Takaya’s SECRET diary. Whoever opens it without permission will be trapped in a genjutsu.
(I’ll apply it as soon as I learn how to do it.)
With comments by Tachibana Kuro.
I found this thing in your stuff and read it.
Ten-year-old you is cute but sort of creepy, low-key.
(And you never did apply that seal, neko-chan.)
My name is Umino Takaya. I got you for my birthday yesterday because Dad said I am an Umino and I need to learn how to keep track of what happens. Because that’s what we do. Yesterday, I didn’t have time to write because I had training. Even though it was my tenth birthday. I think that’s mean. I know I need to become a powerful shinobi but it’s still not fair that I have to do training on my birthday. Takumi made fun of me again because he didn’t have to train on his birthday. But maybe things are different when you turn eleven. Takumi is very mean sometimes and I hate him. But Seiko-sensei always shouts at me when I punch him. Takumi only grins when I punch him and when Saiko-sensei isn’t looking, he punches me back. He’s much stronger because he is two years older and it really hurts. The others don’t help me either. I always speak up when he tries to make fun of Reney-chan because he is not as strong yet and then he punches me. Kano keeps quiet and only does what Seiko-sensei tells him to do. And Namiko is Takumi’s best friend. I hate training.
But I got a cake when I came home and it was very yummy. Mommy is the best! I got a new kimono, a new bachi for my shamisen* and new hairpins from her. Dad gave me this diary and a book about genjutsu. I’m good at genjutsu. Even grandma came over. I got a new set of kunai from her. Special kunai that can transfer genjutsu to anyone I hit with them. Maybe I should try them out on Takumi next time he tells me that I look like a girl. I will not cut my hair even if dad tells me too! Only the greatest shinobi can have long hair! And I like it when mommy plaids it and makes lots of cool hairstyles.
I haven’t written anything that happened today because nothing happened so far except Takumi laughing at me when I didn’t hit the target. He would miss it too if I snapped my fingers right next to his ear! I punched him and was told off my Seiko-sensei. Nothing more has happened so far. I think I start reading this book now and practise my genjutsu.
[*Shamisen is a traditional Japanese three-stringed banjo which Takaya totally knows how to play. It is played which a certain kind of plectrum that called bachi.]
Today, I didn’t have training with the others which was nice. Instead, dad showed me a new water-style jutsu. It multiplies shuriken with water clones, so I can let them rain down on my enemies. It’s really cool and I think I should try it on Takumi the next we’re sparing. After this, I practiced shamisen and learned a new piece. I don’t like it very much and it’s quite hard but when I’m done with it, I can learn another one that’s much more fun. The book that dad gave me is very interesting. It talks a lot about genjutsu structure and if I study it carefully, I will soon be able to create my own illusions. Yes, I might me smaller than the other boys and not as strong as Takumi but I’m much better at genjutsu than he will ever be.
Seiko-sensei is so mean! Today, I was fighting with Takumi and I was actually quite good. He didn’t hit me once in the first five minutes. I’m faster than him. Then, there was a chance and I used the new ninjutsu my father told me, the one with the water shuriken. Takumi couldn’t defend all of them and got really badly scratched. He looked as if he was scared. It was the first time I scared him. But Sekio-sensei dissolved my jutsu and then screamed at me. He was really mad but I don’t understand why. Takumi hurts me all the time, a lot worse than these few scratches he got. Why do I get screamed at and he not? I think he just likes Takumi much better than me. This is so unfair. Sekio-sensei came over to our house and told my parents and dad was really angry too. It wasn’t that dangerous! Takumi only got a few scratches! I’m very upset. The grown-ups are so mean! I’ll just stay in my room for the rest of my life!
You probably know now that your sensei’s reaction was justified.
Using ninjutsu in a taijutsu fight is against the rules.
And water shuriken are dangerous for a pre-genin.
I think, even ten-year-old you knew that Takumi got more
than a few scratches. He must have been badly cut up.
