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#109225 - 03/26/03 02:31 PM Hidden meanings in Japanese words
raccoon Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 848
Loc: Victoria BC Canada
A lot of time, a word's common meaning is quite different from it's "literal" meaning. When I said "literal", I mean breaking the word into it's components and read the individual words in it. It's kind of like finding the latin root in English words.

I noticed a few in a recent conversation with some seniors, I suspect they might carry the culture of maker of the arts we now practice. So if you will allow me to share this with you...

BU as in budo - the chinese character is made up of "stop spear". As lots of you probably know, soldiers in ancient china mostly use spear, so It's probably fair to say spear symbolize war.

Taihen - a Japanese term commonly used as an adverb to mean extremely, or as a noun to mean something terrible, such as hardship. To break it up, it says BIG (tai) CHANGE (hen). BTW, switch the word order and you have "Change big" (hentai)... [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/wink.gif[/IMG]~

Chigau - when someone answer a question correctly, you say "tadashii desu", when they don't answer it right, you say "chigai masu". Now, tadashii means correct/ right. Then "chigau" must mean wrong, make sense?
But someone just pointed out to me, literally chigau means "different" - there is no "wrong" in Japanese, only different!

Shinobi/ nin (as in ninja) - commonly means to tolerate. it's made of the character to cut on top and heart at the bottom. So to be a ninja, you have to stab your heart? [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/tongue.gif[/IMG]

If you can think of more, do share!

-raccoon

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#109226 - 03/29/03 06:08 PM Re: Hidden meanings in Japanese words
ZealianBadass Offline
Member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 176
Loc: Basking Ridge, NJ, USA
With regards to the ninja one- how many stories have you heard of ninja who killed themselves if they failed a mission so they wouldn't be captured. Loyal enough to end one's own life, and to tolerate the loss thereof.

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#109227 - 05/29/03 04:13 AM Re: Hidden meanings in Japanese words
Ender Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/29/03
Posts: 2253
Loc: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
tis true, Ive heard of this dozens of times.

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#109228 - 04/29/04 05:08 PM Re: Hidden meanings in Japanese words
creative Offline
Member

Registered: 04/26/04
Posts: 401
Loc: UK
[QUOTE]Originally posted by raccoon:
A lot of time, a word's common meaning is quite different from it's "literal" meaning. When I said "literal", I mean breaking the word into it's components and read the individual words in it. It's kind of like finding the latin root in English words.

I noticed a few in a recent conversation with some seniors, I suspect they might carry the culture of maker of the arts we now practice. So if you will allow me to share this with you...

BU as in budo - the chinese character is made up of "stop spear". As lots of you probably know, soldiers in ancient china mostly use spear, so It's probably fair to say spear symbolize war.

Taihen - a Japanese term commonly used as an adverb to mean extremely, or as a noun to mean something terrible, such as hardship. To break it up, it says BIG (tai) CHANGE (hen). BTW, switch the word order and you have "Change big" (hentai)... [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/wink.gif[/IMG]~

Chigau - when someone answer a question correctly, you say "tadashii desu", when they don't answer it right, you say "chigai masu". Now, tadashii means correct/ right. Then "chigau" must mean wrong, make sense?
But someone just pointed out to me, literally chigau means "different" - there is no "wrong" in Japanese, only different!

Shinobi/ nin (as in ninja) - commonly means to tolerate. it's made of the character to cut on top and heart at the bottom. So to be a ninja, you have to stab your heart? [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/tongue.gif[/IMG]

If you can think of more, do share!

-raccoon
[/QUOTE]

Although lots of Japanese words correspond with the chinese character meaning, i believe some dont. also i dont think all of the chinese meanings have be translated correctly between languages.

there is a word for wrong in japanese. "machigata" but you are right they do say "different". I dont think you can take all of the character meanings 100% to the word meaning, although there is obviously a connection in most cases.

