Questions tagged [classical-japanese]

文語(古文). The classical literary form of the language based on Early Middle Japanese.

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1answer
387 views

Why is 「てふ」 pronounced 「ちょう」?

I recently purchased a copy of One Hundred Leaves: A new annotated translation of the Hyakunin Isshu to try and improve my Japanese reading level. In addition to the English translation, each poem ...
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226 views

what is a meaning of しければ in a classical japanese?

I'm stuck with this sentence - "いかにも山の中に只だ独り居たるに人の気はひのしければ少し生き出づる心地して見出だしければ" It's part of the folktale "鬼に瘤取らるる事". I know that ば mean to indicate end of statement in classical japanese, so does it ...
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130 views

Where does the particle は come from?

In A Dictionary to Basic Japanese Grammar, it says under the conditional ば that this is the origin of the topic particle は but I haven't been able to find where this claim comes from. Does anyone know ...
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199 views

Questions about 絵本 by 林芙美子

I'm reading several short texts as a part of a university course that's starting this fall, but I'm having problem understand parts of this one text. It's called 絵本 and is written by 林芙美子 http://www....
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The meaning of 二条大宮の百鬼夜行

早い話が堀川のお邸の御規模を拝見致しましても、壮大と申しませうか、豪放と申しませうか、到底私どもの凡慮には及ばない、思ひ切つた所があるやうでございます。中にはまた、そこを色々とあげつらつて大殿様の御性行を始皇帝や煬帝に比べるものもございますが、それは諺に云ふ群盲の象を撫でるやうなものでもございませうか。あの方の御思召は、決してそのやうに御自分ばかり、栄耀栄華をなさらうと申すのではございません。...
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186 views

What is せる followed by suru-verbs?

専売特許に違背せる物品 infringements on patents 和英字書を編集せるはヘボン博士をもって嚆矢とす。Dr. Hepburn was the first to compile a Japanese-English dictionary. Is it する・す mizenkei followed by り rentaikei (here), or something else?
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How are the adjectives conjugated to izenkei (うれしけれ, たのしけれ) used here?

I came across a "Mermaid's song" in a text: ものみな眠るさ夜なかに 水底を離るることぞうれしけれ。 水のおもてを頭もて、 波立て遊ぶぞたのしけれ。 澄める大気をふるわせて、 互に高く呼びかわし 緑なす濡れ髪うちふるい、 乾かし遊ぶぞたのしけれ! The bolded adjectives, うれし(い)、たのし(い)、...
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430 views

Auxiliary verb ん

I came across this sentence in a grammar book (Japanese Postpositions: Theory and Practice by Noriko Katsuki-Pestemer): 生きんが為に働く。 In order to live, I work. It is then briefly explained that "ん ...
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113 views

Did the られる potential form come from 得る?

One of the shows I've been watching lately kept using some more classical forms of Japanese for style purposes, that I was not too familiar with ; this led me to notice how 得る{える} was often used as an ...
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203 views

The grammar of the Dokkōdō by Miyamoto Musashi

I have chosen the sentence 何れの道にも別れを悲しまず How would you translate it to match the meaning literally and with the intended message ? According to The Complete Musashi translated by Alexander Bennet ...
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343 views

Why is する considered irregular?

Yes, this sounds like a really confusing question. But I suddenly realized that する seemed to be a perfectly regular 上二段活用 (kami nidan; upper bigrade) verb with a stem of s-: 未然形: し (as in しない) 連用形: し ...
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125 views

Is it considered natural to use ども (in the context of 'even if') in written or spoken Japanese today?

A beautiful thought by 小林先生 in 窓ぎわのトットちゃん is conveyed as follows: 世に恐るべきものは、目あれど美を知らず、耳あれども楽を聴かず、心あれども真を解せず。。。の類である。 I haven't seen this usage of ども much. How natural is it to use this form in ...
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203 views

Is there a historical explanation why verbs fall into two categories of pitch accent?

Is there a good historical or logical explanation why all verbs fall into two categories of pitch accent: either accentless (such as 買う, 浴びる) or accented (such as 食べる, 書く)? I am having a hard time ...
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384 views

'to appear': arawareru, arawaruru, and arawaru

Arawareru, あらわれる: "to appear, to come in sight, to become visible, to materialize, to manifest." It looks as if arawareru can be written: 現れる, 現われる, 表れる, 表われる, 顕れる, 顕われる (Readings: 現 = gen, ken, ...
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Apparent honorific use of 参る

I'm puzzled by the appearance of 参る in this dictionary entry. The example sentence is archaic:「こなたにてみぐしなど参る程に」 In the modern language, this becomes: こちらでお髪などおととのえになるころに。 Notice that the modern version ...
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259 views

鵺 Chimera Bird in Making of Cyborg and Reincarnation

This question is related to my Sci-fi Fantasy question "Japanese Wedding Chant from Ghost in the Shell". That question is concerned with Japanese folk traditions and mythology, and please ...
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144 views

Meaning of ものかわ in a Haiku

Bashō: ふつかよい ものかわはなの あるあいだ. I’m completely lost by ものかわ. Any idea?
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What is the meaning of 「れど」 in the waka poem title 「忍ぶれど」?

