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Old 2011-12-21, 02:33   Link #761
Sol Falling
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Kanade is seriously one of the best things about this show. Nishida's off bulldozing over people's individual needs and playstyles with his "proper" or "strategically correct" karuta again, but I wish someone had spoken up to support Kana playing the way that's most suited to her. Don't they know, in the first place, that conventionality is the best way to get buried into the background in a competitive environment.

I wonder how thin the walls of that old club building they're practicing in are. Seems like you can overhear just about anything without even the door open. The "Empress" looks like someone who'd be impressed by intimations towards refinement and literature, so I am sure Kana's "both sport and culture" speech was instrumental to her turnaround, lol. It is good she's developed an interest in Karuta, now I hope that she can cinch it by developing a sincere and respectful communication with the club members themselves.

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Originally Posted by Dawnstorm View Post
Now that in itself says nothing. But by the time Tsutomu almost rage quits the tournament, and then doesn't (in a very plausible, but not exactly surprising manner) I have the impression that the show is actively avoiding situations that might put a blemish on karuta. People who don't worship the karuta god(ess) are not interesting. They're the faceless whisper of classmates, the absence at the early club. Who cares about them?

Not even I did, initially. But given that the show is generally very good with characterisation, I'm feeling a gap opening up between characterisation and karuta promotion, and this sometimes kicks me out of the story.

It's very hard to put my finger on it, since individually nothing is wrong. It's as if the show trusts karuta to put things right when it talks about character; but it doesn't trust the characters to be good karuta promoters. Not sure whether that makes any sort of sense. For example, when I talked about hypocrisy, I didn't actually mean that anyone in-world is hypocritical, nor really that the show is hypocritical; more that the constellation can come across as such. A failure to respect the moments that relativise karuta, sort of.
Talking about episode 12 now, but in this I can see what you mean. Given that the conflict which was emphasized this episode was precisely a "Why don't I get no respect for karuta" thing--while the show hasn't gone so far yet as to outright paint those who disrespect karuta as villains (Chihaya's onee-chan is apparently modelling to pay off their mortgage, LOL ), the way they are used to create drama certainly makes them feel like it. Back in the episode when "the Empress" was first introduced, I noted how I felt it was awkward that she was portrayed as completely antagonistic for seemingly no purpose. Similarly, the potential the show has left open for Chihaya's family to be seen as purposely neglectful or belittling has always been problematic to me. While I am comfortable with the show's inclination to portray karuta as unquestionably good for those who get involved in it, I admit to being similarly thrown out of the show when it villainizes those who (for whatever reason) do not (yet? potentially?) have an interest in it.

A brief side-comment regarding the Ayase father's Chihaya scrapbook. While it was heartwarming that he had it and all, I found it fairly conspicuous that there were only two freakin' clippings in it (lol :P). Coincidentally they both appeared to relate to karuta. Yeah, this reinforces the theme "Chihaya == karuta" and all, but hey, as the second of his precious daughters shouldn't he still have had some more stuff in there. As I recall, Chihaya used to be on the track team in middle school; couldn't he at least have had some photos or whatever from those events as well. What I find problematic in the portrayal of Chihaya's family thus far is that it nearly looks like and Chihaya acts as if karuta is the only reason they ever did (or ever will) pay attention to her. When in fact I feel that it is more realistic, true to the story, and important to show that they actually cared all along.

Anyway, still an enjoyable episode overall. I hope we keep getting more of Kanade and her poetic sentimentality, even as we keep diving deeper into the sport and competition of the tournament.
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Old 2011-12-21, 02:42   Link #762
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Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
Kanade is seriously one of the best things about this show. Nishida's off bulldozing over people's individual needs and playstyles with his "proper" or "strategically correct" karuta again, but I wish someone had spoken up to support Kana playing the way that's most suited to her. Don't they know, in the first place, that conventionality is the best way to get buried into the background in a competitive environment.
Yeah... If nobody else does that, that means whoever she faces will have a hard time remembering where her cards are.
Quote:
A brief side-comment regarding the Ayase father's Chihaya scrapbook. While it was heartwarming that he had it and all, I found it fairly conspicuous that there were only two freakin' clippings in it (lol :P). Coincidentally they both appeared to relate to karuta. Yeah, this reinforces the theme "Chihaya == karuta" and all, but hey, as the second of his precious daughters shouldn't he still have had some more stuff in there. As I recall, Chihaya used to be on the track team in middle school; couldn't he at least have had some photos or whatever from those events as well. What I find problematic in the portrayal of Chihaya's family thus far is that it nearly looks like and Chihaya acts as if karuta is the only reason they ever did (or ever will) pay attention to her. When in fact I feel that it is more realistic, true to the story, and important to show that they actually cared all along.
Just being in the track club doesn't mean she'll appear in the papers.
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Old 2011-12-21, 06:18   Link #763
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Certainly, I think the 'Empress' changed her mind about going to the Karuta nationals because beforehand she'd just seen it as a simple card game, and thought they were just goofing off.

