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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Learning Samurai Words

As you know, Samurai(侍) is old Japanese warrior with Katana(刀), Japanese sword. Some people in other countries seem to believe there are still Samurai in Japan though they don’t exist anymore.

When Samurai existed in Japan, they had their own words which still alive in current Japanese. I picked up an example of Samurai word here.

“Katajikenai (忝い)” means “Thank you”. This is very dignified word. In formal occasion, not women but men rarely use this word to show big gratitude to someone. In informal case, this word is used among friends, sometimes for joking. My Ireland friend uses more “Katajikenai” than “Arigatou” to make Japanese people laugh.

If you have any chance to meet Japanese people, try “Katajikenai” to them, and they will give you a smile!

29 comments:

Tony said...

thank you for sharing this, i shall try to use either form of thank you, but fear my pronouciation will be all wrong... but then living in west london not many will know anyway... but it will be fun to try, may be i should just use the written form at the end of emails, instead of best regards...
;o)
T

Anonymous said...

Hehe, thanks for the tip! Nothing is better than to make people smile, so I will use it first thing when I get the chance :-)
Have a nice day!

Kuntry Konfession said...

awesome! i surely would!
ps....i was at a sushi restaurant the other day, and was given front seat to the sushi chef. i heard it is very well mannered to ask the sushi chef if i can be honoured to be his audience....and it is a honour for someone to be invited to sit in front of the chef.....is this true?

kayanon said...

tony>

I think pronouncing "Katajikenai" is easy and most non-Japanese speakers can say it propaly.

That's cool to use it at the end of e-mail. Nice idea!


ragge>

Please do it when you have a chance!

kayanon said...

kuntry>

>i heard it is very well mannered to ask the sushi chef if i can be honoured to be his audience....and it is a honour for someone to be invited to sit in front of the chef.....is this true?

It maybe a honour to be invited to sit in front of the chef. However, I don't know how much it is honor thing...Maybe the chef likes you, and said like that ?!

Pierre-Yann said...

Why did the samurai have specific words?

It's normal for a community to have specific words, but for specific things, not general words.

Rob said...

^ I can answer this ^^

Samurai were a different class of people above the merchants,craftsmen, farmers, and peasants on the social latter. They would be in the prescence of Shogun and Daimyo more often than the other classes of people, so they probably used this word a lot more than the average everyday people in order to be most respectful.

Anyway, of course Samurai still exist just not in a dangerous way! ^^ Anyone whom is in Kendo or Iaido could be considered a Samurai because they still wear the traditional clothing that Samurai wore.

kayanon said...

pierre-yann>

as rob said above, samurai had their own words to distinguish their class and be respected by people. Upper class like Daimyou used slitly different words from Samurai, and the average everyday people used different words as well. Thanks rob.

kayanon said...

rob>

Thanks for your explanation! You know about the time very much.

Well, I don't think samurai wore such a hard costume like kendo style, but they could be called samurai having samurai spirit.

What is the laido, by the way?

Rob said...

Iaido is the Way of Sword Drawing ^^ They use practice katana, and I think they are even allowed to do so in Japan if they get the right papers and stuff. They also practice cutting with damp straw. But basically a form starts by drawing the sword then it ends by sheathing the sword.

And about Kendo, they used the chest protectors and gloves, and even the "men" face protector since the era of no swords after Oda Nobunaga's death. This is when Kendo is said to have been developed in order to stay in practice without getting in trouble for carrying swords.

キノっち(Ryohei) said...

Aha, I sometimes say "Katajikenai" to friends as a joke, too.(笑)
In the past, the word was a as a one of good form for Samurai, however, it is as a Japanise joke.(^-^)
Humm, the word change with time.

キノっち(Ryohei) said...

Aha, I sometimes say "Katajikenai" to friends as a joke, too.(笑)
In the past, the word was a as a one of good form for Samurai, however, it is as a Japanise joke.(^-^)
Humm, the word change with time.

kayanon said...

rob>

Ah, I knew what laido is, but didn't know the name. I wonder how it appears in Kanji. (I searched it on the internet, but couldn't find it)

About kendo, I didn't know it has such a long history! I only have watched Samurai fighting without costum at Jidaigeki and maybe had my own image of samurai style...I should ask about samurai to you next time! Haha! Thank you very much, rob!

kayanon said...

ryohei>

here you go! Japanese say "katajikenai" and love to use it, haha!

Right, words are changing gradually. When I was a high school student, I had no idea with Kobun which I didn't like...

Kuntry Konfession said...

hahah!-i read it on their sushi menu, kanyanon! i also read that japanese people tend to go out for sushi because it is less of a hassle than making it at home-since everything must be made fresh-especially if you are hosting a party....?
hmmmh...me, if given the chance, i'd eat sushi 24/7. ah, make it 25/8.
the practice of Samurai still exists, no?

Masa said...

Hey, How about "Kyo-shuku desu"??
It reminds us someone...isn't it^^

kayanon said...

kuntry>

Haha!!Sorry, it's my misunderstanding!

Yes, Japanese eat sushi at sushi place than at home. It's so hassle to make sushi at home... Do you know Temaki-zushi? It is more like easy sushi, and people enjoy it at home. I want to introduce it someday here.

kayanon said...

masa>

ah, I like to hear the someone saying it! I love the person so much!

Anonymous said...

Konnichiwa Kayanon san:

Thank you so much for your useful and informative web log.
I've recently found you blog.
I am very interested in Japan and Bushido.
That's the reason I always choose Last Samurai as my ID.
Of course nowadays we do not have samurai people but its culture still exists in Japanese culture. Bushido is the soul of Japan.
Once I visited a Japanese steel making factory and I found many Japanese workers as samurais.
Thank you again for your nice blog.

Yoroshiku Onegaishimasu
Last Samurai

Anonymous said...

Oh ! I really wish so honestly every day with every atom of my body to learn samurai,and I would cross all the difficulties with patience and my insisting desire to learn samurai and to have that honor of the old warriors over my shoulders and to serve it with all I have of love and respect and more to keep it alive,and I wouldn't ever rise my sword aganist any one innocent or bad,it's enough to me to know that I am someone who's able to have that knowledge of the old warriors

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Anonymous said...

thanks!
From Panama, central america.
Arigatou-----no....Katajikenai !!

i'm tourist guide and speak japanese since 1997 ^_^

www.turismo-guzman.es.tl

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