Talk:Wily Beast and Weakest Creature/Music

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Revision as of 02:52, 28 September 2019 by Ennin (talk | contribs) (牛 in Urumi's theme.)
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This is a really minor observation, but I think it feels a little stiff to translate 物言わぬ as 'Unspeaking'. I know 'unspeaking' is a word, but I've had trouble actually seeing it used in a real sentence. Does anybody have any strong feelings about changing the translation to "Silent Beast Spirits" or "The Silent Beast Spirits"?

I did a quick Google search and have some examples like 物言わぬ多数派 (silent majority) and 物言わぬ目撃者 (silent witness), which I think demonstrates that 物言わぬ can be translated as 'silent'. Biggest Dreamer (talk) 07:56, 7 May 2019 (UTC)

I would also support a change. Both "unspeaking" and "silent" might imply that the beast spirits are unable to talk, but from what information we can glean from the manual (and from in-game dialogue with Kutaka,) the spirits have tricked our heroines in some way and are choosing not to speak, waiting for the right time. So I think a translation that gets closer to the idea would be "close-mouthed" or "tight-lipped". That might be reading too far into what we only know as implications now, though. Flan27 (talk) 21:44, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
I'm the one who changed it to 'unspeaking' and yeah, now that I've thought about it I agree that it's pretty stiff. You can feel free to change it back to 'silent' 👍 (or something else, considering Flan27's input? 'taciturn' maybe?) Gilde (talk) 04:09, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
I personally see no problem with either "unspeaking" or "silent" since the word literally means "not-talking". "Silent Beast Spirits" works great IMO. I kinda disagree other things like "close-mouthed"/"tight-lipped" since one of the beast spirits is an eagle and, well, they have beaks.
Ennin (talk) 04:23, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
I like "Silent Beast Spirits". Following on from Gilde and Flan27's point, 'reticent' is another option alongside 'taciturn'. I wonder if there's a difference between 物言わぬ and 無口(な)? Biggest Dreamer (talk) 08:05, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
"Taciturn" actually describes a personality trait, which is not what is meant here. It's not that the beast spirits are generally quiet people, it's just that they're choosing to be quiet in this one instance. Actually, "無口" seems to have a similar difference in meaning. In a quick google search, the first result says "世の中にはさまざまなタイプの人がいるので、おしゃべりの人がいれば、無口な人もいるのが当たり前です", which means "There are various types of people in the world, and if there are talkative people out there then naturally there are taciturn(無口) people as well". So both "taciturn" and "無口" refer to a personality trait, whereas "物言わぬ" has to do with choosing not to speak at a certain time, regardless of personality. Flan27 (talk) 16:54, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
It seems like most people are in agreement for "silent" which I think works as well. I'll go ahead and change it now. --DTM (talk) 17:21, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
That seems the simplest and most agreeable.Flan27 (talk) 21:49, 14 May 2019 (UTC)


There are a couple things I want to address here.

  1. I'm looking at Weblio and it's telling me that this word is pronounced joutoujin instead of joutounin, at least judging by the English sentences here.
  2. Is there a potential English translation that can be used in place of joutounin/jin? "Noble guard" maybe? (This is more so me being nitpicky about common nouns being left untranslated.)

--Naudiz (talk) 05:21, 13 August 2019 (UTC)

