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Old 07-17-2004, 11:41 PM   #1
Location: Taito-ku, Toyko
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 38
To Live to Die

All thoughts on the concept aside, I was curious what the Japanese phrase for "to live to die" is. From what I can tell from movies, it is 'shomo-tekido.' Am I being a silly westerner for trusting a romanticized samurai movie (Lone Wolf and Cub) or am I somewhat correct?

I'm interested in both the spelling/pronunciation in romanji and the kanji characters associated with the phrase. Any alterations and the contexts and meanings surrounding said variations are quite welcome.

Domo arigatou gozaimashita,
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Old 07-18-2004, 12:19 PM   #2
saltlakeaiki's Avatar
Dojo: Salt Lake Aikikai
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 76
Re: To Live to Die

I'm not familiar with this phrase, but maybe if you could give us a bit more to go on. In what sort of context in the movie did you hear this said? Did you hear it only once, or is it repeated often? Where did you get the idea that it meant "to live to die"? (from subtitles?) And do you think this means "to live with no purpose other than dying", or am I reading the English wrong?

In a martial arts context, "teki" will often refer to "the enemy" or opponent, so that doesn't seem to quite fit your understood meaning. "Sho" (if it's a long o, i.e. "shou") could be "life". I'm just grasping here

If it wasn't for the goat, you couldn't get in here for propaganda!
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Old 07-19-2004, 12:34 PM   #3
Location: Taito-ku, Toyko
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 38
Re: To Live to Die

The context is such, taken from the subtitles:

MK: Will you tell me... ...what is the true Way of the Warrior?

OI: The true Way of the Warrior is... ...to live to die.

MK: "To live to die."

When OI says the above line, there is a pause between both the words he speaks and the subtitles. When he says the "...to live to die" part, it sounds like "shomo-tekido-gotudoso" (though the third part is somewhat unclear to me as he speaks far too fast) as in show-mow-tay-key-dough-go-to-dough-so. MK repeats only "shomo-tekido." I'm sure that's an improper pronunciation guide, but I'm not sure how to through in accents and such, so its each word as you would pronounce it in an English sentence.

I hope this is of some help. I just find the phrase to be a profound summary of the warrior life, particularly in referrence to Japanese samurai culture, and was curious if such a saying was commonly written in any Japanese texts similarly to the way it was spoken in the movie, or if it was something unique to the obviously romantized story. Thanks.


Edit: This is coming from the AnimEigo translated version of Lone Wolf and Cub 3, minute 83, the pre-death conversation between Ogami and Kanbei, if anybody who owns the movie could possibly lend a hand.
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Old 07-30-2004, 06:54 AM   #4
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 29
Re: To Live to Die

You might be able to find what your looking for here:


Good luck
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