Found some valuable research as I work on my book Nirvana: Oshu Fujiwara Dynasty.
WHY AM I DOING THIS?
MY ANSWER: “The DVD I have is very poor quality and is missing English subtitles for many sections. My goal is to allow the public to know this excellent story of my ancestors in its entirety. Our current world is woefully ignorant of history, which, by the way, is repeating itself. My ancestors loved peace, but the greedy around them loved war. This is their story. Also, history is often rewritten by the victor to make those who died seem insane or evil. My ancestors were not perfect, but they were heroic. Their story deserves to be told in its entirety and truthfully. History has recast several of my ancestors as evil or insane. This production tells the truth about why they did what they did. Also, it appears, there is no way to buy this anymore. The story of my amazing ancestors is about to be lost for posterity. I must tell the world how heroic they were. Perhaps, it is the Japanese in me, but my life must honor my ancestors and this means their story must be told, not buried. What they went through has lessons for us all today. This is also research for my book Nirvana: Oshu Fujiwara Dynasty, which will be using this story told from the point of view of the last Northern Fujiwara leader, Yasuhira.”
I have had to search high and wide to find English subtitles for a Japanese mini-series made about my ancestors, the Oshu Fujiwara family. I could find NOTHING in English about this awesome Japanese mini-series, that I feel is Oscar or Emmy movie quality! The reason the story of my ancestors is so moving is because the main characters are so ANTI-WAR, but they are forced into WAR, and the entire story of this family is about those for war and those against war and how we all get sucked into war, whether we want to or not. My book will be exploring the forces that drag us into war and how we get sucked up into war and its deadly consequences. In many ways, it’s the story of our times and of all time. Why do men desire war? That is the story question and one I will strive to answer in my book about my ancestors. Basically, my ancestors had to choose between slavery and war and this is their story and what happened to them. They could lose their identity and honor or they could assimilate into the larger, more evil society. The hard choices they made and the price they paid for it, is what my book will be all about. It is a fascinating exploration of the role that cultural influences and intolerance of those who are “different” plays in war, and how evil disguises itself as moral and good in order to con people into accepting war as the answer. Though the story is very Japanese, it has a theme that is universal, the theme of good versus evil and the disguises that evil takes to fool us into believing it’s good. Told within the context of Japanese culture, the story reveals the moral fabrics evil people weave to justify war as the only answer against those who won’t conform to a larger, more evil society. As I write this, the story will be dialogue heavy and I shall strive to write it from a cinematic viewpoint, using strong, detailed description, with a heavy SHOW DON’T TELL writing style. My goal will be to bare the hearts of my characters on the page.
HERE IS THE OPENING TO THE ENGLISH NOVEL VERSION OF HOMURA TATSU:
Vladimir the Great of Russia died in 1015. Treachery now reigned in Russia.
Vladimir had a few hundred concubines for many years in Russia. When Vladimir died, his eldest son Sviatopolk was disliked by the people. Therefore, Sviatopolk’s retinue concealed from him his father’s death, so that he would not claim the throne in Kiev. But when Sviatopolk learned of his father’s demise, he seized power in Kiev almost immediately.
The citizens of Kiev did not show much sympathy for Sviatopolk. So he tried to send them presents to win them over.
Boris learned of his father’s death when he returned with the Russian army to Alta. When informed of Sviatopolk’s accession to the throne and when urged to replace him, Boris said, “Be it not for me to raise my hand against my elder brother. Now that my father has passed away, let him take the place of my father in my heart.”
But Boris presented the most danger because Boris had been in charge of Vladimir’s personal guards and army. Regardless of Boris’s decision to step aside, Sviatopolk sent Putsha and the boyars of Vyshegorod to execute his brother. They stabbed Boris and his manservant as they slept in a tent.
The Varangians discovered Boris still breathing while transported in a bag to Kiev. So to put him out of his misery, they thrust him through with a sword.
Sviatopolk then sent for Gleb, giving him the impression that his father was not yet dead. He rushed Gleb to his father’s death bed. On the way, their brother Yaroslav learned of Sviatopolk’s treachery and urged Gleb not to meet Sviatopolk. But while Gleb prayed to his deceased brother and God, Gleb’s cook, Torchine, cut Gleb’s throat with a kitchen knife.
Boris and Gleb were murdered in 1015, to become saints in the Russian Orthodox Church, because they gave their lives rather than oppose their brother, to prevent bloodshed in Russia.
Relatives of Boris and Gleb and others of Vladimir’s many children (who wanted to escape from this treachery) ran for their lives to the south, and then headed east on horseback.
