Call me crazy, but I am trying to translate ミルクムナリ, which is common played in Taiko performances, at least in Okinawa; the song is very archaic, as it speaks of a king from the turn of the 16th century. At the moment, I have been able to find some interpretative work on some aspects of the song (lyrics are available here, an general explanation of the lyrics is provided here), but what I have noticed throughout the song is the use of ぬ, and yet I am unsure what it is supposed to mean. Here is the first line:

コドゥシミルクヌ ユガフドゥシサミ

Which means


I am still trying to determine what さみ is, but the focus for this question is on ぬ: it is not a conjugation of a verb (弥勒, or みろく in modern spelling, is not a verb), so immediately most information I have found has not helped. Can anyone try to provide me some context? It would help since it is used in almost all parts of the song, as said.


1 Answer 1


One sense of ぬ in various 琉球語 varieties simply corresponds to の.

While I don't know for sure what さみ is, if we assume it is a copula like だ, then the sentence would be something like


which seems straightforward to interpret.

弥勒{みろく} is a Buddhist deity (Maitreya Buddha), or the Buddha of the future to come.

EDIT: This page claims that さみ means 〜なのだよ, which would fit perfectly with the above guess.

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    +1 for Jogloran's findings. See also the JLect page for サミ, particularly the third entry down in the blue section for the Okinawago jiten dētā shū, which defines this as 「…なのだぞ。…なんだよ。」. See also the JLect page for ぬ, the first entry in that same blue section. Commented Mar 16, 2023 at 22:19
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    Yo that is a wicked website; never knew it existed. Thank you.
    – BigRigz
    Commented Mar 17, 2023 at 0:22

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