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Hyouge Mono 4


A parade, a man, a Maeda Rapa.

“And I shall zebra.”

The episode is divided into two parts; February of 1581 (about a third of a year after the events of the previous episode) at Kyoto, and May of 1581 at Senno’s house.

Oda celebrates his control of much of Japan by having a giant parade – in essence, a feudal fashion show. Akechi leads the parade, while Toyotomi is occupied with invading the Mori clan.

Senno, accompanied by two garment-merchants (one who may have introduced Furuta to Oda’s new palace, last episode), talk about the aesthetics of clothing. The merchants rate the appeal of each parader’s dress, though for two (Furuta, with his brother-in-law, and Oda Nobunaga’s brother, Oda Nagamasu), their assessments are blank.


Well, their clothes were rather shocking, for the time – even the merchants, whose scale was on a five-rank system, had to give Oda Nagamasu a six.

Three months later, in May of the same year, Senno, invites Toyotomi and Furuta to tea at his house with his daughter, Ogin, and his disciple, Yamanoue Souji.

Furuta prepares tea with Yamanoue, finding him a very disagreeable man; yet, Yamanoue is far more experienced, having experienced over 50 masterpieces, compared to Furuta’s mere 10. He tells of three masterful tea jars, of more worth than Oda’s most prized ‘Tsukumonasu’ tea jar; having possession of all three would disrupt the balance of power – basically allowing the owner to rule all of Japan.

Senno talks with Toyotomi, who has declined Mori’s peace treaty so that he can seem more powerful in Oda’s eyes. The two, Senno and Toyotomi, are much alike – each born to peasants, rising of their own power into the foremost ranks of elite Japanese feudal society.

Finally, Senno reveals his obsession with black; he’s not emo – black is merely his karma.

A master Chojiro forged a black tea bowl for him; to Senno, black symbolizes perfection. If all imperfections were removed from anything, the only colour remaining would be black. Senno wishes to live a life without imperfection. A life of perfection.

Toyotomi accuses Senno of trying to paint the whole land black; but Senno states that he would not do such a thing in Oda’s reign.

Only in Toyotomi’s.

First off, I would like to say: yay for foreshadowing. I wonder what’s going to happen when Oda dies.

Secondly: re speed of Huzzah’s translations.

As many of us know, Huzzah (a rather small group; I think they’re only fansubbing this, this season) is the sole English subber of Hyouge Mono. They’re rather late (I believe the raws are on episode 7, already), but also rather effective. Their translation has got to be the most vibrant I’ve seen, ever; their eloquent use of aesthetic terms in conveying language of olden times is lesser to naught. They are surely supreme masters of their craft.

The artwork in this episode was amazing. A long time ago, I thought that TV shows were made week-by-week; e.g., they have one episode finished every week, to air. I’m still not sure if that is the case, or whether the entire series has been made far in advance. Anyways, Hyouge Mono can’t have been made week-by-week; the visuals are just too amazing.

There’s actually 3D rendering happening, with the black tea bowl and other such things, and Furuta’s facial expressions do not cease to amuse. The varied effects make Hyouge Mono an enjoyable watch, even amidst walls and walls of text and talking.

It’s funny, that there was fashion back then. Fashion back then and fashion now still look the same to me – stupid. Why can’t everyone wear, say, those merchants’ robes? Or something simple, like that. But nooo, people have to ride on smelly horses and have long beards.

Fangirls existed then, too; that’s not too much of a surprise, but with all those history textbooks boring (is that a gerund or what) history out, you’d be surprised at anything more surprising than a stone brick. wait what

I’ve tried to emulate what this episode felt like, in this post – walls and walls of boring text with a few pictures. Yet, what this episode did that I couldn’t do, is make everything entertaining. Perhaps there’s one more ingredient that some people have missed, to make this show a true masterpiece of entertainment, and education – something few shows in the past have done. Education, not as in ‘how to make friends’, ‘how to live your life morally’, or ‘how to pilot giant robots that kill people and justifying it’, but as in ‘memorize English grammar’, ‘memorize the multiplication table’, ‘memorize the middle names of every composer in the 12th century’, or ‘memorize JAPANESE HISTORY’.

To really properly soak in what’s happening, you’ve just got to write down the plot.

Anyways, anyways is colloquial and bad. That doesn’t matter, anyway.

6 responses

  1. Anyways doesn’t trigger my spell-checker. Hmmm. Not that I really care, ‘cuz I’m down with colloquialisms.

    I don’t think I would mind a society if abandoned fashion. I generally wear a T-shirt and a pair of jeans.

    Anyways, to those who doubt your comment regarding education, consider this:

    That is the official website for the family of potters descended from Chojiro, the man who made the black tea bowl for Master Senno.

    2011/05/24 at 01:55

  2. Even less than that, education in the broader sense of ‘what happened during the Sengoku period’.

    I have no sense in fashion, seeing as I generally wear a shirt and pants every day. Heh.

    Finally, allow me to slap myself in stupidity. Senno isn’t a fake character; Furuta’s probably the only fake character in the entire show. I just searched his name wrong.

    What type of a name is Sen no Rikyu anyway.

    2011/05/24 at 04:18




    2011/05/24 at 04:24

  4. Yeah, if you just watch it, this show would appear to be all about fake people, but it isn’t. There is REAL HISTORY going on here. I even found a link to the guy who blew himself up in the first episode; although he didn’t really blow himself up, he DID destroy his teapot as part of his suicide — crazy!

    2011/05/24 at 06:40

  5. Though I suspect the part about Furuta retrieving it was rather fictional.

    I love these stories that blur the line between real and unreal; they’re simply amazing!

    2011/05/24 at 22:59

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