Dan Jones covers a superlatively violent period of British history: 1420 – 1525. This period sees the death of King Henry V, the loss of English land in France under Henry VI, a period of Civil War which only ended for good with the ascension of Henry VII, and the reign of Henry VIII before his troubles with the papacy. Most writers describe the Wars of the Roses as a conflict between two rival houses (York and Lancaster), which only ended when Henry VII married Elizabeth of York in 1486–thus combining them. Even so, many of the events following 1486 have to do with Henry VII and Henry VIII either dealing with attempts of pretenders to the throne to invade England or killing off everyone with Plantagenet blood in his veins. And so, it is fair to say that 1525 marks the end of English internecine conflict and the threat posed by people who might claim succession to the throne.
This history is every bit as violent as the preceding paragraph makes it sound. Edward IV, Richard III, and Henry VII all won their crowns on the battlefield. Henry V bequeathed his subjects a stable and prosperous kingdom, but died while his son and heir was a mere infant. The clashes between aristocratic families over who held the reigns of power during Henry VI’s infancy led to England becoming every bit as turbulent as France during the Hundred Years’ War. (Maybe more violent. I don’t think that France can point to a Battle of Towton, which left 28,000 casualties…all killed.) The usual story of two rival houses needing to unite in order to end this strife, popularized by authors like Shakespeare (Henry VI – Richard III, with Romeo and Juliet offering a tragic version of the same), found acceptance among earlier English historians. Dan Jones challenges this notion by pointing out all the political problems caused by Henry V’s death. His history shows that England’s civil strife was hardly that simple.
Let Christmas count as the end of this blog’s hiatus. The cause for me taking breaks likes this lies in the components of my writing, which I have compared to the hurricane cocktail in an old post, being out of whack. These are still not in perfect proportion–especially the passionfruit ingredient; yet, so many ideas have come into my head during this time that I must open the floodgates of my imagination.
The present article was one such inspired by my thoughts on THE SCENE in the film Excaliber and the Advent season. If you have never seen Excaliber, by all means stop reading now and watch this cinematic classic. Those of you who prefer to pass over this pleasure may get a sense of what I shall write about below by watching THE SCENE and the events immediately preceding it:
Here is the post I promised to write on Gintama and Christmas. Enjoy!
12 Days of Otaku Christmas: A Gintama Christmas
Well, my dear readers, it’s time for me to take another break from blogging here. Also, my column “Examining Light Novels” on Beneath the Tangles will be put on hold for the time being; though, I intend to write one article for their “Twelve Days of Christmas” series. It’s a shame that this hiatus comes before the end of National Blog Posting Month, but so be it. Medieval Otaku will return at some point in January. In the meantime, I might write some articles on my two other blogs which I have neglected in favor of this one in order to keep the writing muscles in shape.
Saraba ja or Saraba da is an antiquated Japanese term for good-bye which I learned recently. The closest expression in English is “Godspeed!” and the Spanish “Adios!” might be even closer in meaning. Apparently, the samurai used to wish each other good-bye with Saraba ja, and, if blogs are to be believed, it’s Buddhist in derivation and wishes “eternal wisdom” on the addressee. (Kodansha’s Essential Kanji Dictionary gives the kanji in the valediction two meanings “yes” for zen pronunciation and “nature” for nen, but I am certain this is not exhaustive.)
Happy Thanksgiving and saraba ja!
Yuri on Ice is one of those shows which I can never see myself watching, but I applaud MRNewman’s discussion of the concepts of Agape, Philia, and Eros within the context of the show and the Bible, in which these three loves appear. Click on the link below!
Here is a great post about vampires and fighting evil. Josh W explorers Christian themes within video games for Beneath the Tangles. The articles on his personal blog, Res Studiorum et Ludorum, contains posts on many subjects ranging from anime and movies to science fiction and religion. Please check out the post linked to below!
While reading through some posts on Beneath the Tangles, I found this excellent article by Kaze on how many people view religion as outdated. It was inspired by the visual novel Harmonia, which sounds like a very introspective work. Click on the link below.
Harmonia and Outdated Religion
Here is the most recent installment of “Examining Light Novels,” a column I write on Beneath the Tangles. I must say that I was not too impressed with volume 12 of Spice and Wolf and did not even read half of the novel before penning the post. Writing from hindsight, one can safely skip volumes six and seven. After completing volume twelve, I’ll make a judgment on that one too.
Anyway, below is one remark which caught my attention in volume twelve. God is great, and having even the slightest understanding of God makes one a great theologian, as one of the saints mentioned in the Greek Orthodox Philokalia wrote. One of the most important things to understand about God is that He is fascinated by His creatures, not bored of them, which is fortunate for us: we exist because of God’s creative word. If He really became bored of us, He might stop thinking of us and speaking that word, which would cause us to cease to exist.
I suppose we have difficulty imagining God as interested in us, because we have difficulty imagining a humble God. That God is humble boggles the human mind. Part of the reason Christmas is so popular is because the omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient God comes to us as a small, helpless, and speechless infant. This great miracle of humility so astonishes the mind that even non-Christian cultures feel compelled to celebrate it in some way.
May you enjoy the article linked to below!