Waaaaiiit a minute. (Natsuki & Shizuru @ garden)

In reviewing my stuff, I don’t think I nailed down exactly how old Shizuru was when she met Natsuki in the garden. Eh?

Natsuki’s Prelude as translated by Apollyon indicates that Natsuki knew Shizuru while she was in her 3rd year middle school and Shizuru was in 2nd year high school. So they met each other before that point, anyway.

And then in chapter 1.3, I mysteriously indicated that Natsuki has known Shizuru for about four years up to that point in the story. It’s mysterious because I don’t remember at all how I came up with that number. Whuh?

Anyone have thoughts on this? I have this little chart I’ve been trying to fill out as a general age timeline:

School year Age range Notes
h3 17(18) Anime: Shizuru is 18 in this year
h2 16(17) Prelude: Shizuru was in this year
h1 15(16) Anime: Natsuki is 17 in this year
m3 14(15) Prelude: Natsuki knew Shizuru since at least this year
m2 13(14) ?
m1 12(13) ?

Let’s see. I remember in the anime flashback that Shizuru was wearing… well, not the middle school sailor uniform, so they had to be across school levels. I suppose one conclusion is that Shizuru was in h1 and Natsuki in m2 at the time. Hmmm. That would make it technically “three years” in 1.3, then.

Well, okay. I typed all that out and ended up answering things myself. Guess I’ll change that bit. ^_^; (This timeline is kinda important for Part 2 as well, I suppose.)


Trends for Japanese women–older research

I’ve been digging into my bookmarked research sites and downloading/saving/reading a lot more new articles concerning various aspects of Japanese culture, this time as it pertains to women.

Here’s an older article (2004) that people should find interesting. Note the irony in my “older” label for it–2004 really wasn’t long ago at all, but according to this, Japanese women hoping to be successful outside of being housewives have little hope in finding Japanese male mates who would support them. Has much changed in a mere five years? I doubt it.

But I will take issue with this paragraph in the article:

To be fair, not all the blame for female angst here can be laid on Japanese men. The government has been slow to enforce equal opportunity laws, and both pay and the glass ceiling in most Japanese corporations remain low for women. Recession has hampered longer maternity leave and other family-friendly policies.

If 90%-plus of the Japanese government and higher corporate structures are being run by men, then the above is definitely self-contradictory. (It seems a lot of people have a general inability to connect the dots in logic, honestly.)

Whew. Going through this particular leg of research isn’t just time-consuming but pretty painful. I’m researching many subtopics from laws to business structure to higher education to cultural social expectations to criminal statistics like rape. I really feel sorry for Japanese girls and women, even if it’s through a Western lens. Granted, things should still improve here on this side of the pond. ^^




Questioning Gender
An interview with Japan-based psychotherapist Kim Oswalt (2006)

“Kim Oswalt, an American psychotherapist who has been working with transgender clients in Japan for nearly five years, does not view transsexuality as a mental disorder. The very real suffering that Oswalt seeks to relieve is, she says, partly rooted in the client’s social context — in society’s rigid insistence on stable, binary gender role archetypes. Seen in this light, the true disorder becomes the widespread aversion known as transphobia: intolerant attitudes and discriminatory behavior towards transgender people. In many cases, Oswalt says, transgender clients themselves internalize this transphobia, setting up a severe inner conflict.”


I love finding online gold mines…

Meaning information, of course.

I discovered a legitimate and fairly recent website of a university course on Japanese culture. Fascinating stuff.

This, in particular, is very interesting. The date is 1994:

Here’s a counterpart international table from the same site:
(Oh, hey, check out England…)

Of course, the numbers would have more weight if we knew how the studies were actually conducted, but it’s still neat. If only I could find poll data from after 2000.


I found just a little more.


Dated 2000, “In a 1997 survey conducted by a major daily newspaper, about 65 percent of Tokyo residents polled said they did not believe homosexuality was natural…” And there was murder involved somewhere.

Getting the general cultural attitude about same-sex relations accurate is pretty important for the majority of “Syncope” even if I’m not going to show masses of people talking about it. But I’m pretty sure Japan as a whole has never been gay-friendly and still isn’t now when looking at the family units.*

P.S.: Don’t think that the United States is particularly “open” to gays either, as a whole. (Several states and the country itself have pushed forward bills to ban gay marriages, whether successful or not.)

As of a 2007 political election in Japan–

“Only four countries allow same-sex marriage; the Netherlands, Canada, Spain, Belgium, and South Africa. The state of Massachusetts in the US also allows same-sex marriage.” It may be better to read ‘allow’ as ‘recognize’.

*(So why is yaoi popular with Japanese women, anyway? There’s actually a detailed study about that somewhere. And, according to that author, it’s really not what you think.)


Nao’s mom?

Hmm, I don’t think I asked this yet. Is anyone aware of canon information (artbook, drama CD, whatever, official site, etc.) concerning what Nao’s mom did for a living or if she had a job at all?


P.P.S.: Have you ever edited a term book for four authors? I am. Mind you these are other students; I am not impressed with the language quality. “Wow.” I don’t want to be an editor ever. The stress and general annoyance might be insurmountable. ^_^


Anyone remember where…?

I think there’s a very specific scene where we see the photograph of Natsuki and her parents burning up (a flashback of some sort). Does anyone know exactly where that scene is? A time code in an episode would be helpful or a description of the setting where the photo was burning.

Unless I’m thinking about Midori’s photo. I think that’s separate.

(P.S.: Omake will be at least six pages in Word.)


1-A, 1-B?

So, ummm, can someone explain to me just how the Japanese classes are divided? Mai was in 1-A in the series and Natsuki in 1-B, for instance. Is it arbitrary? I vaguely remember a post about the class ranks elsewhere, but after a little bit of research, I’m just more confused. :P



For the dozen or so people patiently waiting, one reason why I’m takin’ so long is because I’m writing double length. :P So to speak, anyway… (It hurtssssssss-)

And to make this a taggable entry–did you know there’s a difference between Western mayonnaise and Japanese mayonnaise? I had no idea. I’m guessing Natsuki is addicted to the Kewpie stuff. I wonder how much more/less healthy it is compared to the American stuff. (I have to assume not too much healthier, otherwise I’d have to change my first chapter. I did read somewhere that there are soy versions of mayo in Japan, though. Hmmmmm. ;)) I’m actually more of a Miracle Whip fan myself since I grew up on it. ^_^; But after reading some of these articles, I’m curious to try it, though I’m not really conveniently located near a good Asian grocer.



GOLDMINE Link: The Japan Forum


I have a new favorite (or tie) link for my ongoing research of Japanese culture/society:

I haven’t actually dug very deeply in the root of the site, but I think the link sits under a high school student site and is aimed at teachers. The mini encyclopedia is way too cool. The photo galleries alone make it priceless because I need to first visualize things before putting anything to text. (I’m sure not all the information is up-to-date to 2006, but it should be darn close.)

Oh, the TJF site also has a searchable photo data bank, which might be quite useful:

Well, I’ll just go back and read some more. I like pretty pictures. ^_^;

Yes, still working on 1.7. Having difficulty dealing with another dialogue tree, so I’m thinking of cutting out a character or two.