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11 April 2006 @ 03:46 pm
I hope this hasn't been asked before... If it has, then sue me.

In Fullmetal Alchemist, volume 6, page 168, chapter 25 (Yes. I remembered all that. Shut up.), Breda beat someone for the fifteenth time in a row at Shogi, which is the Japanese form of chess. Three panels over, Breda tells Falman that it's a "form of chess called 'Shogi' from an island country in the east." Would that mean that a Japan might actually exist in Fullmetal Alchemist?
areku1993 on April 11th, 2006 07:59 pm (UTC)
I see. Now, to go obsess about it... All I need to do is find out how "Xing" came from "China" and do the same thing to "Japan." *Runs off to obsess because she is an evil little fangirl*
RW Grimmgrimm222001 on April 11th, 2006 08:36 pm (UTC)
I might be able to help you with that. Your question got me thinking so I went to find out what Xing meant, cause I knew it was a real Chinese word. And I found this site.


It is associated with Chinese medicine, and the word is used as a term for 'the process of one thing acting upon another'

minkyparfaitminkyparfait on April 12th, 2006 03:18 am (UTC)
hrmm, in chinese, a single word like xing can mean different words, such as : xing = star, if it is wu xing(both words together) = five elements..

as chinese is a rather wide subject(every different word can be pronounced in 4 ways,.. don't knw how to explain T.T, its something like xing1 xing2 xing3 xing4, with xing1 pronounced at the higher/highest pitch and xing4 pronounced at a lower and forceful pitch.. something lidat, pardon me if i confuse ya all..) as of my above examples, xing = star is read as xing1 and wu xing's xing would be xing2.

as to why arakawa uses Xing, i'd say i have no idea at all.. since it wasn't any kanji word.

but if Xing is supposed to spell as Xin, there would be yet a whole lot of other words tat we can relate China to...

actually.. i don't knw where i'm headed to.. lol, jus tot i'd explain chinese abit.. i'm chinese btw..
RW Grimmgrimm222001 on April 12th, 2006 03:52 am (UTC)
I knew it meant multiple things. I got that in my search (including that star one). But it just somehoe seems to fit with the medicine one since their alchemy is used for medical purposes
The Indomitable Sambruisedgarden on April 11th, 2006 08:47 pm (UTC)
Actually... don't quite me as it's been a few years since I took my Asian History courses, but I believe China is named after the Chin dyntasy, which can actually also be read as Xin(g). Don't quote me, but that sounds right.
minkyparfait: [hyde] Geekminkyparfait on April 12th, 2006 03:21 am (UTC)
there's actually a Xin Dynasty in history.. and Xin means new, so its like a New Dynasty. I tink you may be right as to where arakawa had looked into to name the Xing part of fma world.
The Indomitable Sambruisedgarden on April 12th, 2006 03:31 am (UTC)
Yeah, there might be two, but I seem to remember my Prof going over Chin and another word (Most likely Xin(g)) being the same. But, like I said, it's been about 3 years since I took that class. I'm also too lazy to go look it up.

As all the other speculation stands, though, I believe they're right. Amestris stands for eastern Europs (and some Western) in general, and Ishbal is the Middle East, with Xing being China and lands beyond. Dracma to the north could work for the Swedes/Norwegians/Fins Etc directly north of the Germanic countries. I'd expect something like the Spanish to come from the West, and the Romans/Greeks from the south. But that's just a guess based on geography. Amestris could just be a small part of Germany, in actuality, or an amalgamation of surrounding countries.

However, being from Canada, I actually really do find it hard to grasp the size of the countries, when the province (out of 10 Provinces and 3 Territories) I come from could swallow up four or five European countries. So, yes, I do have a very hard tom grasping distance in Europe. I expect Amestris is no more than 1000-2000 miles (at the VERY most) in diameter, though, as there seems to be no difference in climate and train trips don't seem to cover more than a day or two.
Ketitaketita on April 12th, 2006 07:07 am (UTC)
I didn't really get a Germanic impression from Amestris at all. The language they're speaking, and the names, are obviously not German, it's English. I think it's a much more Western-Europe type country. (Not similar to Slavic countries much, really)
As for the size- I believe it was mentioned that it takes them something like two or three days train ride just to get to Rizembool, which isn't even all the way at the border, it's only something like halfway there if I remember Amestrian geography right. I really need to look this up. That means that a trip from Central to the border would take about 4-5 days.
The average speed for one of those trains would probably be around 65 mph, (going up to seventy-ish during long stretches). So if you calculate how long they would take to get to the border, that still makes the border around 6000 miles from Central. And that's just the radius. Meaning Amestris would be about 12,000 miles radius, making it approximately 113 million square miles, or about 290...million...square...kilometers. Hang on, that doesn't make sense.

So if we're being conservative and saying it takes two days max (and not even two whole days), that still comes out to be 54 million square kilometers, or 21 million square miles.
The smallest I can bring it down to (with 15 hours at 60 mph to the border) is 6.5 million square kilometers. Which is nearly the size of Canada (nearly 10 million SQ KM).
Either way, Amestris is huge.
of course, there's the possibility I fudged all my calculations.
The Indomitable Sambruisedgarden on April 12th, 2006 02:38 pm (UTC)
I really doubt that it's the size of Canada... for me to go just halfway across the country requires 3-4 days of driving 100-120km/hour (with obvious stops). To cross two provinces is about 14 hours at 100-120 km/hour (with only about an hour of stops), so I can't see Amestris being that large.

I'm basing this on the fact that in the anime or manga, we have never seen any sleep cars on the trains. They're all just normal streets. And considering that if Amestris were even near the size of Canada, and travelled the average speed of a train, they would definatley need sleep cars. I don't think we've ever even seen then on a train at night.

So, I'm going to stick with the idea that it's only a couple thousand miles in diameter. Also, I'm considering climate and geography, like I said. If you go even a few hundred miles from North to South in Canada, sometimes even east to west, the geography changes dramatically. That there aren't any mountains in the middle of Amestris that we've seen, or that the weather dosen't change much either tells me there's no chance it's the size of Canada. Unless Arakawa didn't figure that kind of thing in when she made the world, which is entirely feasable.
Ketitaketita on April 12th, 2006 03:46 pm (UTC)
Thing is, climate change is not always proportional to the area of the country. Take a look at Israel, for example- it's a tiny country by any standards, and yet it has heavy-ish snow up north, middling climates, and desert all in one country. Other much larger countries (say, Libya) don't have nearly so much climate change. Besides, don't we know that the border up by Drachma is colder than the center?
(I was a bit loose with the word 'near'...I mean, there was still a difference of several million square miles. Which is a large difference.) Even if it's only 500 miles radius, that still makes it 2 million square kilometers, which is still not very small.
Besides, we haven't seen enough of the climate in different areas to get a proper feel yet, I think.
Regx_reggg on April 12th, 2006 04:44 am (UTC)
from what i remember, the Xing arakawa uses is the word for new or i might be wrong...