Iconoclast -- Glossary
Japanese culture has infiltrated Western society more than ever in the 21st and 22nd centuries. As such, many words, phrases and ideas have crept into common usage among the polyglot spoken by most icons. The following are some Japanese words and phrases commonly used in the 22nd century:
ARIGATO - Thank you (informal).
ATO - Move back.
ASOKO - Over there.
AIUCHI - Strike together.
ATE - Strike.
AGE - Lift or raise up.
ATO DE - Afterwards.
AIUCHI - Mutual strike, strikes at the same time.
AINU - Caucasian race.
BAKEMONO - Ghostly goblins or bogeymen; general term for weird creatures.
BUDDHA - Enlightened one; deity of the Buddhist religion.
BUSHI - A noble warrior; any samurai.
BUSHIDO - Literally The Way of the Warrior; the honor code of the samurai; similar in concept to western chivalric codes.
BUDO - Way of war.
BATTO - Draw the sword.
CHIGAU - Different.
CHIISAI - Small.
CHIKAKU - Near.
CHUDAN - Middle.
DAI-SHO - The two swords of a samurai, literally "long and short," wearing the dai-sho was restricted to buke and physicians.
DAITO - Great sword, larger of the set of two, daisho along with shoto.
DAME - Not like that, wrong.
DOJO - Practice hall.
DOMO - Thanks (informal).
DOMO ARIGATO - Thank you (formal).
DOMO ARIGATO GOZAIMASU - Thank you very much (very formal).
DOZO - Please go ahead.
ETA - The untouchables; lowest social caste; those who deal with corpses, excrement, filth, animal slaughtering etc.; also those outside normal society such as ninja, thieves and entertainers.
FUSHIN - Frozen or stopped mind.
FUDOSHIN - Immovable mind, calm spirit.
FUKAKU - Personal character.
FUKUSHU - A blood feud.
GIRI - Literally "duty"; interlocking code of obligations which drives much of Nipponese society.
GOKAI - Grandeur, large feeling, full motions.
GO NO SEN NO WAZA (GO NO SEN) - Strike at a suki, a mind stopping. Strike before the opponent forms the intention to strike.
GOMEN NASAI - Excuse me, I'm sorry.
GEDAN - Low.
HAJIME - Start.
HAYAKU - Quickly.
HAI - Yes.
HETA - Unskillful, poorly done.
HIDARI - Left.
HEIJISHIN - Ordinary mind.
HEIMIN - A commoner, social caste of farmers, artisans, and merchants.
HININ - Lowest strata of the eta; dealers in deaths and corpses, such as undertakers and executioners.
HOJOJUTSU - Techniques of rapid binding of foes.
I CHING - Taoist book of divination used in a sorcerous ritual.
IAIJUTSU - Fast-draw skill with the katana.
IIE - No.
JODAN - High.
JOZU - Skillful.
JIGAI - Ritual suicide; reserved for female members of the buke caste; performed by slitting the throat.
KAMI - Literally "superior being," applies to Shinto deities and animalistic spirits; used to designate almost any sort of non-demonic spirit.
KANNUCHI - Shinto priest serving as full-time keeper of a shrine.
KANSHI - Seppuku performed to reprove the samurai's lord.
KATANA - Samurai sword, the "daito" of dai-sho.
KENJUTSU - The martial art of the sword, as opposed to Kendo, The Way of the Sword.
KOBUN - Member of a yakuza clan. An underboss.
KOSHIGUMI - A favored individual in a samurai clan who is not necessarily a member of that clan.
KUJI-KIRI - "Nine Ways Cutting," hand positions used to focus a Ninja's mind on the task at hand. Ascribed supernatural powers.
KAKE GOE - Yelling to get extra energy.
KENSEN - Pressure from the sword, esp. the tip.
KI - Spirit, energy, inner strength.
KI KEN TAI ICHI - Spirit, sword, body, one.
KIAI - Shout, yell.
KIMOCHI - Feeling, sensation.
KIRYOKU - Willpower.
KATANA O MOTTE - Get your sword.
KOTO - "Old sword". Blades before about 1600.
KENDO - The way of the sword, already drawn.