「忍ぶれど」 is the title of Taira no Kanemori's waka poem in Ogura Hyakunin Isshu and I'd like to know the translation of this title in English. I already looked up the meanings and 「忍ぶ」 means to ...
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146 views

What does 形ク mean in japanese?

I was searching for the meaning of "時すでに遅し。" but I couldn't find 遅し in the dictionary goo.ne.jp and weblio tells me that it's おそい with 形ク in parenthesis.
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138 views

Help with understanding a sentence

詩の生命は暗示にして単なる事象の説明には非ず。かの筆にも言語にも言ひ尽し難き情趣の限なき振動のうちに幽かなる心霊の欷歔をたづね、縹渺たる音楽の愉楽に憧がれて自己観想の悲哀に誇る、これわが象徴の本旨に非ずや。されば我らは神秘を尚び... full Is it (syntax-wise) correct to take(かの筆にも言語にも言ひ尽し難き情趣の限なき振動のうちに幽かなる心霊の欷歔をたづね、...
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Few questions about this quote 力求むるも、修羅に染まれぬか!腑抜けが!

I have several questions about this quote which is spoken by the character Akuma in the Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 game. It's very different from the English localization ("Now you have ...
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What is an example of how the 推量の助動詞 「む」 can be used to mean 反語?

One of the listed meanings of the 推量の助動詞 「む」 on Wikipedia is that of 反語, which I understand to mean "saying the opposite of what one means for rhetorical emphasis" in this context (as opposed to just ...
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383 views

Past tense of なし in Classical Japanese?

Is it なしかりたらず as a usual し adjective? Or is it something weirder? I need this for a skit.
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71 views

What is the meaning of こそ…め?

I've come across a construction, こそ...め, that I don't know how to translate. Specifically, め, which I know is the [已然]{いぜん}[形]{けい} of む, since it comes after [未然]{みぜん}[形]{けい} inflections, is being ...
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1answer
138 views

What is the function of やらで?

What is the meaning of やらで in this tanka and where it comes from? 春のよの月は木のまを出でやらでまづ山のはの花ぞみえ行く I found that the expression 出でやる could be an equivalent of 出てくる but I don't really understand the ...
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112 views

How to write existential/locational sentence in Classical Japanese?

In Modern Japanese, one can use "がある” and "がいる” to express "There is/are ...". The existential sentence can be further used to assert the presence or existence of something in a particular place: "[...
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1answer
179 views

Is there a good historical explanation why we cannot generally use 言う in the 3rd person in the past tense?

Is there a good historical or logical explanation why we cannot generally use 言う in the 3rd person in the past tense? Why do we have to resort to 言っている for the 3rd person part tense (言っていた), unless it ...
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77 views

Why 燃ゆる in a modern slogan?

The Kagoshima National Athletic Meet seems to have been postponed indefinitely from 2020 for obvious reasons. However, I'm more interested in its slogan 燃ゆる感動. 燃ゆる is indeed the 連体形 of 燃ゆ, so I ...
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344 views

Meaning of もてり and use of が

白き布 もて盤上を 磨きたり 人は心に 鏡をもてり。 Is もてり 持てる? If so, in that case why does a potential verb have the が particle?
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525 views

What is the origin of けれど, ければ, けど, etc?

In Classical Japanese (correct me if I'm wrong; all my CJ was from Wikipedia and linguistic papers), the 已然形 could attach a lot of things: ど, ば, ども, etc. So I would be able to say 会へども話せず rather than ...
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360 views

心は出血している - what exactly the Japanese idiom for it?

is there the same expression in Japanese for good russian idiom 'Сердце кровью обливается'? 「心は出血している」? 'My heart is bleeding' is not very accurate, not really verbatim. This idiom in Russian ...
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57 views

What is 已然形? I know its classic Japanese but that's as far as I got

Can someone explain to me what 已然形 is? I've seen it brought up being related the hypothetical form like 已然形+ ば but I just can't figure out what it was for. I know its related to classical Japanese but ...
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1answer
129 views

What is the meaning of “迷い” in the phrase 夜の街迷いし穢れの乱歩

This phrase is from a song the translation of   "夜の街迷いし穢れの乱歩" would be: Lost in a city at night, I take a random impure walk. The question is: "迷い" in the dictionary means hesitation, perplexity, ...
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77 views

How to differentiate between the meanings of けり?

