Context: Mecha anime soundtrack.

I know that 天 is akin to "heavenly," but I've never seen 吼 before, and I can't find a translation -- or even another use in Japanese -- online at all. In traditional Chinese it means "roar," and all-in-all that makes some contextual sense, but I'm not comfortable just mashing the two together like that. Is this actually a Chinese title in the middle of a Japanese soundtrack, or is this a kanji I need to be educated on?

1 Answer 1


吼 means something along the lines of cry or roar. So think of it as a noise like 鳴【なる】.

  • 吼【ほ】える = to bark, to howl
  • 咆吼【ほうこう】= a howl, cry (alternative to 咆哮)
  • 獅子吼【ししく】 = lion’s roar
  • 帆猿【ほえざる】 = Howler Monkey
  • 吼【ほ】え声【ごえ】= a bark, a howl

So I guess it’s a term that’s made up for an anime or game. You said it was used in a song? It sometimes happens they coin new words in those (especially in anime and game related music). For the pronunciation you’d have to listen to the song though. If I had to make a guess, it would be てんこう.

The meaning, however, is straightforward: heavenly roar.

edited: provided more examples.

  • Thank you! That was my impression, but I didn't want to only go off of a translation from Chinese. Thanks so much for showing me what it means. It was an instrumental song, of all things! May 5, 2018 at 6:43
  • @SilverbackNet, Yeah that’s also possible. Happy to help. Song titles are the worst to translate sometimes. 😂 May 5, 2018 at 7:01
  • I just noticed that ほえる is just "howl." This is leading me down a rabbit hole of etymology for whether the word is shared or the sound is universal. BTW, do you mind if I update wiktionary with your examples? May 5, 2018 at 7:13
  • @SilverbackNet , I don’t mind. Knowledge has to be shared. May 5, 2018 at 7:58
  • 1
    I believe the reading for 吼え声 should be ほえごえ
    – Leebo
    May 5, 2018 at 10:03

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