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Sake and Women

To Make an Uninteresting World Interesting

Takasugi Shinsaku



"Find meaning in this otherwise uninteresting world."

This is a character journal for the Meiji Restored RPG that occasionally contains miscellaneous resources with relevance to Takasugi and/or the Bakumatsu, as well as amusing tidbits that may or may not have anything to do with anything.

July 15th, 2010


*wonders if he should bribe LJ staff with sake & squid*

July 2nd, 2006


<td align="center"> squidboyno2 will go to jail for ...

Snorting Viagra

'What sexual activity will you go to jail for?' at QuizUniverse.com</td>


Me: ... Do you even know what Viagra is?

February 9th, 2006

Silly Squiddy has moved from himuragumi to meiji_restored, where he continues to miss dinners with his beloved Ayu and their son Shinichi (+ his two wards Yoshi and Sayuri), and snark at his moronic ninja sort-of-brother-in-law who he plans on murdering someday.

November 2nd, 2005

He was "Sugizo" still, when I met him. An odd, vague sort of man, not terribly memorable. I cannot remember the exact timbre of his voice, or the features of his face.

Yet he haunts my dreams more vividly than many old ghosts now lost to me.

GuardianCollapse )

October 5th, 2005



(1)酌酒高樓夜氣清 (2)醉闌興足既三更
(3)美人遠在海東上 (4)一曲絃聲促舊情


(1)Drinking in a tall building on a clear night
(2)When the intoxication fades, our spirits satisfied, already it is past midnight
(3)A beautiful woman far away upon the eastern coast --
(4)A single plucked note brings back old feelings.

(5)Written under the influence by Tougyou, the Wild One of Japan

NotesCollapse )


- http://ddb.libnet.kulib.kyoto-u.ac.jp/exhibit/ishin/ (in Japanese)

- My handy dandy Chinese dictionary, Lin Yutang's Chinese-English dictionary, Babelfish and another Japanese-English online translator (which catches some things Babelfish doesn't), and a lovely online Japanese-English dictionary.

Again, comments/suggestions/corrections are welcome!! (The bulk of this one was also typed up back in January-ish. Because I am still procrastinating, I decided to clean it up now after all. This one's a quick job, anyway. ^_^)

Second draft: http://community.livejournal.com/edo_meiji/12959.html

October 4th, 2005



(1)孤身在縲紲 (2)胸間百憂集 (3)只知有今朝 (4)不知有明日
(5)曉鴉叫屋上 (6)旭日透獄窓 (7)拜之空涕涙 (8)聞之又斷腸
(9)斷腸非恨冤 (10)涕涙非惜命 (11)外患迫吾君 (12)如何此邦政
  (13)爲光顕田中君 (14)録舊製        (15)東行生


(1)Alone in the shackles of a convict
(2)Within my heart a hundred sorrows gather
(3)Knowing only there is today's morning
(4)Not knowing there will be tomorrow's sun

(5)Daybreak, the sound of crowing on the rooftop
(6)Rays of dawn seep through the prison windows
(7)As I kneel beneath the sky with tears upon my face
(8)I hear, and once more grieve

(9)I grieve, but do not resent
(10)I weep, but do not regret my fate
(11)If external pressures should destroy you and I
(12)How then can we aid this country's government?

(13)For Mitsuaki Tanaka (14)Record of an old work (15)"Eastbound One"

NotesCollapse )


- http://ddb.libnet.kulib.kyoto-u.ac.jp/exhibit/ishin/ (in Japanese)

- Ryoma - Life of a Renaissance Samurai by Romulus Hillsborough (Biography of Sakamoto Ryoma, a fellow Imperialist, originally of Tosa but became a ronin. Quite a colorful character, and the book is a pretty good read, though a bit unprofessional-feeling.)

- My handy dandy Chinese dictionary, Lin Yutang's Chinese-English dictionary, Babelfish (though quite frankly, its help here was VERY limited... snort), and a lovely online Japanese-English dictionary.

I'm pretty fluent in Chinese, but that doesn't mean I'm good at translating traditional-style poetry. Especially traditional style poetry written by a foreigner. :P Comments/suggestions/corrections are VERY welcome!! (*sweatdrop* I am SUCH a NERD. And I really need to cut down on my use of parentheses... and ellipses...)

I had this entire post typed up back at least since January/December, but I'm too lazy to look through very thoroughly to correct anything I know has changed since then. I don't think there should be anything though. I just remembered this again recently after Oibore's Du Fu post. XP (I have a whole buttload of poems saved in various files on my computer, some waka, some others in Chinese, but have yet to get around to compiling notes/translations. Well, except for one, which is also pretty much all typed up except I need to fix the wording. Staying away from the waka and everything else in Japanese though because I know I'll fail miserably.)

Second draft: http://community.livejournal.com/edo_meiji/4945.html

September 25th, 2005

May 1867

I dreamt last night again of my childhood. More than twenty years, blown past as swiftly as blossoms before the wind...

We played together as children, she and I. It was a windy white morning in winter when we first met, beneath sprays of pale plum blossoms in the gray sky. She was a tiny pale thing, her dark hair loose and flapping in the wind. I was eleven, and she but six, and by all rights I should not have been out there in the first place. Memories of the smallpox that had nearly taken my life only two years before were still far too fresh in all our minds, and I was my father's only son and heir.

I had always been a sickly child.

But far more than I was sickly, I was restless, rebellious. My beloved pet duck Aisa had been killed by a cat only that summer, and I was alone, bored, angry. Restless. I loved the snow and the rain and the great outdoors, and I would not let myself be caged inside the house like some wild beast, a helpless little infant. I had been training fervently in kenjutsu to build up my strength. I would not be caged.

