Oct 29, 2012

Chapter16: The Scarecrow Takes Time to Think

The Scarecrow rationally ruminates about JinJur's words. Who is the proper ruler, the Scarecrow or Jinjur? Thinking deeper, I've realized it's difficult to choose one. But I admire that the Scarecrow can think that way. Even if you are always complaining, it is usual to want to cling to the throne when you have to give it to someone else, isn't it?

He worries that the crown might be too heavy for Jinjur. nevertheless being attacked by Jinjur, he is kind to her.Such kindness will have made Jinjur's mind open to him later, I think.

On the other hand, he is quite cold to Woggle-Bug. When he heard Woggle-Bug was worried about Jinjur's threat, that she'll make a stew of Woggle-Bug, he remarked "I think it was a brilliant idea." Isn't he very mean?

Meanwhile, Woggle-Bug mentioned that he could live for some time on Jack. That's chilly too. Under such a tough situation, people's true personalities show up, don't they?

By the way, why did Woggle-Bug imagine the goats ate small pieces of the Tin Woodman? Metal as food for goats? It must make their stomachs upset.

Well, now I've realized it was important that one dose of the Power of Life remained. The Scarecrow's "smart" brain works brilliantly this time. (Actually, it barely works well ;P)

Jack is pleased to be given his new leg. He is so cute :D

Oct 26, 2012

Chapter15: The Prisoners of the Queen

Jinjur's army handled the people of the Emerald City quite well.

In one scene during Jinjur's rule, the men are exhausted by household chores and childcare. The Scarecrow mumbles to himself, wondering how women could do all the chores so easily, while the men were struggling with them. 

While reading that scene several years ago, I was a housewife who was struggling with the chores everyday and thought enthusiastically, "Yes! Household chores and childcare are quite a hard job!" 

Now that I have more experience, I've realized something. Whether you are a man or a womanit doesn't matterRegardless of sex, when you try to do a new thing, which you've never done before, you don't understand how to do it and make errors again and again...anyway, you must be entirely weary. If men kept doing household chores and childcare for many years. eventually they would do them very easily.

Gen. Jinjur eats caramels comfortably on the throne. She wasn't upset at all when she saw the Scarecrow's party. Then, as the Army of Revolt had planned, the whole party was captured instantly.

Jinjur declared all members of the party would be destroyed, except Tip. She had promised that she would give Tip back to Mombi. You see, it appears that Mombi cares for Tip. If she doesn't have any affection for Tip, she could just tell Jinjur to kill him. It would be the perfect excuse. She could say to anyone, "It was not my fault." But she didn't allow Jinjur to kill Tip.

Why do you think she didn't kill Tip? Only to use him as a slave?

At the very moment when the Scarecrow's party is about to die, the mice which the Scarecrow has in his clothes save them.They are precious mice of the Queen. I'm relieved that the Army of Revolt was scared by them and ran away. I worried they might smash or squish the mice with brooms or their feet or something.

Jinjur also ran for her life. Though she always spoke boldly with a strong attitude, she is a girl, after all.

Jun 27, 2012

Chapter14: Old Mombi indulges in Witchcraft

Ms. Takako Sato's translations are really great. She even translated Woggle-Bug's word play well. In this chapter, Woggle-Bug said to the Saw Horse, who had broken his leg, "Horses are useless if they aren't broken with'breaking bones." (In Japanese, "break bones" means "with great effort.") The original line reads, "For a horse is never much use until he has been broken." 
 However, I can't understand why everyone reacted like that to the Woggle-Bug's next joke, the "horse-and-buggy" thing. Was he being annoying? Or lame? Why? 

 In the next scene, they speak "adult English," don't they? They are very indirect. The Scarecrow doesn't usually talk like this, does he? The Tin Woodman hardly ever threatens anyone with his ax. How out of line was Woggle-Bug? (I'm sad that I can't understand just how badly was acting.) 

 Was the sliver whistle the Tin Woodman uses to call the Queen of the Mice the same one that the Wicked Witch of the West used to call the wolves and ravens? Since the author wrote "a silver whistle," not "the sliver whistle," we can't be sure ...but...personally, I think this is the whistle! The Tin Woodman must have found it in the witch's castle! Don't you think so? 

 Since the Queen talks to the mice in the mouse language, none of the Scarecrow's party can understand what she says. I was surprised that mice had their own language, because I thought there was only one language in Oz. People in Oz can talk with any kind of animals and creatures... except mice? 

 Mombi tried her hardest to stop them from returning to the Emerald City. The part where the 40 roads spin around reminded me of the first scene of the fifth Oz book, "The Road to Oz", which Dorothy was lost between the five roads created by Ozma's witchcraft. Maybe she learn the spell by watching Mombi? 

