The World of Sekiro: Remnants. Part III

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Hi! This is the last post about bosses in Sekiro. Do not despair though, we still have a lot to talk about in the next posts. If you've missed the previous ones, here's the first one, and here's the second. Oh, and here's the very first post about Sugars and the Headless.

Standard procedure:

Disclaimer #0 — common sense is still everything. Please do not assume that I have access to some secret true knowledge; I'm just entertained by reading Sekiro in Japanese. My lore theories are just theories so treat them accordingly.

Disclaimer #1trust me, I'm a professional if this fact is somehow important - I am a certified linguist. My major is English and Japanese as foreign languages, my minor is intercultural communication. Fun stuff!

Disclaimer #2 — I am not a professional translator, I have never worked in localization. Yes, I will say that something is translated poorly and something is not, and it will be my personal point of view. People have been complaining that I am picking on minor things or have weird opinions when it comes to "better translations". I want to emphasize that it's okay to have those :) Ultimately, my goal is to give you the information so you can see if the localization was good or not, whether something important was lost or not. My opinion is just that and I choose to share it, however odd it might seem.

Disclaimer #3 — I am not an expert on Buddhism, so if I get something wrong in the religious side of things, I'm sorry :D FromSoftware had a theological consultant who helped them build the religious narrative in Sekiro. I will leave links to the Buddhist terms that we will undoubtedly encounter so you can read more on your own, if you are interested.

Why do kanji (Japanese characters) have different readings?

This is a popular question in the comment section. In a nutshell, Japanese kanji usually have two types of readings: on-reding and kun-reading, there might be a number of them in each category. On-readings have carried over from Chinese since kanji were borrowed from there, and kun-readings are native to Japanese. When a kanji stands on its own and is used as a single word, it is read with its kun-reading. When a kanji is used as a part of a multi-kanji word, it is read with its on-reading. It is slightly more complicated, but in broad strokes I think it explains it.

Localization info

As far as I know, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice was localized into English by Mugen Creations.

Tiny Transcription Legend

[:] — colon after a vowel means that it's a long sound;

['] — apostrophe after a vowel or before a vowel (or between two [n]) means that these are two different syllables, not a single long one.

The transcriptions I give do not follow all academic rules, and I don't think it's necessary. They are just here to represent the pronunciation.

Sources

For this research I mostly used Sekiro Shadows Die Twice Official Artworks, English wiki and a number of dictionaries.

In these posts we are looking at Remnants rather then Memories, if you need a reminder what those are and how they are different, you can read about it here.

Great Shinobi Owl

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Let's start with Owl. His original name in this boss fight is 大忍梟 [dai shinobi fukuro:] - great shinobi Owl, no mistakes here. The most interesting part of the description is this: 「身に余る野心を抱く」 - to pursue an ambition that is more than one deserves/to pursue an ambition that is more than one can handle. "Unbridled ambition" is quite elegant, I like it.

Japanese descriptions often utilize this technique when the text ends with a single-sentence paragraph, and the sentence is so short it just cuts through the text like a sharp blade and breaks its flow. Not really a parcellation but almost. This closing sentence usually contains a piece of vital information - remember, how in the previous post we discussed the finishing sentence of the Floating Passage, "Her name was Tomoe"? It's the same thing here:

「全てはそのための謀であった」 - "it was all a plan for that ambition".

So, everything that happened in Sekiro up to a certain point was Owl's plan to satisfy his unbridled ambitions. He wanted the power of the Dragon Heir. I can't stop thinking about how he gives Wolf the key to the Hidden Temple and sends him there to help Kuro and defeat Lady Butterfly. Owl then kills Wolf, and immediately Wolf receives Dragon Heir's power. Was this also a part of Owl's plan? Or did he just want to get rid of Wolf and become Kuro's shinobi instead? Well, this can't be it, otherwise why would he give Wolf into Kuro's service in the first place if he just could become miko's shinobi himself? He probably figured that Kuro wouldn't just leave Wolf to die, and would give the power to him. What would Owl gain from it though? It's possible that he didn't necessarily want the immortality for himself, but he was content with Wolf being immortal as his ally because later he would try and convince Wolf to abandon Kuro and join him.

