I've been playing maimai, the Japanese arcade rhythm game for a while. It offers a song named 天火明命, which a few of my friends pronounce as 'ten-ka-mei-mei'.

However, the official Twitter account of the game specifies it as 'a-me-no-ho-a-ka-ri' (あめのほあかり), which confuses me.

So what's the right way to pronounce the name? Is the "official" pronunciation simply the author's preference, or has actually been used in the past?

  • 1
    – Angelos
    Jan 19 at 14:35
  • あ、ちなみに「のみこと」は神の敬称のようなものなんです。
    – Angelos
    Jan 19 at 17:27

1 Answer 1


天火明命 is the name of a god in ancient Japanese mythology. 天 = あめ, 火 = ほ, 明 = あかり. (の is a particle; 命 (みこと) is a kind of suffix for deities.) See this Wikipedia article for details.

The kanji of god names in Japanese mythology are generally based on kun-yomi, ateji or jukujikun, because they existed before Japanese people learned kanji and their on-yomi from China. See also: Why is "Yamata no Orochi" written in katakana?

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