-Z- (z@gundam.com)
Sun, 22 Oct 2000 19:03:37 -0700


> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-gundam@1u.aeug.org [mailto:owner-gundam@1u.aeug.org]On
> Behalf Of Richie Ramos
> Sent: Sunday, October 22, 2000 06:05
> To: gundam@aeug.org
> Subject: RE: Use the Force, Amuro! formerly Re: [gundam] Signal-to-Noise
> Ratio
>
> Thanks on the info Z! But there's another aspect to it. The term
> "Murasame" itself...doesn't it have a historical/symbolic meaning for the
> Japanese?

The word "Murasame" means "Autumn Rain" and was the name of a character in a Noh
play called "Matsukaze" ("Wind In The Pines" -- the sister of Murasame, both
shiokomi ["salt scooping"] girls in Suma Bay, near present day Kobe) about love
and madness. Both Matsukaze and Murasame fall in love with the same man, an
exiled poet named Arihara Yukihira. When Yukihira's exile is lifted and he
returns to the Heian court, his departure drives Matsukaze mad. Her dance of
tragic love is considered a masterpiece of Noh theater. In Japanese folk
medicine and karate nomenclature, the right carotid artery is called the
Murasame and the left carotid artery the Matsukaze.

Given Four's eventual fate, I think this is the most likely root source of her
name.

There was a legendary swordsmith named Murasame, whose blades were said to be
blessed or cursed, depending on your point of view, with actual human spirits.
Ieyasu Tokugawa was famous for giving them as gifts to favored daimyo, as they
were already ancient and highly regarded in the Edo period. Even the tsubo
(hand guards) from a Murasame sword are considered to be family and even
national treasures. A Murasame sword has been attributed to almost every
storybook samurai hero at one time or another. In some role-playing games,
Murasame is used as a generic term for a magical sword, much as Excalibur is
used in English. The sword that is a key talisman in The Hakkenden (Legend of
the Eight Dogs) is called Murasame.

There's also a JDS Murasame Class destroyer, of which four (Murasame, Harusame,
Yudachi and Kirisame) of a projected seven have been built, all home ported in
Yokusuka. They're 495 feet by 56 feet, with a displacement of between 4,500 and
5,200 tons, a crew complement of 175, and a maximum speed of 30 knots. During
WW2, there was a Shiratsuyu Class destroyer called Murasame.

Oh, yes, and there was a character in Giant Robo named Kenji Murasame, voiced by
Yuuji Mikimoto.

-Z-

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