Chapter 231 - Christ in Nyanking


The title is from 芥川 龍之介 Ryunosuke Akutagawa's 1920 novel 南京の基督 Nankin no Kirisuto "Christ in Nanjing".
A film version was made in 1995.

First published July 28, 2010.

Title Page


Lyrics on the score are the nonsense lyrics sung by Fuura in Zoku SZS episode 1, and that appear again in chapter 301.

Page 2

P1 Nan & Nyan

Nan or naan is the flatbread common in India and Pakistan. At the risk of stating the obvious, nyan is what cats say in Japan.

Page 3

P3 Background

Nyankoku Ice Hockey Club
Kumeta Kōji's first published manga, Yuke!! Nangoku Ice Hockey Bu. Notorious for it's descent into cock jokes at the end of its run.

盗難 tounan means theft/robbery.

Oronyain Nyanko
"Oronain" is an antibacterial ointment sold by Otsuka Pharmaceutical since the 1950's. 軟膏 nankō means 'ointment'; nyanko is the colloquial word for a kitten.

Nyamu amida-butsu
南無阿弥陀仏 namuamidabutsu - mantra of the Pure Land Buddhist sect "I sincerely believe in Amitabha". This pun only works in the context of "nan -> nyan" by the fact that the hiragana ん (n) was historically originally an alternate character for む (mu).

Nyanshiki yakyuu
軟式野球 nanshiki yakyuu is rubber-ball baseball.

Nyanking Bug
"Nanking bug" is another name for the bedbug.

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P1 Colombo Convention

During the Shōwa era, elementary schools would hold Colombo Tournaments during summer vacation to promote the virtues of a suntan as a symbol of healthy outdoor activity. The dangers of ultraviolet exposure being a long-term cancer risk now being better understood, children are no longer encouraged to spend large amounts of time in the sun without UV protection.

The background characters scratching their heads in the characteristic gesture and haircut and coat of 1970s TV detective Colombo played by Peter Falk, a show which was also popular in Japan. "It's a convention where you come to a conclusion" is another reference to Columbo since every episode would wrap up with Columbo bringing the case at hand to a tidy conclusion.

Page 5

P4 "Habu" in the bushes

The habu is the local name for a poisonous snake native to Okinawa.

P5 Trimmer

torima actually refers specifically to a pet groomer.

P8 TV displaying "イ"

The イ or katakana letter 'i' was the first image projected via cathode ray tube in an experimental device constructed by Dr. Kenjiro Takayanagi at Hamamatsu Industrial High School. This was the world's first transmission of an image to an electronic display device, but the imaging mechanism used a mechanical scanning disk, unlike the device created by Philo T. Farnsworth several months later.

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P1/P2 Channels 1 and 3

In the Kanto region, channel 1 is NHK General and channel 3 NHK Educational.

P1 Domo-kun

There’s Dômo-kun (どーもくん), the beloved mascot of NHK, behind Kiri.

P3 集金 armband

Shuukin or fee collection, meaning the broadcast fee TV owners are supposed to pay to support NHK, Japan's national broadcaster. Apparently this is collected to this day by functionaries that go door to door to determine if a resident has a TV. A favorite rant of Kumeta-sensei.

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P6 Iza x Shizu

Refers to shipping of the characters Shizuo Heiwajima and Izaya Orihara from Ryohgo Narita's Durarara!!

Page 8

P2 Despair List 1

If Majikon were Majinko
"Majikon" is the generic name for a device that allows playing of copied games without the original game console. A court ruling in 2009 stopped sales of the devices.
"Majinko" are Daphnia or water fleas, tiny crustaceans similar to krill, used as goldfish food.

If multiple debts were lime juice
多重債務 tajuu saimu ; 果汁ライム kajuu raimu

If the "hurting haemorrhoid" were "Noizi Ito"
First, Kumeta used the old orthography for hemorrhoid, いぼぢ, not いぼじ at it would be spelled today which is why we went with a somewhat older spelling of the word "Hurting haemorrhoid" would be itai ibozi.

