Funfact: Letters took a long time to get places back in the day, they just did. I’m trying to hammer this home for a future plotpointhing. It matters, trust me.
Funfact: The Meireki Fire burned for three days, the first day it blew one way because of the winds. The second day the winds shifted and it blew the other way. The third day the winds started to die down and so did the fires but not before burning a bunch more of the city. It took a week for the smoke to clear enough for priests and people helping them to be able to sift through the wreckage for bodies which were then buried in a mass grave near the Sumida river. Really, really horrific stuff.
Funfact: The shogun’s castle would have burned as well, but he was the shogun and that kind of stuff just doesn’t happen to him. But since everyone’s efforts were directed towards saving his housepalacething, the surrounding homes of his retainers and and high ranking samurai kind of got met a fiery end. So yeah. Good to be (basically) king, not good to be almost (basically) king. Remember that.
Funfact: You actually did have to have papers identifying who you were to be able to travel in Edo-period Japan. They were specific to your journey, usually, so I am fudging this a little bit. (Jedi-mind-control-no-jutsu!)
Funfact: Dejima or Deshima or Desjima, depending on how you prefer to spell it, was the formerly-Portuguese-permanently-Dutch trading outpost/island in the Nagasaki harbor. It was here that the Dutch and the Chinese would trade with Japan, since Japan had said GTFO MAI SANDBAR to basically everyone else (To the Portuguese and Spanish because of that whole Catholic thing they wanted to export to Japan, and the English because of reasons).
Funfact: This is in my opinion apocryphal because I can’t for the life of me remember where I read it, but the shogunate back in the day (as in before Samurai is set) heard some interesting news about the Spanish. This Spanish captain was standing off to the side with a Japanese official as the cargo was offloaded, some of that cargo being a bunch of Jesuits and their crap, and he offhandedly remarked that the Jesuits would ruin the peace in Japan, start wars, and enslave everyone if they were given half a chance. Once this was translated for the official he kind of was like “…Huh.” And promptly told the shogun who was not into any of those ideas.
Funfact: I’m jedi-mind-controlling with fudging events, specifically an event which happened in the summer of 1600 and that is literally all I am telling you at the moment else I spoil the surprise. I’m well aware that I am going to be mashing the event and the story, which are nearly 60 years apart, into the same space.
Funfact: Shichi-go-san is the celebration of children’s 3rd, 5th, and 7th birthdays, and you got to dress up your kids to be all pretty and adorable for it. Also it marked the time when you stopped shaving their heads because at 3 they graduated from infant to real child. The more you know.
Funotherstuff: Sai be creepin’.
Funfact: Now, you can’t have a Naruto story without ramen in my personal opinion, but unfortunately back in the day they didn’t call it ‘ramen.’ They didn’t even have ramen in the 1650s! Ramen didn’t appear as its own thing until the 19th century or so it seems. Before people just ate soba or udon and such if they were going to have soupwithnoodles. I considered fudging things but…No. You can’t make me. My integrity is already quite miffed at what I’m planning to do in a few chapters.
Funfact: Usually shipwrecked sailors were just executed on the spot, unless they shipwrecked somewhere near Nagasaki or Osaka. Then they only might get executed on the spot, they might win the lottery and get sent to Dejima to catch a ship…somewhere else.
Funfact: The shichi-go-san festival, as a coming-of-childhood-festival, from like the 12th century. It started among the nobility and then filtered its way down through the ranks in society. By the 17th century it was a samurai tradition, and by the 19th it was even tradition among the non-elite and peasants.
Funfact: Shichi-go-san means ‘seven-five-three’ and was celebrated when a boy turned three or five, or when a girl turned three or seven. The children were dressed up in fancy kimono, and boys were allowed to wear hakama for the first time. Girls changed out a simple cord for an obi to tie their clothing shut, too. In the 1600s children were also allowed to grow their hair out after their 3rd birthday, because up until then their heads had been kept shaved bald. No, I’m not making this up.
Funfact: Geta, like Jiraiya wears in the manga and anime, were still sometimes worn by men. But only by weird men apparently from what I could find. They used to be fairly normal, but fell out of style by 1600—for men, I must stress. So there is a little fudging here, but hopefully you’ll all catch on to why I fudged it.
Funfact: Women during this time wore their hair differently based on if they were married or not, rather than a ring or something.
Funfact: If Hollywood had its way, childbirth would be a sudden, watery, bloody, scary, painful thing. Make no mistake, there is a trickle of water (not buckets falling to the floor), and there is blood (but not a gushing hallway of it The Shining—style). It was also probably not a little scary before there were such things as ultrasounds to find out if a baby is turned correctly, etc. From what I found (not going into the gross bodily fluids) having a kid is mostly just a lot of waiting, with some level of subjective pain associated.
Funfact: I fudged things a bit with the “taking Asuma out to get smashed,” part but that is something that actually happens. It was too fun not to include as something carried as a time-honored tradition. And, you know, plot.
Funfact: If Asuma had a son, then that son could be controlled by the Sarutobi clan like Asuma himself. If he had a daughter then he could have her marry out of the clan and be “free.”
Funfact: Poorer samurai and their families “took in work,” to add to their income. That’s what Sakura is doing with the commissions from the villagers. It became increasingly common in the 18th century and many samurai did so in the 19th century as the entire system put in by the Tokugawa broke down. By the 19th century, most samurai were bureaucrats who worked as clerks or the like. They still knew their way around a sword, but samurai from the 1500s and 1600s wouldn’t recognize them.
Funfact: In the mid-1600s Portuguese and Spanish missionaries sometimes smuggled themselves into Japan to try and find out what was happening to Japanese Christians. They usually were pretty horrified at what they found.
Funfact: There actually were a few Japanese citizens who travelled all the way to Europe, and apparently had families while they were there. There is the surname Japon in Spain referencing the descendants of Japanese men travelling with a Japanese embassy to the Vatican.
Funfact: Look up Hasekure Tsunenaga, he was a pretty awesome dude. Hopefully I’ll get some pictures of him up on the blog.