The 4th volume of “When Hikaru Was On Earth” is about the sister-in-law, Lady Oborodukiyo! The encounter during the ‘Flower Feast’ chapter was really elegant and sweet, causing my heart to race.
I suppose the readers back then, the noble Princesses felt excited about the dangerous love between Hikaru Genji and Oborodukiyo. That princess is about to be the concubine of his older brother, and she is also the princess of the rivalling Udate clan. Shikibu Murasaki truly is able to construct a scene all girls yearn for, and I really marvel at it every single time.
Regarding Oborodukiyo, there are differing opinions from different people whenever I read the translated works or the works based on ‘The Tale of Genji’, and this one is interesting. Some said she is a vibrant, carefree female, some says she is a princess who fell in love; every single explanation, I think, is brilliant.
Miss Tsuyako in this series is an upperclassman. Miss Takeoka’s character design is really splendid, and I cannot help but be amazed by how alluring she is when I received the cover draft (colored). The trendy flowers of the Heian era were the mountain cherry blossoms, but I feel that Tsuyako is different, so I swapped it for the red weeping cherry blossom. In my hometown, there is a red weeping cherry blossom tree that is over a thousand years old; whenever spring came, I would board the train together with my school friends or club upperclassmen on a picnic, watching the trees at the same time. We were always amazed by the dignified beauty.
At my current place, the cherry blossom trees by the river will bloom in unison when it comes to spring, and will be basking in the sea of flower petals. The cherry blossoms in the day provide a nice contrast to the sky, but it is riveting to see the night cherry blossoms glitter weakly in the darkness.
I suppose the reason why the Japanese cherry blossoms are so special to the Japanese is definitely because it is closely related to our personal memories.
The cherry blossoms continue to flutter and fall, whether it is when we stroll by the river, having the feeling of ‘this is the best day of my life!’ in the night, or walk in a crowd during the noon, almost breaking into tears thinking it is the end of the world.
‘Oborodukiyo’ is set in summer, I began work on this volume during the previous autumn, and the release date is at the end of Spring. To those living in the northern provinces, the cherry blossoms are about to bloom, I suppose. If this volume of mine is able to bring you delight and comfort like the feeling of marvelling at the cherry blossoms, I will feel ever so blissful.
The audio drama CD of ‘Hikaru’ is currently under work. The content is supposed to be original, and with that thought, I think it will be best if it is related to the next volume ‘Suetsumuhana’ rather than a completely independent story, so I began work in that pace. In this story, Koremitsu is finally taking the challenge of wooing girls on the streets. I really hope that the content of this story will allow everyone to realize ‘ah, so that’s what’s going on’ when they read ‘Suetsumuhana’.
The voice actors have been chosen carefully, but the voices of both Koremitsu and Hikaru are really, really hard to do! Especially Koremitsu! If he sounds too shrill, it makes him too impish, but if he uses a deep voice, he will sound like an old man…I guess however that I can definitely bring the best actors to everyone.
There are 5 characters that appear. As for who they are, I shall let everyone guess and anticipate. The release date should be around the same time as ‘Suetsumuhana’, at the end of summer. Please pay attention to the Famitsu Publishing main page. Maybe something is decided by the time this volumes is published.
And speaking of Suetsumuhana, it is the code name of the girl with that kind of appearance, but how will the cover look like? I am really looking forward to seeing Miss Takeoka’s illustration.
Now then, let us meet again in volume 5 of ‘When Hikaru Was On The Earth…… Suetsumuhana’.
March 10th, 2011
Hanayagi, Chiyo, 1981. Practical Japanese Dance Basics. 1st ed. Tokyo : Tokyo Shoseki Ptd Ltd.
Shinichi, Shinma, Natsuko, Tonomura, 1988. Classic Japanese – complete translation <34> Ryojin secret Extract. 1st ed. Tokyo : Shogakukan.