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everyone. Just today I was remembering an old videogame, 星を見る人. "Problem" is, if you look at all official images and such, they write the title as 星をみるひと.

Now, I've been searching about possible explanations for this, but none of the ones I found sounds quite convincing to me. The two kanji that are replaced by hiragana are quite simple and basic-level (much more so than the kanji for star).

Could it be that the people who designed the title were looking to draw attention away from "see" and "people" to focus mainly on the "stars" bit? As an occidental foreigner I find it odd, since to me one of the most beautiful aspects of the japanese language is the aesthetic beauty of kanji.

Thanks in advance, mates!

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    ^ そうですね、「人」より「ひと」のほうが、親密な人のような、優しい感じがしますね。(「みる」は「観る」の意味かもしれませんが‌)「みる」もひらがなのほうが優しい感じが‌するかもしれません – Chocolate Jul 23 '17 at 16:57
  • Can I write information that includes some spoiler? (You wrote "was remembering" but I'm not sure...) I can't know what only the author knows, beside my own interpretation, though. – user4092 Jul 23 '17 at 18:53
  • Chocolate-san, ありがとうございます! 4092: go ahead, mate! I don't mind spoilers and I'm quite curious about what your interpretation might be. – SpiderJ Jul 23 '17 at 19:41
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In this specific case, I think hiragana were chosen to introduce ambiguity. 見る simply means "to look", but there are also 観る (to observe), 診る (to examine (a patient)), 看る (to take care), etc., which have small difference in meaning and impression. When I see 星をみるひと, I feel it may have some deep and hidden meaning in it. This can explain why hiragana was chosen at least for some titles. For example, see: Why use kana rather than kanji (and vice versa)

I read the plot of the game, including spoilers, and confirmed my impression was true. This 星をみるひと does not simply refer to some person who likes to see stars. This 星をみるひと refers to some "humanoid" working as an invisible "caretaker/peacemaker" of the "star", and the main characters in the game strive to find out who is the real ruler of the "star", and what their "star" actually is. At least there are three types of "humans" in the game, and ordinary 人間 is just one of them. Therefore, みる and ひと were intentionally in hiragana to imply there is a hidden meaning in it.

  • なるへそ~そういうことだったのね~ user4092さんがspoilerって言ってたのはそういうことね – Chocolate Jul 24 '17 at 2:49
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    Yeah, みる implies how "they" perceive things not through their eyes while they find the object planet far away, or how they supervise the "world". ひと implies that concept of human beings could be asked to change depending on the ending routes. (I played the remake, not original, though.) – user4092 Jul 24 '17 at 3:55
  • Naruto, that's grand! I think you hit the nail right in the head with that answer. Thanks a lot, now I want to play this game even more (considering its 伝説のクソゲ status, I'll probably go for the remake, though). Also, many thanks to Chocolate and user4092 as well! These are the little things that go in getting the "feel" of a language as opposed to only learning to read it and speak it. – SpiderJ Jul 24 '17 at 11:36
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Just today I was remembering an old videogame, 星を見る人. "Problem" is, if you look at all official images and such, they write the title as 星をみるひと.

Could it be that the people who designed the title were looking to draw attention away from "see" and "people" to focus mainly on the "stars" bit? As an occidental foreigner I find it odd, since to me one of the most beautiful aspects of the japanese language is the aesthetic beauty of kanji.

星を見る人 is balanced and easier to read, but that must be the result of the creator's effort to satisfy the audience's expectation. They might have technical or emotional reasoning for it, but the point for them is to have a catchy proper noun; the overall appearance is the most important thing for them over readability. The excess use of hiragana let the audience expect something extra inviting and friendly.

  • So, in your opinion the reasoning of chosing hiragana over kanji is indeed to produce something more "inviting" or easy to read? Interesting. May I ask what you mean by "catchy proper noun", though?I didn't quite get that bit. Do you mean using kanji for 星 makes it catchier? – SpiderJ Jul 23 '17 at 19:43
  • As I said, 星を見る人 is the one that is easier to read. However, to the native speakers' eyes, this looks just too ordinary for a product, looking like coming out of any page of anything. If you want to point out the fact that only 星 being in kanji is standing out, that is no problem; that is also part of the appearance issue, isn't it? – karlalou Jul 23 '17 at 21:31

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