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I saw the term in the song 螺鈿の骨、氷雨 (Graphic - Babuchan songs are graphic in general). The line I saw it in - 太陰大極 (たいいんたいきょく)  而二不二 (ににふに) The context - 煩悩即菩提 (ぼんのうそくぼだい) 生死即涅槃 (せいしそくねはん) 入不二 (いりふじ) 入不二 (いりふじ) At first, I was confused when I started to search the term up and break it down. I saw a result stating "太陰太極図(陰陽太極図)が意味すること" before explaining the meaning of it('s diagram), which was extremely confusing. It made me parse it as "The Greater Yin; the Absolute (The Great Poles)" instead of how I parse it currently "The Greater Yin; A Great Pole". Is my understanding of it correct? That being as it'd make lesser sense (to me) with my previous interpretation, and it would seem better to just say 陰陽太極. instead.

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    At the level of ordinary Japanese language, 太陰太極図 and 陰陽太極図 are just different names for the same picture. I guess the words simply gather phrases referring to the holistic thing one after another. In that sense, I agree using 陰陽 would be more consistent with the others.
    – sundowner
    Apr 3 at 0:33
  • That's in line with what I thought; I originally was going to ask why does this word exist (especially since I haven't come across a 太陽大極) and how to parse it.
    – Star Peep
    Apr 3 at 0:56
  • Hmmm... Maybe it's because 陰 comes first in 陰陽太極 and contrasts the commonly wanted 太陽... It still doesn't make any sense...
    – Star Peep
    Apr 3 at 1:26
  • Original MV: youtu.be/NFodCKgRu-I?si=m9R75otpv45nvyaE
    – naruto
    Apr 3 at 2:25
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    I think it is a question in Chinese or Chinese philosophy.
    – sundowner
    Apr 3 at 4:32

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As pointed out in the comment section, I think it's safe to treat this 太陰太極 just as a synonym for 陰陽太極 or "yin-yang" (☯️). This page clearly states they refer to the same concept ("この形をした太極図は、陰陽太極図、太陰大極図ともいい..."). I don't think it makes much sense to further dissect it. According to Wikipedia and other resources, while 大極 refers to "the supreme ultimate" of the universe, 太陰 ("great yin") is often associated with the moon, so "moon(-shaped) supreme ultimate" might be an possible explanation of how this symbol was named as such, but this is my speculation. I initially "misinterpreted" 太陰 as "the sun (yang) and the moon (yin)" rather than "great yin", and the author might have made a similar mistake.

Anyway, such details of Chinese philosophy are not known to ordinary people, and this level of analysis does not seem relevant in the context of this "pseudo sutra". The whole thing simply seems to be suggesting "lust and enlightenment are fundamentally one, life and death are one, yin and yang are one".

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  • Thanks for the insight! It turns out to be something as unsolvable and speculative as kanji and non=compound (even if it has a noun in it it'll count) non-imitative verbs. I'll just think of it as deriving from people most likely being more likely to notice the 陽 in things, the moon reflects the sunlight anyway, and moon-shaped is a pretty good explanation.
    – Star Peep
    Apr 3 at 3:23
  • I wonder if the Moon's cycles can have to do with yin and yang too...
    – Star Peep
    Apr 3 at 3:46
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    @StarPeep Analyzing the etymology of the term 太陰太極 itself is beyond the scope of this site. However, it's quite likely from the context that the lyricist used this term simply to mean "Yin and Yang".
    – naruto
    Apr 4 at 15:37
  • Yeah, I knew that the lyricist simply used the term for that.
    – Star Peep
    Apr 5 at 0:21

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