Watching them practice she saw how much energy, concentration, and passion they were putting into the game, which changed her mind. She was able to take them seriously at last.

I liked the bit when Kana was extolling the cultural virtues of the cards, that while winning is important you mustn't lose sight of what the cards actually mean.

The part where Chihaya finds the one scrapbook with her name on it, and the newspaper cutting in it, was beautiful.

Some shows could have spent weeks on a 'getting ready for the nationals' sequence, so good to see here they've gone straight to it.
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Old 2011-12-21, 07:18   Link #764
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Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
While it was heartwarming that he had it and all, I found it fairly conspicuous that there were only two freakin' clippings in it (lol :P). Coincidentally they both appeared to relate to karuta. Yeah, this reinforces the theme "Chihaya == karuta" and all, but hey, as the second of his precious daughters shouldn't he still have had some more stuff in there. As I recall, Chihaya used to be on the track team in middle school; couldn't he at least have had some photos or whatever from those events as well. What I find problematic in the portrayal of Chihaya's family thus far is that it nearly looks like and Chihaya acts as if karuta is the only reason they ever did (or ever will) pay attention to her. When in fact I feel that it is more realistic, true to the story, and important to show that they actually cared all along.
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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
Just being in the track club doesn't mean she'll appear in the papers.
Actually, the first clipping shown (the one next to the pamphlet for Kana-chan's store) was about Chihaya's track results in her 3rd year of junior high school - with a time of 12.53, she'd come second to someone who set a new record of 12.03 for the 100 meter sprint. That's why the sub at that point said 'So close!' (惜しかった!).

She was also a fair few pages into the scrapbook, so I'm sure there were other articles. Just not as many as her model sister.
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Old 2011-12-21, 08:12   Link #765
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
Kanade is seriously one of the best things about this show. Nishida's off bulldozing over people's individual needs and playstyles with his "proper" or "strategically correct" karuta again, but I wish someone had spoken up to support Kana playing the way that's most suited to her. Don't they know, in the first place, that conventionality is the best way to get buried into the background in a competitive environment.
Kana is indeed bringing a lot to this show. I love the poetry aspect of the game, something a lot of players sadly seem to completely overlook (Nishida has even forgotten the poems!). I don't think her unconventional card placement was bad at all either since it could destabilize her opponents, but then again, I'm no karuta expert.
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Old 2011-12-21, 08:14   Link #766
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I actually didn't get the problem with Kana's card placement... if she feels comfortable with it and remembers all the positions, what's the problem?
And if it is a new placement, isn't it a bonus then? Enemy will be totally confused by it, I think Kana would have a rean advantage there.
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Old 2011-12-21, 09:18   Link #767
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At first i am really annoyed at the teacher.
Well, Karuta is supposed to be heritage of Japan's culture. And considering their role as teacher, the one who guide youngster, how come they are not supporting the one that still interested in the "old" culture?

Thankfully, near the end, the "Empress" changed her mind and decided to support them.
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Old 2011-12-21, 15:01   Link #768
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Originally Posted by kitten320 View Post
I actually didn't get the problem with Kana's card placement... if she feels comfortable with it and remembers all the positions, what's the problem?
And if it is a new placement, isn't it a bonus then? Enemy will be totally confused by it, I think Kana would have a rean advantage there.
My guess, and it's really only a guess, is that Nishida's placement optimizes accessibility to the cards. I would imagine for most competitors, the best layout is determined by reach and probability of identification. For example, you might want your first syllable cards closest to you because they're quickly identified and therefore need to be reached the fastest. While your second syllable cards might be placed farther away but grouped by their first syllable similarity. That way you can move towards the group on the first syllable and be partway there by the time the second card-specific identifying syllable is pronounced.

