Notes for Discommunication Seireihen chapter 4

v1.0.2, 2010-07-28
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Page 85

Title page stuff:

Page 90

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, Kikaider, 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.

Page 91

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.

Yumeno Kyūsaku 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, Licca-chan, a kewpie doll, Minky Momo.

Page 109

I haven't been able to corroborate Rinko's assertions about the history of tag and hide-and-seek, 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.

Page 110

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.

Page 114

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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