Ok, a lot of people who are on this list have emailed me requesting a
copy of the fiction. Here are chapters one and two, part four will be
posted tomorow. For those of you who like this sort of thing, I am
trying to place some of my own knowledge (dubiously obtained) within the
I actually find the series quite funny and a good mixture of things that
can happen with the rediculous.
And as to how I came by some of this knowledge...
Ask those on the Ranma Mailing List.
A Son's Duty.
A fan fiction based on Takahashi Rumiko's ongoing Manga series, Ranma 1/2
Saotome Ranma, Saotome Genma, Saotome Nodoka, Tendo Akane, Tendo Soun,
Tendo Kasumi, Tendo Nabiki, Kuonji Ukyou, Hibiki Ryouga, P-chan, Shampoo,
Moose, Kunou Tatewaki, Kuno Kodachi, and Hinako Sensei are copyright 1987,
1995 by Takahashi Rumiko.
Japan: Shogakukan Inc. Tokyo
Hong Kong: Jademan (Holdings) Ltd.
North America: Viz Inc.
The morning was beautiful. Nice and sunny with a hint of moisture left
over from the morning rains. In the air, a delightful fragrance, full of
perfumes and smells, yet clear and fresh, with just a hint of suppressed
dust tickling the nose. A day like this was to be savoured whenever
For many Japanese however, this was another day in which people had to
hurry to get to the trains and buses, rush to the undergrounds, or get
ready for school. Busy lives, the rush of the city, and the race for
prosperity in an effort to keep up with the demands of energy, the cost
of living, and increasingly high prices. One could describe it as
preparing for war. Not the kind of war that was obvious, indeed, not one
that many would call a war in the usual sense. It was a war for survival
and in this war Ucchan's, a small okonomiyaki shop located in Nerima
District, was barely holding its own.
The owner of the shop, one Kuonji Ukyou, always opened the shop with a
friendly smile and a pleasant demeanour. While the regulars who attended
the place found the business cozy, if a bit unusual for a district far
from the hustle of downtown Tokyo, the irregular customers were surprised
to find that the restaurant resembled many of the Office Girl bars and
clubs closer into the city. One of the reasons was the fact that Ukyou
sometimes appeared as a young man and at other times as a young woman.
Then there were those friends of hers, especially one red headed girl who
tried to disguise herself as, and claim to be, a boy despite her obvious
femininity. This raised some eyebrows, but as long as they caused little
or no trouble, the establishment was tolerated.
Technically speaking, Kuonji Ukyou was a boy, at least on paper. He was
sixteen, the owner of a semi-successful expansion shop of the Kuonji
family, which he ran part time in the evenings and on weekends, and was
enrolled in the local high school, Furinkan. Admittedly, he was not at
the top of his class in school, but Ukyou was close enough so that he
would have little, if any, trouble getting into a university of his choice
once he passed the Juken. To all appearances, Ukyou was a self-assured,
competent businessman with a solid, if unusual, set of customers. Some of
the other business people in the district were surprised at the good
fortune of the restaurant which apparently filled an unsuspected niche in
the neighbourhood. Especially since it was closed at the oddest times
when the shop should have been open.
In reality, Ukyou was a young woman. She had chosen to be regarded as a
male early on in her life thanks to a disappointment which dishonoured her
and her family. It started when she was a child. Ukyou met a young boy,
who, at first, was her adversary. A pleasantly mannered boy who happened
to beat her every day in order to secure an okonomiyaki from her father's
yattai. Gradually, the two of them became friends, with Ukyou now making
okonomiyaki's for Ranma. For Ranma's part, he was glad to have such a good
friend, for Ukyou, she had started to fall in love with him. Admittedly,
it was a crush at the time, and it was complicated by the fact that Ranma
thought she was another boy, but she persuaded her father that this was
the boy for her.
When her father had asked the father of the boy, Saotome Genma, to marry
the two of them, Genma had said that it was up to Ranma. What happened
had embarrassed her family, and embarrassed her for when given the choice
Ranma had not realized what was being asked. Genma, not wanting to give up
anything, agreed to the engagement. The boy's father had then stolen the
yattai when they were supposed to take Ukyou with them on their training.
This created a situation where, for the sake of honour, she and her family
had to make a choice: Either move, or for her to be raised as, and to
become in fact, a young boy. Ukyou herself chose to be raised as a boy
since she would never trust another male again.
Over the years, he had become a good son, performing all of his duties,
going to school, getting good grades, and practicing a type of martial art
almost lost in the rush to teach 'business martial arts' to the westerners.
While his style used many of the basic moves common to all the higher arts,
Ukyou had an additional set of weapons, his spatulas with which he
practiced daily, and the equipment of an okonomiyaki chef with which, if
used correctly, he could become extremely deadly. It was soon after the
start of the new school year when the tracers Ukyou had put out and the
tracking he had been doing finally paid off. Ranma had returned and was
now living in Nerima district. While this was far from home, he
nonetheless set out to confront, and defeat Ranma for the deep, still
painful, insult to his, and the families, honour.
Ukyou applied to, and was enrolled in Ranma's school. His goal, to
challenge Ranma and make a fool out of him. By this time, he did not
consider himself a woman anymore, at least not in any real sense of the
word. All that was left for Ukyou to move on was to finally defeat the
one who had stolen his honour.
