I recently finished the anime series Inuyasha, along with the four films. I noticed while looking at the Wikipedia entry for the first film—映画犬夜叉 時代を越える想い—that the romanization is written "Eiga Inuyasha: Toki o Koeru Omoi". This seemed odd to me; considering I recognize the word 時代, which is normally read as じだい and I have never seen a reference to it being pronounced とき.

So I thought this must be a typo. But after looking at the Japanese Wikipedia entry, and a closer inspection of the cover art, I realized it is not. The Wikipedia entry writes the hiragana as いぬやしゃ ときをこえるおもい, and (although difficult to see) it is right there in the cover art. The furigana under 時代 is written as とき.

映画犬夜叉 時代を越える想い Cover Art

Is this a common homograph for 時代? Does it alter the meaning of the word? Tough similar, the definition of 時代 is usually era or time period, where as とき(時)is specifically time.


1 Answer 1


It's basically a stylized way of using kanji. It's fairly common in manga and songs to substitute the standard reading for something else in furigana. It's a way of adding extra meaning to the 'main' phrase in kanji.

There is actually quite a bit of flexibility available to writers when using this particular artifice. You can play around with it and do stuff like this:

海江田{ヤツ} Umieda (the idiot)
タンクを排水{ブロー}できないようです。 We can't seem to blow the tanks.

I've seen cases where the ruby script is actually in kanji or romaji too.

  • 1
    Just to add another example, in the anime movie My Hero Academia: Two Heroes, the Japanese title is pronounced ヒーロー but written as 英雄.
    – yushi
    Commented Mar 17, 2020 at 6:04

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