けり has 2 meanings: 過去 and 詠嘆. Is there some sort of trick to find out which one is being used? (besides context, of course)
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241 views

Why is まじる a 五段 verb?

As far as I know all じる verbs are supposed to be 一段. I found an interesting set of rules online: Does the verb end in る? No → 五段 Yes → Does it have an e or i sound before the る? No → 五段 ...
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I'm confused about the English title for the movie “Kaze tachinu” [duplicate]

風立ちぬ has just been released where I live. I'm a bit confused about the translation of the title, "The Wind Rises". I would have thought the title should have been translated "The wind doesn't rise." ...
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392 views

Two different polite forms of the conditional conjugation

I've noticed some dictionaries give two different results for the polite form of the conditional form, I'll use the verb 戦う for example. I am familiar with 戦いませば but not with 戦いますれば. Some ...
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What does 見ぬ/minu mean in this sentence?

The phrase is: mada minu kimi e tsudzuku. I believe the kana is: まだ見ぬきみへつづく。
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261 views

桜桜ーいざや and ゆかん meanings

In 桜桜 what do "いざや" and "見に行かん" mean, or rather why do they mean what they mean. I've never heard a term like いざや, and I've never seen 行く written as ゆく, nor have I seen an あん ending unless it was ...
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158 views

Classical form of 落{お}ちる

I read in a haiku written by Bashō/芭蕉 (source - see my addendum at the end of the post) : をちこちに 瀧{たき}の音{おと}聞く{きく} 落{おち}葉{ば}かな My translation : From far and near, hearing the sounds of the waterfall(...
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843 views

When was this Japanese standard and why this is so different from modern Japanese?

朕󠄁惟フニ我カ皇祖皇宗國ヲ肇󠄁ムルコト宏遠󠄁ニ德ヲ樹ツルコト深厚ナリ我カ臣民克ク忠ニ克ク孝ニ億兆心ヲ一ニシテ世世厥ノ美ヲ濟セルハ此レ我カ國體ノ精華ニシテ敎育ノ淵源亦實ニ此ニ存ス爾臣民父母ニ孝ニ兄弟ニ友ニ夫婦󠄁相和シ朋友相信シ恭儉己レヲ持シ博󠄁愛衆ニ及󠄁ホシ學ヲ修メ業ヲ習󠄁ヒ以テ智能ヲ啓󠄁發シ德器ヲ成就シ進󠄁テ公󠄁益ヲ廣メ世務ヲ開キ常ニ國憲ヲ重シ國法ニ遵󠄁ヒ一旦緩󠄁急󠄁...
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140 views

努める and 努むる nuance differences

What is the difference in nuance between 完成に努{つと}めるand 完成に努{つとむ}むる? I heard 努むる{つとむむる} and it threw me as I had never heard it before.
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205 views

Transcribing iteration marks: kunojiten , くの字点

The iteration marks 々, ヽ, ヾ, ゝ, ゞ are slightly smaller than standard kana, and are often seen in print when a contemporary scholar is transcribing text, a printmaker's seal, etc. My question relates ...
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74 views

Help understanding 案ずるより産むが易し

案ずるより産むが易し It is better to get down to work than (just) to worry about it (beforehand). | Fear can magnify a danger. | A danger is not as great as it seems in advance. | We have nothing to fear but ...
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1k views

History and Meaning of Soran Bushi

Recently I've found several versions of Soran Bushi, and this puzzles me-I don't understand why it would be different in different places. Moreover, I don't understand some of the vocabulary in it: ...
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1answer
140 views

Is there a good reason why I can use a polite form before から but not before ので? [duplicate]

Does anybody know why - historically, etymologically or logically - one can use polite forms (e.g. -ます) in causal subordinate clauses before から, while one must use the plain form before ので?
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115 views

What do the Long vowel rule and Palatalized long vowel rule represent?

In relation to the Classical Japanese orthography what are the Long vowel (長音 Chōon) rule and the Palatalized long vowel (開拗長音 Kaiyōchōon) rule? What would be some examples of them?
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207 views

is there a way to display the hito/jin 人 in non-simplified form?

is there a way to display the hito/jin 人 in non-simplified form ? I see kanji IMAGES everywhere on the net. but I'm looking for a unicode character like the old Chinese Lishu script. I see it in ...

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