Ukyou had not realized how wrong he was to confront Ranma. At first, his
opponent had avoided all his blows, then when Ukyou was getting the upper
hand, Ranma's skills started to show. Instead of defeating him, Ukyou and
his shame were exposed to the school. At that point, as far as he was
concerned, Ranma was now a deadly enemy. It was only after a talk with
Ranma, who explained what had happened, that Ukyou realized that he had
not meant to dishonour him, but that he honestly did not know what Ukyou's
sex was when he was younger.
Seeing the way Ranma wished to restore his honour, Ukyou started to fall
in love with him, a love that blossomed in an instant. This time, it was
not a crush, or a passing phase, but true, deep, and meaningful love. At
that moment, Ukyou's life was thrown into turmoil.
You see, Ukyou stilled considered himself to be a male for the most part
and his documentation and papers supported that fact. It was only after
being exposed for whom he was several times that he came to accept, and
be what he once was for some part. Ranma's revelation of how he changed
sexes had facinated Ukyou and helped in his decision. Thus Ukyou started
to live a life where he lived his school and some other parts of his life
as a man, and at other times he was a sweet, caring young woman. It was
not too bad a life, and he was able to fit into the area well, away from
All things considered, it was not a bad start to a new life, in fact, it
was an excellent start. The best thing about it was he had more freedom
than he would normally be allowed had he stayed with his parents.
Generally speaking was as pleasant as this particular morning. At the
moment however, Ukyou had to head for school.
"Well, at least it is a beautiful morning.", Ukyou thought as he inhaled
slowly, enjoying the smells and feeling of the air. "Today is the sort of
day that nothing can go wrong." Turning back to the door, he locked up
and reached into the mailbox. Inside were the usual items and, as Ukyou
started to walk down the street, he began to sort through it. The bills
he put to the back to the pile to handle later when Ukyou got home. There
were the new magazines, his regulars would like the article in them,
especially since an Ensoku to that area was coming up in the next couple
of weeks. In addition to this was a reminder from her supplier about next
month, and a thank-you letter from a local construction company. The last
letter though caught his eye.
It was from his father, whom he hadn't seen, or really thought of
contacting, for a few months now. Worried that something might be wrong,
he quickly opened the letter and started to read it. After the usual
salutations and greetings, as well as some other information, Ukyou got to
the part that interested him. He started to read in earnest and his eyes
began to show a bit of startlement. As he read further, Ukyou stopped
walking and stared at the letter.
"By the gods!", he thought to himself, "Not now, not when I finally am
getting my life back together." Ukyou looked at the letter once more to
make sure that he had not misread it, and shuddered. What he now
considered his worst nightmare was now coming true, and there was not a
thing that he could do about it. Folding the letter carefully, Ukyou put
it back in the envelope and placed it in his briefcase. Surprisingly, he
then stuffed the rest of the mail haphazardly into his briefcase as well,
not really paying attention to what he was doing. "Family duties! I
thought I could escape from them if I stayed here after what Ran-chan said
to me. If father finds out how I feel, if he even suspects what I feel
about Ran-chan, there could be a lot of trouble." He shook his head as he
resumed walking, "How am I going to get out of this? In any case, while
father visits I can no longer appear as a woman, even in private...
Ran-chan!!!" Ukyou grimaced, "I'm going to have to stay away from him,
and I am also going to have to make sure that he stays away from me and
the restaurant, at least for a while."
At that moment, the object of Ukyou's concern was having a few troubles of
his own. For Ranma, the day had started better than normal. His usual
morning practice with his father had ended with Genma being dunked in the
pond, and Akane, luckily, did not catch him watching to make sure that she
arrived back safely from her morning jog. Even breakfast went well with
Akane and him being cordial and polite to each other. It was when he was
walking with Akane on the way to school, that he had made a big mistake.
He opened his mouth.
He wasn't quite sure what it was he said. In fact, Ranma was sure that he
had been nice to Akane all morning. "Stupid girl," Ranma thought, "What
does she think I did now?" Turning his head, he looked back at his fiance.
In the mood she was in, Ranma was not sure if it was wise to stop. He did
like her a lot, but her temper...Ranma still had bruises from the last time
she blew up and he wanted to avoid any more. "I'm sure I didn't do
anything to her. Why does she have to be so violent?" He continued to
think..."Ok, what did I do...I asked her how she liked the day so far...I
looked up at the sky and smiled...I asked her if she wanted to go somewhere
this evening...I said that she looked nice..._I_ DID_NOT_DO_ANYTHING_TO_HER
...What's wrong with her?" He looked back again and ended up tripping over
something and hitting the ground...hard.
Akane's morning had started off well. The sunlight had come streaming in
her bedroom window, tickling her nose and waking her up. She had opened
her window, letting the outside air clear the mustiness and smells of sleep
from the room. Akane looked outside and noticed how nice it was, the sun
giving just a hint of a rainbow to the air. She got ready and left her
room, heart light, and feeling wonderful.
Her morning jog had also gone very well, and she arrived back, full of
energy. The surrounding neighborhood had just waking up and not too many
people were about. People had greeted her with a friendly smile, and others
had noded politely. All in all, a nice, lazy day, not that she really
expected it to last.
