Bunbunmaru Newspaper

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Bunbunmaru Newspaper logo, as shown in HM

The Bunbunmaru Newspaper (文々。新聞 bunbunmaru shinbun, lit. "sentence sentence period newspaper") is a newspaper that is run by Aya Shameimaru. Many issues of the Bunbunmaru are included in Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red and Symposium of Post-mysticism, and we are actually able to read them. At the end of every match in Hopeless Masquerade, an issue of the paper is seen, covering the results of the match.

See also Category:Bunbunmaru Newspaper articles

Distribution

The Bunbunmaru in its normal format is delivered free of charge to anyone outside the Human Village who is willing to receive it, as well as many who are not.

In 2015[1], Aya launched a Human Village Edition of the Bunbunmaru, sold cheaply at Suzunaan as a competitor to the village's existing newspaper. This paper focuses mainly on issues which affect the Human Village, with Aya adopting a different writing style and concealing its tengu origins. While very popular, it would later suffer a drop in readership due to a smear campaign from Mamizou Futatsuiwa.[2]

Name

Bunbunmaru Newspaper logo, as seen in BAiJR

In the Japanese language, (Readings: "Bun", "Mon", "Fumi" or "Aya") is a kanji that's generally used with regards to literature or writing. For example, when is used solely, almost all the time it's read as "bun" meaning "sentence". On the other hand, when it's used in compounds, it makes up words such as "character" ( moji), "letter" ( fumi, historical word rarely used today), "literature" ( bungaku), "writing style" ( buntai), "culture" ( bunka), "wording" ( monku) and so on. Incidentally, the reading "aya" is extremely seldom used.

The "" is a punctuation mark and not a kanji, where it indicates that the previous kanji should be repeated, thus "文々" is equivalent to "文文" (both read "bunbun"). The "" is equivalent to the English "." (full stop or period), where like the period, it's usually never read. However, when needed to emphasize, it's pronounced as "maru" and read like "something something maru" (何々「まる」 nani nani maru), akin to "something something period" in English. ZUN has taken advantage to adopt the unique way of making a pun from her name ("Shyameimaru"), rather than just simply using the same kanji maru () in her name. The "bun" from is rhyming with the "bun" in the shinbun (新聞, lit. "newspaper").

It's difficult (or else senseless) to translate the newspaper's name in English, since it doesn't have any specific meaning in the Japanese in the first place. For non-speakers, it would be more effective to stop trying to make logical sense out of it, and rather try to observe the kanji such as "" also used in her name like an ideogram that represent ideas by shape, and feel the rhyme in the phrase via sound.

Additionally, the "Bunbunmaru" part could be one of ZUN's jokes. There was a Japanese baseball player, Takahiro Ikeyama (池山隆寛). He was a player with particularly memorable characteristics. He got many homeruns when in good condition, but he sometimes got many strikeouts in bad condition. So he was given a nickname Bunbunmaru (ブンブン丸). "Bun bun" sounds like two bat swings, and "maru" is an ordinary, albeit old-fashioned name ending for a man. There's one more man having the nickname, but Ikeyama is far more popular.

Trivia

An issue of Bunbunmaru Newspaper shown in Strange and Bright Nature Deity.
  • The Bunbunmaru Newspaper is frequently seen in Touhou Sangetsusei and is shown as a commonly read newspaper. Aya's articles frequently become the main story of a chapter.
  • In Oriental Sacred Place, a massive pile of Aya's newspapers are seen stored within the Hakurei Shrine's warehouse, indicates a large amount of unknown events occur within Gensokyo. Reimu Hakurei seems to ignore the newspapers but reads them if Marisa Kirisame points something out.
  • The Bunbunmaru Newspaper may be a possible answer to unexplained acquaintances and interactions between characters that have never met in previous works. It is certain that Aya's newpapers do promote some recognition of places and characters as shown in Touhou Sangetsusei.
  • The Kakashi Spirit News is supposedly a rival of the Bunbunmaru Newspaper, but its success seems low as no character has been shown reading it.

See also

References