I don't really understand the role of Lady Butterfly in all this. She was Owl's ally, she was also helping the Ministry. Did she decide to take Kuro for herself and thus betrayed Owl? Or was it a part of Owl's plan and Lady Butterfly just played along, knowing she'd most likely die? Well, this is kind of hard to swallow. And she also possessed Sakura Droplet from lord Take, we'll get to it later but that's also quite odd. Anyway, the secret schemes of the hyperactive old people in Sekiro have been difficult for me to wrap my head around, so I'll just leave it as it is for the time being.

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Let's discuss something much more exciting! Do you remember the giant sword stuck in Guardian Ape? During the course of the game it doesn't really become clear who this sword belongs to, it's way too big for a normal human. Many people think that since the partially digested finger of the Sculptor's friend is in the Ape's belly, the sword is most likely hers. This theory, however, is countered by the simple fact that the finger fits into Wolf's hand; it's a normal-sized finger, which means that the woman was also a normal human and the sword was too big for her.

The second theory of similar level of conclusiveness tries to tell us that the sword belongs to Tomoe: she came for the Lotus in her quest to save lord Take and thought she defeated the Ape. This theory, honestly, makes little sense, if any at all. Firstly, the Lotus is still there. Secondly, she killed the Ape but decided to leave the sword inside the body?..

The one who wounded the Ape either died immediately afterwards OR did it on purpose. Finally, we know that lady Tomoe was - at least, partly but most likely purely - an okami warrior. Since Genichiro, who trained under her, wields lightning, knows Floating Passage and has the same bow technique as okami from the Fountainhead Palace, we can assume that Tomoe was most likely an elite okami warrior since only the elites can tame lightning. Anyway, all okami warriors that we meet later are Wolf's size; they are actually a little smaller, probably because they're all women. No way an okami can wield this giant sword, its blade is the size of a whole human.

Owl is the only character in the game who is big enough for this sword :D I compared the sword he fights with and the one that pops from the Ape when you defeat it, they're about the same. Since Owl wanted the Dragon Heir's power so badly, it would be quite detrimental to his plans to have Heirs running around trying to purge this power from themselves. That's why he broke off the Aromatic Branch from Take's sakura tree, that is why he probably enraged the Ape so it wouldn't leave a single chance to anyone seeking the Lotus.

Anyway, that's just my theory but I am finally at peace. This sword has been bothering me for a while, and now I finally have something that resembles an answer.

ALMOST FORGOT

So, I was asked if I would address that haiku poem Owl and Wolf supposedly co-write when Owl receives the final blow. That was the first I've heard of it, but I did a little research and here I am, addressing it.

When you kill Owl, he and Wolf have a little conversation where Wolf says,

影落とし [kageotoshi]

御返しいたす。。。[okaeshi itasu]

and Owl responds,

見事。。。なり。。。[migoto nari]

The English translation goes like this:

Death of a Shadow...

You taught me well.

That's ... my boy...

Oh, so sweet :3

Doesn't it seem quite odd to you that when you kill Owl, Wolf jumps behind him and kills him with a backstab? Well, as I see it, this signature shinobi backstab is Kageotoshi. I'd say that it was Owl who taught Wolf to perform Kageotoshi, it's basically the main shinobi skill you have to master. The kanji are "shadow" and "to fall down" so it's like the shadow dropping down behind you, there is a number of ways you can interpret this.

And 御返しいたす is, well, a very respectful way of saying "I am returning [something to you].

So, Wolf, delivering the backstab, says "I am returning to you that kageotoshi that you performed on me three years ago in Hirata Estate".