She also expected to have an arguement at any moment with Ranma.
"Strange, " She spoke softly to herself, "Sometimes, it's as though we
can't have a good day unless we fight." Going downstairs, Akane expected
Ranma to make some sort of smart remark, something to purposely get her
angry. It wasn't that Akane was looking for her day to be spoiled, but she
had gotten used to their constant bickering. She was surprised that he
greeted here pleasantly, even warmly. It sometimes happened, so she
shrugged her shoulders and started eating. It was on their way to school
that Akane realized Ranma had not eaten as much as usual.
What had triggered that reaction was when Ranma asked her about how she
liked the day. He had never been that pleasant, in fact, he usually made
some comment by this time that caused her to automatically attack him. "Is
he sick?", she muttered to herself as she looked at him, "He's just staring
up at the sky."
It was when Ranma had asked her out and said she looked nice that she
decided to try and hit him. At first, it was because she thought their
parents were trying to get them to date again, they were always inventing
situations to throw them together. Then she realized, he was just being
nice because he wanted to be nice.
She hesitated, then shouted, "RANMA NO BAKA!!!"
It wasn't that Akane wanted to fight this time, it was more that she wanted
to return some normality to her day. She was not used to Ranma being nice
to her, and it was unnerving to say the least. For Akane, it was better
for her sanity, and her pride if they were fighting. She ended up chasing
him into the school yard, her school bag swinging at him.
That was when Ukyou turned the corner.
Normally, Ukyou would have been able to avoid an attack, having been able
to feel when danger was approaching. Most people thought that he, and the
other martial artists at the school, had fast reflexes. As Ukyou would
have told anyone who asked, the skill came from practice, of putting
oneself into enough danger that the skill became as a new sense, and while
his body and mind would usually react before truly being aware what was
happening, his worries had distracted Ukyou.
It was a spectacular crash.
The school yard was suddenly quite silent.
Akane was looking at the scene, a little bit startled and a trace of a
smile starting to twitch at the side of her mouth. What surprised Akane
so much was the fact that Ukyou had ended up sprawled out on the ground,
stunned. Ranma, on the other hand, was flat on his face about five feet
further. She couldn't help but stare, her knowledge of their skills made
the two of them accidentally hitting each other immensely funny.
Ranma's face clearly showed that he had lost his breath. As usual,
however, he was going to be ok. He usually was in these situations, and
he had a tendency to recover faster than most people. Of course, he had
to concentrate and focus on those parts of the body that were injured, not
very much of a problem given his stamina. Actually, his stamina was a
product of two different circumstances, the first being that his study of
martial arts and the associated medicines allowing ones body to heal faster
than normal, and the second being that he was a trouble magnet.
The first was a distinct advantage, allowing him the chance to concentrate
on healing and on getting a task completed. When he was growing up he
learned many schools of thought, and the most important lesson he had
learned was that the mind was more important than the body. His teachers
in the school would have disputed this as Ranma never seemed to pay
attention in class. This of course, was not entirely true as he
concentrated on the expansion of his mind and senses, intergrating his
knowledge in order to act instrictively and decisively when the time came.
It allowed him to experience a lot, especially since he was concerned with
the study of Kenpo, seemingly to the exclusion of all else, for most of
his life. The many training trips he had gone upon would have meant his
being a failure in school long ago if he was unable to use his head.
The second reason was sometimes his worst nightmare.
Wether it was Kunou Tatewaki, who was in a way both a romantic rival (at
least to Kunou-Sempai's mind) or a potential and persistent suitor (in the
oddest sense), to people he had never heard of before, their first reaction
to was usually to marry or kill him. It had become an almost a constant
factor in his life since he moved here. It made things interesting, but
somehow he kept wishing for a chance to be normal.
In the past few months alone, Ranma had been attacked several times,
offered dates, threatened with marriage, and other complications occurring
from his...other half. He was angry with his father over that particular
incident, and at times hit Genma when reminded about it, but was able to
act a lot calmer now than when it had first happened. In a way, he was
handling the situation a lot better these days. Of course, he wouldn't
admit it, but the reason Ranma was able to handle his situation was due
Nobody would have beleived that however, given the way they acted in front
of their family or in public.
For both of them, the relationship started out well. Ranma had just
arrived at the Tendo Training Hall and was being...harassed... by Nabiki,
Akane's elder sister. Ranma had been embarashed, and it was Akane that
noticed the blush Nabiki's...handling...of the situation had caused their
guest. Akane had decided to take some pity on this new arrival to their
home and took Ranma out to the Dojo proper in order for them to practice
Kenpo. She wanted to test this person who was supposed to be an arranged
husband for her, or one of her sisters. Ranma ended up defeating Akane,
but at the time, she didn't mind. Losing to Ranma was not so bad, and
they had started to become friends. Somehow, the fact that her father
wanted Ranma to marry either her or one of her sisters was still somewhat
ridiculous, but not really as bad as it sounded originally.
At least that is how it started out.
