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My friend has been playing the Japanese video game called Persona 5 and there was the high school named 秀尽学園高校. I can't find the word 秀尽 (shujin) anywhere. Does it mean something?

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    Maybe looking up what each kanji means? It's just a name and there's no deep meaning.
    – Jimmy Yang
    Apr 14 at 22:54
  • As far as I know names in Japan usually mean a lot. I looked those kanji up, but it did not help me to understand the word. Apr 14 at 22:57
  • In the case of a novel name, there would only be the meaning you can derive from the components. What did you learn when you tried looking them up?
    – Leebo
    Apr 14 at 23:00
  • @Leebo Nothing that would satisfy my inquiry. Apr 14 at 23:03
  • So you didn't find the meaning of the individual kanji?
    – Leebo
    Apr 14 at 23:08

1 Answer 1

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It's just another proper noun meaning nothing in particular. It's a combination of random common kanji with nice meanings. 秀尽 is a combination that probably had not existed before, and sounds realistic and natural enough as a Japanese proper noun. That's what's needed for a fictional school name, isn't it?

秀尽 is homophonic with 囚人 ("prisoner"), but I don't know if this was intended by the author. I know prison is an important motif in Persona 5, but homophones are very common in Japanese. If I remember correctly, although some students were "jailed" at the beginning of the game, I feel it's excessive to link the entire school to a prison.

See Also: Parsing a fictional place-name

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  • > common kanji with nice meanings. Maybe that's what confusing OP? On jisho.org the meanings listed for the kanji 尽 all sound dreadful (exhaust/use up/run out of/deplete...) and not something you would want in a school name. Apr 15 at 2:53
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    @ThomasPetit, Jisho.org isn't always very reliable. 尽 is also used in positive senses like "do one's utmost". Apr 15 at 4:07
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    @EiríkrÚtlendi I agree that 尽 is not a negative kanji. But I don't think 衆人 is related. It's an uncommon word that refers to many unspecific people (e.g. on the street), and I don't see how it can convey a profound message like that. Also, this school is a private (私立) school :)
    – naruto
    Apr 15 at 5:05
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    @aguijonazo: I think that works, in specific constructions. Years ago, in a grad-school class on interpreting, a classmate asked what the phrase "packing the court" means. I described how "President Roosevelt was going to add extra justices, i.e. 裁判官, and going above the existing number of justices was called "packing", i.e. 詰める. So essentially, what Roosevelt wanted to do was 裁判官詰め【さいばんかんづめ】." This punned the English "packing" off (of) the Japanese かんづめ while also working in the bit about "justices". ← Is that the kind of use of "pun" you're thinking of? Apr 15 at 6:59
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    @EiríkrÚtlendi - Yes, exactly. Thanks. 裁判官の「官」と「詰める」を「缶詰」{に/と}かけた or 裁判官の「官」と「詰める」と「缶詰」をかけた.
    – aguijonazo
    Apr 15 at 8:02

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