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Old 2010-09-23, 23:12   Link #1101
Vexx
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First, it should be recalled this is a fantasy representation of a land "somewhat like the Middle Ages".

But, given the corruption of the Church during many periods of the middle ages and their intolerance of "other faiths" at the time ... I'm not sure why Lawrence, as a representative of the growing merchantile class of the time would view the church of his time in any other way. Certainly Horo has no call to be nice about them as they would burn her at the stake for being simply who she is.

No reason to whitewash the situation as it is portrayed... Nora the shepherdess probably reflects the purer feelings of any basis of faith of the people.

It took the later Reformation and the Schism of protestantism to start correcting some of the issues in "real history". This is set before any such similar events.
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Old 2010-09-24, 07:29   Link #1102
JThree
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But, given the corruption of the Church during many periods of the middle ages and their intolerance of "other faiths" at the time ...

Granted, there were many things wrong with what some experts might call "the visible church," and it was corrupt. But not everyone, everywhere was like that. There were those few, who actually tried to live the faith, not just in words on Sunday morning, but through their lives.

I'm not sure why Lawrence, as a representative of the growing merchantile class of the time would view the church of his time in any other way. Certainly Horo has no call to be nice about them as they would burn her at the stake for being simply who she is.

Depends on what Lawrence's history has been with them. So far all churchgoers (with the exception of Nora) have all been shown to be, eh . . . . mean or hypocritical. And who knows, Lawrence may have an interesting history with some of them who might have shown our favorite merchant a different slant on faith.

No reason to whitewash the situation as it is portrayed... Nora the shepherdess probably reflects the purer feelings of any basis of faith of the people.

Totally disagree with you there, there had to be more "bright spots" than just one person such as Norah.

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Old 2010-09-24, 07:32   Link #1103
JThree
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Another question:

I do enjoy the writing, characterization, and dynamics between (Lawrence and Holo) in this series. More so, than anything I've read in American fiction lately,

Are there other Japanese manga/anime/fiction that is this moving? I'm looking for something that is as unique but family friendly/

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Old 2010-09-24, 09:45   Link #1104
BashZeStampeedo
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Originally Posted by JThree View Post
So far all churchgoers (with the exception of Nora) have all been shown to be, eh . . . . mean or hypocritical.
That's true of almost EVERY character in the series, except Nora and a couple of other minor characters we barely know. Be they "Christian", "atheist", pagan, or pagan deity, the story tends to go into detail to show them all as desperate, hypocritical beings trying to get by (no matter if they are in a position of power or not). Even Lawrence and Holo are "gray", capable of being hurtful and hypocritical.

Given how few of the characters are portrayed as *not* being mean or hypocritical, and that they are almost all of vague denomination, it's easy to assume things. But volume four features a young priestess (wasn't that rare back then?) who I think fits your desired role quite well. As far as I'm concerned, the story seems to go through pains to not portray the religious in a purely negative light, and it shows all denominations of capable of good and evil, but tending towards self-interest.
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Old 2010-09-25, 08:41   Link #1105
tyranuus
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As far as I'm concerned, the story seems to go through pains to not portray the religious in a purely negative light, and it shows all denominations of capable of good and evil, but tending towards self-interest.
Which is actually fairly accurate looking back at history. The church was somewhat of a tyranical beast back in those days (spanish inquisition et al).
Whilst the world was more of a religious place in that time period, you have to remember that many people did so out of fear, and out of habit, rather than because they genuinely believed in the tennets of the religion.

The church being corrupt in its manners and actions isn't entirely unsurprising, and quite frankly, from my position its nice to see a book series that doesn't paint every priest as a saint, because nothing could be further from the truth, they're as human as the rest of us.

JThree, I think you're being a little too 'modern-day' focused on what the Church is like nowadays, whilst the Church these days could be seen as moderately harmless (I'm not a Christian), this wasn't the case back in the day, where the church ruthlessly controlled what it could.

Holo's own animosity to the church is even more natural, she would be burnt at the stake quite happily, and as novel 2 has shown, she has had direct run ins at previous points in history with leaders of church sponsored raids against Pagans and her kind; if someone tries to kill you...you don't tend to like them.
Merchants during this period would also typically dislike the church...or more accurately dislike the control, taxes and tithes it would place against trade that it was able to control. Again, this gives Lawrence a fairly understandable reasoning for not being a fond fan of the church. Wandering travellers were sometimes accused of being heretics or in league with the devil, so beyond praying for luck, most merchants are really not going to feel that attracted to the thing.
Besides Lawrence has a much more personal demi-god to bring him luck, why does he need the Christian god?