During the battle, and afterwards, Akane had revealed a bit of herself
that she would have never told a male. How determined she was, the fact
that she did not like boys for the most part, at least, not romantically,
and that the only people that she respected were other women. Ranmas'
face had shown a bit of shocked strain at the acknowledged respect Akane
A lot of it had to do with the fact that Akane had said some things that
only her family and closest friends would hear. The emotions she revealed
told a lot about the trust she placed in her father and in the apparently
close relationship between their family's. Still, she had shown a shadow
of her true self, the part that was hidden away beneath the many layers
that were part of her personality, and not one that she would normally
allow to be obseved by a male.
Wondering what to do about this, Ranma decided to sit down and contemplate
the garden, allowing the mind to drift to different areas and touch
lightly on the situations that had brought them here. However, Kasumi had
prepared a bath for the two practitioners, and insisted that their guest
take a bath. With no option, Ranma headed for the bath, still wondering
what to do, and not realizing Akane would be coming in soon.
Ranma's bath had changed the respect Akane had shown earlier to a type of
hatred and rivalry.
During the past few months however, their respect had once again grown for
one another, and they started to hide their true feelings behind the wall
of hate and contempt that they had built, not wanting to be the first to
admit defeat. Akane had started calling Ranma a pervert, and Ranma
retaliated by calling Akane a tomboy. These times, while interesting to
those around them, had created a situation that made them decide to avoid
the possibility of marriage for all time.
Somehow, through all of this turmoil, Akane had grown to support Ranma,
and to help him get out of most of the situations that he found himself
in. It was not that he could not handle himself or could have not have
defeated what was coming at him, but more that he did not have the heart
to do so himself. It was this that she had come to recognize as a part
of herself in him, that of the nervous, slightly scared individual who
cannot bare to show it. Of course, when it came to a battle, she found
him stupidly macho, full of fight and bluster, but put him in front of
people where he had to reveal or display emotions, and he was a wreck.
Being with Akane made what Ranma had to go through a lot easier to bear.
Ukyou on the other hand was just lying there, his eyes closed and
seemingly unwilling to get up.
Akane smiled slightly as she approached the two, pointedly not paying
attention to Ranma. She noticed a strange, almost-grimace evident on
Ukyou's face, something that was unusual, especially given Ukyou's
tendency to be as obstinately macho as Ranma. Usually he was ok when in
a fight, and could take a lot of damage. He had proven that several times
in the past, and would probably prove it again, despite the fact that he
did not have to. For some reason, however, this time seemed different
and Akane was a bit concerned. Despite their competition for Ranma, they
were friends and if Ukyou was hurt then she wanted to help.
"Want a hand Ukyou?" Akane asked.
Ukyou opened his eyes slowly as the words sank into his head. He was
really bad off if he couldn't avoid getting hit by someone, especially in
an accidental manner. The practice of harakei had given him the skills
necessary to avoid such occurrences and only severe emotional stress could
cause him to disregard the warning signals that must surely have been in
the air. This was not a good sign, and that meant the news that he had
received from his father had disturbed him more than he was originally
willing to admit.
Sighing, Ukyou looked up at Akane, "Thanks Akane-chan, I appreciate it."
So saying, he took the offered hand and allowed himself to be helped up.
"I am just annoyed with myself at the moment," Shaking his head, he
continued, "I should have been able to avoid getting hit like that, After
all, I am supposed to be a martial artist."
Akane had to grin at that. The reputations that Ukyou, Ranma, her, and
a few others in the school had gained was immensely overrated at times.
Although he looked a bit unsteady at the moment, if Ukyou could joke like
that, he was going to be ok. Shaking her head, Akane said, "Are you sure?
For a moment it looked as if you were hurt."
Ukyou smiled slightly, "I'm sure, although this is probably going to
start some new rumours around here." Turning, he started to look for his
briefcase, and noticed Ranma with it. At the moment, it was open, with
the magazines now on the ground, and a certain letter being held by Ranma,
who looked as though he was about to open it.
While the discussion between Ukyou and Akane had been going on, Ranma
managed to get air back into his lungs. Noticing that his two fiances
were talking with each other, he groaned to himself. Despite the valiant
try, he was going to end up with bruises again. At least this time he
would not have to go to the doctor. Standing up, and trying to bounce
back quickly, (He couldn't allow anyone to notice that he was hurt.),
he noticed that Ukyou's briefcase had poped opened and that everything
usually contained inside was now spilled over the ground.
As his two fiances were not paying attention, he started to gather up
everything and place it back in the briefcase. The spill wasn't too bad,
and he was able to gather most of the papers and books, placing them back
inside the briefcase. It was when he started to get the mail that he
came across the letter addressed to Ukyou.
Ranma had known for some time that Ukyou received a lot of mail.
Actually, he was a bit surprised at the amount of mail that his friend
received every day, but usually paid no attention to it since it was
related to the restaurant business. This was the first time that he knew
about that Ukyou had received a personal letter. Ranma was curious, and
he stared at it as if to open it up.
"Ran-chan, If you don't mind, I'll take that.", and Ukyou proceeded to
grab his briefcase and the letter, then bent down to pick up the magazines.
"Who is it from Uk-chan?", Ranma asked, curious, and trying to get a
closer look at it.
Sighing, Ukyou replied, "Nothing you should be concerned about, just a
letter from my past."
