Oni Genji, in all honesty, has me fucked up. For many reasons. But! Let me focus on one little obscure bit about Japanese folklore for a second.
It’s definitely not obvious, or implied in his design by any stretch, but still interesting… The expression: 「親に似ぬ子は鬼の子」meaning "A child that does not resemble its parents is the child of an oni" (lit.*according to wiki but varies contextually, etc.)
I’ll make the argument that Hanzo was likely very much like his father, Sojiro, in the fact that he was willing to dedicate his life (insert my thesis on him surrendering autonomy here) to the Shimada clan. In Sojiro’s death, we are made to understand that Hanzo shouldered all the responsibilities while Genji continued to flit about pursuing other interests. Genji’s actions were the complete opposite of his kin, what was expected of him, and eventually set off the events that lead to his “death.”
He was maybe always the outcast in this way— the child of an Oni from the very beginning?
I stopped knowing what to think about myself the day that you told me that I was the only thing on your mind. As a matter of fact, I don’t think I ever had a real opinion on myself before you. I existed, and that was sort of all there was. I just didn’t have to wonder if this part of me was good enough or if that part of me was pretty enough or if that last part of me was smart enough when I’d been convinced that no one ever noticed me.
i keep trying to memorize every detail of the moments i live in. in the soreness of my legs from standing so long at a concert, the chill of the night, the patterns of a tablecloth, the oily texture in my mouth after eating fried bananas. i keep trying to memorize the feelings, the quiet contentedness, the laughter, the excitement. i keep trying to memorize the people, their smiles, the way they speak, what makes them laugh. i’m constantly on the cusp of the next part of my life and that’s just so.. strange. but it makes it so much easier to find happiness no matter what’s happening to me, in a way? because i’m already kind of looking at life with those rose-colored glasses of nostalgia, simply because i know these are times i’ll never be able to live again, and these are people i might not always have, and that makes it so much easier to appreciate everything i might miss later.
-An infant came through, shrieking until no end unless their one simple demand was met: a bag of marshmallows in which to bury their face. I feel a great deal of understanding for this child, and I will undoubtedly make use of this coping strategy in the future.
-Multiple dogs have come through the store today,each brightening my day enough to more than make up for the stormy skies. A guest could purchase a stuffed Minion and slap me in the face with it and I still would not mind. All that matters now is the puppers.
-A mother turned her back to her four year-old daughter for a split second, who, with an immediacy that left no doubt of premeditation, ran to an empty register and began shining the hand scanner into her eyes. My crew has been in need of a classic wild card for some time now, and I believe I may have found a perfect fit.
-I passed a woman wearing a shirt that read, “I Love Jesus A Little.” I appreciate the honesty here. After all, JC has always struck me as the kind of guy who values being real over telling him what he wants to hear.
-An eerie spell has fallen over the shopping center. Despite the vibrant landscapes outside being perfectly lit in the most picturesque way, the sky is covered in a deep black, nearly purple covering of clouds. The store is constantly fluctuating from full and crowded to nary a shopper to be seen, yet at no point is anything more or less than a muffled buzz heard. Every thirty minutes I look at a clock, only to see that only five have gone by. I know not what is causing this metamorphosis from storefront to purgatory. I can only hope that it passes soon, or, if it does not, that I am compensated properly.
-A toddler systematically discarded items as she was pushed through the store, tossing them by the wayside as they went. She knew precisely what the most valuable item in that cart was, and she would not stand for competition.
-A family came through my lane. The father placed a stuffed stormtrooper on the counter and, gesturing to his son, said, “This is his buddy.” Next, he put up several bags of mini chocolate eggs, remarking, “And these are going to be my buddies.” Finally, he told me of his wife, “And this, this is her buddy,” before placing a therapeutic massager on my counter. No living soul will ever know the truth of who was the most uncomfortable in this situation, but I will contest to my dying day that it was me.
-A man hurriedly approached my register and, in a deep and commanding voice, addressed me, “How you doing, chief?” Caught off-guard by my new promotion, I quickly scanned his purchase of girls underwear and leggings. He finished paying and told me, “Don’t bother bagging it, we’ve had an incident,” and, items stowed under his arm, hurried back off towards the sales floor. I sent with him my best wishes and a sticker for our fallen soldier.
Kindness isn’t inherent. Kindness is a choice. When you choose to be kind, recognize the power you hold in each situation to continuously be kind. One isn’t born evil or good. Each moment shapes our actions and allows us the opportunity to further grow and blossom to become better than we were yesterday. And when you stop criticizing, stop blaming, stop looking outward, and start searching inward, you will find there are endless opportunities to practice kindness. Never stop seeking. Do good.