One of the escapees, renamed himself Yaroslav to honor the Yaroslav left behind. This child of Vladimir the Great of Kiev, rather than go to war with Sviatopolk, left Russia. He took with him, his new bride Sara, but would have no relations with her till they reached their new home. Pregnancy was far too dangerous on this journey. Disguised as traders, using gold from savings, they bought food for themselves and their horses through mountains of death. The Silk Road often claimed traders’ lives. On horseback, they traveled light, and forged through glaciers, deserts and mountains.
These Russian royal escapees by-passed the hunter-gatherers who populated Siberia and surged on eastward, perhaps wanting to create a distance between themselves and Sviatopolk, to ensure they were beyond his reach. They also wanted to honor their deceased relatives Boris and Gleb by avoiding further bloodshed, choosing to relocate far away from danger, not sure what lands lay to the east, only knowing they had to find a safe place to live.
Reaching China over a year later, they launched by boat for Northern Japan with news that people lived there who looked like them. After eighteen months of yearning for freedom and life, Yaroslav and the children of Vladimir the Great ended up with the Emishi of Japan.
By 1017 they had all arrived in northern Japan, and discovered there intelligent hunter-gatherers who invited them to become their new leaders. These intelligent hunter-gatherers who adopted them were the Emishi, a minority in Japan, who needed more people.
The Emishi representative to Japan’s Court, Otona, met with them, to decide their fate among the Emishi. Otona advised them to keep as a deadly secret between him and them their royal Russian ancestry, to which they agreed. Therefore, the date and place of Abe no Yoriyoshi’s birth are not known. All the Russian royals were given new names immediately and told to never mention their old names or speak any languages besides Emishi languages. Otona told his fellow Emishi that these Russian royals were Emishi who escaped to China after the defeat and murder of Aterui in 802 against the Crown troops, and had returned.
Their first week in Japan, one night both Sara and Yaroslav had the same dream.
The leader of the Emishi, General Aterui, yelled to his troops. “This is our moment!”
The Emishi were a hairy people, Caucasian in appearance, who resisted the rule of the Japanese Emperors in the late Nara and early Heian period (seventh to tenth centuries A.D.). They relied on their horses in warfare, where horse archery and hit-and-run tactics held back Japan’s imperial forces, which used slow, heavy infantry. The imperial armies were no match for Emishi guerilla tactics.
But when Japanese imperial armies developed horse archery and Emishi tactics, this would lead to Emishi defeat.
So, today in 802 A.D., was different.
Forty-five thousand Japanese against an Emishi army in the hundreds clashed in battle. The imperial forces had adopted Emishi methods for warfare. Samurai swords slashed in the river and bodies fell from both sides.
To spare life, the Emishi General Aterui agreed to a truce and tromped proudly over to General Sakanoue no Tamuramaro, the Japanese general. The Emishi leader flung his sword to the ground, signifying his temporary surrender, his head held high. “Freedom!” he yelled.
On April 15, 802, the Japanese leader reported the most important success of all in this campaign. “The Emishi leaders Aterui and More surrendered with more than five hundred warriors.”
The imperial forces threw the Emishi leaders into their wooden cage, their prison. Aterui stared defiant, while his companion More screamed at him, his face red with passion. “Why did you agree to this truce! They are playing games with us. We should not have surrendered, we should have fought to the death.”
Aterui held his head defiant. “If they kill us, our death will be a light in the darkness, like a star spinning from the darkness bursting into flames.” Aterui stared outside, through the wooden bars of his prison. “Killing us will only set our dead bodies on fire. On fire!”
General Sakanoue, knowing how Emishi revered their General Aterui, pleaded for the government to let them live. “We need to maintain trade with the North. If we execute their leaders, this could be jeopardized.”
General Sakanoue no Tamuramaro safeguarded Aterui and More to the capital on July 10, 802. Tamuramaro tried to persuade his superiors and Emperor Kanmu to save Aterui and More’s lives, so that they could appease the Emishi and have a good relationship for trade. But the Emperor Tanmu never agreed with Tamuramaro and sent Aterui and More to Sugiyama Kawachi-no-kuni, the area now known as Hirakata City, Osaka and beheaded them.
On August 13, 802, the heads of Emishi Generals Aterui and More swung in the breeze, dangling from a wooden rectangle over the ground.
The wind howled with Emishi fury. Aterui’s last words echoed in the heavens. “This day will be remembered!”
So, by mid-ninth century the Japanese armies from the capital had at last conquered the Emishi or Abe.
Yaroslav woke up screaming “Revenge! Revenge!”