Akane was the only one who noticed the slight grimace appear briefly on
Ukyous' face once again. Realizing that Ukyou needed a friend more than
a pest at the moment, she grabbed Ranma by his pig tail, took him, and
tossed him some distance away. A cry of "Kawaiikune" could be heard
coming from that direction as Ranma headed for parts unknown.
In the meantime, Akane was trying to get Ukyou to open up a bit.
"Want to talk about whatever's bothering you?"
"What's to talk about Akane-chan, I'm just not at my best today."
"Is that so? Then why so protective over that letter?"
Sighing again, Ukyou answered the only way he could, "Something to do with
the past, and now has to do with the future. It's really nothing that
should worry you."
Noticing the time, Akane decided that she would have to try again later.
The two of them, each thinking their own thoughts and hoping to get there
before Hinako-Sensei, rushed towards their room. Both had forgotten that
Ranma had been sent into the air, and that the direction he was
travelling in was towards the pool...
Said person was climbing out of the pool, and she was not having a good
time. "Gah...Why did she have to do that? JUST WHAT DID I DO TO HER
TODAY!!!" She fumed a little bit, and started to wring out her clothes,
"Just perfect, I didn't need this to happen to me today. Why can't I go
a little while without getting wet somehow. It's as if someone really
wants to complicate my life."
The young red head, who looked very cute because of the fact that she was
angry, went out of the fence surrounding the pool and started back towards
the school entrance. She glanced up quickly at the school clock and
noticed the time, "It figures, no time to get some hot water...Ah well,
it's not as if the class doesn't already know. At least I'll be able to
get some water at lu..."
At that moment, a happy yell went through the air. A yell that most
people in the yard ignored, while a few just smirked. A yell that made
Ranma close her eyes in utter frustration, and groan with contempt at the
person who had just grabbed onto her.
"My Pig Tailed Goddess, how I have longed to see you. I am glad that you
have managed to elude that sorcerer Saotome!", Kunou Tatewaki said as he
hugged the young woman, completely oblivious to the signs of almost pure
hatred coming from her, "I have wanted to hold you in my arms, and to
take you away from the evil that abounds here."
Ranma didn't even try to explain, she just booted him into the sky.
She grumbled and went into the school. One of these days Ranma was either
going to get rid of her curse, get rid of her idiot father who was the
cause of the trouble, or kill Kunou.
It was not a good day for her.
The usual school antics happened during the day. Hinako-Sensei speaking
to Ranma and telling her that, when she was a girl, she should wear a
proper girls uniform, Akane attempting to both Ignore Ranma and to get
her to pay more attention to her work, especially in English, and Kunou
trying to find his "pig tailed goddess" during the lunch break.
It was also obvious to Akane that during the day Ukyou's concentration
was off. Their professors had come in and out of the class and while,
normally, Ukyou was an excellent and intuitive student, today he had
almost no reaction to what was going on around him. Somehow, she would
have to try and get Ukyou to open up about what was bothering him, after
all, they were friends.
For Ukyou, the day seemed to be one long torture session. For him, there
was a good reason for not paying attention, his thoughts were in complete
turmoil at that moment. In fact, he hardly heard what any of his
professors said as he tried to decide what to do. It wasn't going to be
easy to stop Ran-chan coming to the restaurant, Ranma was too curious for
his own good at times. Shaking his head, he realized something and started
to laugh silently at himself. He had chosen this life, chosen to be
considered a male in front of all Japanese society and yet he still
loved Ranma. The duties he must fulfill because of his new sex and the
duties that he wished to fulfill were at complete odds to one another.
"I'm going to need help with this," Ukyou thought, "But who can I go to?
Ran-chan is a good friend, but father would kill him. Shampoo is out,
and so is Mousse..." Trying to decide which of the many people that he
knew who might have been able to help, he looked lazily around the room.
As he did so, details of the past flitted through his upset mind and for
some reason his eyes settled on Akane. "Why not, " he snorted, "She's
the only one who might be able to help, and she has some knowledge of
what I'm going to have to go through."
Deciding that the best course of action would be to ask Akane for help,
Ukyou decided to walk her home after school so that he could explain the
"So your father is coming to the District? I would be very happy to meet
him. From what you and Ranma have told me, he must be a very nice person,
and I am sure that Ranma would enjoy talking with your him again."
Ukyou face took on a hurt expression, "I wouldn't say that Akane, if he
saw Ranma, there would be a lot of trouble. In any case, my father has
his own ideas of what his 'son' should do."
Akane caught that last part, and looked at Ukyou, "What are you talking
about, You're a girl."
Shaking his head, Ukyou pulled out the letter and handed it to Akane, "Not
legally Akane-chan, by law, I'm a boy. This means that I have certain
obligations to fulfill, not the least of which is one that you are
"What are you talking about?"
"Just read the letter Akane"
Akane started to read. Normal stuff, things that she hoped her father
would write to her when she went off to university. It was when she got
near the end, that she saw what had caused her friend some worry.
Turning to business concerns about the store, Ukyou, it is a pleasant
surprise that you have managed to be profitable during the past few months.
Your mother and I expected to still be supporting you, even though you
told us that you would have more than enough customers in Nerima District.
Your books are showing a nice profit, but then, that is what I would expect
of you considering the business courses that you had opted for. I guess
an old man has to take a back seat once to his son once in a while.