And then Owl says that it was magnificently done, Wolf has become skillful.

Aaaaand suddenly it's not so sweet anymore. Well, the localization has always made the relationships between Wolf and Owl very cliché, you know, this foster father who takes in an orphan, raises him like a little soldier but secretly loves him to bits. I think, this is because they didn't have all the context that we as players have, and Sekiro lore and story aren't exactly things you can pick up on the fly.

I think, this conversation tells us a lot about Wolf. Wolf isn't a very vocal protagonist, he doesn't express much of his opinion if he has one. We know very little of his character except for the fact that he is loyal, does what he is told and is kind of noble for a shinobi. And we also know that Owl didn't manage to teach him that you're not supposed to eat uncooked rice. It's a rare treat to be able to peek inside his mind. Wolf knew that it was his foster father who backstabbed him in Hirata Estate, and he had enough guts to pay him back in the same way.

As for whether it is a haiku poem or not, I personally don't think so and I don't really care. If the syllables fit and it somehow makes someone feel better, then yeah, why not. For me, the importance of this rather short conversation lies in the meaning, not in the form. This is Wolf severing ties with his manipulative foster father, and Owl possibly seeing Wolf as something more than his little pawn for the first time.

Foster Father

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Owl (father) is the weirdest thing, it looks like a note one would write somewhere on the side to indicate what text belongs where, it's so bizarre to see it like this in the boss fight :D The Remnant is rightfully called Foster Father, as translated from the original 養父 [yo:fu], why didn't they name the boss the same way?

"Cub" is cute and all but the original just says 「飢えた狼」 - "a hungry wolf", not even "little wolf". And when he kills you, this is exactly what he calls you - 「飢えた狼」. Anyway, the main point is how this wolf was raised.

「己が技の粋を叩き込んでゆくのは、存外に面白いものだった。いずれ命を賭した真の戦いを、願うほどに。」 - "hammering the best of his skills into him turned out to be unexpectedly interesting. So much so, that he desired one day to [experience] a true battle where their lives would be at stake".

Well, this is even cuter than "little wolf" would be, don't you agree?..

If you look closer at the spirit owl in the second phase (while Owl is trying to slice you into ribbons), you can see that it looks very much like the Great Shinobi: the bird has the same kind of old face and one of its eyes is half-closed.

Mist Raven’s Feathers

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Mist Raven's Feathers are tied to Usui Forest, we'll discuss them here since the Forest (probably) belongs to Owl's clan. Its original name is really straightforward, 霧がらすの羽 [kirigarasu no hane] - Mist Raven's Feathers. "Mysterious birds of prey" is an attempt to convey the original 「正体掴めぬ猛禽」 - "birds of prey whose true form can't be captured/caught". I think, the spirit owl that appears in the fight with Foster Father is one of those mysterious birds from the Usui Forest.

I'm not sure where "the only one who have eluded capture" comes from, the original just says that there isn't a person who can say for certain that they have captured the Mist Raven. As for whether or not there is only one Mist Raven or many of them, and who the Great Mist Raven might be, we'll get to it later in the subseries about Prosthetic Tools so stay tuned.

Father's Bell Charm

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Father's Bell Charm is called 養父のお守り鈴 [yo:fu no omamori suzu] - foster father's omamori bell. Omamori is a type of amulet commonly sold in shrines. It can protect you from misfortune or bring you luck in a particular matter. Omamori are hugely popular: students buy omamori before exams, those who seek love purchase these amulets hoping they will bring them luck in romantic relationships; there are omamori that protect pets and there are omamori that bring luck to women expecting a child, they are supposed to make the labour easier. Usually, omamori are effective for only one year after the purchase. When time is up, you're supposed to bring the omamori to a temple or a shrine - ideally to the one where you got it from in the first place - so that the priests can burn them in a special kind of bonfire. You can't just throw away an omamori. However, some people keep omamori for years and even pass them down from generation to generation as heirlooms. If omamori suffered some kind of damage, if it got broken or torn, it means that it has fulfilled its purpose and saved you from misfortune, and it doesn't function anymore. Very often omamori look like tiny pouches, miniature envelops or folded pieces of cloth. You can't open it up to see what's inside because that would be disrespectful to the gods and spirits, and that omamori will instantly lose its power.

