Hanakotoba School Of Magic

The Hanakotoba School of Magic (華言葉の分科の手品) is a wizarding school located in Shikoku.

Overview

Like Hogwarts, Hanakotoba is an English-style boarding school. This means competition between the Houses is actively fostered by the faculty in an effort to bring out the best in students. Like Hogwarts, Hanakotoba’s four Houses compete for both a House Cup and a Quidditch Cup. Additionally, Hanakotoba’s houses compete in a yearly tournament, known as the Chikarakurabe – three students from each house face off in a series of challenges. Every year, the Chikarakurabe involves dueling, as well as three other events that change from one year to the next.

In addition to the competition between Hanakotoba’s Houses, the school has a rivalry with two nearby schools – Kurotori School of Sorcery and Nieling Arcane Academy. Every year, there are two matches between Hanakotoba and Kurotori – one pits the best Quidditch players (drawn from all four houses) of each school against eachother, the other places the victorious house of the Chikarakurabe against one of Kurotori’s houses. Against Nieling, Hanakotoba has a yearly Quidditch match.

The unused rooms of Hanakotoba are off-limits to students, as is everything outside the boundaries of the mountain. Students caught violating these rules are often subject to harsh discipline – sometimes up to and including permanent expulsion.

Hanakotoba has a very strict dress code: students are expected to wear appropriate robes at all times outside of their dormitories. Students are permitted to wear robes in either their house colors, or in the school colors of white and lilac.

School Layout

Hanakotoba is a classical Japanese palace, constructed of snowflake obsidian, teak, paper, and magic. It is laid out in a general square, composed of three floors. On the bottom floor, the dining hall, kitchen, and library are joined by the Nozomi and Manjushage dormitories, as well as by most of the faculty offices. On the middle floor, the Commons Room lies at the center of the majority of Hanakotoba’s classrooms. On the upper floor, the Suzume and Yotaka dormitories flank the Grand Courtyard, an open-air rooftop garden which also includes the Hanakotoba Aviary. The top floor also hosts a number of unused rooms within the school, rooms that have no known and no apparent purpose. Many rumors abound regarding the nine unused rooms of Hanakotoba…

Though the school itself is laid out in a very simple, easily navigable fashion, Hanakotoba is not easy to navigate. If one were to wander the halls with no clear destination in mind, he could very easily keep wandering until he starved to death without ever finding even a door or an intersection in the halls. To navigate Hanakotoba, a person must know exactly where they want to get to - if they do, the halls will lead him there. This also works for finding people - if someone firmly wishes to find another person within Hanakotoba, and that person is willing to be found, the halls will lead him there.

The nature of Hanakotoba's hallways have occasionally caused great problems for students who were afraid of their teachers.

The school itself is nestled atop a low mountain by the sea, somewhere in southern Shikoku. The mountain is overgrown with a forest of dawn redwood, jacaranda, and blossom cherries, and it is rumored to be protected by a tabaryu – a Japanese Coiled Dragon. These rumors are neither confirmed nor denied by any of the faculty. Outside the walls of the school, the jacaranda and cherry trees are cleared in two places – one for the Quidditch Pitch, to the north of the school, the other for the greenhouses and garden, to the south.

Houses

Like Hogwarts, Hanakotoba’s student body is divided into four houses – House Suzume, House Yotaka, House Nozomi, and House Manjushage. Sorting is handled by the four Fires of Hanakotoba, a set of four (one for each house) magical sconces which burn with multi-colored flames – the names of every student are printed on paper and laid into each fire. Those who are not suited for a house find their names burned away. Transfers between Houses are permitted, but extremely uncommon – and must be approved by both the Fires and the Heads of the related Houses.

House Suzume

House Suzume is known for a generally boisterous, theatrical, and highly friendly and outgoing student body. Despite this, it is also the one most associated with pureblood supremacists, as well as many unsavory past characters. The Suzume house colors are white and midnight blue, the crest is a white sparrow lighting on a white tree branch on a midnight blue background. The Suzume dormitories are located on the top floor of Hanakotoba, on the north end of the school. House Suzume has a long rivalry with House Manjushage.

House Yotaka

House Yotaka is known for a keen, focused, and often single-minded student body, and is in many ways the most ‘traditional’ of Hanakotoba’s houses. They value blood purity, though most Yotaka do not see it as too important. The Yotaka house colors are white and blood red, the crest is a diving blood red falcon on a soft red field, highlighted by four white stars surrounding the falcon in a paralellogram. The Yotaka dormitories are located on the top floor of Hanakotoba, on the south end of the school. House Yotaka has a long rivalry with House Nozomi.

House Nozomi

House Nozomi is known for the eternal optimists, the never-say-die leaders, the fiercely loyal, and the reckless idealists. Very much the least exclusive of all the houses, Nozomi took in more foreign students than the three other houses combined. The Nozomi house colors are teal and white, while the house crest is a pair of teal long-tailed mice, posed in profile in a mirror image on a white background, with their tales entwined in a wide circle. The Nozomi dormitories are located on the bottom floor of Hanakotoba, on the west end of the school. House Nozomi has a long rivalry with House Yotaka.