There are some concerns I have however, such as the fact that your profit
margin seems to be low. Is this a promotion of some kind to get new
customers to come to the shop? I would like to know, because it seems to
be a success where you are and I was thinking of implementing it here at
this shop. Another thing, haven't you hired on any help? From the looks
of the figures, you seem to be leaving a lot of time open. I know you
have to go to school, but couldn't you find some girls to waitress and
run the shop during the day?
On a more personal note, your mother and I were going to take a vacation,
but she convinced me that it would be better if I come out to visit you.
We do have a lot to discuss, such as your education, and I would like to
spend some time with you. You are growing up fast son, and I wish to be
a part of your life now and then. If you want, we could take a Sunday and
go fishing, like we did when you were younger.
As to the main matters of my visit, there are some duties that you must
perform now that you are old enough. Although it will be several years
before your coming of age ceremony, your mother and I must insist that
you carry them out. One of these duties will be for you to visit the
family shrine in Kyoto. As my eldest son, you will have to make the proper
offerings to our ancestors in preparation of becoming the one to inherit
the business and honours of our house. The Kuonji line is old Ukyou, and
our origins are tied with that ancient city. The priests and members of
the temple have already asked if you were ready so you will have to travel
Other than that, there is one particular duty that require your immediate
attention, which is setting the date for your marriage. I will admit, we
would not discuss this normally considering what happened in the past, but
it is time that you were engaged. I have spoken to a friend of mine, and
his daughter will be arriving with me in Nerima on Saturday, March 19. I
am sure that you willlike her. She is a pleasant young girl, and will make
you a good wife.
As always son, I am proud of you.
Akane had stopped walking, shudering a bit at the information that she
had just absorbed. "That is some letter Ukyou, I can see why you were
troubled. What are you going to do about it?"
"What can I do. Family honour requires I go through with whatever is
planned." Ukyou put one hand in his pocket and the with the other lifted
his briefcase to his shoulder.
Akane just looked forward, the letter forgotten in her hand and whispered
to herself, "Family honour..."
Ranma had rushed home in the meantime. He did not want to stick around
the school any longer that he had to. It was not that he hated the school,
although he did feel that most of the courses that he was forced to take
in the science stream had no relation to his future profession, but rather
that whenever he stayed around, something, or someone, always managed to
pull him into some type of battle. After the bruises he had recieved
earlier in the day, he was not feeling up to having a fight.
As he reached the gates to the Tendo household however, he ended up being
drenched with cold water.
Ranma glared at the panda that was standing on the road outside the
stonework fence. "What did you do _that_ for pop?" she shouted, "You may
_like_ being a panda, but I do _not_ like being a girl!"
Wanting nothing more to do than to take a hot bath, Ranma paid no heed to
the panda, who was now trying to stick a sign in front of her face, and
entered into the yard. "Perfect, " she muttered to herself, "Now I need
some hot water to change myself back. Sometimes I think I should skewer
the old man, just on principle."
"Hello everyone, I'm home! Kasumi? Do you happen to have any hot water
available?", Ranma shouted as she went through the door.
Kasumi stepped out from the kitchen, "Yes Ranko, do you want some tea?"
"No Kasumi, I need it in order to..." Ranma stopped talking as she
realized what Kasumi had called her and suddenly knew why her father had
thrown the water at her.
The person who stepped out of the kitchen behind Kasumi wore a very nice
silk kimono, with an eye pleasing geometric pattern on one shoulder. She
looked very much like 'Ranko', the same facial features, same delicate
grace, and a confidence that fairly exuded from her. Although both denied
it, anybody who looked at them would have said that they were mother and
"Hello Ranko," said the woman, "How are you today?"
Ranma could only answer, "Hello Auntie Saotome."
Okonomiyaki litterally means, "As you like it." It is comparable to an
American pancake, but with a richer flavor and a lighter, more delicate
skin. A recipe for it follows below.
The basic recipe is a pancake mixture made with rice or wheat flour. Extra
flavor can be given by adding a stock to the mixture. In addition, many
Okonomiyaki places have their own family recipes that have been handed down
The following is a restaurant type mixture for about 10 people.
10 chicken eggs
2 quail eggs
5 cups of wheat or 6 cups of rice flour
3.5 cups of Awase Miso
Thin pork slices
Thin beef slices
Shrimp, shelled, deveined and fillited.
Red pickled ginger
Daikon, grated finely
Thinly sliced Shitaki Mushrooms
or any other flavourings as long as they are thinly sliced.
Break the eggs in a bowl and mix well. Add Awase Miso to the eggs and mix
well. Slowly add the flour and beat so that the mixture is without lumps.
Heat a griddle or hot plate to about 350 degrees farinheit and oil. Stir
mixture just before you pour it out on the hot plate. Allow to start
cooking, and add any ingredients that you would like to the mixture that
is on the girdle.
Wait until the bottom is browned and flip over to cook the top.
Flip back over and onto a plate.
Garnish with bonito, nori, or some wasabi.
There are a variety of sauces that can be had with Okonomiyaki. My
favourite is a Sweet Sake sauce.
