Oshin drama notes

OshinI’m making a separate post for Oshin where I explain some things. Thank you very much to Ethlenn and y0ssy for their help.

Episode 7
In this episode Oshin’s grandmother give her a 50-sen (五十銭) coin.
One yen corresponds to 100 sen. However, sen are not used in everyday life anymore. One yen corresponds to 1000 rin in Edo times.
So both 1000 (千) and the currency sen (銭) sounds the same.
Example: 50,000 is written as 五万(modern time) or 五萬 (olden days) followed by 円. (yen).

Episode 16
The line at 01.09 minutes was originally written as “”Na” starts out words for name and flax blossoms.” After having looked up the word nanohana (菜の花) I changed to “”Na” starts out words for name (namae) and rape blossoms (nanohana).”
Also Mount Gassan was written as Mt. Kessan.
About Matsu-ji (Matsuzo / 松造 ), after having asked Ethlenn I got the following reply.
In some dialects -ji is added to mean “older guy”, like “grandpa Matsu”, not sure if it’s the case. That’s only my guess, so they removed “tsukuru/zou” and added “ji”

English Wikipedia about Yosano Akiko (与謝野 晶子).

Episode 17
One 1 sho is approx. 1,8 liter.
More info on Guanyin, known as Kannon (観音), or more formal Kanzeon (観世音) in Japanese.

Episode 28
Okiku is telling Oshin to use proper honorifics when talking to her superiors.
Pay attention to how Oshin calls Kayo, just Okayo, not Okayo-sama.
Another example is how Okiku calls the baby Osayo-sama.
When to two maids are polishing the floor they talk about okara, also known as unohana.

Episode 35
The koku (石/石高) is a Japanese unit of volume, equal to ten cubic shaku (尺). In this definition, 3.5937 koku equal one cubic metre, i.e. 1 koku is approximately 278.3 litres. The koku was originally defined as a quantity of rice, historically defined as enough rice to feed one person for one year (one masu (枡升) is enough rice to feed a person for one day).

About Girls’ Day (Hinamatsuri / 雛祭り) in Japan.

Episode 37
In Japan, it is normal and common to have a mukoyōshi (婿養子) (literally “adopted son-in-law”), who is an adult man who is adopted into a family as a daughter’s husband, and who takes the family’s surname.
Generally in Japan, a woman takes her husband’s name and is adopted into his family. When a family, especially one with an well established business, has no male heir but has an unwed daughter of a suitable age, she will marry the mukoyōshi, a man chosen especially for his ability to run the family business.

Episode 38
In this episode Kayo sings Gondola no Uta (ゴンドラの唄) “The Gondol Song,” a 1915 song that was popular during Taisho period Japan. Lyrics were written by Yoshii Isamu (吉井勇), melody by Nakayama Shinpei (中山晋平).
It’s also been used in other dramas such as Haikei, Chichiue-sama (拝啓、父上様), Otomen (オトメン / 乙男), and the phrase Koi Seyo Otome (恋セヨ乙女) being used as title of a drama.

More info on the Bluestocking (Seitou / 青鞜) and Bluestocking Society in England.
As well as the Shirakabaha (白樺) literally White Birch Society.

Episode 49
Takuan (沢庵), also known as takuwan or takuan-zuke, is pickled daikon radish.

Episode 53
Ozouni (お雑煮) is a soup eaten on the Japanese New Year.

Episode 54
Notice how Kuni address Kayo as just “Kayo” and Sayo as “Osayo.”

Got the following answer from y0ssy.
As I understand it, Kuni says Osayo, as the younger sister is recognized as the successor to the Kagaya family business.
It is spoken in this manner, since Kuni wanted Mino and Oshin to know that the Kagaya’s successor would not change to Kayo, even with the death of Osayo.

Episode 57
About the title Oshishou-san
This is a polite form of address for one’s teacher, a professional or master in some arts, etc. It could often be heard in the world of martial arts and religious orders.

Another example would be in the rakugo circles, some well-known comic storyteller (落語家) can be addressed as “Oshishou-san” as an informal or affectionate way instead of calling their family-names (XXX-san).

This link (in Japanese) may help to explain the different forms of addressing (one and the others) in the Japanese culture.  It is not easy to explain the manner of speech required in addressing terms into English or other culture; except for the Korean culture maybe, where there are some similarity in terms of the different ways of addressing each other, that is based on their relationship, society position, status in the company, seniority, etc.  – y0ssy

Episode 59
In the drama they say Matsui Sumako‘s (松井須磨子) lover Shimamura Hogetsu (島村抱月) killed himself, but in fact he died of the Spanish flu. After that Matsui commited suicide. He wish was to be buried beside Shimamura, but her wish wasn’t fulfilled. Instead she was buried in her hometown Matsushiro where her family lies. Remains are also buried in the Tamon Temple in Shinjuku, Tokyo.

In 1947 a movie based on her life was made titled The Love of Sumako the Actress (女優須磨子の恋).

Episode 72
The older man Imamura Genemon (今村 源右衛門) name. I was thinking of which version to use, in the hardsubs “Gen’eimon” is used, I chose between either “Geneimon” or “Genemon” and ended up using the later.

If we breakdown each Kanji by the actual sound, it looks like this:
源 げん Gen
右 う     U
衛 え    E
門 もん Mon

When combined together, it becomes Genuemon (literal spelling by kana sound)
However, when two or more vowels such as “ue” are together in between consonants, it is usually a silent or unvoiced sound in speech form.
Thus, it can be written as Gen-emon, Gen Emon or Genemon.
Some may prefer the Wāpuro rōmaji, while others may like Hepburn, Kunrei etc.
Saga, located on the island of Kyushu is well known for its very beautiful Genemon Kiln porcelain and pottery.
Episode 138
In Japan, the usual measure of real estate floorspace is the tatami and the tsubo is known as two tatami. The tatami varies by region but the modern standard is usually taken to be the Nagoya tatami of about 1.653 m2, producing a tsubo of 3.306 m2.


1 thought on “Oshin drama notes

  1. Laurie says:

    Thanks for all this…may try to interweave into your subs where appropriate.

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