ETA: The biggest problem I see with Kana's layout is that it could potentially split her attention on the second syllable cards. Grouping cards by season could place second syllable cards on opposite sides of the playing field. This would divide her attention. She wouldn't know which side of the playing field to be aiming for until the second syllable is pronounced.
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Old 2011-12-21, 15:39   Link #769
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Kana is indeed bringing a lot to this show. I love the poetry aspect of the game, something a lot of players sadly seem to completely overlook (Nishida has even forgotten the poems!...
Agreed ... Kana is definitely the member of the Karuta club I am interested in the most. It was not until she appeared and her approach to the game was presented that I took more of an interest in the game in general, and how it ... erm ... "made sense" I guess.
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Old 2011-12-21, 23:01   Link #770
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Poor Chihaya being upstage by her sister
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Old 2011-12-22, 02:26   Link #771
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Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post

Talking about episode 12 now, but in this I can see what you mean.
Actually, my impression of Episode 12 was that it did a good job of putting Karuta in proper perspective.

Karuta is unquestionably good for those who get involved in it... but it won't pay for the mortgage.

It's Ok to slip a little bit in your academics in order to balance that out with an intense and fun past-time that encourages personal growth... but being fifth from the bottom in your class for grades really isn't acceptable either.


I honestly found this refreshing. Some sports anime shows have a tendency to not keep the sport in proper perspective, and to build it up as something that's bigger than what it is. I recall LittleKuriboh's joke about Yu-Gi-Oh: "Determining the fate of the world through a children's card game!"

Nobody in this show is pretending that Karuta is the end-all be-all of everything. Even Chihaya recognizes that it's not more important than her sister making money for the family's well-being.

But this show is arguing that Karuta deserves as much respect as any other serious sport does, such as tennis. And part of arguing that involves showing how a character/person can grow through Karuta just as assuredly as s/he can grow through a different competitive sport.

Sports ultimately bring people together, and force them to better themselves in certain ways in order to achieve victory. Body and/or mind become swifter and more accurate, while you simultaneously build meaningful friendships through team-based camaraderie. Nice memories and possibly some momentoes (i.e. trophies) are gained, while one's social well-being is maintained if not heightened. All of this can be beneficial even outside of the context of the sport itself, of course. And all of this is very well-portrayed in Chihayafuru, by how we see the effect that Karuta has on our main cast members.

But as good as this all is, it won't address every need and want in your life, and it's important to remember that as well.


The show doesn't spend much time on the critics of the sport, or those simply not interested in the sport, because ultimately they simply don't matter. Well, they matter insofar as they can't be completely ignored (Chihaya has to deal with her sister, for example), but they don't change the benefits that come from enjoying a competitive sport and growing through it.

What this anime has shown is that the best way to deal with the critics of the sport, or those simply not interested in it, is to leave them be and accept them for who they are. However, there's no need to internalize their lack of passion for the sport and allow it to cause your own passion for it to diminish. In fact, such passion can sometimes be contagious, as we saw with how "The Empress" changed in this episode.

Ultimately, I see no problem whatsoever with how Karuta has been portrayed in this anime. It is very much in-line with other good sports stories (both in anime, and outside of anime) that I've seen, and if anything, it does a good job of managing to keep the showcased sport from being blown out of proportion.


Quote:
Similarly, the potential the show has left open for Chihaya's family to be seen as purposely neglectful or belittling has always been problematic to me. While I am comfortable with the show's inclination to portray karuta as unquestionably good for those who get involved in it, I admit to being similarly thrown out of the show when it villainizes those who (for whatever reason) do not (yet? potentially?) have an interest in it.
Actually, I felt Episode 12 took a bit of a nasty edge off of Chihaya's sister.

Chihaya's sister isn't doing this just for sheer vanity's sake - She sincerely wants to help her family. That's rather destroying of the admittedly villainous image she had in some brief moments before.

Chihaya's parents understandably put the daughter activities that hopefully will pay the bills first, but they thankfully don't completely forget about Chihaya either.

Honestly, I felt this episode was great for Chihaya's family.


Quote:

Anyway, still an enjoyable episode overall. I hope we keep getting more of Kanade and her poetic sentimentality, even as we keep diving deeper into the sport and competition of the tournament.
I agree with you here.

