Every Word Matters

I have fielded many questions from readers who didn’t meet me in fandom first. Did my best to answer:

Why did you label Book 1 “the first miko”?
Are all of the main characters in your series shrine priestesses? No. While this certainly hints at the legacy of Japanese culture that helped inspire my fandom storylines, miko refers to the main characters’ first names. Book One is about Tsumiko. In Book Two, I’ll introduce Kimiko. Book Three’s story belongs to a lady named Tamiko… and so on. [From a blog comment from 2018, in which I teasered future titles. ::twinkle::]

Lynne asked…
For those of us not familiar with Japanese culture, would you please explain “Miko” and the significance of the prefixes? Is it a two-part name, like Mary Sue, Mary Ann, Mary Margaret? Or something else? Thank you ~

A miko is (basically) a Japanese shine maiden. The main character in InuYasha (my first fandom) was sometimes referred to as a miko because her family were shrinekeepers. So my use of “the first miko” and “the second miko” are a playful homage. Sticking to this theme, titular characters in the Amaranthine Saga all have “miko” in their name, but the play on words is entirely English. In Japanese, name meanings vary widely depending on the kanji used.

Regarding prefixes. In a very general sense -ko is a diminutive, meaning “little” or “child.” That’s why Tsumiko first assumed that Ginkgo’s name was “Ginko,” since gin means “silver” and adding -ko would make it “silver child.” Another example: neko means “cat,” so koneko is “kitten.”

So there are no actual miko in the Amaranthine Saga?
Not so! Because you have to take the Miyabe sisters into account. Noriko, Kimiko, and Sakiko all fulfill this role (to some degree) at Kikusawa Shrine.

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