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  1. #1
    Registered User Thanako's Avatar
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    Salutations

    To some, I need no introduction. But to most, I'm just the occasional person with the occasional opinion who happened to have discovered the YGOrganization awhile back. At one point I was actually asked to help write an article, but in the end it became rather impossible to find available sources for it in English. Wouldn't expect people to just take my word for something, after all, so I just kind of got sad and moved on. (Sorry if anyone actually wanted to hear my Ainu ramblings. I swear, I really do know a lot about the culture and love it! Maybe I could share what I know, but I won't be able to give proper English-language sources as the culture is of limited documentation in English, it being in Russia/Japan [Russian is my native, so I have the resources])

    I would consider myself actually pretty good at strategy games in general, (including the obvious) and I am actually holding a rather high international chess rating, despite not being one for competition. Could probably become recognized as professional if I were the kind of person to really invest in competition, but... I'm not. And that's where we get to the problem with my Yu-Gi-Oh! experience. I'm not one for hardcore competition, which makes people see you as casual. I humbly disagree with that sentiment.

    I play both formats, and have for awhile now. Speaking Japanese and knowing Japanese friends has its advantages. I guess it technically makes it 2 official formats that I play and stay current with, and the two less formal and official online formats, considering online dueling has its advantages (especially for your wallet). It really helps to keep from getting burned out on the game, I'm far too satisfied with choosing my own different experiences, after all. This is starting to drag on for a bit, but know that my specialty is actually... Sweets. Professionally, I bake things. And I'm pretty good at what I do, I must say. In the end I say the word "Cake" sometimes, and it just kind of happens. Go along with it, usually it is just to break the silence.

  2. #2
    Registered User Hope in the Interstice's Avatar
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    Hold on now; when you speak of the Ainu, are you referring to that article on Ritual Beasts from a long while ago? Were you asked to write that?

    Also, I bloody love sweets. I'm especially fond of Tim Tams.

  3. #3
    Registered User Thanako's Avatar
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    ...if it was this one, it appears all of the comments were wiped. I seem to remember some of the info not being there, either. Perhaps after I didn't send in my writing the info I'd provided was added and such. I was not asked to write that exact article, but I did bring up a lot of points that people found interested, and I was asked to expand upon them.

    Some examples of what I had written up were that the culture of the Ainu put a heavy emphasis on the Kamuy/Kamui, or the gods. There was a god among anything, really. To be sick (see: poisonous winds) was to be battling against a demon trying to possess you. Illness itself was seen as a wicked spirit. Bonus points for Konami picking up on that, right? Pirika and Wen are actually both shorthand for "Pirikamenoko" and "Wenmenoko". These would mean "The beautiful and good girl" and "The girl (with) Wickedness". It's hard to accurately translate, but they all come back as allusions to Kamui, the confirmed father of Pirika and the presumed father of Wen. It is very subtle, but the naming system of the Ainu culture would give good luck to Pirika and misfortune to Wen off of the bat, which is kind of reflected in this.

    Birds and rodent-type animals were very important to the Ainu; so it is no surprise that this is all reflected. In the days of old, thousands of years ago, the Ainu people would live alongside animals as if they were pseudo-domesticated. More appropriately, they were used to humans and didn't have too much fear in most cases. Due to a lot of political baggage spanning hundreds of years, the Ainu culture is all but dead, with only word of mouth and recorded text in primarily Japanese and Russian as accounts for their old way of life. Each animal has their own special significance, which is kind of sad in hindsight because the Gusto archetype (or Ritual Beasts) could have really benefited from having a bear in their midst from a cultural perspective.

    Something else worth noting. The Ainu weren't exactly one united people. So much has been lost over the last few decades, though. World Wars and such. Only one language survives, for example, one that most of the people themselves aren't even fluent in anymore. It is probably weird that I know so much about this, but some of the Ainu people live in Russia, and some chance meetings have given me a very enlightened perspective.

    In some sects, there were differences in legends and ideas. I can't recall off of the top of my head, but I believe the taunting usage of the deceased Gusto Falco by El Shaddoll Winda is an example of one of their folk tales, where the dead were desecrated by enemies to affect the moral of the remaining, living sect. Essentially the usage of grave-robbing to demoralize the opponent.

    The problem again has been all along that sources in English are non-existent.

  4. #4
    Registered User Hope in the Interstice's Avatar
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    Tch. Shame about the sources. Maybe you could write an article or two about this and submit it to a magazine somewhere?

    A bear, hm... What would you name such a card?

  5. #5
    Registered User Thanako's Avatar
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    Difficult to say. By Ainu standards, a bear is considered to be one of the higher-callings of the gods, kind of like a leader. There were plenty of festivals involved with the bears, and as you can imagine the sheer force a bear displays is part of the admiration for it. The Synchro variant would have to be either absurdly good, or an actual powerhouse for a deck that most associate with an OTK.

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