We're more interested in the bell part of omamori. This kind of little bell (suzu) is present in many omamori regardless of what kind of luck or protection they are supposed to provide for you. Well, the meaning behind small bells (suzu) and big bells (kane) and what they're supposed to represent in Shinto and Buddhism is a whole other topic to talk about, but to keep it very short, these small omamori bells are supposed to draw attention of gods and spirits. If you've ever visited a Shinto shrine, you might have noticed a giant bell with a thick rope, some shrines have them, others don't. You're supposed to ring this bell to get the attention of gods and then pray. The same bells for the same reason are present in many types of omamori because omamori is kind of a pocket-sized prayer that you're carrying with you, and you need gods and spirits to remember about you. If there is no bell at the shrine, clapping your hands twice after you bow twice does the same thing and alerts the gods to your presence.

Now you can see that the little bell is not random or accidental: both this bell charm and Kuro's bell charm are actually omamori amulets that are supposed to bring either luck or protection to their owners.

"Previously owned by Owl" is a more boring version of "omamori bell that dropped from Owl's dead body" :D

The last phrase is translated correctly, it's just as vague in the original: 「養父の為のものなのか、あるいは、渡せなかった、誰かの為か。。。」 - "was it [a charm] for the foster father, or was it for someone else but not given [to them]?"

Hidden Temple Key

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Hidden Temple Key is just here for a good measure, there is nothing special about it. It's called 隠し仏殿の鍵 [kakushi butsuden no kagi] - hidden Buddhist temple key. The only thing is that the English localization says that the temple is "in the very back of the Hirata Estate" when the original 最奥 is more like "deep inside".

Old Dragons of the Tree

The first phase of the Dragon doesn't have its own memory or remnant, or even a description BUT it has a very interesting original name. Old Dragons of the Tree are called 白木の翁たち [shiraki no okinatachi]. 白木 denotes plain wood or unfinished woodwork. denotes a venerable old man, and here there are many of them. Unfinished wooden granpas. These are the most mysterious guys in the whole game: who are they, what role do they play, why are they doing whatever it is they are doing? There is a theory that these old longnecks are the embodiment of the Dragonrot, that's why they're coughing, look rotten and generally frail, and Wolf is cutting them out to save the big tree, meaning the Dragon. Well, this theory doesn't really convince me. Where do they come from? They look like some evolved version of the nobles - the long necks and the flutes. I wish I could make sense of what's happening in the Fountainhead Palace, why one group of creatures is all about the Dragon, and the other is all about the Carp, but one group eats the other group despite the fact that that group seems to be protecting them... My head hurts now.

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Have you ever noticed that Old Dragons of the Tree are actually there way before you fight them? :D Look at the little grappling points throughout the Fountainhead Palace. Old Dragons are also depicted on some folding screens in the houses. This is the main counterpoint I have for the "they are the Dragonrot" theory. They are clearly part of the culture, they didn't just appear overnight.

Divine Dragon

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"Divine Dragon" immediately raises suspicion because it sounds way too generic, way too mmeh. The original - who would've thought! - is 桜竜 [sakuraryu:] - Sakura Dragon. Why would they change that? "Sakura Dragon" definitely fits the symbol restriction everywhere. Were they afraid that people might not know what a sakura is? I think, there are more people who know what a sakura is than people who know who a shinobi is.