If “Parading Through the Town” were “Stirring up the stew”
'Parading through the town' was a form of execution used during the Edo period, in which the condemned was forced to ride around the town on a horse before the execution. The Japanese term for this is 市中引き回し (shichuu hikimawashi). Compare to シチューかき回し (shichu kakimawashi), meaning "stirring up the stew”.

If Kou Takumin were Kouda Kumi
Kou Takumin is a Japanese pronunciation of Jiang Zemin, President of the People s Republic of China from 1993 to 2003. Kouda Kumi is a well-known female pop singer.

If the 'stolen bike' were 'tied tights'
“Stolen bike” (盗んだバイク, nusunda baiku) is taken from a really famous Japanese song: “15の夜” (Jûgo no yoru;–wE). This was Yutaka Ozakis (尾崎 豊) debut single in 1983. The refrain starts with: “盗んだバイクで走り出す” (Nusunda baiku de hashiridasu): “Hashiridasu” is “to begin to run” and “de” is “with, by; by means of; by using.” Now do the math yourself and swap “stolen bike” with “tied tights.”

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P1 Nanmage

"Nyanmage" is the theme-park mascot for Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura an Edo-period themed cultural park. Nyanmage the Samurai Cat became well-known thanks to TV commercials for the park.

P4 "If the borrowing fai*s were stealing, it'd be terrible"

A reference to The Borrower Arriety. The eraser Arriety is holding says "WONO", a small difference from the brand name "MONO".

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P5 Signs

The signs in panel 5 read "Third District" and "Second District". Refers to the Second and Third Districts of Shinjuku. While the Third District is a shopping Area, Shinjuku Ni-Chome, the Second District, is full of gay bars.

P6 "If Yoo-Hoo were Renhō"

Renhou is the common name for Renhō Murata, a popular DPJ politician in the Upper House of the Diet. She's known for her efforts to control bureaucracy.

Scary List

If antique goods were questionnaire results
アンティ ク雑貨 (antiku zakka) becomes アンケ ト結果 (anketo kekka). The latter is probably a reference to the questionnaires in some magazines like Shonen Jump that are used to decide which series to cancel (stuff the readers don't like some weeks in a row gets cancelled).

If 'Low Fuel Consumption Heidi’ were 'Low Interest Kaiji'
"Low Fuel Consumption Heidi" comes from a series of Nissan commercials. Kaiji is the main character in "Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji".

If 'naptime sweets' were 'kneeling down'
If おめざ (omeza) becomes 土下座 (dogeza). Omeza are a kind of sweet given to kids when they've just woken up and are angry and whiny; the dogeza is the full forehead to floor prostration.

If 'drying machine' were 'Prime Minister Kan’
乾燥機 (Kansōki) becomes 菅総理 (Kan sōri). Prime Minister at the time Naoto Kan.

If a "flying get" were jellyfish, it would hurt
"Furage" is an Engrish term, 'Flying Get’, meaning to ‘get something before the official release date’. This becomes クラゲ (kurage), or jellyfish.

If KGB were AKB
The KGB was the Soviet equivalent of the CIA/FBI. AKB is, well, AKB48. It's surprising that this is something that frightens Chiri, because for most sane people, it would be the other way around.

If "Yankee Doodle" was "Penniless Herpes
In Japanese, the Yankee Doodle (with Japanese lyrics) is called アルプスー万尺 (Arupusu Ichiman Shaku- Alps 10,000 miles). The term with the Herpes is ヘルペス 文無し (Herupesu Ichimon Nashi)

If ‘School Ghost Stories' was ‘Indecent Talk about Anal Prolapse'
学校の怪談 (gakko no kaidan) becomes 脱肛のワイ談 (dakko no waidan). "School Ghost Stories" was a series of young adult movies released between 1995 and 1999. Anal prolapse previously covered in Katte ni Kaizō chapter 8.

If LED were Ero ED
Ero ED refers to erectile dysfunction.

If ‘light emitting diodes' were ‘unfortunate peaceful deaths'
発光ダイオード (hakkô daiôdo) becomes 薄幸大往生 (hakkô daiôjô).

(Thanks to reader Hughes for additions and corrections.)

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