2/3 cups Sake
1/3 cup Mirin
1/3 cup Shoyu
1/3 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons of grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons of Su
2 whole takano tjume crushed
In a suacepan heat up the Sake, Mirin, Shoyu, and Su. When it is nearly
boiling add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Reduce heat and add the
ginger and takano tjume. Let simmer for an hour or until the sauce is two
thirds of its original volume. Strain and cool. Serve in a Shoyu dish.
OFFICE GIRL CLUBS
These clubs and bars are designed to cater to Office Girls or secretaries
as they are known here. In areas of Tokyo, these clubs and bars feature
transsexuals and transvestites as waitresses.
This is the standardized test that students take to determine their place
within the structure of schooling. The test results determine which
schools you can enter.
A type of cart used for selling food to customers. Can be seen in many
resort areas and is similar to the American mobile hot dog or hamburger
The gathering of various magazines is a type of customer appreciation
displayed by the restaurants. Because life is very heric and rushed, most
people take any oportunity that presents itself to read, study, catch up
on current events, or socialize. In fact, a restaurant usually has a set
of regulars who sit at the same place every time and use it to study and
socialize. In fact, some regulars pay for the privilage of the sitting
space with a monthly fee over and above whatever food they may order. In
other cases, an owner might provide a space because of the customer
flow a particular person might bring in.
The new magazines are placed at these tables and the older ones are
rotated to other parts of the restaurant including the food preperation
bar. Over a month, a restaurant will go through approximately eight or
nine dozen new magazines.
Remembering my school days, the only times that I had to relax was going
to the candy store where ojisama used to sit all of us down and tell us
stories or during the performance of the tea ceremony every day. Trust
me on this, we even work at having fun. My country is a country of
workaholics, and no matter what anyone says, this is a fact of Japanese
An Ensuko, or 'Far Feet' is a type of field trip to a historical place,
such as a temple, or a place where something of great importance has
occured in our history, or, for students in the science stream, a
scientific research centre. These were both fun and boring, depending on
how good you were. Ranma would definately be in trouble on these for
_NOT_ wearing a proper uniform. (For that matter, he would be in trouble
anyways since _NOT_ wearing a proper uniform can be grounds for dismissial
In Japan, manufacturing is conducted on the just in time theory of
economics. Basically stated, screws, parts, and equipment are delivered
as close as possible to the manufacturing time. According to the theory,
this has the following benefits:
1) Top quality raw materials are made available.
2) Top quality parts are created.
3) No stockpiling occurs of unecessary equipment.
4) Quality control remains very high.
5) There can be imediate production stopage and revision if it needs to
Because of this, the reminder serves two purposes.
1) Asking the restaurant owner to make an estimate of the materials
needed for supplies at the end of each week based on past business
2) To provide information on new techniques, recipies, equipment, and
materials that allow the restaurant owner to have a better product
and more customer satisfaction.
THANK YOU LETTER
This is _not_ what most readers of this would think. I.E. A thank you
for repairs done due to a lot of dammage being done to the restaurant.
Indeed, this is a common, mundane occurance that is designed to promote
good public relations and repeat business. In this instance, a new type
of high effiency hotplate and burners would have been installed at
Ucchans. This would include a series of single cup coffee burners as
well as a large cold brewing container to make a strong house specialty
coffee. Given that Ucchans would serve mostly studying school students
and some business people, this would be the best way to increase the
popularity of her place of business.
Also known as Kempo.
This is an ancient art that is the basis of all the higher levels of the
martial arts that are in existence today. Basically, it is a hand to hand
style of fighting that has evolved over the centuries to encompass all of
the teachings of arts, and has evolved into many diferentiating styles. It
is also the first known combat art.
The origin of the art is said to have begun long ago at the Shaolin Temple
in China. While this is true in a way, it is necessary to trace the art
back even further. According to recorded history, the legend of the
martial arts started when Prince Bodhidharma, a warrior, and later a monk,
was sent by his teacher, Prajnatara to China to reteach the principles of
Buddhism and introduce the knowledge of Dhyana, or Zen Koans, to the
practices of those there. Bodhidharma agreed to do this and headed
north, to the various southern kingdoms.
In the year 520 BC, Bodhidharma travelled to the kingdom of Wei where he
had an intense meeting with the Emperor Wu. This conversation led nowhere
since the Emperor was concerned with worldly matters and did not have much
time for spiritual concerns. This had discouraged Bodhidharma and he left
for the Honan province and the Shaolin Temple in a kind of depression.
When he arrived, his worst fears were realized. The monks of the famed
Shaolin Temple, which was known even then as a place of great learning,
had grown physically, and mentally, deficient having no other concerns
than meditating all day long. Bodhidharma was not happy with this and had
to find some way to return the temple to the place of learning it once was.
He left for a time and returned to teach all the monks of the monastery
the art of Shih Pa Lo Han Sho. This art was _not_ meant to be used as a
way of war, but instead used to inspire vigour, confidence, health, and
concentration so that the monks could continue to pursue enlightenment.
Forty years later, the first of many attacks occurred. Bandits had
decided the temple held vast sums of treasures. In the attack, the monks
did not fight well, and it looked as though the temple would fall, and
indeed, the elders of the temple were ready to give up. Instead, a young
monk, known only as the begging monk to history, fought back with his hands
and his feet killing some of the attackers and driving away many more.