Episode 12 was a nice "bridge" episode that helped to keep "the real world" surrounding Chihaya in sharp and appropriate focus while we transition from one team tournament to the next level team tournament (i.e. the Nationals).

I must say that it's nice to watch an anime where we'll get to see 'The Nationals' themselves, rather than simply the regional tournament that leads into it. As much as I loved Moshidora and Saki, this is an edge that Chihayafuru has on them right now.


8/10 for Episode 12.
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Old 2011-12-22, 10:31   Link #772
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Nobody in this show is pretending that Karuta is the end-all be-all of everything. Even Chihaya recognizes that it's not more important than her sister making money for the family's well-being.

But this show is arguing that Karuta deserves as much respect as any other serious sport does, such as tennis
I don't think the show understands karuta as one sport among others. Certainly karuta accrues all the social and personal benefits you list that derive from sports in general. But it connects to Japanese culture and tradition in a way that tennis does not, and that element is a crucial aspect of the show. We see that again in this episode, with Kana's refusal to allow Nishida to regard the cards as purely tokens in a game of sport. Karuta involves the characters on the fundamental level of social and national identity.

Karuta also connects in particular to the life stories of the main characters to construct their histories and identities. The three main characters are living out the imperative drawn from their pasts, from when their encounter with karuta created their relationships in the first place. Nishda is now doing the same thing himself: he remembers his karuta sensei from childhood, and takes Kana and Tsutomu with him back to his old school. The show gives us karuta as a way of life, which is to invest karuta with values and expectations which go beyond those which we ordinarily associate with a sport.

The show constructs karuta in terms you could say are religious in scope and function. As such, it gives to karuta a deference that is absolute.

You are right to say the show provides a non-idealized perspective upon karuta in this episode. We do get a sense of how ordinary people think about the game, from Miyauchi-sensei's initial indifference and casual ignorance. I appreciate her conversion: the depiction of the unconverted Shibata-sensei as a bozo infatuated with the "Lake Biwa Birdman Rally" not so much.

I can see where Dawnstorm is coming from. He has a point. I don't agree, since I am completely of Kana's party, but he has a point.

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Actually, I felt Episode 12 took a bit of a nasty edge off of Chihaya's sister.

Chihaya's sister isn't doing this just for sheer vanity's sake - She sincerely wants to help her family. That's rather destroying of the admittedly villainous image she had in some brief moments before.

Chihaya's parents understandably put the daughter activities that hopefully will pay the bills first, but they thankfully don't completely forget about Chihaya either.

Honestly, I felt this episode was great for Chihaya's family.
If anything, Chitose gains tragic depth in this episode. How could you not feel sorry for her? She is always scrambling after an ephemeral celebrityhood, and never quite succeeding. Seven scrapbooks, and her most notable recent achievement is as a throwaway contestant on a day-time game show! No wonder everyone in the family is focused on her: it is not out of vanity, but to support her, to raise her spirits constantly dashed from a life of ongoing, indeterminate failure.

I hope she does make it as an actress in the Taiga drama. Wikipedia tells me it's a year-long TV historical drama, on the air since 1963 (!), focusing every year on different segments of Japanese history. Chitose hopes to be redeemed by Japanese tradition, as well...

-----

Nice catch to Guardian Enzo in his Random Curiousity review to match Taichi's mother's over-parenting of her son to Chihaya's family's under-parenting of Chihaya. Silly GE, to think that somehow makes them perfect for each other!

How striking that Chihaya looks to her phone messages from Arata to get guidance on what to do. Or later, when she asks Arata in her mind about Omi Jingu--and the childhood Arata tells her the shrine is red. Arata is already her kami for karuta.

-----

I love Kana so much! I wish they had dramatized the show from her perspective. I also wish we could have a discussion just on her, and how her poetic sensibility informs the show. Nobody has brought up the episode titles, which are lines from the hyakunin isshu, but they must reflect directly on the content. And the flower symbolism, the tradition of hanakotoba--it is no accident that the title sequence shows us blue hydrangeas wet with rain. Really the show has been Kana's all along, only I just don't know enough to appreciate it.

