16

What exactly is なり? It is a conjugable suffix (助動詞). It attaches to the attributive (連体形), a substantive, or an uninflected adjective. It expresses designation (指定) or predication (断定). It is basically equivalent to である or だ. You may consider it a copula. As a conjugable suffix, it has multiple forms: nar-a, nar-i / ni, nar-i, nar-u, nar-e, nar-e. ...


15

其之 is a rare kanji version of その meaning "its". The kanji 其 on its own means "it" and 之 means "~'s". Today その is almost always written in kana, but they used difficult kanji for archaism. Is the comic about ninja or something? その is usually used as an old counter-like prefix for chapters/episodes/parts of a story, not pages. For example その5 typically means "...


12

According to a dictionary, 花つ月 is an alternative name for March, the third month of the year in the traditional Japanese calendar. (I didn't know that.) So 緋色の花つ月 means March in Crimson or something like that.


11

There are five distinct scripts in that picture, all reflecting forms of the Chinese writing system. From left to right, we have: oracle bone script (甲骨文{こうこつぶん}), bronze script (金文{きんぶん}), seal script (篆文{てんぶん}), and then modern handwriting (traditional and Japanese simplified). Oracle bone script is the earliest attested form of the Chinese script. One ...


11

How would you translate this phrase into English? It would depend on context and what I was trying to say, but something like "Throw it away!" I guess. (I am sure that Sekkei Harada had good reasons for writing what he did, but this is the standard interpretation of the surface meaning of what Joshu said -- telling a questioner who believed himself to be ...


11

Short answer: probably yes, but we don't know a lot about it. We don't have enough documentation about the earliest stages of Japanese to be sure, but the consensus is that a bunch of the oldest words must have come from Chinese and other languages. It would be hard not to, since they were in contact all the time, and the original Japanese speakers came ...


10

Were these forms prominently used at some point? Yes, they were predominately used in writing up until the end of World War II. Technically speaking, the movement to change the writing style to match the way people speak began in the early Meiji Era though. So, two writing styles existed for a long period of time. Why (and possibly, when) did their ...


9

お[戯]{たわむ}れを is mainly heard in samurai dramas. Typically, a samurai or a maid says this to their master in the sense of "You must be joking" or "You're not serious, are you?" In dramas set in modern Japan, an old butler- or detective-like character may say this, too. A more common equivalent in modern Japanese is ご冗談を. EDIT: You may be wondering which verb ...


8

Tsuyoshi Ito has already answered this question, but I'd like to add one detail: I think I see 目指すは〜 a lot more than other verbs followed by は. Although I can't find it in any dictionaries, from personal experience I think it might be common enough to be considered something like a set phrase, or possibly a holdover from when this grammar was more common. ...


8

来なんだ = 来なかった. The negative past. You often hear this form in 時代劇 and from old people in fiction (think [波平]{なみへい} in Sazaesan, Dumbledore in Harry Potter...) デジタル大辞泉の解説 なんだ[助動] [助動][なんだら|なんで(なんだり)|なんだ|なんだ(なんだる)|なんだれ|○]動詞型活用語の未然形に付く。過去の打消しの意を表す。なかった。 [補説]語源は未詳。打消しの助動詞「ぬ」に「あった」の付いた「ぬあった」の音変化とみる説や、打消しの「なん」に過去の「た」が付いた助動詞からとする説など、諸説がある。...


8

Seeing this particular phrase 力なくなく for the first time myself, I cannot think of it as anything else but a kind of 畳語 (reduplicated words/phrases) version of the adverbial phrase 力無く (without strength; limply, exhaustedly), with the meaning unchanged. Using 力なくなく as double negative (i.e. not without strength) would be pushing it both grammatically and ...


7

I will have a try. 人ノ言ヲ懼レズ、己ノ道ヲ進メ ひとのげんをおそれず、おのれのみちをすすめ or 己ノ道ヲ行キ、人ノ言フニ任セヨ おのれのみちをゆき、ひとのいうにまかせよ There is a saying I love very much, but much harder to understand than my translations, if you are not familiar with 漢文. 千万人ト雖モ吾往カン せんまんにんといえどもわれゆかん Original text: 自反而縮。雖千萬人吾往矣。 -- 孟子 公孫丑上 Explanation given by 大辞林: 自ら省みて正しければ,敵対者や反対者がどんなに多くとも,...