  1. For the pronunciation, I can find the clay statue Mayumi's based on with both joutoujin and joutounin in Japanese, although the only dictionary pronunciation I've found is joutounin from Weblio. However, I can find use of joutoujin in some books.
  2. Mayumi's based on haniwa soldiers from kofun that represents the buried royal member's guards. 杖刀人 (joutoujin) is the name given to military officials in a similar position to royal guards. So "Ceramic Royal Guard" could work, "noble guard" might work too but I'm just worried that people may infer the wrong meaning of noble.
--(-O-) (talk) 09:56, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
杖刀人 can be pronounced either way but if Google results are to be any indicator then joutoujin is way more acceptedじょうとうにん+杖刀人じょうとうじん+杖刀人
Going further by putting them in parentheses reveals that "joutounin" gets 94 results while "joutoujin" gets 1,730 results. And this book on ancient Japan by a bilingual expert (杖刀人) also uses jin rather than nin.
Anyway, I believe that 杖刀人 shouldn't be translated. The 杖刀 (joutou) is a very old type of Japanese cane sword that became obsolete pretty quickly when stronger swords were invented. The literal meaning of 杖刀人 is "one who carries a joutou" and it's not a common noun like "swordsman" or "guard", it's a job title carried by those who guarded noblemen and women. You wouldn't translate that to any generic term like you wouldn't translate the Roman centurion into something like "elite soldier" or samurai as "knight". Furthermore, the specific haniwa artifact that Mayumi is based on is just called the "joutoujin" (杖刀人). Here's a picture of it by the way:
Ennin (talk) 05:10, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
Noted. Will change all nins to jins in the meantime. --Naudiz (talk) 06:13, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
On the other hand (even based on the aforementioned reasoning), why should we keep "joutoujin" in-tact if we did not keep "kobito" in-tact? I would choose "royal guard" in that case because it makes the most sense based on Mayumi's background, but also worthy of note, it looks like the authors of the 1979 book "The Inariyama Tumulus Sword Inscription" translated "杖刀人" to "sword-bearer". Code Slasher (talk) 02:32, 23 September 2019 (UTC)
First of all, the word "kobito", in Touhou, is used as a species name. The word "joutoujin" is a name used for a type of guardian. "Kobito" was avoided specifically because because it shares its name with the highly popular brand of Japanese toy characters. That's all you get when you search "kobito", so an alternative name needed to be used in order to avoid confusion. There's no such case with Joutoujin. Might as well ask why "kappa" is kappa instead of "river child" or why "oni" is oni instead of "demon". Anyway, the word "Joutoujin" must be left as is. It's a unique Japanese occupation, much like shogun or samurai or ninja. As I've stated before it literally means "one who carries a joutou". A joutou is a type of sword. It's even in Mayumi's name, Joutouguu. And, furthermore, as stated previously Mayumi is specifically based on a type of haniwa statue that is commonly referred to as the 杖刀人 (Joutoujin). This book ( is a good example. Also "royal guard" as a translation in this case is null. Keiki is certainly not nobility and the Primate/Human Spirit Garden is definitely not the tomb of any royal. Mayumi is a joutoujin haniwa, not an actual joutoujin. Bottom line is that "joutoujin" should be left as is. It's so highly intertwined with her character that ZUN put it in her name.
Oh and please refrain from changing titles before using the talk page.
Ennin (talk) 23:14, 26 September 2019 (UTC)


I believe that translating this to simply "fortune" is too broad, not to mention it is in direct contrast to "不運" in the phrase "幸運と不運" (which probably means that "不運" should be "bad fortune", but I digress). We have also translated "幸運" to "good fortune" on this wiki before (albeit somewhat inconsistently), such as with Tewi: "幸運の素兎" ("Bare White Rabbit of Good Fortune"). I therefore agree with Gilde's original edit from August 12, 2019. Code Slasher (talk) 23:05, 27 September 2019 (UTC)

I don't particularly disagree with this, it is a correct translation. I just hold the opinion that "good fortune and misfortune" sounds quite stilted in comparison to "fortune and misfortune", which flows better. The most common English definition of "fortune" (as a noun, aside from the meaning of "money") is literally "good fortune". I would even prefer "luck and misfortune" as that still flows better than the alternative. I don't mind too much about this though, I'm not gonna waste effort arguing over synonyms. If the person who originally changed it to "fortune and misfortune" comes back to contest this (or an entirely different person for that matter), let it be known here that I agree with them. I won't discuss this title further.
Ennin (talk) 00:38, 28 September 2019 (UTC)

Word Order of "セラミックスの杖刀人"[edit]

Now that it appears that we have tentatively put the issue with the translation of "杖刀人" to rest, I think we should look at "セラミックスの杖刀人" from a broader perspective: the word order. In my experience (and I am sure that plenty of you know this as well) and put in rough terms, the Japanese can use "の" when they want to denote the use of an adjective. For example, you can read "僕のヒーロー" as "My Hero" or "Hero of Mine". As expected, it is usually more natural to say "My Hero". By this logic, I think that "セラミックスの杖刀人" should be "Ceramic Joutoujin" instead of "Joutoujin of Ceramics", right? Code Slasher (talk) 23:33, 27 September 2019 (UTC)

You would be completely right had the title been "セラミックの杖刀人". But it's not. It's clearly セラミックス. That's "ceramics", not just "ceramic". "Ceramics Joutoujin" makes no grammatical sense in English. And the word "ceramics" is not an adjective. In this case "の" functions the same way that "of" does in English. I don't think there's even a valid argument to be had here. セラミックス is the noun "ceramics" and not the adjective "ceramic".
Ennin (talk) 00:40, 28 September 2019 (UTC)

牛 in Urumi's theme[edit]

There's good reason as to why 牛 was changed to "bovine" after the initial translation of "cow". Urumi is an ushi-oni. Ushi-oni are oxes with spider limbs, that's how they're always depicted in old Japanese art. There were no modern dairy cows in feudal Japan, only black oxes and other bovids. Unsurprisingly, 牛 solely meant "ox" in it's original usage. It was later adapted to mean all bovids in general, particularly modern cows. Urumi, however, wears a garment with print of a modern dairy cow (the Holstein to be precise) and her special animal spirit depicts a modern dairy cow. The 牛 is intentionally ambigious. Therefore, it should be translated as "bovine" which literally means "of, relating to, or resembling bovines; especially the ox or cow". The word "bovine" should be familiar to any native English speaker. If not bovine for some reason, then at least have it be "ox". Ushi-oni are oxes. —Ennin (talk) 01:30, 28 September 2019 (UTC)