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I just stumbled across this - rather simple - sentence from the novel 堕落の王:

それは魔王の意思ですらない。その目的は力の使用だけで、結果には興味すら抱かない。

ただ、主を見ていた。

It wasn't even the demon lord's will. His goal was only to use its powers, he didn't even have an interest in the results.

I was just looking at my master.

Context: The one speaking is a puppet made by the 'lazy king', who lost interest in it right after its creation. The puppet now seems to wonder about the meaning of his existence and considers the 'lazy king' as his master.

In this case, how would you read 主? According to the dictionary there are five possible pronunciations:

  • しゅ
  • おも
  • しゅじん
  • ぬし
  • あるじ

Is there any notable difference between them? I feel like I heard あるじ in historical dramas a lot.

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主{しゅ}, on its own like that, means 'the Lord (God)'. 主{おも} means main or primary. しゅじん is 主人; I don't believe it's a reading of 主. 主{ぬし} seems less like a person's master and more like the master of something, to me - like 持{も}ち主{ぬし} 'owner'. So I would guess that 主{あるじ} is the intended reading here.

  • I was suprised about 主 as しゅじん as well but it was listed in my dictionary so I didn't want to omit it in my question. :) – Florian Baierl Oct 22 '18 at 6:28

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