7

Just doing a quick survey of the kanji spellings used for けり in the first five books of the Man'yōshū, after excluding false positives (matches for けり belonging to -ku verbs), here's the breakdown for spellings by frequency and 甲類【こうるい】 (ke1) vs. 乙類【おつるい】 (ke2): 来: 21 -- N/A, non-phonetic use 家里: 11 -- ke1ri 家利: 5 -- ke1ri 家理: 2 -- ke1ri 鶏里: 2 -- ke1ri 計理: ...


7

さすれば is そうすれば (="if you do so", "then") said in an archaic fashion. And yes, さ here is 然, an archaic word that means そう in modern Japanese. This さ is almost dead now, but is found in a few set phrases like さも, さもありなん in modern Japanese. (光を)射せば happens to make sense in this context, but it's not relevant.


7

なくば is an older form of なければ. It's not generally used in modern Japanese (outside of perhaps a few fossilised expressions like さもなくば), but is still recognised and can be used as part of an affected style of speech. This character's speech is clearly somewhat archaic in flavour (as also evidenced by the use of そなた and the ぬ negation), so the use of なくば seems ...


6

Since this is a very old construction, I don't think there is an absolutely clear origin, but my understanding is that the popular theory is       k-u + ar-i → k-i-ar-i → ker-i where k-u is the カ変動詞 "to come" and ar-i is the ラ変動詞 "to be". However, there is also a minority theory of       ki +...


6

烏有 as on'yomi: uyū As others have noted in the question comments, 烏有 read as uyū derives from Classical Chinese. Its origins there appear to be based on 烏 (not "crow" here, instead used phonetically in Middle Chinese as an interrogative and negative indefinite pronoun, as noted by snailboat and Derpius in the comments above) + 有 ("to have, to be") → "none-...


6

つ is just an older version of the particle の. Its use here, assuming that you are referring to Tolkien's Middle-earth, is literary and adds an older and more mystical flavor in the same way that using a lot of older words of English origin might.


6

It's short for かくやあらん, which is one of the fixed expressions from archaic Japanese. 斯く: "like this" や: archaic question marker (eighth definition here; grammatical rule here and here) あらん (あらむ in historical kana usage): あり ("to be") + む ("to seem; should"). → "should be; to seem to be" So in modern Japanese, it's このようであろうか or こんな感じだろうか. かくや is used to ...


5

Follow might be a slightly misleading verb here, because it is too narrow, and can sometimes have a negative connotation of passivity. There's a difference between seeking my mother's advice and following it. I noticed how “seek to follow the footsteps” is the widely disseminated translation for this quote, but literally it is more like a simple “seek the ...


5

No, it can't. へ as a particle in Japanese maintains the meaning of direction and is unrelated to any meaning of "and." Furthermore, the pronunciation of "he" i Chinese is quite different from the pronunciation of へ in Japanese, so even that much is a but of a stretch. They're alike in romanization only. This is even more irrelevant because when Japanese ...


5

It is a compound of English "back" and German "schön" ("beautiful").


5

As a literal translation, it's wrong.  本気になれぬ ≒本気になれない ≒(You) can't get serious. (Side note: if you look at the rest of the lyrics, it's pretty clear that at least some of the clauses before 「ウルフボーイ」 don't act as relative clauses, so I don't think the meaning of this line is "The wolf boy who can't get serious", but just "You can't get serious; wolf ...


5

In the Edo period and the early Meiji period, prefixing a name with お was common but ~子 was not. Prefix お for names - how is it used? If a girl's real name was かき, for example, she introduced herself saying "(I am) かき", and other people called her おかき. While naming ~子 for common people gradually became popular in the early 20th century, calling them お~ ...


5

やわこい is a dialectal form equivalent to やわらかい. It appears to be used in Sendai (仙台) dialect, but easily comprehensible even to a Standard Japanese speaker. Thus, やわこく = やわらかく. 悩みのカチカチ筋肉が少しはやわこくなるであろう。 = 悩みのカチカチ筋肉が少しはやわらかくなるであろう。 Thy stiff muscle that botherth thee shall be a bit loosened.


5

やわこい is a dialectal adjective meaning やわらかい. Many adjectives in dialects of eastern/northern Japan end with -こい. Other famous examples include めんこい ("cute") and ひゃっこい ("cold; chilly"). See this 仙台弁 glossary, too. やわこい is very easy to catch the meaning for standard Japanese speakers, but some are not straightforward. Note that やわこい itself doesn't mean "very ...


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