Notes for Discommunication Seireihen chapter 4
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Title page stuff:
- Once again there's a whole bunch of Yellow Magic Orchestra stuff all over the place. Public Pressure, Solid State Survivor and Technodelic are all YMO albums. The main feature, of course, is Seireihen's characters filling in for members of YMO.
- The fox statues are typically associated with shrines to the god Inari.
- Once again, the title "Discommunication Seireihen" stretches across the top, with the exhortation to buy the original Discommunication in the top left box.
- The tank with the eel-looking thing says "oarfish." Apparently oarfish can grow to tens of meters in length, making them a possible explanation for tales of sea serpents, and accounts for their more colorful name in Japanese, "messenger from the Dragon King's Palace."
- Underneath the tank, to the right of the frog, is a signboard for a story whose title I'm not quite sure how to romanize (怪異馬霊教). It's a 1948 story by Kayama Shigeru, and looks to have something to do with Egypt, though I'll have to find it and read it to be sure. Kayama was the author of the original Godzilla novel. According to Steve Ryfle's book about the making of Godzilla, Kayama was "one of the most prominent mystery writers in postwar Japan, and because his stories sometimes involved mutant reptiles and fish and other monsters, [the producer] Tanaka felt he was the ideal choice."
- Robby the Robot is in the water at the bottom.
- The box with the anatomical model says "surgery." The sign directly to its right says "Pure Land Buddhist Teachings."
- The logo with the chicken is a brand dating back to 1910 called "Kincho," owned by the Dainihon Jochugiku Co., Ltd. They make insecticides and household cleaning products. You can watch a number of their bizarre commercials on Youtube, of course.
The female face logo on the right is the logo for the Tsumura & Co.
herbal medicine Chujoto, marketed for relieving menstrual symptoms. It's been on the market since 1900, and nowadays it seems you can even buy it on Amazon
. The commercial
is pretty tame.
The cow logo is another classic pre-war brand, the "Cow Brand
" of the Cow Brand Soap Kyoshinsha Co., Ltd. They make soaps, shampoos, and beauty products. Their commercials are fairly conventional. If you're allergic to beauty product commercials, then don't click here
The name of the shop, Warabe Yuusai, means something like "the study of child's play," with "study" having a serious and even religious fervor to it. Scattered around we see things both familiar and new: a Sato-chan elephant, pachinko
, Mazinger Z
, Ultra Seven
, and Godzilla
The frog is Kowa Pharmaceutical's mascot for its Colgen
brand, and has been around in one form or another since 1949.
In case it's not clear what's going on in the first panel, Togawa is trying to read the kanji
in the shop's title, but is foiled by the complexity of her mother tongue.
was the penname of Sugiyama Taido (1889-1936), a novelist who rose to prominence in the 1920s. As Touko notes, "Yumeno Kyūsaku" was a penname he adopted from the local phrase for a head-in-the-clouds daydreamer. He gave one of his stories to his father to read, the story goes, and afterwards his father said, "feels like it was written by a yumeno kyūsaku."
Lots of stuff in the bottom panel: a Maneki Neko
, a kewpie doll
, Minky Momo
I haven't been able to corroborate Rinko's assertions about the history of tag
, but it's worth noting that the Japanese incarnation of tag is called onigokko
, and whoever is 'it' is 'the demon.'
I want to emphasize that kakuseimu
is not the same as lucid dreaming, otherwise the author would not have bothered to make up a new term. If lucid dreaming is being awake while you dream, kakuseimu
is dreaming while you are awake.
In the first panel, they're singing the song for Kagome Kagome
. The song doesn't make much sense without an explanation, so I left it untranslated; see Wikipedia for details.
In the first panel, there's advertisements for a hypothetical "Yōkai
figure series." This is a reference to the famous Hyakki Yakō
series of illustrations published in the late 1700s by Toriyama Sekien
. More about this next chapter, but for now, compare Toriyama Sekien's drawings of the Jorōgumo
, the Nuribotoke
, and the Kyōkotsu
. Judging by the selection of yōkai, these figures may have more to do with Natsuhiko Kyogoku
's series of mystery novels.
Kangiten is a god from the secretive tradition of Shingon Buddhism
. Though related to Ganesha
, the image of Kangiten evolved quite a bit
on its journey through Asia and is most often portrayed as two elephants in an embrace
. Kangiten is a god of marital bliss, child-bearing, and for some reason, restaurants.
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