I don’t think I ever posted about this before, so I thought of writing it just for the heck of it…about the names of the Ronin Yoshino characters. What the names mean, why they were chosen & whatnot. I’m only going to discuss the top 5 most important characters.
The protagonist of the manga. Ronin Yoshino (her nickname) basically just means the wandering ex-samurai Yoshino. Note that Ronin is not a name, but a word given to samurai who no longer serves a lord- a stray warrior if you may. Akuba means “wild horse“. I gave her that as her family name because her personality is like a wild horse- untamed, refuses to obey anyone & prefers to roam free. She is a rebel, an outcast of society & like a nail that refuses to be hammered down. SomeiYoshino is a type of cherry tree. I gave her that name because it has a double meaning: 1) It’s the name of an old town that once existed in Tokyo. 2)I own a SomeiYoshino cherry, it’s my favourite tree on our lot & I’ve watched it grow from a stick to a 30ft wide beauty. Basically, I named her after my favourite tree.
Yoshino’s vassal. After she knocked some sense into him, she gave him the name Kagekiri (because he had forgotten his name). Kagekiri means “shadow cutter“. The meaning behind it is that his life was filled in darkness- Kagekiri was a samurai who killed for the sake of a lords survival, then he left the sword behind to become a Buddhist monk in order to cleanse his bloodied hands. But Oda Nobunaga ordered the monasteries destroyed because of certain rumors (this is not historically accurate, just to let you know). So Kagekiri who desired peace, couldn’t get any. Out of grief of his misfortune, he cursed himself into a tengu. But when Yoshino came along, she forgave him for attacking her & wanted him to become her vassal. So, Kagekiri’s name means that “one who cuts shadows“, the shadows of his past have been severed (refer to chapter.7 pg.17).
She’s the only other character thus far that has little described about her past. Hachisu means “rose of Sharon” & Akatsuki means “dawn“. She is designed after someone I know & that person loves rose of Sharon’s (type of Hibiscus flower) & likes to get up very early…that one was easy.
I watched the Akira Kurosawa movie “Kagemusha” & a boy named Takemaru was in it. I loved the way that name sounded so I basically used that name. It means “bamboo man“, the kanji for “maru” is circle, but it is also used as a suffix in male names that means “man“. Now Arashi I came up with, it means “storm”. He is the storm, the one who causes havoc & tension like a thunder cloud threatening to strike lightning. However, even though as an antagonist, he is not evil. Just a middle aged man who’s become jaded, hungry for power & years of war stressed him- weighing heavily on his shoulders. Takemaru is a feudal lord & as such wants stability- both in power & financially. He wants to be great & to succeed, but in order to do so he’s gotta step on some people along the way. Shizen is the only other character who understands were Takemaru is coming from.
Nagakawa means “long river“, because he is a kitsune born in the element of fresh water. Shizen means “nature“. He’s been the problem character from the start (character design difficulties), he seems to be fleshing out alright I guess. He’s hard to draw because his eyes are so slanted & has delicate features. I’m glad I gave him fox-ears, it helps display his mood.
Well, so that’s a little bit about the name meanings, why I choose them & stuff. I like names to reflect an individuals personality, past or a wish to become something greater. I also find it easier to base manga characters off of real people, then tweak them around a bit so they fit the story better.
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