Thus began the training in the Shaolin temple of the first fighting style
known as Chuan Fa.
Over the next few decades, the techniques were expanded so that the
learning of Shih Pa Lo Han Sho, supplemented with Chun Fa raised the
various techniques from the original eighteen to seventy two. This
allowed the monks an advantage, and they were soon known as the silent
protectors of the people of China. Later still, a meeting between Ch'ueh
Taun Shang-jen and a master of many martial ways known as Li, developed
the fighting style of Wu Xing Quan, which had one hundred and seventy
distinct techniques and were divided into five different animal forms.
This was the true start of the higher arts, and it was the greatest gift
that the monks could give to the peoples whom they were to teach.
According to some legends, it is said that Kenpo originated in the
Okinawian Islands and the Ryukyu kingdoms as well as in Japan, however,
this is not entirely true. Kenpo, or Law of the Fist, was a derivative
of Chuan Fa. Many wandering monks had brought the arts across Asia, but
nowhere was the art more welcomed than in these far off islands and
kingdoms where fighting for survival was paramount. Thus, since monks
thought the practice of bodily skills to any who wanted to learn, Kenpo
was available to Noble and Commoner alike.
Kenpo also developed due to the many disappearances and returns of people
from Okinawa and the Japanese Islands. Many times had they left for
China, and many in the villages thought they had died, their families
leaving a marker in the gravesite above the village. They had instead
traveled and applied themselves to many difering ideals, and thus learned
of the fighting skills of the Shaolin. In their time away, they learned
many ways, many types of masteries of different arts, but at the base of
which was Kenpo, or Chuan Fa. In most cases, there is a mystery behind
the spread of these arts in Japan, especially since it was as a rather
abrupt explosion of learning in the seventeenth century. Unfortunately,
the reasons for this development have been lost to history, or rather,
been kept from history as many schools of learning are only handed down
within the family line.
Today's modern art of Kenpo, as known across the world and most especially
in North America can be traced back to the Kosho ryu Kenpo which was
developed in Kyushu, Japan by the families of Kumamoto and Nagasaki.
These schools of arts, however, are not the only forms of the arts
available. As of last count, there were over five hundred different
schools with most of the training going back to as a basis centuries
older than that of Kosho Ryu Kenpo.
To be honest, Kenpo is the first of the "Anything Goes" or "unrestricted"
Schools of Martial Arts, the real question was, what was the secret that
allowed the Kenpo practitioner such power? A saying from the Han
Dynasty, "Nothing is impossible to the willing mind." was the first
attempt to put into words the power of the form, the power of the mind.
Thus in reality, Kenpo is a way of training the mind more than that of
training the body. This has left the world with few true masters of the
Kenpo style for to master this style one must be able to master oneself
and then integrate both mind and body into one cohesive unit. It is an
emphasis on the combination and utilization of body and mind in concert,
and thus being able to achieve the higher levels of enlightenment, that
makes the art so difficult.
As one master said, "Mastering others requires force; Mastering the self
requires enlightenment." thus summing up all that has been learned by
striving to study Kenpo. A way of the enlightened, on the path to the
goal of enlightenment. A way for all of the forces of nature, and the
forces of man to go past what has been known before. Thus as the basis
for the martial arts, Kenpo is best described by Bruce Lee, who in comment
on his art of Jeet Kune Do said, "To have no way as a way; To have no
limitations as as a limitation."
And before anyone asks, Kenpoist can use weapons, although true masters of
the techniques disdain them.
Harakei is the practice of knowing when an opponent is going to strike or
do something. Sometimes decribed as a sixth or seventh sense, it is
practised by many arts, but actively developed among the higher arts,
especially in the Japanese practice of Bujutsu, or the study of all
When training begins, the student is taken into as a room to practice by
themselves. The student, when they are truly ready to learn the
techniques, will first feel a presence of another person in the room, or
observing them. When they are ready to go on, they will be able to
determine from feel alone weather the person watching means to harm them,
observe them, or help them. Somewhat difficult to know at first.
When the Sensei decides to teach the student the art, the student is
blindfolded and sent into a room filled with objects, the idea is for the
student to avoid the objects placed in areas around the room. Each time
this is done, the room is rearranged so that memories of what the room was
like before will not interfere with the training. When the student is able
to pass through the room, the ears are then blocked and the trial begins
again. Then the nose is stopped and this is repeated.
After this, training with as a live person begins, again following the
steps outlined above. The main difference here is that the student learns
how to use the currents of air, the small change in the feel of the floor
of the dojo, and to access the part of the mind that has never truly
disapeared in the human species, that of the instinct. Working through
this, the student comes to be at a level where mind and body work in
harmony to react before knowing. They training is long and arduous,
usually lasting between three to five years for the hand to hand combat.
Finally, training is completed with weapons being used to face one another.
The weapons used are for practice, and usually do not have any sharp edges
or killing points on them. There is a point however, where sharpened and
deadly weapons are used, and that is at the point where the student is
about to graduate from that Dojo. While not usually practised publicly
today, there are still incidences of this final training technique being
carried out, especially in the Koga district.
It is theorized that the training is not actually creating a sixth sense,
but is intensifying the other five senses that humans have available.
This last point is still debated by physicians and philosophers.