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#109229 - 05/05/04 04:27 PM Re: Hidden meanings in Japanese words
WADO Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/23/04
Posts: 900
Loc: denver co usa
Here is an example shitakiri suzume means literally sparrow with its tounge cut off but means eunich. We have idioms in the west if you don't understand western history you can't be expected to understand what a Herculean effort is, or if you call someone a Benedict Arnold or say someone has a heart of gold. Japanese will commonly say after a meal go chiso sama deshita, which literally means what a great feast, but idiomatically means I'm full.

[This message has been edited by WADO (edited 05-05-2004).]

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#109230 - 05/05/04 06:10 PM Re: Hidden meanings in Japanese words
creative Offline
Member

Registered: 04/26/04
Posts: 401
Loc: UK
[QUOTE]Originally posted by WADO:
Here is an example shitakiri suzume means literally sparrow with its tounge cut off but means eunich. We have idioms in the west if you don't understand western history you can't be expected to understand what a Herculean effort is, or if you call someone a Benedict Arnold or say someone has a heart of gold. Japanese will commonly say after a meal go chiso sama deshita, which literally means what a great feast, but idiomatically means I'm full.

[This message has been edited by WADO (edited 05-05-2004).]
[/QUOTE]

It means more like thank you to everyone who has prepared the meal from God to the chief. it is often broken down by younger people to gochiso. It doesnt mean im full

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#109231 - 05/06/04 05:39 PM Re: Hidden meanings in Japanese words
WADO Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/23/04
Posts: 900
Loc: denver co usa
Well you get my meaning their are literal meanings and figurative meanings. A better translation into english the way the kisd in Japan use it nowadays is something like "Thanks for the Grub"

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#109232 - 05/07/04 03:56 PM Re: Hidden meanings in Japanese words
creative Offline
Member

Registered: 04/26/04
Posts: 401
Loc: UK
[QUOTE]Originally posted by WADO:
Well you get my meaning their are literal meanings and figurative meanings. A better translation into english the way the kisd in Japan use it nowadays is something like "Thanks for the Grub" [/QUOTE]

Yeah you are right. Sorry for being picky was having a bad day. just finished my dinner after training now so im happy. Gochiso osama deshita. [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/biggrin.gif[/IMG]

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#109233 - 05/07/04 03:58 PM Re: Hidden meanings in Japanese words
creative Offline
Member

Registered: 04/26/04
Posts: 401
Loc: UK
This transfer of meaning also happens in english. As you all know english comes alot from latin. I was given the example of the word "politics"
Poli = many
tics = blood sucking creatures
not just japanese see!

[This message has been edited by creative (edited 05-08-2004).]

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#109234 - 05/10/04 10:54 AM Re: Hidden meanings in Japanese words
WADO Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/23/04
Posts: 900
Loc: denver co usa
Politics really comes from the word meaning manners, to be polite or politic are considered the same. The meaning is that people in politics say what is polte not necessarily what is true.

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#109235 - 05/10/04 03:45 PM Re: Hidden meanings in Japanese words
badmamajama Offline
Veteran

Registered: 11/06/03
Posts: 1509
i like creatives definition better fits more properly. [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/wink.gif[/IMG]

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#109236 - 08/21/04 03:23 PM Re: Hidden meanings in Japanese words
Anonymous
Unregistered


[QUOTE]Originally posted by WADO:
Politics really comes from the word meaning manners, to be polite or politic are considered the same. The meaning is that people in politics say what is polte not necessarily what is true.[/QUOTE]

Well, politics actually means the study or activity of the "polis" which is the greek word for city. Since Western political thought drew heavily from Greek sources during its development, this makes sense. Aristotle, in perhaps the first comparative study of governments included a study of many different cities (in his book, The Politics), as those were the higher levels of government at the time.
Going a little further back, Plato (with his penchant for abstraction to find the truth) wanted to find the perfect city to find the perfect person.

"Man is a political animal" is a misquoted statement that many take to mean as devious or cunning. Back then, political also just meant "social". Being "civil" goes back to this, as "civil" refers to "city (polis)" and civilization. From the social interactions involved in politics comes the word "polite" I believe.

