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Old 05-10-2008, 06:29 AM   #23
Peter Goldsbury
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Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
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Re: Kisshomaru as Interpretor of the Founder's Words

Carl Thompson wrote: View Post
I have a question about the reading of the characters 勝早日 which are Romanised "katsuhayabi" here.

Can we also read it kachihayabi? How about katsuhayahi?

I'm pretty sure I've heard the latter.

Sorry. I forgot your post.

As you probably know, the reading of the kanbun characters in the Kojiki is not an exact science. However, the reading masa-katsu-a-katsu-kachi-haya-hi is the preferred form in all the commentaries that I possess.

Your kanji are incorrect, by the way. The kanji of kachi-hayabi is 勝速日.

Here is the comment from Donald Philippi's translation of the Kojiki. "The first part of the name is 'Correct-victory-I (am)-victorious-victory-rapid-sun'. (p. 513.)

Concerning haya-hi, there is a reference to another deity with a similar name: Mika-haya-hi-no-kami, who came into existence when Izanagi killed the fire-deity. Philippi adds that the kanji for haya-hi is 'rapid sun'; 'since haya can mean fast, agile, vigorous, intrepid, thus haya-hi = vigorous force, intrepid working (analogous to kusubi, kushibi, musubi etc; hi = force, working, elan. This element is also found in the names of other deities and Philippi concludes his note with the suggestion that haya-hi is probably connected with lightning. (p. 518.)

However, if you want to go further and read Philippi's translation (or the translation of Basil Hall Chamberlain), you will find things very dull and sterile unless you have a Japanese text of the Kojiki, so you can match the explanations to the actual characters. And then you need a large Japanese monolingual dictionary, preferably the multi-volume Kokugo Daijiten, so that you can compare the explanations given by Philippi with a selection of the corpus of everyday Japanese.

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury
Kokusai Dojo,
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