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Overview

「A Land not Permitting Discrimination」—True Blue Sky— (「差別を許さない国」 ("Sabetsu o Yurusanai Kuni") —True Blue Sky—) is the fifth chapter of the third volume of Kino's Journey —the Beautiful World—.

Synopsis

In a country somewhere, Kino is asking locals for assistance. She stops a local and asks them if there is a XXXX nearby. The local is horribly offended at hearing the word and admonishes her, saying that it's a discriminatory insult to a profession. Kino is genuinely confused and asks them they only needs help with XXXX and if there's a XXXX who can help her. The local becomes more and more agitated as he hears this and calls others nearby to admonish her.

Collectively the locals throw insults at Kino and tell her she and Hermes are terrible people. Hermes suggests changing her words and asks if there's a XXXX instead, but this only angers the locals further. They become increasingly angrier and demand that they leave the country immediately, and Kino and Hermes both agree to depart at once.

When they leave, the locals talk among themselves about what awful people Kino and Hermes are for using barbaric language. Another chimes in that there was no surprise since they were outsiders, but within their country everyone is a civil being who doesn't discriminate. They continue their banter, talking about how even the gate guards who live outside the country are despicable people; they live long lives but have no sense of ethics or how to behave towards others.

Meanwhile outside, the gate guard apologizes for the country's behavior but Kino says there was no need, it was very interesting. Apparently all travelers think so too. Kino also asks the guard what a XXXX is, and he says that in the past people didn't have a stigma associated with it. But a long time ago a powerful politician made a statement about it, and since then people's attitudes changed to what it is today.

Kino and Hermes were glad to be out of that country quickly, Hermes remarks that it was one of the dirtiest they've ever seen(the country, not the people). The guard agrees and points to the country which is entirely enclosed in a huge dome like it was housed in an egg. He explains that since the country's citizens have no sewage system and allows all the waste from their homes to flow out openly into the streets, the dome that they are enclosed in causes infestation of vermin and disease. The citizens unfortunately have absolutely no sense of or are aware of hygiene. Most citizens can only live to see their children graduate from school before dying from disease, but citizens who live outside the country such as the guards live long enough to see grandchildren. However since the citizens in the country are taught that theirs is the greatest land, they don't see it as being a problem. 

As Kino readies to depart, the guard asks her if she knows what a 'true blue sky' means. It was a philosophical riddle given to him by his grandfather. Since the citizens of the country had experienced nothing outside the painted blue sky of the dome and fluorescent lights, that would be their blue sky. Kino answers there isn't one, because the sky changes it's blueness depending on location, time, and weather but they are all beautiful. That's why there is none.

Notes

  • Sigsawa often uses XXXX in the novel as an indicator of a secret or censored word for the context of his stories. In this case, it's a censored word or concept in the country's land. Since we have no other context other than that for what it is, the same abbreviation was used for the synopsis.
  • As a note, Kino also has no idea what XXXX is. In this chapter she most likely traveled to that country upon hearing rumors from other travelers about the interesting behavior regarding XXXX or simply just arrived there by chance and was told in advance by the guard if she wanted an interesting story. In either cause she and Hermes found some entertainment before getting out of there quick as they could.
  • The story of the True Blue Sky appears in Episode 11 of the 2003 anime. In the episode, Kino relates the "True Blue Sky" problem to a Wise Man who was told by a hypnotist that his words contained the method to return the Wise Man back to normal. The guard that appears in this chapter is the same guard that appears in Kino's recollection in the anime.