Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Bracelets & Prayer Beads at the Waterfront | Shenmue 3

Bracelets & Prayer Beads at the Waterfront | Shenmue 3
Yu Suzuki shared several new Shenmue III screenshots at the Reboot Develop conference last week, and one of these was the above image of Ryo strolling along the waterfront in Choubu (Niaowu) at night.
This post will talk some more about the first stand, as it has a few extra details of interest.

As mentioned in our analysis post, this is a jewelry specialist ("珠宝専科") which boasts of being a long-standing business: in business for 50 years ("五十年老店").

There is some more writing at either end of the awning, enclosed in a rectangular frame. The two characters there use an ancient style of writing known as seal script, setting them apart from the shop name. These days, this style is most commonly found for personal seals (name stamps) like this one:
An example of a seal, whose characters are written in an ancient style.
The two characters form a word, 特製, meaning "special" or "specially-made".
Characters in the seal script style (bottom) look quite different from modern characters (top)
In the stand, a large number of gold and silver bracelets can be seen hung on a string and in the display trays in front of the vendor. There are also several cardboard boxes stacked at the back of the stand and under one of the tables, no doubt containing more merchandise.

Two display boards are propped up against the front table, holding what at first glance appear to be red bracelets. However a closer look shows that they each have a tassel attached; they are actually Buddhist prayer beads, which are held between one's fingers during prayer and ceremonies, and are also considered to protect against evil spirits. The ones displayed here are red, and are likely to be made from a polished gemstone such as agate.

Players who have thoroughly investigated Ryo's home may recognize them from the drawer in the altar room at the Hazuki residence!

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