Otona’s mouth agape, told them the story of their hero Aterui who the Crown beheaded centuries earlier. It matched exactly the events of their dream. He asked them if they knew about Aterui, to which Yaroslav said shamefully he had not bothered to study their history. The news spread quickly among the Emishi that their Emishi brother who returned from China had this dream, along with his wife.
Yaroslav’s new name in Japan would be Abe no Yoriyoshi. For a decade the Emishi secretly educated him about their history and taught him and the Russian royals their languages. They hid from Japan’s Court that they were training their new leader.
The Emishi could not forget the portentous dream and decided the gods ordained Abe no Yoriyoshi their new leader.
The Emishi, desperate to regain their lost independence, saw intermarriage with these new arrivals as an opportunity to save themselves from annihilation.
The Russian royals agreed to take on Emishi leadership. Thus, the Russian royals were able to escape from one royal family in Russia that wanted them dead to another in Japan that welcomed them as saviors.
The Emishi hoped this infusion of new royal blood into their Emishi leadership would help them regain the independence they had lost. To ensure this plan would work, Otona had instructed the Russian royals to keep their Russian royal heritage a secret, so that the Japanese emperor would not assassinate them.
Because Vladimir the Great was a handsome man with dark hair and dark eyes, with hundreds of concubines, who produced attractive children, these Russian royal women who arrived in northern Japan, quickly became the concubines or wives of the ruling Emishi.
Among this group of new arrivals in 1017 was the young married man (renamed Yoritoki or Yoriyoshi in Japan) who would become the leader of the Abe in Japan. To maintain secrecy about his Russian royal ancestry and to keep him alive, his birth date and place of birth in Russia were kept secret. Therefore, his date and place of birth are not known.
His Russian name was changed to an Abe Japanese name (Abe no Yoriyoshi). As soon as he arrived in Japan, the Emishi adopted him and taught him their culture. The Emishi put these new royals in charge of their military operations and basically handed over to them Emishi leadership. The Emishi loved their new leader, hailing him as their Savior, as the one who would help them regain the independence they had lost.
In the meanwhile, Abe no Yoriyoshi had Emishi concubines and Sadato was born in 1019. His wife from Russia, Sara, eventually gave birth to a girl named Yu. Yu was Abe no Yoriyoshi’s only child with Sara. Yu would end up his most important child. Yoriyoshi needed to blend in as an Emishi and not stand out as a Russian royal, so he stopped lovemaking with Sara, but loved her anyways, and changed her title from wife to concubine. This ruse worked because Mizuno, his official wife, despised Sara. Yu’s Russian features were explained away as a quirk in genetics. After Yu’s birth, it was decided that her mother Sara would become a prophetess and so, to protect the Russian royals, Sara stopped having relations with Yoriyoshi. This was to ensure the Russian royals could blend in with the Emishi unnoticed.
Their Russian royal ancestry wasn’t even mentioned to their children. The secret remained hidden, only revealed in their thoughts. Not a word passed between them about their true origins. It was as if their Russian past had died.
Abe no Yoriyoshi of royal Germanic bloodlines now ruled the Emishi in northern Japan. He was married to one of the Russian royals (Sara) who escaped with him from Russia, who had also learned the way of the Emishi. Both Abe no Yoriyoshi and his wife Sara were deeply religious and incorporated much of their former Russian culture into the Emishi, thus creating a new Emishi-Russian religion that became incorporated into the Emishi culture.
They created a unique mix that made the Abe clan unique, keeping the Abe separate from mainstream Japanese culture, incorporating aspects of bear worship from Russia, believing the bear carried the spirits of their Russian ancestors, and mixing this with Emishi nature worship – a desire for harmony between nature and humans.
So, just as Catherine the Great, a German, ended up as ruler of Russia – Abe no Yoriyoshi, of royal Germanic bloodlines (the same gene pool that would produce Catherine the Great later), ended up as ruler of the Abe in northern Japan.
Like Catherine the Great, he learned a new language and culture and became totally welcome and accepted in his new country. Unlike Catherine the Great, he had to keep his real parentage a secret, or the Emperor of Japan would have him assassinated.
So, thanks to their new leadership, the Emishi continued in northern Japan as subjugated and powerful Emishi families. This Germanic blood mingled with Emishi blood, creating semi-autonomous feudal domains in the north. So that about thirty years later, in 1050, a few of these Emishi domains became regional states that came into conflict with the central government.
Their Caucasian blood mingled well with the Caucasian appearance of the Emishi.