 Mombi's fire spell scared everyone except the Tin Woodman. In this scene, again, they forget the rule of "Nobody dies in Oz." I wonder when the rule will start. 

 Woggle-Bug was totally surprised by the magic. Didn't Professor Nowitall taught anything about magic? Did he only teach the rules of nature? That's strange for someone who lives in Oz. Perhaps, he's from the outer world (our world). :D 

 Here is a quote from the Scarecrow. "All magic is unnatural, and for that reason is to be feared and avoided." It's true. I've never thought why magic scares us. I guess that makes sense. 

 The Queen of the Mice leads them to the Emerald City safely.

Jun 25, 2012

New translation is being released.

There had been only one complete translation of Baum's 14 books into Japanese. It was published by Hayakawa Publishing. Sadly, that version has been out of print for a long time.

At the site Fukkan.com, many people have asked that the whole series be reprinted.

But Hayakawa didn't react at all (at least, as far as I can see). They didn't even do anything in 2000, which was the 100th anniversary of "The Wizard of Oz". I had almost given up hope that they would re-print the Oz books someday.

However, a miracle happened! Fukkan.com decided to reprint the Oz books. No, actually, they are not reprinting. Instead, they are making new translations of the books with new illustrations.

Honestly, I didn't want to buy them because they are much more expensive than the old version. The old ones were small paperbacks, but the new ones are high quality hardcovers. Since I have been used to the old translations and illustrations, which were great, I didn't think I would need the new versions.

Another miracle happened! I accidentally found the twitter account of one of the translators of the new version. I followed her and she followed me back. It aroused my interest in the new version.

I ordered "the Emerald City of Oz", the 6th book, through Amazon.co.jp. Now I have that one.

Since it is very difficult to get the Hayakawa version, though I still love it very much, I hope this new translation becomes our new standard.

Also, in the new version, "Little Wizard Stories of Oz" are being translated for the first time in Japanese. This is great news too!

Jun 23, 2012

Chapter13: A Highly Magnified History

No matter how many times I re-read this chapter, I can't help feeling duped somehow.... 

A magnifying-glass is used for making an object look enlarged, isn't it? At first I imagined something like a loupe, but the object is projected on the screen, so it should be something like a projector. And the projected object was able to run off the screen and stay alive. Let me see. What happened to the original object? Do you have the same question as me?

No, perhaps, it is because I'm judging things by our world's criteria, like a loupe or a projector. Professor Nowitall said "my famous magnifying-glass." It should be something very special. It's in Oz, a fairyland. Maybe it would be something like Doraemon's Gulliver Tunnel;)

Anyway, Woggle-Bug was magnified successfully. We learned here that those bizarre clothes were a gift from the tailor who had his ninth life saved by Woggle-Bug. I see. Hummm...the tailor must have made those clothes from his remnant. It must have been a good chance to clear up his stock, I guess. As you see, that tasteless style....;P

In the previous chapter, though I wrote that the person who should ride on the Saw Horse was the Scarecrow, not Jack, but Jack couldn't walk a long distance because his joints were feeble. I see. His joints has to hold such a big and heavy pumpkin with just tree's barks and branches. Also, his neck doesn't hold his head firmly.

By the way, the Saw Horse has a very bad mouth, doesn't he?

Jun 1, 2012

Chapter12: Mr. H.M. Woggle-Bug, T.E.

General Jinjur knew where the Scarecrow went. She predicted that he visited the Tin Woodman and the Tin Woodman joined them. To compete them, she already called Mombi to help her.

Mombi, who accepted the request easily, came to the Emerald City and immediately started to cast her magic on the Scarecrow and his party. The magic worked well and they were led by the nose.

I've found a new thing here! The Tin Woodman has tin eyelids! How meticulous Ku-Klip's work is! Mr. Ku-Klip, you are such a wonderful artisan.

Unfortunately (or could it be because of Mombi's magic?), the Saw Horse broke his leg by stepping into a rabbit hole.

While the party was sitting around and thinking what to do, a weird creature came up to them. Here is our Mr. Woggle Bug! He is very shrewd to already have his name cards, isn't he?

His clothes are also absolutely unique. I didn't know about what a vest of white duck is"Duck" here means thin canvas fabric. .

The result of searching images of "vest duck" on google. 

And knickerbockers of fawn-colored plush. "Plush"? What is plush? Then, I googled it on the Internet. How convenient the Internet is!


It's soft and fluffy , a kind of velvet, and often used for stuffed animal toys.

