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Old 07-31-2007, 12:28 PM   #2
Josh Reyer
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Location: Aichi-ken, Nagoya-shi
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Re: Translation for 'universe'

David Skaggs wrote: View Post
The word 'universe' is used in quotes from O'Sensei. Where does the translation come from and is there more than one translation for the Japanese meaning?

宇宙 uchuu, a term meaning "the universe, space, cosmos". It's an old Chinese term. One etymology/meaning given in the Huainanzi is that 宇 represents physical space, and 宙 represents the passage of time, thus, the universe. Another theory is that 宇 represents Heaven and 宙 represents Earth, thus, the universe.

Idiomatically, in modern Japanese it's used in scientific and philosophical texts to represent "the Universe", and in everyday speech to represent "space", i.e., beyond the Earth's atmosphere.

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
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