When you look through history, much of the evil in this world has been perpetrated for, or in the name of religions; that S&W maintains a moderately gray stance on the church, rather than one of pure good or pure evil, is a strength IMO, and is much more accurate to both the people involved, and the organisation during this time period.
I haven't read book 4 yet, but by the sounds of it, both Nora and this priest would represent there is not JUST evil in the church, unfortunately positions of power attract the corrupt and those after control, regardless of whether thats part of an organisation like the church or anything else.
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Old 2010-09-25, 12:37   Link #1106
poleno
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Only about S&W church…
Profession of an errant trader involves critical and flexible mind. This constant travel allows traders to see what does not fit into the religious picture of the world. And merchant’s trade with the pagans who have another faith. While the inhabitant is spending a lifetime in one place, it’s easier to them to believe what church said.
Holo saw how the church was born. And among other things, it is difficult for her to believe in the temporary phenomenon. Church do not recognize her existence. For example – if people say that wolves do not exist, but you're a wolf - it means they are lying or mistaken. So all their words may be a lie or a mistake.

Well, we see the position of Lawrence and Holo. Perhaps if other heroes were in other contexts and in the same world, then the church would be different.
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Old 2010-09-25, 22:06   Link #1107
BashZeStampeedo
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Only about S&W church…
Profession of an errant trader involves critical and flexible mind. This constant travel allows traders to see what does not fit into the religious picture of the world.
Lawrence is supposedly rather open-minded, and isn't set in his beliefs (especially after he meets Holo). He has a tinge of superstition that probably comes with the loneliness and desperation of being a traveling merchant.

I'd presume that traveling merchants like him would be more likely to view the world as a place filled with varied gods, not the "one true God" of the Church, because of their journeys and interactions with many types of faiths.

Likewise it can be said that a town merchant would likely settle in a comfortable town and then "adopt" their dominant belief, out of convenience and business diplomacy more than "wanting to be faithful".
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Old 2011-02-06, 00:10   Link #1108
Kaguya
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In webradio@dengekibunko, Isuna Hasekura appears in 18th web radio as a guest from February 10.

He delves further into the world of Spice and Wolf, and also tells the author's own thing.
It seems that the latest information which will be released only there is included. (It is not necessarily Spice and Wolf related)
Although there is no telling when they record it, they are still accepting the question to Isuna Hasekura.

This web radio may be the last chance to hear his voice because hitting twice in succession is rare in a light novel.

http://dengekibunko.dengeki.com/webradio/
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Old 2011-02-06, 12:39   Link #1109
Rajura
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Good to know... I need to see if I can come up with a good question for him.

I wonder if they would even pick a question asked by a Westerner.
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Old 2011-02-06, 16:50   Link #1110
Kaguya
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I do not know whether they will accept an English question or message.
However, I translated post form for those who want to post a question or message to Isuna Hasekura.
I am sorry if the period for acceptance has already ended.
Spoiler for Space saving:
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Old 2011-03-05, 03:22   Link #1111
Rajura
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Well, as an update (though a bit late), everyone needs to be aware that another short story was released. This was in Dengeki Magazine Volume 17... Wolf and the White Way (狼と白い道).

Hopefully, we will see this in Volume XVII of the novel as well as the other stories yet to be collected in volume format!

Any updates or extra information that anyone can provide (especially Kaguya!!!!) would be most appreciated!
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Old 2011-03-17, 16:01   Link #1112
Dzylon
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I actually went through the trouble of learning Japanese to read the books not available in the U.S. I know the kana and vocabulary, but before I get into it, what level kanji are the Japanese novels? Are there advanced, specific kanji? Or is it mainly hiragana with only basic/intermediate kanji? Also, about how many kanji are there overall in each book?
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Old 2011-03-17, 22:33   Link #1113
Vexx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dzylon View Post
I actually went through the trouble of learning Japanese to read the books not available in the U.S. I know the kana and vocabulary, but before I get into it, what level kanji are the Japanese novels? Are there advanced, specific kanji? Or is it mainly hiragana with only basic/intermediate kanji? Also, about how many kanji are there overall in each book?
The economic terms and medieval terms can be daunting... but the books are targeted at "young men" demographic so that means Japanese high school level is preferable (at least familiar with several hundred kanji but between 1000-2000 would be great) and have a dictionary handy.