I know you were kidding about the whole poli tics things, but I just wanted to ramble.


Anyway, as this is a martial arts forum...how about the word "uke" which many people translate into English as "block". I like to think they are no "blocks" in karate...the word uke comes from the verb ukeru, which just literally means "to receive". Makes you think...

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#109237 - 10/26/04 06:33 PM Re: Hidden meanings in Japanese words
Anonymous
Unregistered


hentai

I've always been told hentai meant perverted. Is there a way that is can mean both?

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#109238 - 02/18/05 04:51 PM Re: Hidden meanings in Japanese words
Anonymous
Unregistered


This is an old thread now but I just noticed it and found it interesting. If anyone else is interesting in carrying it on, I'm most eager to learn from knowlegeable people... Just wanted to say something about the kanji "nin", as in ninja. One of the several possible meanings of this word is "patience". As far as I know, this meaning is the original one from Chinese, since I don't know any other meanings to "nin"(yeah, the pronounciation is about the same as in Japanese) in Mandarin Chinese. The ideogram represents indeed the key "blade" on top of the key "heart". Very eloquent way indeed to depict patience: a blade on the heart... An interesting thing to notice is that Asians consider the heart to be the true home of the mind. Not the brain, which is just considered a tool for cerebral processes. This extends the field of interpretations of the word... As for the japanese meanings, the parallel between "patience" and "stealth" or "hidden" can have occurred in different manners, and I can only try for lucky guesses, but the following two make sense to me. Reminds me of a short story by Edgar Allan Poe, The Telltale Heart, where a man is creeping into another's bedroom to kill him, and is said to be moving "even slowlier than the hands of the clock", making a perfectly silent approach to the victim by taking several hours to walk just a few yards... This kind of technique is a possible explanation of how the art of stealth came to be referred to on a litteral level as the art of patience, hence blending both meanings in one word. But "nin" can be understood as "secret" or "hidden" as well. those senses may just come naturally from the former "stealth" meaning, or may have on the contrary preceded and caused it. The hidden and secret knowlege can indeed be distinguished from the common, immidiately available knowlege by the long time necessary to at last access it. Hence referring to "hidden" or "secret" things as "patience" things, as opposed to the non-secret ones requiring no preparatory process (long search, long studies, unlocking...)before they can be accessed...
Wow! That's a very long post, for such a monosyllabic word as "nin"!...

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#109239 - 08/12/06 02:45 AM Re: Hidden meanings in Japanese words [Re: raccoon]
shizari Offline
Stranger

Registered: 08/12/06
Posts: 1
Hi, I'm just searching for someone who might be able to tell me what some Japanese words translate as just from the single word. I've had the problem where one word can have lots of different meanings.
So the words I'm interested in are:
KAIJIN

KEMURI

KURAI

KUMORI

HAKUEN

KASOKU

Thanks for anyone that can help. I'm just particularly interested in what meaning these words would take if you just read them by themself.

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#109240 - 08/12/06 03:30 AM Re: Hidden meanings in Japanese words [Re: shizari]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
hi kusojii, you might want to try an anime forum.

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#109241 - 08/12/06 04:47 AM Re: Hidden meanings in Japanese words [Re: shizari]
paradoxbox Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 590
Quote:



KAIJIN - mysterious person, OR ash/embers OR complete & utter destruction

KEMURI - smoke or fumes

KURAI - dark/darkness

KUMORI - cloudy

HAKUEN - white smoke

KASOKU - acceleration

Thanks for anyone that can help. I'm just particularly interested in what meaning these words would take if you just read them by themself.




Well, judging from those words alone, it must be a pretty exciting story An anime forum would be quite appropriate

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#109242 - 08/24/06 04:08 AM Re: Hidden meanings in Japanese words [Re: creative]
IExcalibui2 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/20/06
Posts: 961
Loc: New York City

haha nice one creative
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