So, the English localization threw out the sakura part from the name but for some reason they decided to insert it into the description, and it created the biggest mess. The original just states that Sakura Dragon is a dragon who became god. That's it. The English localization says, "The Divine Dragon of the Everblossom" and it confused the heck out of me. The truth is that if this dragon was the Dragon of the Everblossom, he would be called exactly that. When lord Take came to Ashina, he brought with him a branch from a sakura tree. This branch was taken not from the Fountainhead Palace but from 仙境 [senkyo:] - enchanted land where the Dragon resides. It is, apparently, also Take's homeland. He grafted this branch onto a plain sakura tree, and that tree, the very tree that we see the stump of near his and Tomoe's graves, is the Everblossom, (常桜) [tokozakura]. Only that particular tree. Yes, the Everblossom was created from a magical sakura tree from the enchanted land but it is still just a mortal world attraction because we usually don't have sakura trees that bloom indefinitely. On the other hand, all sakura trees in the Fountainhead Palace and the enchanted land bloom indefinitely since they spring from the Dragon's roots, so it's no attraction in their books but a default state of things. He is not the Dragon of the Everblossom. He is Sakura Dragon.

"... came from the west" is kind of mmeh, the original uses the verb 流れ着く - to drift (to), to be washed ashore. See how the original does not convey any intention, and the localization does? The Dragon didn't just "come" to Ashina, he ended up there accidentally and the water allowed him to take root.

If you look closely, the Dragon is missing his left hand - just like Wolf! - and there is something going on with the right side of his face, including his right eye. Just like with Wolf's face! I don't really know why they have these similarities, perhaps it's just a perception thing and for someone else the Dragon would look differently. There is a theory that the hand is missing because Everblossom was cut down but mmeh. I'd stick to the perception thing.

Sakura Dragon has the most interesting sword! I'm sure you've noticed. It's a real sword, it's called 七支刀 [shichishito:] or Seven-Branched Sword. The history of this sword is a matter of a very, very distant past, but historians say that it's likely that this sword was given by the king of Baekje (one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea) to a Yamato ruler as a present, an approximate timeframe being 250-710. It's unknown whether this sword was crafted in the kingdom of Baekje or it was crafted in China and then transferred to Baekje. Historians and archeologists have been trying to decipher the inscriptions on the sword for a very long time now, they even did an X-ray back in 1996 to get a better look, but some symbols have become illegible and the ones that can be read are so obscure that they're not really helpful. With these inscriptions, the scholars are hoping to learn more about the politics of that era and get some insight into the relationships between ancient Japan and the kingdoms of the Korean peninsula. The original sword is kept in the Isokonami Shrine in Nara prefecture, unfortunately, not on public display. The sword is assumed to have more of a ceremonial function since its "branches" are too fragile for combat. Funny, but during the boss fight with the Dragon you don't cross swords even once, there is no close combat at all.

There is an opinion that this sword was chosen as a weapon for Sakura Dragon to indicate that he is an outsider. Or, maybe, that's because the sword looks like a tree branch - you know, Sakura Dragon, trees, branches, all of that.

One of the concept arts - probably my favorite one - depicts Genichiro with this sword. He is wearing a purple cape like those Masanaga boys wear, he has white hair on the left side and the same immortality mark that Wolf has, and he is holding this Seven-Branched Sword, covered in blood. Looks breathtakingly awesome, I wonder what the deal with him was during those earlier stages of development.

We'll come back to the Dragon later, there's still much to discuss about him and his Heirs.

Emma the Gentle Blade

Her original name is 柔剣エマ [ju:ken ema]. Gentle Blade is a very good translation for 柔剣 because points not only at the physical softness, like "soft bun" but also at the softness of human character, kindness. Emma is a doctor, she says explicitly that she doesn't want to take a life but if she gets a chance to kill a demon, she'd take it.