KIYOTSUKETE - Be careful.
KIRI - Cut.
KIKU - Lower.
KOMI - Coming close or drawing near.
KO HAI - Junior student.
MAE - Forward.
MIGI - Right.
MATE - Wait.
MAWATTE - Turn around.
MACHIGAI - Mistake.
MIRU - Look.
MUNEN - No thought.
NAZA - Why.
NENGO - An era, a time period of variable length.
NINJA - Member of that counterculture; any assassin, spy, or saboteur.
NINJATO - Ninja sword; straight-bladed sword somewhat smaller than a katana, often of poor or inferior materials.
NINJO - A term referring to the more tender human feelings such as mercy and love; in Nipponese tragedies ninjo often conflicts with giri resulting in the death of the hero.
NIRVANA - The removal from the eternal circle of reincarnation; state of non-existence sought by Buddhists.
NODACHI - Large form of the katana.
ONI - Any sort of demon or demonic being.
OYABUN - Head of a yakuza family; leader of any heimin organization.
OI WAZA - Chasing or following strikes, attack as opponent retreats.
OKI - Big.
ONEGAI SHIMASU - Please (as in "Please let"s practice together").
OSHIETE (KUDASAI) - Please (as in "Please teach me").
REI - Bow.
REIGI - Etiquette.
RIAI - Unification of action and theory.
RI - Measure of distance equal to 2.4 miles.
RONIN - Literally "wave man"; member of buke caste not in service to a lord; ronin are technically outside Nipponese society. The term "wave man" has an interesting origin. Consider the Nipponese islands as a sea, and then picture many men endlessly wandering this sea, never settling down, like a restless wave weaving back and forth across the islands. A rather poetic term for a bunch of (usually) crude brutes with swords.
SAKE - Alcoholic beverage made from fermented rice; usually served warm.
SAMURAI - Member of the buke caste owing service to a lord; literally "servant".
SEPPUKU - Ritual suicide; specifically for male members of the buke caste; self-evisceration.
SHAKU - Measure of distance roughly equivalent to 1 foot.
SOHEI - Martial monks maintained as troops by some Buddhist temples.
SAYA NO UCHI NO KACHI - Saya = scabbard, uchi = inside, kachi = victory. The sword in the saya, winning without drawing.
SEN - Initiative, to forestall.
SEN NO WAZA (SEN) - Strike faster than opponent, before attack delivered.
SHIN - Mind.
SHU HA RI - Keep, break, leave. Memorize technique, question and understand, forget technique.
SUKI - Opening.
SUTEMI - Sacrifice technique, accept a blow to deliver one.
SEMPAI - Senior student.
SENSEI - Instructor.
SUMIMASEN - Excuse me (to attract attention).
SHITA - Under.
SHIZUKANI - Soft, gentle.
SOKO - There, that position.
SUKOSHI - A little, a small amount.
SHINAI - Bamboo practice sword, used for Kendo.
SHINKEN - A real or "live" blade.
SHINTO - new swords, from about 1600 to 1870.
SHAKU - 30.2 cm. or 11.9 inches. Katana = 2+ shaku; Wakizashi = 1-2 shaku; Tanto = less than 1 shaku.
SHIN-SHINTO - Modern blades.
SHOTO - The smaller of a pair of daisho, the other is the daito.
TANTO - A knife-sized short sword, typically less than 1 SHAKU in length.
TOKI - Nipponese division of time, equals 2 western hours.
TATE - Standing, upright.
TSUKI - Thrust.
UCHI - Strike.
UE - Up.
WAKARIMASU - I understand.
WAKIZASHI - Equivalent to SHOTO, the shorter sword in a DAISHO pair, typically Less than 2 SHAKU in length.
WARUI - Bad.
WA - Inner harmony; the sense of peace gained by being one with the world.
WAKIZASHI - Short sword; the "sho" of the dai-sho.
WAKO - Pirate, buccaneer, or viking-style raider.
YOJIMBO - A bodyguard.
YAME - Stop.
YOI - Ready.
YUKURI - Slow.
YOKO - Horizontal, to the side.
ZANSHIN - Awareness, watchfulness, "lingering heart".