Ryouga Hibiki's Name

By Phillip Yff

My name is Ryouga. I am a warrior. In our society, warriors are poets. So, I picked up my brush in order to depict my soul in a "marriage of calligraphy and lyricism." These are not my words. They are my teacher's. The most I could do was write my name and leave the remainder of the scroll blank.

My sensei took the scroll and said, "This is poetry of the highest order. You know yourself, and that is good."

My name is Ryouga, and I do know myself. The first part of my name means good and lucky. I am a good man and I am a lucky man. Is it not I with whom Akane chooses to spend her nights? The second part of my name means fang or fangs. I am a dangerous man and resolute. My luck, too, has a sharp bite to it. Sometimes, I laugh bitterly at the whimsy of Lady Luck. She has drawn Akane to me but imprisoned my soul in the body of a diminutive pig.

There are those who say Akane and Ranma are destined for each other. But it is I who spend every waking moment thinking of Akane and every sleeping moment dreaming of her. I may have difficulty finding my way across rolling fields, looming mountains, and meandering rivers. But my heart has had no difficulty finding its destination.

Ranma, you may think fate is your ally, but I am a lucky man and my luck has teeth in it. I spell my name in hiragana so you can say it slowly. The 'ri' syllable is followed by the subscripted 'yo' to form 'ryo' whose sound is lengthened by the 'u' that comes next. Ryou rhymes with slow, so say it slowly and remember that I am a good man and a lucky one. And then say the 'ga' sharply so you might remember you have cause to beware.

As for you, Akane, read my name in kanji as I have written it. The first kanji is our good luck. The second kanji which invokes the symbol of the fang shows I am a warrior worthy of you. This is my poem to you. I give you my heart, my soul, and my name.


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