Make sure to remember to vote on the name change! Also we now have a full explanation from the human who did the translating!
|The author has done extensive research on Japanese history and folklore for this novel. The previous translators weren’t proficient enough in both Chinese and Japanese to catch onto some subtle stuff. They just went with what the hanzi represented as they believed that’s what the characters meant.
There was a major reason I implemented this change here and that’s to conform with the author’s actual intent behind the title. Now, 妖刀姬 are the characters. In Japanese, this becomes Youtou-hime (lit. Cursed Blade Princess). There are multiple reasons I used Cursed Blade for 妖刀 (Youtou) here. First, let’s deal with ‘Blade’. Since it’s already established that it’s a Katana, using ‘Blade’ is a better choice since swords are typically double-edged and also don’t really give an Eastern feel.
Let’s get to ‘Cursed’ now. The author has already mentioned this before in the novel that these blades aren’t actually demonic, or in any way related to demons. This is the major reason I wanted to clear away this ‘stigma’ of demon which somehow got attached because of a mistranslation by the first translator. Now, there are other reasons too. As I previously mentioned, there’s a heavy influence of Japanese folklore and history in the novel.
The correct translation, ‘Cursed,’ really changes the entire dynamic here. A lot of things make sense. Why Michizane looked sad when he looked at MC. Why these maidens are so respected (Yes, they are more respected than feared precisely because they wield cursed blades). Also, 妖刀 is clearly inspired from blades like 妖刀村正 (Cursed Blade Muramasa). Note that some have translated it as Demon Blade Muramasa too, but that’s not exactly accurate.
To quote from Muramasa’s Wikipedia article –
Furthermore, in lore and popular culture from the 18th century, the swords have been regarded as yōtō (妖刀, “cursed katana”).
“In popular culture, Muramasa swords have been often depicted as cursed swords with demonic powers. Oscar Ratti and Adele Westbrook said that Muramasa “was a most skillful smith but a violent and ill-balanced mind verging on madness, that was supposed to have passed into his blades. They were popularly believed to hunger for blood and to impel their warrior to commit murder or suicide.” It has also been told that once drawn, a Muramasa blade has to draw blood before it can be returned to its scabbard, even to the point of forcing its wielder to wound himself or commit suicide. Thus, it is thought of as a demonic cursed blade that creates bloodlust in those who wield it.”
If you read it carefully and understand the essence of the words, it’s because they are cursed blades that we consider them demonic, not vice versa. If I keep using Demon Sword/Demon Blade, that isn’t accurate, nor does it convey the author’s intent properly and also doesn’t do justice to the series. It might even mess up story elements later on as author clearly has done his research. While Demon Sword Maiden isn’t exactly a wrong title, it’s misinterprets a very crucial plot element that’s the core of the entire series. A title is very important and much thought was put into this decision so I hope you can understand this was not an abrupt move.
Honestly, my first and foremost suggestion was only Cursed Blade Maiden. All the other choices came up after discussing with Silva and Robinxen. Now, I could sit down and keep trying to persuade you, but there’s no point in that. I just wanted to comment since I don’t have permissions to edit the post yet and wished for the others to know why we made such a decision. Just know that I’m looking at the big picture when deciding this and not just the surface of things.
For the record, Maiden of the Cursed Blade was my suggestion for the novel title. With Cursed Blade Maidens for the individuals themselves.
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