Emma also has a super cool concept art from the earlier stages of development, much like Genichiro. There she also has the immortality mark on the left side of her face. And there is another one where she has very long hair, half white, her eyes are covered as if she's blind, and she sits near someone's body in some kind of temple. I wonder what Sekiro was like back then :D

Isshin Ashina

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Isshin's Remnant was translated very accurately, its original name is, unsurprisingly, just 葦名一心 [ashina isshin]. The most important part of the original description is the last line -「剣の心技を極めた者」. 極める means "to carry to extremes", or "to master something", to go to the end. Isshin was a man who "took his blade techniques to the extreme". It's his main character trait throughout all descriptions that are relevant to him: his obsession with fighting, swordsmanship as art, and we will see more of it a little later.

"A master who took the spirit of his craft to its pinnacle" is a good localization, I like it.

One Mind

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You'll never guess the original name of "One Mind"! It's 一心 [isshin]. Yep :D

Here I need to mention that 一心 is a real Japanese word, not just a random name. It acts either as an adverb or as a noun and means "[do something] with one's whole heart, intently, single-mindedly". I think, we can safely assume that Isshin was named this way because he spent his whole life honing his sword skills, perfecting his art, and it meant everything to him.

Of course, no translation can properly convey the connection between Isshin the person and Isshin the Combat Art. You could probably translate it as "Isshin", and thus get across the idea of this combat art being the pinnacle of his craft, but then the meaning of "isshin" as "with one's whole heart" will get lost. It's often the case with localization, you lose something either way :D

The English localization describes the details of this Combat Art very accurately, both the stance and the speed are mentioned. However, it says that you should concentrate on "the release of the blade" when the original says that you should concentrate on 「ただ斬ること」 - the killing.

Funny that here the localization chooses to translate 剣聖 as swordmaster, not Sword Saint.

Isshin Sword Saint

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Here's the Sword Saint. So, 剣聖 [kensei] usually refers to a master swordsman, someone of an exceptional skill. It can be literally translated as "sword saint" since those are the meanings of the kanji but it's more like a metaphor. Kensei is actually a title given to legendary warriors or people of legendary skill in swordsmanship. It's said that there can be only one kensei at any given time, all other skilled swordmen carry the title 剣豪 [kengo], meaning "sword master". Historical kensei were often people who founded schools of swordsmanship, which is also true for Isshin who founded Ashina style.

All in all, I think the correct translation would be Kensei Isshin Ashina because "kensei" is a special title and shouldn't be translated literally, it's like "shinobi". However, there are more people who know about shinobi than those who know about kensei, so this is not a good localization option even if it's more accurate.

The original for the word "coveted" is 貪欲 [don'yoku] - avarice, greed but also raga. Raga is a Biddhist term that denotes one of the three poisons that keep sentient beings in the cycle of rebirth, it's an ultimate character flaw, greed. Every single description about Isshin just reiterates this one idea of him wanting nothing more in life other than to reach perfection in his swordsmanship, and many people he killed were just little stepping stones on his way.

Dragon Flash

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竜閃 [ryu:sen] is literally "dragon flash", the second kanji is used to denote various kinds of flairs, flashes, flickers and the like.

The description is mostly translated correctly, although we can derive more details from the original in the last paragraph:

「如何に斬ろうか、如何に斬るべきか。。。そう突き詰めるうち、気づけば刃は飛んでいた。」 - "while [Isshin] was obsessed with the thought of how many more he must kill (cut down), his blade was soaring". I think, here "how many more he must kill" means "how many more before the perfection is achieved".

Demon of Hatred

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Demon of Hatred's original name is 怨嗟の鬼 [ensa no oni], where 怨嗟 [ensa] is not just hatred but some deeply held resentment, deep grudge.

Here we need to talk about 修羅 [shura]. 修羅 or 阿修羅 [ashura] are demigods or antigods in Hinduism and Buddhism. The context is different depending on the religion, feel free to check out the link to learn more, if you're interested. Ashura, obsessed with power, are juxtaposed to Devas in Hinduism who are benevolent deities. They have their own mythical wars and the whole standard edition of "good VS evil".

