Yama no Susume Third Season – 09

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I wasn’t expecting this to be a hot spring episode, but in hindsight I really should’ve been. Fun parallel structure, too. But oh no, is that a dramatic final arc I smell brewing?

Side update: SSR is being worked on, and so is Room Camp. I can’t apologize enough for those delays. But for everything else, don’t @ me or my cute girl posts! That ain’t my stuff!

Torrent | Magnet


The label ‘Ogura’ (小倉) on a dessert usually means it’s red bean flavour. Ogura’s a place, and specifically a town or area or something near Ogurayama (小倉山), to the northwest of Kyoto. They make the best red beans, or something. Similar to the way that ‘Uji’ (a city to the southeast of Kyoto (Kyoto, man, just rocking it)) is sometimes used as a byword for matcha flavour. Don’t get confused with Kitakyushu’s 小倉, which is read ‘Kokura’.

Shrines are ranked by importance or whatever else. Ikaho Shrine happens to be prefecture-level (which is absolutely nothing outstanding whatsoever). I won’t get into it (especially since the sign didn’t even make it into the subs), but you can look it up if you want.

開運子授 shows up on a couple of signs at Ikaho Shrine, but it isn’t translated. In case you wanted to know, it’s just a fertility wish of some sort.

The really impressive sunshine and cloud stuff this episode is referred to by Kokona as 天使の梯子 (‘tenshi no hashigo’, literally ‘angel’s ladder’). I’ll be honest: I have no idea what these are called in English. I have heard them referred to as ‘God rays’, but that’s usually in a sort of humorous video game context. I’ve never heard any other term for them, because I rarely see them, and when I do, I mean, I just point. I don’t call them out by name. Properly they appear to be referred to as ‘crepuscular rays’, but let’s be real, who’s actually gonna say that? The Japanese equivalent there would also be 薄明光線, which isn’t what was said. 天使の梯子 is more colloquial, so I had to find an analogue. The direct ‘angel’s ladder’ translation appears only to be used by weeaboos (i.e., it’s only used as a translation from Japanese, and never in native texts). ‘God rays’ are a real term, but are mostly computer graphics limited. There’s also ‘angel rays’, ‘Jesus rays’, and whatever the hell else. We do try to limit explicit mentions of God and Jesus, though (you won’t find ‘Oh my God’ anywhere), since it’s too explicit a cultural reference. Ultimately, I settled on ‘Jacob’s ladder’ (again, I’ve never actually heard any of these terms, so I can’t gauge how common they are relative to each other). I wanted to keep ‘ladder’ around if possible, and Jacob, while a biblical dude, is passable in my view (esp. compared to ‘Jesus’ or ‘God’). And what it has over ‘angel’s ladder’ is that it appears to actually be attested in English. ‘Angel’s ladder’ isn’t terrible, honestly, and I could probably go either way. That’s just what the reasoning was this week.

There’s something on a big monument or something about Ikaho being Japan’s first planned resort. It’s not really too interesting so I didn’t look very carefully, but my understanding is that the town was designed around the hot spring in a bit more of an artificial manner than most resort towns, which cropped up more organically. Honestly, don’t ask me.

Power spots I don’t really want to talk about. It’s really exactly what it sounds like (vague, poorly defined, nebulously good). If you watched the first two seasons, you know.

7 thoughts on “Yama no Susume Third Season – 09

  1. Jim

    Although I don’t know an appropriate colloquial term for this sunbeam formation, the term “Jacob’s Ladder” can result in confusion because it is the proper name for a high-voltage arc climbing between two wires. (The arc’s heat causes the ionized plasma channel to rise, resulting in the arc climbing the wires. It’s usually seen in low-budget sci-fi horror shows – eg in Dr Frankenstein’s lab)

  2. Jeff Buckley

    Weird, I would have the opposite intuition. That jesus and god are so colloquial that nobody’d hardly think of christianity when they’re used at this point unless someone specifically reminds one of it. Like lately I’ve been hearing and saying ‘jesus hell’ lately instead of saying what the hell or jesus christ or whatever. It doesn’t make any logical or religious sense in how it morphed that way but it rolls off the tongue. That’s just my opinion on how colloquial I think things like that are. In fact, I’d consider ‘oh my god’ as probably the least explicit cultural reference I can think of. But ‘God rays’ does sound like it means ‘that’ God, so not things in that vein.
    Whereas jacob of jacob’s ladder is too specific so would be out of place. Except in this case cause it’s just the english name for that natural phenomena, so what can ya do (I don’t know if I’ve heard anyone say that term out loud either, but I think I did know that’s a name for it. I think. Maybe read it in some novel once.)

    1. Jim

      The reference noted by @Jeff Buckley has even more of a religious etymology than the alternative names for this sunbeam formation that the translator was trying to avoid. For those interested, while keeping religious stuff to a minimum, the Jacob’s ladder reference is located in Genesis 28 12-17, and describes Jacob’s vision of angels ascending and descending a ladder that extends from Earth to heaven.

      1. tsuru Post author

        The whole religious/cultural reference thing doesn’t have a lot of hard and fast rules, and ultimately it’s essentially impossible to separate Western culture from its Judeo-Christian influence. All I can say is that a term like ‘God rays’ sounds to my ear to imply much more religious connotating -on the part of the speaker- than something like ‘Jacob’s ladder’. If I had to guess, maybe the explicit mention of God himself, and while again, Jacob is biblical, so is literally God. And I actually think the specificity in this case doesn’t really matter too much. We can talk about Daniel in the lions’ den or David and Goliath, which are all biblical stories, without explicitly thinking of religion. In a sense, I think that those specific -portions- of the Bible are ingrained in such a way that they are cultural, rather than religious, references, if a division had to be drawn (whether -cultural- references are themselves even passable is another matter, but it being the actual lexical item here it’s not easy to avoid, and the same goes for most idioms). Perhaps because they’re old and no longer really contemporary, while Jesus and God are the key portions of the modern religion, and thus bear a greater actual immediate religious connotation. Honestly, I don’t know. All I can say is that I still believe ‘Jacob’s ladder’ the best option here.

        As an aside, you will fine ‘geez’ (and unfortunately not ‘jeez’, though I digress) in the subs, because though it’s derived from Jesus, it seems far enough removed.

        ‘Angel’s ladder’ would be the best if anyone said it in English. As far as I know, no one does, so it’s inadmissible. As a point of interest (I could be completely wrong, so take this with a grain of salt and/or correct me), my understanding is that 天使 is used more or less exclusively for Western (or rather, Abrahamic) angels, and originated as a translation for such, not being attested before (or attested in a completely different meaning). Does that give us a bit of lexical leeway? Maybe, though I’m not myself sure.


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