The genes of Catherine the Great now infused political brilliance into the Emishi leadership, enabling them to regain ground they lost to the Japanese after their defeat in 802. To assist them in keeping secret their new arrivals from China, the Emishi maintained independence from Kyoto. They knew the Emperor would find any royals from another land in Japan a threat.
From these Russian/Germanic Abe leaders would evolve a woman born with the genetic profile of fifty percent King David of Israel and sixty percent Catherine the Great. This was Gail Chord Schuler in 1957. Satan would try to change history to destroy this baby.
For a page I created about this that gives a brief summary of their history: https://gabriellechana.blog/2018/05/22/history-of-gails-catherine-the-great-ancestors-oshu-fujiwara-family-children-of-vladimir-the-great-of-russia-2/
Unfortunately, the Homura Tatsu mini-series appears to be unavailable for sale anywhere.
I searched high and wide for English subtitles for Homura Tatsu and could not find any anywhere. It’s like looking for gold that somebody may have accidentally dropped on the street. You can’t find English about this video series anywhere. It’s such a shame because I think it was very well done. I happen to have English subtitles on DVD (copies from an old Homura Tatsu videocassette series from 1990s Hawaii) for videos 26 to 30 and 33 to 35. My mother gave this to me in the 1990s. How little did I realize (at the time) that this would become as rare as finding gold on the streets in 2019!
For those who want to create your own subtitles. SubtitleEdit is fantastic for creating srt subtitle files. It’s easy to use and works well. I use SubtitleEdit-3.5.9-Setup.zip. You can download the software here: https://github.com/SubtitleEdit/subtitleedit/releases
I did find a website where somebody who is apparently fluent in both Japanese and English made subtitles files. I will be checking this to see if they have added anymore subtitle files for this excellent mini-series and, if so, I will be making more videos with English subtitles when any new subtitles files becomes available: https://www.d-addicts.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=164632&p=1815507&hilit=Homura+Tatsu#p1815507
Using these files, I was able to edit them into the first five videos in the Homura Tatsu series using my video editor program (see below). And then, learning as I go, I am becoming quite good at putting English subtitles on this Japanese masterpiece.
As far as I know, the ONLY place where you can get Homura Tatsu with English subtitles is ME! My book will be incorporating much of what’s in Homura Tatsu, because it is such an excellent source about my Oshu Fujiwara ancestors. Jesus says they all went to heaven and that I’ll enjoy conversing with them when I get to heaven.
The Homura Tatsu 35 part series, is divided into 3 sections. The first 12 videos detail the history of the Abe family (who were Emishi) from which the Oshu Fujiwara family came. This is a fascinating exploration of how love and war are tied together, and how this caused the downfall of the Emishi in Japan, so that they became totally subjugated to Central Japan. I have 5 videos from this first part with English subtitles, with more coming! THIS IS THE ONLY PLACE ONLINE WHERE YOU CAN GET THIS IN ENGLISH SUBTITLES. I had to do it myself, in order to get research for my book in progress. It appears Satan does not want the world to know about my fascinating ancestors.
The 2nd part of Homura Tatsu (videos 13 to 20) goes into the history of Fujiwara Kiyohira who basically started the Oshu Fujiwara dynasty. It was a rough start, so it’s an interesting story! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fujiwara_no_Kiyohira
The last third of Homura Tatsu (videos 21 to 35) covers the history of the families involved at the end of the Oshu Fujiwara dynasty, and how Yoshitsune (legendary Japanese warrior) played a role in this. Many think Yoshitsune may have become the Genghis Khan. I have most of this in English subtitles (on horrible quality DVDs because the VHS from which I got it was very poor quality).
This family has a fascinating story. They were a passionate family, very devout Buddhists, and their story really touches your heart. Their devotion to their family and their ancestors, who worshipped honor above all else, is a story about love, faith and honor that transcends time. It’s a story about coming from behind and climbing mountains.
A FRIEND OF MINE IS UPLOADING SOME OF MY VIDEOS WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES TO YOUTUBE! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIyl-D3uMJmTJzi8NDai8mQ
THESE ARE HOMURA TATSU VIDEOS WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES
(where it says “partial English subs, need translation – it means “partial English subs, need translation for missing parts”):
HOW I CREATE SRT SUBTITLE FILES:
1) I use Subtitle Edit 3.5.9, which I downloaded as a zip file and then opened and installed it to have it on my computer.
2) I create a DVD of the raw file video that has English subtitles dubbed off of TV (even though it is missing English subtitles in some sections).
2a) I put the DVD (with raw, partially English subtitled file) into my Sony DVD player.