In Buddhism Asura are described as more susceptible to passions than other deities, especially to wrath, pride, envy, insincerity. They want to gain power over others and show no respect or patience to their inferiors. In the context of Sekiro, Shura are known as people who have lost their humanity and become obsessed with murder and bloodlust. In Shura ending Wolf receives Isshin's combat art One Mind that is primarily focused on killing, the pinnacle of Isshin's craft. Apparently, the only reason Isshin didn't become Shura himself was that he wasn't killing people for pleasure but for enhancing his sword skills ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Let's get back to the Demon. When talking about "fates", the original uses the word 因果 [inga] - not only "fate" but also "karma". It says that the Sculptor couldn't die because of his karma but after he became a demon, he could finally leave this world.

Slender Finger

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Let's discuss Slender Finger since it's tied to the Sculptor. The original for it is ほそ指 [hosoyubi], literally thin or slender finger.

The localization correctly conveyed the idea of a special shinobi technique "Whistle" - 指笛 [yubibue]. As far as I can tell from the artbook section about Hosoyubi, this finger acts as a double for the prosthetic's middle finger, it is attached to the same joint. Thus, Wolf is able to alternate between them as if leafing through book pages, and can just choose whatever finger he needs. Honestly, I think that the detailed artwork of all Prosthetic tools that shows how they are attached and how they function mechanically is the coolest part of the artbook, I love it. Quite possibly, the young woman also had a prosthetic arm but this finger was her main one.

Conclusion

Well, Sakura Dragon got very much lost in translation, that's unfortunate. However, there is a more controversial topic that I'd like to address - shinobi names. I've seen many people, including people from the Japanese community, being quite upset with the English localization for translating shinobi names into English, like Owl, Wolf, Butterfly. They argue that those names shouldn't have been translated at all, thus the protagonist should be called Ookami, his foster father - Fukuro:, and his mentor - Ocho:.

While I agree that proper names in the majority of cases should not be translated at all, shinobi names are another matter entirely. Those are nicknames, and very often such pseudonims can be localized quite easily. The point of localization is to give more or less the same experience to people across all language communities. Of course, many things are either hard or impossible to localize and get lost inevitably, otherwise I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing here but I see nothing wrong with 狼 [ookami] being localized as Wolf. I think, this is what localization is kind of meant to be. Shinobi are nicknamed after birds, animals or insects that have one-to-one translations in most languages, why leave the protagonist be Ookami if only those who speak Japanese would understand it? Doesn't make much sense to me. For example, "Genichiro" shouldn't be translated, and if you don't speak Japanese you wouldn't know that the first kanji from his name means "bowstring" unless you specifically google it or come across this fact somewhere. These are things that get lost in translation. If I saw a shinobi named "Fukuro:" with his whole bird-feathers attire summoning a giant owl and then learned that "Fukuro:" means "owl" in Japanese, I'd me most puzzled as to why they wouldn't localize him as "Owl".

That was a lot of rambling but I hope I was able to get my point across. Localizing shinobi names - good. Leaving them as "Ookami" and "Fukuro:" that don't mean anything to people who don't speak Japanese - bad.

And this is the end of the boss sub-series. Next up we'll have a big post about Dragon Heirs, Kuro, lord Take and lady Tomoe and my little story about how I nearly lost my mind and got super discouraged in this whole research thing.  

As usual, stay tuned here and on the Lair's YouTube channel not to miss out on anything.

Thank you for you time.

Take care.

The World of Sekiro: Remnants I

The World of Sekiro: Remnants II

The World of Sekiro: Sugars, Spiritfalls and the Headless

Soulsborne posts

Shetani

My name is Shetani. I am a linguist (EN-JP), and I write about videogames because I can't help it. Here you can find essays, guides, reviews and lost-in-translations. If anything I wrote inspired you to play a game, don't hesitate to drop me a message about your experience. I stream several times a week on Twitch - new titles, retro stuff from my childhood or just games that I genuinely like. Come hang out.
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