Thursday, May 01, 2008

Japanese Words in English

Ever wondered what these Japanese words actually mean?


HAIKU

俳 句 【はいく】 actor + phrase (n) haiku poetry (17-syllable poem, 3 lines of 5, 7 and 5 syllables);

俳 【はい】 (n) actor, 句 【く】 (n,n-suf) phrase


MANGA

漫 画 【まんが】 vague+pictures (n) comic; cartoon;

漫 ろに 【そぞろに】 (adv) (uk) in spite of oneself; somehow

散 漫 【さんまん】 (adj-na,n) vague; distracted; half-hearted; diffuse


ORIGAMI

折 り紙 (P); 折紙 (P) 【おりがみ】fold + paper (n) origami (paper folding);


NINJA

忍 者 【にんじゃ】endurance+person (n) Ninja; Japanese secret agent of old (very good at hiding);

忍 【にん】 (n) (arch) endurance; forbearance

忍 術 【にんじゅつ】 (n) {MA} Ninjutsu (fighting art of the ninja);

水 遁 の 術 【すいとんのじゅつ】 (n) ninjutsu art of water-escape


TORA-tora-tora! (movie)

【とら(P); トラ】 (n) tiger (feline, Panthera tigris);

寅 【とら】 (n) third sign of Chinese zodiac (The Tiger, 3a.m.-5a.m., east-northeast, January);


BONSAI

盆 栽 【ぼんさい】tray + planting (n) bonsai;

梵 妻 【ぼんさい】 (n) Buddhist priest's wife

梵 語 【ぼんご】 (n) Sanskrit

凡 才 【ぼんさい】mediocrity + ability (n) mediocrity; ordinary ability


TEMPURA

天 麩 羅 ; 天 婦 woman 羅; 天 ぷ ら 【てんぷら】 heavenly. Imperial + wheatbran/mash+ savior? (pt:) (n) tempura (pt: tempero, temporas); deep-fried fish and vegetables in a light batter


JUDO

柔 道 【じゅうどう】meek + way (n) judo;

柔 らか (P) 【やわらか】 (adj-na,n) soft; tender; limp; subdued; gentle; meek;

柔; 和 【やわ】 (adj-na) poorly-built; weak; insubstantial


KABUKI

歌 舞 伎 【かぶき】song+dance+skill (n) kabuki; Japanese classical drama

舞 【まい】 (n) dancing; dance

伎 【き; ぎ】 (n) deed; skill


KAIZEN

改 善 【かいぜん】Change + Better (n,vs) betterment; improvement; incremental and continuous improvement. Its five steps (5-S):

  1. Sei-Ri 整 理 【せいり】preparation + reason (n,vs) keeping things tidy (整 え 【ととのえ】 (n) preparation; arrangement; execution; 理 【り】 (n) reason
  2. Sei-Ton 整 頓 things in order, in an efficient layout
  3. Sei-So 清 楚 【せいそ】 (adj-na,n) neat and clean; tidy; trim
  4. Sei-Ketsu 清 潔 【せいけつ】 (adj-na,n) clean; standardization
  5. Shi-Tsu-Ke 躾 【しつけ】 (n) (uk) home discipline; training; upbringing; breeding;
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