Last edited by hyperborealis; 2011-12-22 at 17:40.
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Old 2011-12-22, 12:23   Link #773
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I don't think the show understands karuta as one sport among others. Certainly karuta accrues all the social and personal benefits you list that derive from sports in general. But it connects to Japanese culture and tradition in a way that tennis does not, and that element is a crucial aspect of the show.
Yes, that's all fair to say.


However, I think it's important to mention that there are other sports, in real life, that are like Karuta in this regard.

Football is widely regarded as a crucial element of American culture and tradition.

Hockey is widely regarded as a crucial element of Canadian culture and tradition (in fact, it's hard to overstate the importance of hockey to the overarching sense of Canadian identity).

In many nations, Soccer is regarded as a crucial element of national culture and tradition.

It's true that not all sports enjoy this sort of cultural prominence and prestige, but some do. Is Karuta this "big" in real life Japan? Perhaps not, but maybe the anime is arguing that it could be, as the anime (through Kana) demonstrates that Karuta can be a great way of conveying a rich history and tradition through competitive sport.


My basic argument is that Karuta is not idealized to a point where it cuts the narrative off from the real world, that it exists as more than thematically-driven theater of the mind that's unimaginable outside of the narrative itself. It's true that non-fans of the sport are not looked upon in the most positive of lights, but I don't think the anime goes out of its way to degrade them either. Again, it's just that they're largely inconsequential to what the anime is aiming for.
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Old 2011-12-22, 17:59   Link #774
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I love Kana so much I wish they had dramatized the show from her perspective.
Lots of stuff to talk about, but so little time (considering Christmas). Anyway, I think this is a key sentence in all the material.

If the show were dramatised from her perspective the idealisation of karuta probably wouldn't bother me at all, since it would seem "concept central" - we'd have a more clear cut distinction between modern life and traditional values, and a story of how to deal with tradition in modern organisations. It would be an interesting show, but it's not what we're getting. (For what it's worth, Kana is my favourite character, too.)

But it's precisely because of scenes like the ones that Triple R mentions that the idealisation bothers me. These scenes come across as token acknowledgment, to me. Take time spent on karuta vs. studying: Tsutomu is fine with dropping grades, because he's high up; Chihaya is played for laughs (it's just who she is; isn't it cute?). In the early episodes I thought that they would play it for character flaws and deal with it in some way or other. Well, right now it's on the backburner; let's see if they pick up again.

Kana stands out, in that she's the only one who integrates karuta into a life-plan: her parents have that shop, and it's clear she identifies with it. Of all the characters, she's the only one who uses karuta for her own ends, deliberately, with a goal in mind. It's this that brings out the traditional values. Btw, pursuing hyperborealis' links [and cross-clicking from there], I found out that Karuta itself is just the game; you can play it with other card sets, too. You could, in theory, play Pokemon Karuta. The variant they're playing is just that - a variant. [Google Uta-Garuta] The game itself doesn't seem that traditional to me; it's the Hyakkunin Isshu theme. If you want a traditionally valued sports, I'd probably look towards kendo, or maybe archery (which was Kana's first club).

***

About the "Empress": I don't see her change of mind so much as a conversion, as I see it as getting used to a new club. Her earlier enthusiasm from tennis, I assume, has developed over years. I don't think this is the first year she advised that club. Again, I don't expect to ever learn what the tennis club thinks about her sudden change of mind. After all, they don't matter.
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Old 2011-12-22, 20:03   Link #775
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Kana stands out, in that she's the only one who integrates karuta into a life-plan: her parents have that shop, and it's clear she identifies with it. Of all the characters, she's the only one who uses karuta for her own ends, deliberately, with a goal in mind. It's this that brings out the traditional values. Btw, pursuing hyperborealis' links [and cross-clicking from there], I found out that Karuta itself is just the game; you can play it with other card sets, too. You could, in theory, play Pokemon Karuta. The variant they're playing is just that - a variant. [Google Uta-Garuta] The game itself doesn't seem that traditional to me; it's the Hyakkunin Isshu theme. If you want a traditionally valued sports, I'd probably look towards kendo, or maybe archery (which was Kana's first club).
On the variations of karuta, and karuta as a sport: I think, it may be fair to say that modern competitive karuta, or karuta as a sport, is not quite traditional. However, despite karuta being simply a game which can be played with various different themes or sets of cards, the origin of the game itself is quite traditional, as the leisurely past-time of choice for court nobles in historical periods. The reason that the Hyakunin Isshu is used for competitive karuta is because it is the overwhelmingly the primary variant, such that the game is firmly traditional (in the contexts of karuta as a part of general Japanese culture, such as families playing it annually on the eves of a new year, as well).

