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This phrase has helpful but rather confusing furigana (星嶺鷹守学園{セイレイタカガミガクエン}).

I'm reading it to mean "star-ridge takagami campus", with star ridge being the name of the specific campus and takagami being the place/town.

In more correct(?) English, "Star-ridge campus of/in Takagami".

Taking 鷹守{タカガミ} literally would be "falcon director(of the provincial governors under the ritsuryo system)" which makes no sense.

How do Japanese people read/tell fictional place created by entertainment media?

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  • My guess is that "鷹守" is just a name and doesn't have any deep meaning, though the Kanji it is made from sound (subjectively) "cool" to me (i.e. "hawk" + "protect")
    – Locksleyu
    Jun 29 '16 at 22:28
  • @Locksleyu What do you think about the first part? Would normally be pronounced "hoshimine" but here is pronounced "seirei". I have seen some references to things ending in "rei" meaning something like "northern mountain(s)" or in this case "star mountain(s)" Unlike the 鷹守 part this makes sense when translated.
    – user15889
    Jun 29 '16 at 23:01
  • Without knowing the story I can't say for sure, but my guess is it is some reference to some other word that is pronounced 'seirei', such as 精霊 (spirit)
    – Locksleyu
    Jun 29 '16 at 23:07
  • @Locksleyu The story does has themes of magic and angels. Reading it as "Holy ghost(spirit) campus of Takagami" sounds too literal. I'm sure this is intended to be a pun, I'm sure a lot of fictional names in Japanese media are.
    – user15889
    Jun 29 '16 at 23:08
  • Well, I happen to know a Christian school named せいれい学園, and many Christian schools have 聖【せい】 (="Saint") in their names, so I personally do feel a bit of such nuance in this fictional name. But I don't know if it's incidental or intentional.
    – naruto
    Jun 30 '16 at 3:03
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Simply, 星嶺鷹守学園 is one long proper noun. So you should translate it as "Seirei Takagami Academy/School/etc" without thinking of the etymology. You don't want New York to be translated as 新ヨーク even if "new" definitely means 新 :-)

And it's very difficult to analyze this phrase "etymologically", too. Of course it's easy to split it into kanji and explain the meaning of each kanji ("star-ridge-hawk-protector"), but basically, both 星嶺 and 鷹守 come off to me as simple "names" to me. 鷹守 might mean something else somewhere in the history, but I'm not familiar with such a job anyway.

Note:

  • Alternatively, you may translate it even as "Seirei Takagami Gakuen Academy" or something like that. It's like "Rio Grande river", "Mont Blanc mountains", though.
  • "X Campus" is simply "Xキャンパス" in Japanese (eg "○○学園(の)△△キャンパス").
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