Golden Kamuy news round-up February 2020

Let’s start this round-up with a heartfelt congratulation to Noda-sensei and his family as his wife was giving birth! The exact date is unclear as of now, but Young Jump let him take a break so that no new chapter of Golden Kamuy was out in Young Jump 12/2020. Congratulations, may the mother and the child(ren) be healthy and well!

The wording of the announcement on Golden Kamuy manga official account, however, was such that it could also be interpreted as it’s the sensei was the one giving birth. No wonder some of the replies were either confused or joking! I also couldn’t help thinking that writing about Inkarmat’s pregnancy—which has been featured in the last several chapters—is something that is deeply personal to Noda-sensei.

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Noda Satoru contributes icon to Ainu language learning channel on YouTube

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Sito Channel, a YouTube channel for learning Ainu language made and run by Maya and Yoppin, announced that the channel now has a new icon, made by Noda Satoru! Go to their YouTube channel to learn Ainu language with the two friends. The main language used is Japanese, but there is explanation in English for the main terms and phrases learnt in every video.

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Another superb link to share: If you are interested in the details of the uniforms of the Japanese soldiers from the time of the Russo-Japanese war, check this amazing post!

[TRANSLATION] Transcript of talk show with Noda Satoru and Nakagawa Hiroshi, 7 June 2018

After the awarding ceremony of the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize to Noda Satoru for his masterpiece Golden Kamuy on 7 June 2018, a talk show with the author and Nakagawa Hiroshi, the Ainu language consultant for the work, was held. Golden Kamuy editor Ookuma Hakkou moderated the talk show. The following is a transcript of their talk.

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Behind the names of Golden Kamuy characters

This time, let us talk about the names of some Golden Kamuy characters, and whether we can guess things about them from their names. For this piece, we got a lot of help from Kobiyama Sei-san from Bushoo Japan. We will be talking about the Wajin names, not the Ainu names. As well as the meaning of their names, we checked how many people have their family names in Japan through Myoji Yurai.

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Let’s Go to Meiji Prison! A Little Bit of Abashiri in Aichi

By David R. Krigbaum
Wayfarer Daves Travel & History Blog [website] [Facebook]

Abashiri Prison was built on the northern edge of Hokkaido, a location remote enough it almost rendered a walled prison redundant. Though things have changed and it’s not the far frontier it used to be, it’s still a distance to travel and seeing it can take some doing with plane flights and/or long train rides. But those who want to see Abashiri while visiting central Honshu have an alternative, Meiji-mura.

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Rogues gallery: The models for the convicts in Golden Kamuy

One of the most important groups of people in Golden Kamuy is the tattooed convicts – although as a group they might not share anything else other than they used to be imprisoned in Abashiri and they all bore the tattoos that showed the way to the Ainu gold.

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#GKtrip special part 2: Historical Village of Hokkaido

We spent most of December 1 – which we dubbed Day 0 – flying, first to Tokyo where we passed immigration, snatched our JR Pass and changed to a smaller domestic plane to New Chitose, the airport closest to Sapporo. We arrived quite late at night, and the JR Pass counter in New Chitose had closed, so it was a good thing we had exchanged our passes in Haneda. We could use them to ride a train from New Chitose to Sapporo – a ride that also brought us passing Kita-hiroshima, Noda-sensei’s hometown.

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The models for Edogai Yasaku

Many people have pointed out that Edogai Yasaku’s name is a play on the name of a real, highly notorious serial killer, Ed Gein. Golden Kamuy’s managing editor, Ookuma Hakkou, has also confirmed in an interview that we have translated that Edogai was indeed based on Ed Gein. But knowing Noda-sensei’s fondness of films, could there possibly be fictitious work(s) that has influenced the design of this twisted yet soft-hearted and charming character?

Warning: Possible spoilers and disturbing details below.

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Defenders of the North: The 7th Division

One group involved in Golden Kamuy is the men from the 7th Division under First Lieutenant Tsurumi. The 7th Division was also known as Hokuchin Butai (‘Pacifying Corps of the North’), and the Bear Division. The name Hokuchin might sound a bit aggressive now, implying that the North was a rogue region needing pacification.

Originally formed in 1885 as ‘Tondenhei Butai’ to accommodate the previously installed military settlers (tondenhei) in Hokkaido, the 7th Division was established in 1896, with the first commander being Major General Nagayama Takeshiro.

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