So...he wears a casual duck vest underneath a formal swallowtail coat with a silk lining. And knickerbockers of plush. His style is really bizarre, isn't it? He even wears a tall silk hat.

Then, the Scarecrow and his party were enthusiastic to listen Woggle-Bug's life story.

Hey, guys! Are you OK with that? You are on the way back to the Emerald city hastily, aren't you? Do you remember you said "Time is precious just now" in the previous chapter and set off in a hurry?

Well, maybe...that's the Oz spirit.

Woggle-Bug's long story was ready to start.

May 19, 2012

Chapter11: A Nickel-Plated Emperor

This chapter's title is weird, isn't it? Nickle? Tin Woodman is coated by tin, isn't he? Tin isn't nickel. Well, I know his full name is Nick Chopper, though.

How different are tin and nickle?
Here are what I learned from the Internet.
* Both are used to prevent corrosion of metal inside.
* Whiskers can occur on tin plating without a base plating. Nickle plating doen's have them.
* Hardness is different. Tin is a very soft metal and nickle is hard. 

Hey, what am I learning?;p

Back to the story of Oz,
As Nick became an emperor, he learned to use nickle which is harder than tin...can I say it judging from the chapter title? Then, he is not the TIN Woondman, is he? OK, I shouldn't point it out. I knew it.

The Tin Woodman (I'll keep calling him this name) seems to be a suitable ruler. While the Scarecrow was grumbling "Boring, boring," he had grabbed the hearts of the Winkies by his good governance and gained the trust and respect of the Winkies. Meanwhile, he had his castle embellished as he liked and had his body polished, enforcing his rights as emperor. Don't you think he had an air of dignity as a great ruler when he greeted the Scarecrow's party? Did you notice he gave the chancellor clear instructions during his absence?

When I read this part in my childhood, perhaps I didn't like that kind of conceitedness. The Scarecrow was always humble and looked like a good man. However, since I am an adult now, I can understand how difficult being a top leader is. Though the Scarecrow had been always thinking about himself, not about the nation, the Tin Woodman overlooked his land and reigned well. The Tin Woodman is more mature, isn't he?

He also gave the Scarecrow great advice, that he should not renounce the crown, the badge of royalty. Yes, the badge of royalty is very important. Good advice.

Then, the party having obtained a very powerful partner in the Tin Woodman, went back to the Emerald City to regain the capital.

On the way to the Emerald City, the Scarecrow was really down-to-earth and natural as always. Normally, when a king, an attendant and a horse are together, the king should ride the horse, right? Moreover, since the Scarecrow's feet are soft, it must be hard for him to walk.

He let Jack ride on the horse and took care of him not to fall or be hurt. How sweet he was!

May 18, 2012

Chapter10: The Journey to the Tin Woodman

They entered into Winkie Country.

The Scarecrow enjoyed remembering his former travel with Dorothy to see the places they went through, saying "Here is where we were captured and Dorothy was taken away" or "Here is where Nick Chopper destroyed the wolves."

For the Scarecrow and the readers from the first story, this is a good reminiscence, but, Tip, Jack, and the readers from the second story might think "So what?";P

 It's very hard to follow Jack's very unique way of thinking. 

The Saw Horse was irritated by him.

When Jack dropped his head in the river and it floated down the stream, though Tip picked it up and gave it back to Jack, Jack only worried if his head got damaged by water, and then, the next moment, he worried if his head got damaged by sunshine.

Losing face is a much more serious thing, isn't it?

As I'm a mother of two boys, I'd like him to say, "After being given something back, what you should say first of all is 'Thank you!', not 'Dear me!'":p

For Tip who has a flesh body and needs to sleep, they took a rest through the night.

Chapter9: The Scarecrow Plans an escape

Though Tip, who sneakily ran away from the rebels, explained what was happening to the Scarecrow and Jack, who were playing quoits in the courtyard, His Highness the Scarecrow didn't lose his cool at all.

A ruler who is still relaxing and saying "do as you like" even when his palace is about to be destroyed by the intruding enemy, there might be such a person in real history. The throne, which was handed down to him by his predecessor without any effort his his part, as the Scarecrow said, could be very boring. This would be true especially for a ruler who has no vision for his country.

However, when he noticed that his body was theatened, he couldn't stay cool. The Scarecrow hastily began to plan to run out from his palace.

I like the Scarecrow, but...What could I say about this decision of his? When he heard Tip's "the Saw Horse can't carry four", instantly, he decided to leave his soldier because he was less important. The Soldier, who must know his master very well, replied "I expected this blow";)

Then, the Scarecrow, Jack Pumpkinhead, and Tip on the Saw Horse ran out from the palace fleeing these risks, thinking of sinking or swimming together.