3) I open Subtitle Edit 3.5.9 on my computer. I remove the waveform window to give my computer more working space, since I don’t use the waveform window.
3a) I open the script txt file (for the episode I’m working on) supplied to me by Avallac’h onto my computer screen.
4) I go to File in upper left and open the blank Chinese srt file supplied to me by Avallac’h. I now have the Chinese file with “sub duration: x,xxx” in all the text sections on my main Subtitle Edit window.
5) I open the Homura Tatsu video in Japanese for the episode I’m working on by going to Video at the top (and opening the video file). I got these Japanese videos many years ago from an online source. The video file is now uploaded on the video window of Subtitle Edit. If there is not a separate video window opened, you need to go to video (at top) and click on re-dock video controls at bottom of window that opens.
6) I play the raw hard subbed video on my DVD player until it gets to the first English subtitle on the TV screen. I then hit pause.
7) I now play the same video in Japanese by hitting the arrow to play on the Subtitle Edit video window that is open on my computer. Once the Subtitle Edit video player reaches the exact same point that I paused on my DVD, I now pause the Japanese video on my computer at the exact same spot.
8) Using the Subtitle Edit Controls panel open on my computer screen, I hit “Insert new subtitle at video pos”. Subtitle Edit automatically creates the text blank with start time and end time on main opened screen.
9) I copy the text to be inserted at text blank from Avallac’h’s open script file and paste it into the Text section of Subtitle Edit on main Subtitle Edit screen opened.
9a) If anything is highlighted brown after pasting text onto the text section, I manipulate the Start time or the duration (to the left of the text inserted) until the brown section is gone, which means that the subtitle will now be perfectly timed for the final video. Subtitle Edit has a brilliant set up for this, which you can figure out by playing with the Start time and duration to get perfectly timed subtitles! If “Start time” is highlighted, it means it probably overlaps with the previous entry and must be adjusted. If “Duration” is highlighted, it usually means the text inserted does not have enough time and needs more time, so you increase duration to give the text more time. Once all brown highlighted sections are gone, you now have your timing perfect. BE SURE TO REMOVE ANY BLANK “SUB DURATION” FILES (BETWEEN THE ENGLISH SUBTITLES YOU INSERTED) BEFORE ADJUSTING THE TIMING.
10) Using my DVD remote, I hit play on my DVD to get to next English subtitle, then hit pause when the next English subtitle starts. I remember in my mind exactly where the pause happened on the DVD video.
11) I hit play on the Japanese Subtitle Edit video on computer until it gets to the exact same spot where I paused in step 10. I then hit “Insert new subtitle at video pos” on Controls panel.
12) I check to see if any “sub duration” blanks (on main screen) are above the new addition from step 11. All “sub duration” blanks between the English subtitles copied and pasted onto the main Subtitle Edit screen are deleted (because their timing is no good). Just highlight the ones you want deleted, then R click and delete them. I then move the highlight down back to where I left off and hit play on my DVD player and repeat steps 6 to 12 and move forward, adding English subtitles to the srt file being created.
13) Once I have finished applying all English subtitles (from the script of the raw hard subbed DVD video) onto the srt file that has been created using Subtitle Edit, I go to File at the top and save the srt file where I want to save it on my computer. The only “sub duration” texts that I have removed from the srt file I created are those INBETWEEN English subtitles I INSERTED on the srt file using Subtitle Edit. SO ALL THE SECTIONS in my srt file that REMAIN that say “sub duration” ARE IN SECTIONS THAT NEED ENGLISH SUBTITLES.
14) The translator now knows which parts of the srt file need English subtitles by examining the srt file created to see where the “sub duration” text sections are.
ONCE ALL TRANSLATION IS SUPPLIED FOR MISSING SECTIONS, it is a simple matter to open the srt file I created onto Subtitle Editor and insert the missing English subtitles using “Insert new subtitle at video pos”, which creates a subtitle perfectly timed (if you remove all brown highlighted sections until the highlights are gone by adjusting timing).
Once the entire episode is subtitled, just remove all “sub duration” files, save the srt file, and it’s ready to be used in video editing as an srt file for subtitles.
UPDATE: I have actually come up with a more efficient way to do this. I will just transcribe from DVD into my Subtitle Edit first, and then take note of which parts are missing from the DVD’s hard subs, and then manually add the time stamps (based on Japanese subtitles) by adding them into the srt file (where subs are missing and we need translation) by editing the file in NotePad. This lets Avallac’h know which parts of the episode are missing subtitles and where our translator must create the script for these, to “fill in the blanks”.