So I snuck out regularly into the freezing cold, joining up sometimes with Genzui and other boys around my age to fight mock battles in the endless white snow. And if any of the household noticed, they did not say anything, perhaps because they knew they could not hold me back.

I was an angry, spoiled child.

She was small and white and determined. She had watched us from her window for many days: wild and free, having the time of our lives. She wanted to join us, take part in our play. Despite her age, despite the fact that she was a girl.

The day we met the plum blossoms rained down upon us like a white-pink blizzard...

summer has come and passed/the innocent can never lastCollapse )

me: I love this. It's so ironic. Smirk.
squid: hateyouhateyouhateyouhateyou *pulls out sword* *stabbity-stab*
me: X_X

August 25th, 2005

part 1: http://www.classicalfencing.com/articles/bloody.shtml

part 2: http://www.classicalfencing.com/articles/kill2.shtml

written with western fencing in mind but pretty useful sword/knife wound info in general.

August 19th, 2005


http://www.nyogetsu.com/blowingmeditation.html (explanation)

http://www.konkle.com/shakuhachi/players.html (pic)

It's a bit of a stretch, since the whole sect was supposed to have been abolished after the shogunate was overthrown, but... it just fits too well. XP

So... anyone need some healing? ROFL (squid: *GLARE*)

July 24th, 2005


Was just researching stuff so I will be better prepared for any action scenes that crop up, both here and elsewhere.

If I remember correctly, Takasugi was licensed in Yagyu Shinkage Ryu, so I went SQUEE when I found this little blurb (even though I hadn't been specifically looking for info on this!).


This style was created around the 1500's by Yagyu Muneyoshi and later refined by his son, Yagyu Munenort . Having developed partly out of a fusion Katori and Kashima styles, under Munenori, the style truly blossomed on its own.

Whereas, Itto Ryu was a pragmatic style concerned with achieving technical superiority. Yagyu Shinkage Ryu focused more on mental and spiritual concepts.

An interesting theory of this style is the concept of "muto" (literally "no sword"), the technique and spirit of defeating an opponent without using one’s sword. This illustrates the Zen-based philosophy of the style: that of training the mind. Philosophy, this idea of "muto" could possibly be interpreted as not having to rely on the sword to defeat an opponent (ie. The mechanics of sword handling and repertoire of set techniques) or that it is not the sword but the mind which defeats the opponent.

For Munenori, mental control was the key issue in combat, not the mechanics of swordsmanship. Knowing a multitude of techniques was useless if one did not have mental control and unshakable will.

Technically, this style is fascinating in that the major tactical ideas involve battling and enticing the opponent to strike. It is thus an offensive style with defensive countenance. It grew out of a fusion of Katori and Kashima styles and the kata reflect this heritage. There are twisting, turning, and evasive body movements and study in this style requires a certain amount of physical agility. Technically, this style demands correct mental judgments of distance and timing. But most importantly, this style requires an alert and resourceful mind. It is a style that requires a certain amount of cunning and calculation. This reflects the beliefs of its teachers that combat consists of outwitting the opponent.

from http://users.adelphia.net/~kyoshi/Kenjutsu.htm

Hm... Interesting, since I had expected a different kind of style. Although after some thought, this really makes sense... I have to look into this some more!

http://www.furyu.com/onlinearticles/YagyuSR.html (Quicktime video! Ironic, the connections with the Tokugawa. And yes, Yagyu Jubei is mentioned briefly.)

http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Pagoda/8187/Amsterdam4.htm (some discussion of techniques, with pics) (another page on the history/origins -- apparently the site is dead so I'm linking to the cache. the mention of Zen connections makes me smug regarding some previous backstory ideas. it shall be exploited muchlies!!!!!)

April 30th, 2005


Image hosted by Photobucket.com Image hosted by Photobucket.com Image hosted by Photobucket.com

(edit: I do not know who to credit. Feel free to steal, though.)

April 13th, 2005

The summer of 1864 was one long, neverending nightmare. Our luck had turned. It seemed as if we had fallen into a bottomless abyss of doom, and couldn't climb back out. Bad news came, one after another...

And there was absolutely nothing I could do.

Kusaka Genzui, Takasugi Shinsaku, Yoshida Toshimaro, Irie Kuichi. Those were the names known to all as the Big Four of the Village School Under the Pines.

But Kusaka and I -- they called us the Twin Stars.

MeteorCollapse )

January 20th, 2005

Spring 1864: Arrest

The streets of Hagi in the spring are like paradise on earth.

The Shifting WindsCollapse )

(ooc: backstory thread??

oh, and time = aprilish. i hate converting from lunar calendar. bah.)

January 18th, 2005

Kneeling in the darkness, hunched over piles and piles of manuscripts and papers, a brush in one hand and a smoldering match in the other, writing and writing and writing, long into the night...

That is my one memory of him, that remains forever etched in my heart.

FireCollapse )

January 16th, 2005

Katsura Kogoro. He had the smooth, handsome face of a nobleman's son, and a cool, calm demeanor that drew people to him and at the same time made him strangely untouchable. A true prince, in every sense of the word.

At least, that was the impression he gave.

Mightier than the swordCollapse )

November 9th, 2004



Sometimes, in the streets, I see ghosts. Shadows of a former life, flitting past like dying moths.

pastCollapse )

Today I walk in the streets once more, as a normal man... a healthy man. I don't know if I'll ever fully recover, but then -- who ever does?

presentCollapse )

(11/10 - Edited to satisfy my perfectionist tendencies.)

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