclear on that. I'll leave it as 'jaki' to minimise confusion (for myself as well as for my readers)
Again, I'm open for correction if I'm wrong; or "Bern's fic truth" will automatically apply.
Sengoku Jidai– The Feudal Era or the Warring States Period of Japan. If I'm not off by a couple of centuries, this was just prior to the beginning of the unification of the country by Oda Nobunaga, and later consolidated under the Tokugawa Shogunate. Needless to say, it was a time of conflict and a major party time for youkai everywhere - death, torture, the whole bloody gig.
Miko- Priestess. Usually dressed in a red and white ensemble to denote her status. In this world, they are trained to use the bow and arrow as a means of protection. The other subtle meaning behind it is that it implies beauty and grace - something most miko generally possess.
Kazaana– Miroku's Air Rip / Void. Personally, I think its cool to use the original names for the various weapons, armour, etc. Heck, if I could write in Japanese I'd be one happy camper.
Houshi-sama– Sango's means of addressing the Buddhist priest Miroku. It allows a degree of respect on her part and also prevents her from getting a little too close to the guy. Personally, it's an irony given the individual it refers to.
Hiraikotsu– Sango's super 6-foot long bone boomerang capable of mass destruction and general assault. Also known as the 'Hentai Hitter'. Just ask Miroku…
Nintoujou– Jaken's 2-foot-tall cackling / shrieking-cum-fire-spewing two-headed staff. A pretty nifty weapon to wield when you're barely a foot tall. Hmm, now what's that thing about it being Freudian?
Just a point of interest- Viz has translated it to Jintojo. Now, this has definitely confirmed my opinion that someone needs to memorise his basic Hiragana. I cross-referenced it in my book and the Furigana used is 'ni' as opposed to 'ji'+'n'. I know that the Kanji can be read in more than one way - that's why check out the Furigana and not presume just because you think you know better.
Shikon no Tamaaka The Shikon - If you don't know this one, why are you even reading an Inuyasha fic? Its English translation is The Jewel of the Four Souls or the somewhat strange, The Ball of Four Souls. Now you see why I prefer the Japanese version? It'll take me an extra week just to type out the chapter if I had to spell that one out.
That's all I can think of for now. This page may be updated as the story progresses so look out for it now and then.
I have to inform you that I get the meanings through the translations and subtitles from my anime and manga sources. I also make it a point to consult those who have a deeper knowledge of the complexities of the language to explain the 'technicalities'.
I suck at Internet research as the search engines hate me and it always takes me three times longer to find the same thing that would take a grade school kid. So, I use books and the TV to actually do this. Please don't attempt to teach me how to do web-based research as I have enough well meaning friends to do so, but to little avail - I still suck.
Just some additional notes before the storyor 'My drivel to waste space'
I have little idea as to what that huge fluffy boa Sess sports over his right shoulder truly is. Since a number of people believe it to be his tail, I've also decided to swing my vote that way and utilise it in my story. And after having visited the website:
Sesshoumaru – The Killing Perfection,
it has helped to give me a clearer understanding of His Absolute Youkainess. While this resource came to my knowledge after I had pretty much drafted out eleven chapters of the story, I've still found it to be invaluable. A big "Arigatou!" to Téa-san for the incredible site! I absolutely love it for all the Sesshy goodness!
With regards to my writing style- I rarely describe the characters' general appearance simply because I take it for granted that readers can 'see' how the characters are. Unless it's really necessary, I reserve my descriptive prose for the actual story itself. I'm not all that big on dialogue and have a tendency to write in the third-person narrative even as the character is thinking his or her thoughts.
I also like to build up a story, 'setting the stage' as it were. While some readers may not like this style of writing, I can't and won't change it, simply because I tend to write according to what I like to read. Each of the chapters average 4-6 pages depending on the degree of action or plot-building, so updates take at least a minimum of 2 weeks to 20 days. I know I said that I have written several chapters ahead, but they are unedited with very embarrassing mistakes and odd syntax. I would rather have Sess stick his fingers in my right eye before I'll post them online. _;;
I generally type as I think, so sometimes re-reading the chapter once it's done can result in a major headache. I sometimes miss words, misspell others and use the same word one too many times over. It's largely the editing and fine-tuning that takes up the time. On top of that, I have to re-read the earlier chapters to make sure that I haven't lost track of the story's sequence and overall plot. It can happen – Sess and Kag moments are really just too fun to write!
I'm also juggling another non-yaoi Weiss Kreuz fic Dark Moon Ascendant II: The Summoning, [Part 2 of 3], so please be patient. I do, however, promise to make each chapter count once it's posted (or die trying!)
Well, I guess that's all I can think of for now. This glossary may be updated in future as the story progresses and as it's stuck right in front, you may have little choice in the matter. And now, on with the story - that is, if you haven't skipped everything and simply started… I probably would have. J