Takumi didn’t show up for training today. Probably he’s allowed to stay at home today because of what I did yesterday. I hope he stays away for a few days longer because training is much better without him. Namiko isn’t so bad when Takumi isn’t around, even Kano talked to me today. Usually, the only one who talks to me sometimes is Reney-chan. But we all trained and we talked and they’re actually quite nice. Why are they only nice when Takumi isn’t around? I invited them over to play in the afternoon but Namiko and Kano had to do more training. Reney-chan came though and we built a hut in the woods. That was fun. Mommy came to find us, she had cake and lemonade for us and we really had a great time. Reney-chan is a bit shy but when we were sitting in out cool house, we talked a lot and he’s very nice and sweet. He’s got his head full of exciting stories of dragons and yosei and yokai. He told me of a black bakemono* called Kaito-chan which lives in the shed of his parents but is never seen by anyone because he’s very good at hiding. And he slinks around the village and causes all sorts of mischief. He’s very good at telling stories and I like the ones about Kaito-chan the most. Maybe he made Takumi trip and fall on his face and he broke his nose and that’s why he couldn’t come to training. Thank you, Kaito-chan.
Mommy was really happy that I made a friend. I’m not even sure if Reney-chan is my friend yet. I don’t know if he likes me as much as I like him.
Please tell me you did NOT name our child
after the imaginary friend of your first crush…
[* bakemono: shapeshifting cat from Japanese mythology]
I forgot about you, diary, but I try to write in here more regularly now. Takumi is still mean and I’m looking forward to when he does his genin exam. Because he told us a few days ago that he wanted to join the Kirigakure shinobi as soon as he is a genin. He’s training very hard and so am I because I want to be as strong as him when he leaves. But I definitely will never join the Kiri shinobi if Takumi is one of them. Reney-chan and I are best friends now. He comes over to my house very often and we play in my room or in the garden or in the woods. I did visit him a few times but his parents caught us one day playing ninja. He was the ninja and I was a princess that was kidnapped by an evil Earth shinobi. I didn’t actually want to be the princess but I’m the one with long hair, so I put it up like mommy showed me and put on one of his mother’s dresses. I think she didn’t like me wearing her dresses because she got angry and shouted first at him and then at me and I had to leave. I cried when I ran home. I know, shinobi don’t cry but you won’t tell anyone, right? But I was scared that he wouldn’t be allowed to visit me anymore and I like Reney-chan very much. He’s my friend and I don’t want to lose him. I even wrote a song for him about Kaito-chan. I played it on my shamisen and he said he liked it very much. He said he could hear Kaito-chan slinking though the streets and it made me very happy.
Can you still play the “Kaito-chan” song?
You know how much I love listening to you playing shamisen.
Today, Reney-chan was here again and we played in the woods. We are building a treehouse and, as soon as it’s ready, we will move in there and stay there for the rest of our lives. And I will listen to his stories all day.
Sekio-sensei isn’t so bad. Today, I won a fight against Namiko and he was very surprised. But happy surprised and he praised me and said that I am doing well. Of course I am! I’m training hard. Even harder than Takumi. I might not be as strong as the others but I’m faster than them. I’m looking forward to when we do real fights, with ninjutsu and genjutsu because I’m very good at genjutsu now and I will beat even Takumi with it. Sekio-sensei said that I have come a long way and I am doing so much better now. Ha! Takumi is still mean but I learned to only punch him when Sekio-sensei isn’t looking and I’m fast enough to dodge most of his punches. Reney-chan also made a lot of progress. He said to me that he doesn’t like fighting very much and he doesn’t actually want to become a ninja but his parents are very strict so he has to. But we sometimes train together and he likes that much better and I like it too. And my parents like Reney-chan very much, so we sometimes even have a sleepover when his parents allow it.
I don’t write in my diary regularly. I guess I will only use it to record very important events in my life. Today, nothing important happened. Therefore, I don’t have to write anything else.