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Random Kanji Amusement

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Random Kanji Amusement

Postby takematsu » Thu Apr 24, 2003 6:49 +0000

I'm very slowly working at learning Japanese. Today, for fun, I thought I'd see how "ninja" looks in Kanji.

忍者

The first character is "Endure. Sneak or Spy", and can be said "nin" or "shino".
The second, which when is stands alone is "sha" (as in shugyosha...), can also be said as "mono", and is "Person".

So, Ninja means... sneaky guy. Seems less glamourous somehow.
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Postby ziritrion » Thu Apr 24, 2003 8:23 +0000

Yup. I was kind of dissapointed too when I found out what the word "ninja" really meant (etymologically speaking). However, it makes sense. Lots of Japanese swords are like that, pretty descriptive about what they're defining (just like the word "samurai" or "ronin", "one who serves" and "wave man"). :P
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Postby Glennosuke » Thu Apr 24, 2003 23:30 +0000

ziritrion wrote:Yup. I was kind of dissapointed too when I found out what the word "ninja" really meant (etymologically speaking). However, it makes sense. Lots of Japanese swords are like that, pretty descriptive about what they're defining (just like the word "samurai" or "ronin", "one who serves" and "wave man"). :P


Japanese "Swords"? :wink:
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Ronin vs Ninja (less exciting than it sounds)

Postby takematsu » Fri Apr 25, 2003 6:55 +0000

"His master's death made him a man on the waves" still has a lot more poetry to it than "You should have known better than to defy the Iga clan of sneaky fellows!" :wink:
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Postby ziritrion » Fri Apr 25, 2003 7:54 +0000

Oops! I meant "words" :P . My keyboard is crazy ;)
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Postby ziritrion » Wed Apr 30, 2003 0:53 +0000

What's the difference between "ninja" and "shinobi"? I believe that they both mean the same, but what would be the literal translation of shinobi? Also, does anybody know its kanji?
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What am a "bi"

Postby takematsu » Wed Apr 30, 2003 9:25 +0000

The first character at the top of the thread is "shino". I've got enough of a grip on Japanese to know that the "no" in shinobi no mono would be a possessive indicator (chap of sneakiness?), but I haven't sorted out what the 'bi" is, other than an extra character in hiragana rather than kanji. :? Some sort of grammatical particle. Surely someone here actually speaks Japanese?
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Postby digulla » Wed Apr 30, 2003 11:42 +0000

ziritrion wrote:What's the difference between "ninja" and "shinobi"?

AFAIK, shinobi is the correct term but it means thief or bandit.

Ninja is not actually a word but a name; the Ninja clan was the first to openly sell their stealth skills which made them (and thus the word) famous (like the people of the Assassin clan in Arabia after which the word assassin was coined). The word ninja is also mostly used outside of Japan; most Japanese don't know what a ninja would be.
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Postby Todd Shogun » Thu May 01, 2003 21:28 +0000

Loosely translated, "shinobi" means "stealth".
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Shino....bi?

Postby takematsu » Fri May 02, 2003 14:41 +0000

Todd Shogun wrote:Loosely translated, "shinobi" means "stealth".


So says my dictionary about the Kanji , which is gives the On (Chinese) pronunciation "nin" and the Kun (japanese) "shino". For Shinobi, it adds the hiragana Bi び . But... why?

Vexing linguistics! :evil: Can't be cut with sword nor axe! Grr! What fool started this thread?! ....oh, right. :oops:
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Actually...

Postby Matt Nelson » Mon May 05, 2003 7:21 +0000

...somehow, finding out that "ninja" means "sneaky guy" delights me to no end. Hurrah!

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