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Old 05-20-2007, 04:54 PM   #43
Josh Lerner
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Location: Renton, WA
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 80
Re: Parsing ai ki do

Erick Mead wrote: View Post
Potayto -Potahto. A thorough differential reading analysis requires determining whether the onyomi is 呉音, 唐音, or 唐音or more likely, in this instance, the kunyomi inverse of 慣用音, an assumption based on a true kunyomi homophone at the time of adoption.
I stand in awe of both your ability to obfuscate simple ideas and your ability to cut and paste from the "onyomi" article on Wikipedia. You pasted 唐音 twice, by the way. Don't forget to hit ctrl C again after highlighting 漢音, otherwise you'll do double pastes like that .

I will still, however, point out that the pronounciation of that character as "ai" comes not from any Chinese reading of the word but from that kanji's use to represent the initial sound of the verb a(u) or a(wasu/seru). That would be the "yamatokotoba" from the Wikipedia article.

Look in any Japanese dictionary of kanji that has an index of onyomi and kunyomi, such as the Kanjigen I cited above, and look under "ai". You will find some characters with that onyomi (such as the one for "love"), but this "ai" will not be among them. Why? Because it is not onyomi. Looks like onyomi, smells like onyomi, but brother, it ain't onyomi.

But since you brought up the fact that you don't have the resources to determine which pronounciation are which type of onyomi, and I do happen to have the resources (i.e. a standard kanji dictionary and a spare two minutes), here is the breakdown -

gou (with the historical spelling gafu), gatsu, katsu - 慣用音
gou (with the historical spelling gofu) - 呉音
kou (with the historical spelling kafu) - 漢音

I don't know what "kunyomi inverse of 慣用音" means, nor do I know what you mean by "an assumption based on a true kunyomi homophone at the time of adoption."

Using "ai" in compounds is exactly like the compound "tabemono", with "tabe", from the verb "taberu"/"to eat", being used to form a noun phrase. In fact, most of the time, when this character is used in a compound and pronounced "ai", the "i" is actually written in hiragana, the way it would be for any native Japanese verb that was turned into a noun phrase. There are a few times, such as "aiki", where the hiragana "i" is left out, but they are the rare exception, not the rule. And, as I noted in my first post, there are times when some kunyomi are used in compounds with onyomi, as with "aiki" and "aifuku" (meaning clothing for spring or fall). But, again, it is not the norm.

All of which doesn't really matter in terms of your theory of onyomi and Chinese poetry anyway, since Ueshibe didn't invent the word. It had been in use in Daito-ryu as a technical term for a specific type of skill, and I've heard of a few references here and there that point to its use in other koryu that are older than Daito-ryu. The fact that Ueshiba liked to pun on "ai"/love has nothing to do with the creation of the compound "aiki" or the fact that it is pronounced with a mixture of onyomi and kunyomi.

Hope this helps.

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