I read at about junior high level on a good day, so working through the books is a chore with several dictionaries, scratch pad and pencil, and my computer. So I've been relying on B-T and just translating specific bits of dialog when I want a closer flavor.
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Old 2011-03-18, 05:24   Link #1114
Tri-ring
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The author of the series writes within the postscript that he obtained a lot of information from various sources including the bible, Jean Favier's "Gold and Spices"(Which ultimately influenced the title to the series) and The Golden Bough.
He also writes that he was influenced greatly by Arthur Schopenhauer's writings when writing relationship between Horo and Laurence.
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Old 2011-03-18, 15:54   Link #1115
Dzylon
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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
The economic terms and medieval terms can be daunting... but the books are targeted at "young men" demographic so that means Japanese high school level is preferable (at least familiar with several hundred kanji but between 1000-2000 would be great) and have a dictionary handy.

I read at about junior high level on a good day, so working through the books is a chore with several dictionaries, scratch pad and pencil, and my computer. So I've been relying on B-T and just translating specific bits of dialog when I want a closer flavor.
Ah, great. I'll probably just guess the meaning through context.
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Old 2011-03-18, 17:44   Link #1116
Dzylon
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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
The economic terms and medieval terms can be daunting... but the books are targeted at "young men" demographic so that means Japanese high school level is preferable (at least familiar with several hundred kanji but between 1000-2000 would be great) and have a dictionary handy.

I read at about junior high level on a good day, so working through the books is a chore with several dictionaries, scratch pad and pencil, and my computer. So I've been relying on B-T and just translating specific bits of dialog when I want a closer flavor.
If you're 53 and having trouble... how long have you studied? (I'm 14)
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Old 2011-03-18, 19:04   Link #1117
Rajura
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Originally Posted by Dzylon View Post
If you're 53 and having trouble... how long have you studied? (I'm 14)
I think the better question would be: how ardently and for how long has Vexx studied?

Yes, it tends to be easier to learn something at an earlier age, but if you put in good effort, you can learn something at any age as long as you have your faculties about you.
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Old 2011-03-18, 21:01   Link #1118
Vexx
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Originally Posted by Dzylon View Post
If you're 53 and having trouble... how long have you studied? (I'm 14)
In high school back in the 70s, I took German (we had 3 choices, Latin, Spanish, German). In college I took Russian as part of my engineering coursework because naturally we were going to be working with the Russians on space exploration (which took longer than expected).

I didn't start studying Japanese in any detail until a few years ago when my sons were taking it in high school. And I fall off the wagon frequently as other distractions intervene so I end up doing a lot of "start over" moments. Each time I ramp up a little faster though and get a little farther (kind of like in an MMO where your first character takes a while but your 3rd or 4th character races through the levels).
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Old 2011-03-21, 15:10   Link #1119
Dzylon
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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
In high school back in the 70s, I took German (we had 3 choices, Latin, Spanish, German). In college I took Russian as part of my engineering coursework because naturally we were going to be working with the Russians on space exploration (which took longer than expected).

I didn't start studying Japanese in any detail until a few years ago when my sons were taking it in high school. And I fall off the wagon frequently as other distractions intervene so I end up doing a lot of "start over" moments. Each time I ramp up a little faster though and get a little farther (kind of like in an MMO where your first character takes a while but your 3rd or 4th character races through the levels).
I am pretty determined. I guess in the meantime I can read my *badly* translated novels 1-15.
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Old 2011-06-07, 10:50   Link #1120
Kaguya
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Extra of Dengekibunko magazine Vol.20 is bonus DVD.
The contents are as follows.

Part 1
The textless songs of 19 Dengekibunko anime
(Of course, S&W and S&W2 is included.)

Part 2
PV of this summer season anime
- RO-KYU-BU!
- Kami-sama no Memo-cho

Part 3
PV of Upcoming titles
- Horizon on the Middle of Nowhere
- C3
- Hanbun no Tsuki ga Noboru Sora
- Usotsuki Mii-kun to kowareta Maa-chan
Furthermore, one surprising title is included.

Probably, it will be Shakugan no Shana III.
But I expect it 0.1% as S&W3.
The release day of Vol.20 is on June 10.
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