However, the standardization of rules and competitive play as a sport are, I think it would be fair to say, modern developments. And even the adaptation of the game as an educational activity for elementary school students. So I think it would be more accurate to say that it's not that karuta isn't traditional; but that they way it is generally most actively played, in practice, today, is not traditional. Which may or may not be okay/for the best.
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Old 2011-12-23, 16:30   Link #776
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Anyone interested in the meaning of the poems and their relation to the narrative should take a look at the Chihayafuru wiki, at

http://chihayafuru.wikia.com/wiki/Ogura_100_Poems

See, for example, what it says about #77, "Swift Waters Parted by the Jagged Rocks:"

"A nature poem which implicitly expresses the vow of parting lovers, who swear they will eventually meet again. As Kanade quoted it in Episode 10, this may be the theme poem of the relationship between Chihaya and Arata. It must be more than coincidence that this is Chihaya's very first card she won at her first Karuta game against Arata. "

Is that a great wailing I hear rising from the tents of Team Taichi?

----

The show really really wants you to learn more about the Hyakunin Isshu. The animators show the ISBN of the book about them Miyauchi-sensei borrows, so you can go out and get it for yourself. Amusingly, the book is the show's own guide to the world of the 100 poets:

http://translate.google.com/translat...6x%3D0%26y%3D0

Last edited by hyperborealis; 2011-12-23 at 16:57.
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Old 2011-12-23, 19:44   Link #777
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Is that a great wailing I hear rising from the tents of Team Taichi?
Why the call for shipping war? This thread has been pretty awesome exactly because we have been avoiding this in favor of more meaningful conversations. So really, why?
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Old 2011-12-23, 19:54   Link #778
Triple_R
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kazu-kun View Post
Why the call for shipping war? This thread has been pretty awesome exactly because we have been avoiding this in favor of more meaningful conversations. So really, why?
Hard to have a shipping war when:

1. Romance seems to be the furthest thing from Chihaya's mind.

2. Arata's screen time over the past half-dozen episodes or more is almost non-existent.


While I might be welcoming of love triangle drama in this anime at some point, it currently works perfectly fine without it, imo.
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Old 2011-12-23, 20:18   Link #779
Kazu-kun
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
While I might be welcoming of love triangle drama in this anime at some point, it currently works perfectly fine without it, imo.
I agree. The more reason hyperborealis' comment seemed out of place to me.
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Old 2011-12-24, 03:02   Link #780
Dawnstorm
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Join Date: Feb 2011
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Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
On the variations of karuta, and karuta as a sport: I think, it may be fair to say that modern competitive karuta, or karuta as a sport, is not quite traditional. However, despite karuta being simply a game which can be played with various different themes or sets of cards, the origin of the game itself is quite traditional, as the leisurely past-time of choice for court nobles in historical periods. The reason that the Hyakunin Isshu is used for competitive karuta is because it is the overwhelmingly the primary variant, such that the game is firmly traditional (in the contexts of karuta as a part of general Japanese culture, such as families playing it annually on the eves of a new year, as well).

However, the standardization of rules and competitive play as a sport are, I think it would be fair to say, modern developments. And even the adaptation of the game as an educational activity for elementary school students. So I think it would be more accurate to say that it's not that karuta isn't traditional; but that they way it is generally most actively played, in practice, today, is not traditional. Which may or may not be okay/for the best.
That makes sense to me, both within the show and with what various links tell me. Well put, thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kazu-kun
Why the call for shipping war? This thread has been pretty awesome exactly because we have been avoiding this in favor of more meaningful conversations. So really, why?
It's really just a fun little quip. It's trigger is important: the situational parallel of the poem and the show's situation. It's intriguing (spelling centre crash: is this spelled correctly?) to find situations in the poem applied to the show. Makes me wonder if we could find other situations mirrored in the poems. If I had more time, I'd probably go hunting. ('twould make a nice shipping variant to find a poem to counter this one, heh. I'm almost tempted to do so, even though I don't really care who ends up with whom, or even if anyone ends up with anyone else.)
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