House Manjushage

House Manjushage is known for one thing above all others – excellence. The Manjushage philosophy is victory, and they accept nothing less from their own. To this end, Manjushage tend to be exclusive and often very arrogant - but it can't be denied that they get the job done. The Manjushage house colors are violet and white, the crest is a mon of three blooming spider lilies in violet on a white field, their reys entwined and interlocking. The Manjushage dormitories are located on the bottom floor of Hanakotoba, on the east end of the school. House Manjushage has a long rivalry with House Suzume.

The Commons Room

The Commons Room is located on the middle floor of Hanakotoba, at the absolute center of the school, one floor beneath the courtyard and owlery. There is only one Commons Room, shared by all of the Houses – it flies all four of the House Crests, as well as the crest of Hanakotoba – a coiled white dragon surrounding three white spider lilies on a lilac field. The crest is further detailed by a pair of long-tailed mice beneath the lilies, a sparrow alighting atop the dragon’s tail, and the silhouette of a diving falcon behind the dragon.

Tsuji na Onibi

Tsuji na Onibi (trans. "Jack-o-Lantern Street") is a magical 'main street' of sorts in Nagasaki, similar in many ways to Diagon Alley in London. Tsuji na Onibi is, in addition to being a wonderful place for recreation, the best source of magical stores and supplies south of Kyoto, and according to many of the merchants there, the best source in all of Japan. Boasting fine emporiums for wands, broomsticks, books, magical trinkets, potion reagents, alcohol, and food, Tsuji na Onibi easily lives up to its reputation. One can find utilities for any need there, as well as a roaring good time with alcohol and one-night stands.

Though the name refers to a single street, Tsuji na Onibi actually consists of three major streets, which cross at the precise center of the district - Rantan Street runs north to south, while Eikan Street and Kansen Street run at diagonals from the main street. The roads are cobbled with terra cotta stepping stones, while most of the buildings are an elegant combination of painted paper and teak with black slate roofing. Tsuji na Onibi gets its name due to the many bright orange paper lanterns that line the streets - at night, the entire district is lit up with a soft orange radiance.

Some of the key locations within Tsuji na Onibi…

  • Sakaki no Shirokiya no Houki: (trans. "Sakaki's Broomstick Emporium") The premier source of broomsticks in Japan, Sakaki's is located on the north end of Rantan Street. Sakaki carries all the latest models, and keeps a back log of brooms dating as far back as 1995… for the right price.
  • Shinise no Waando: (trans. "The Old Wand Shop") Tsuji na Onibi's most famous wand supplier, the Shinise is located on the east side of Rantan Street, on the corner of Eikan Street. Run by the Koyama family, the Shinise advertises itself as the craftsmen of the 'finest custom wands in all the world'. Certain other wand shops throughout the world dispute their claim, of course.
  • Mumei no Ryokan: (trans. "The Nameless Inn") Often simply referred to as the Ryokan ("Inn"), the Mumei no Ryokan is Nagasaki's oldest town house that caters to the wizarding community. It has a wide selection of both domestic and imported liquors, of both magical and muggle origin, as well as very good food. The Mumei no Ryokan also provides lodging for a reasonable rate - extra is charged for damaging their rooms or inappropriate activities within the inn but not in rooms. The inn is located on the south end of Rantan Street.
  • Kiku no Shobou: (trans. "Kiku's Bookstore") Kiku's is a Tsuji na Onibi institution. Initially founded by Kiku Honiden to market his self-published manuscripts on the medical significance of various unsavory things, it quickly grew into a proper bookseller, marketing everything of interest to the wizarding world, and a great deal of things not of interest, such as American and British muggle magazines… for the Japanese wizard who wants to read about actors having affairs in English. Kiku's is located midway down the south side of Eikan Street.
  • Furuhonya: (trans. "The Secondhand Bookstore") The Furuhonya is also part of the Kiku family's bookselling empire, though it sells steeply discounted books that have already been read once before, and has never made a habit of selling magazines or muggle fiction. Furuhonya is located on the north end of Kansen Street.
  • Ashikaga no Nanatsuya: (trans. "Ashikaga's Pawn Shop") Generally known simply as Ashikaga's, this is a relatively recent (twenty-two years old) addition to Tsuji na Onibi which serves a very wide market - wizards buy, sell, and trade all manner of magical trinkets and odds and ends here, and Ashikaga's most always has something of interest to anyone, whether it's a talking harpsichord or a mirror that always compliments its owner. Ashikaga's is located on the west side of Rantan Street, on the corner of of Kansen Street.
  • Suiyaku to Mizugusuri: (trans. "Potions and Potions") A store that specializes - obviously - in potions, Suiyaku serves both as a brewer of special-ordered potions and as a supplier for brewers of all skill levels and talents. One can find cauldrons and ladles, reagents and rare ingredients, liquid luck and polyjuice potion here for just a few (hundred) coins! Suiyaku is located on the south end of Eikan Street.

Tsushatoshi

Tsushatoshi is an isolated wizard village in southern Kyushu. Though it is some distance from Hanakotoba, it is a favorite resort for students during weekends, as it provides an escape from the stress and monotony of life in a boarding school. Hanakotoba students are not permitted to visit Tsushatoshi unless they meet minimum academic standards and receive parental permission.

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