Writing Echoes

Delijah's Writing Blog

Kuraokami Writing Report

I finished Kuraokami today, with a total of 38950 words. It’s been 41 days since I started, so that averages 951 words a day, although the range goes from 200 to 2000. Yeah, talk about statistics XD

For the first couple of chapters Kuraokami sets in a Japanese medieval world, semi-historical but rather time-and-place-indeterminate (yes, I’m cool like that). The amount of fantasy grows rather drastically as the story advances though, I guess. Just imagine living in a normal place and suddenly finding yourself in the middle of an enchanted forest. More or less like that I guess, as it is more or less what happens to Hachirou and Souji, the main characters.

Aside from the actual Kuraokami, the mystical dragon of rain and snow, and the otoroshi [link], there is an onibaba around. Onibaba (鬼婆) is a kind of Oni or demon that has the appearance of an old woman but is a yōkai that feasts on humans. Legend says that she was a nanny who was commissioned to find the liver of a living fetus to feed to her charge, who was ill. The woman eventually went mad and became a demon.

The name “Kuraokami” combines kura 闇 “dark; darkness; closed” and okami 龗 “dragon tutelary of water”. The form of 龗 has been borrowed from the Chinese rei, and is written as a combination of the “rain” radical 雨, 3 口 “mouths”, and a phonetic of long 龍 “dragon”.

In Japanese, the word for wolf is ōkami, 狼, which if written 大神 means “great god” or “great spirit”. Wolves are now extinct in Japan, but they were considered magical creatures, and lo and behold, you can read an okami in “Kuraokami”. So much pun I can’t help myself, but yes, there are wolves too. You could say that they are the dragon’s servants. If you ask me, they are the only ones with some common sense in the whole story.

The plot threw a couple of curve balls at me, and the final result was not exactly as expected. I don’t know, I’m not completely satisfied with it, and at the same time I am. It came out very different of the first idea that I had in mind, but I also think is not a bad idea. Then again, I think I’d kill the author if I ran into that ending – I was mean, I can’t deny it XD

Well, that was Kuraokami for now ^^

References: The ever-faithful Wikipeda [link] [link]
I found some nice info on Kuraokami no kami in a Shinto Encyclopaedia, but they did not allow reusing their information, so I did not post anything from there.


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