Talk:Primate Spirit Garden

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The location should be called "Human Spirit Garden" or "Garden of Humanity" instead. While the modern meaning of 霊長 is primate, its original meaning referred purely to humans. 万物の霊長 (Supreme Spirits of All Creation) was where the term originally came from, used in Chinese classics. Humans were said (or rather, we described ourselves) to be "Supreme Spirits", the pinnacle of creation. Based on this, and when you consider that this is the base where Human Spirits are protected by Keiki and her idols from the animals outside (who would certainly see them as just other animals, primates) it wouldn't make sense for this actually mean primate, would seem kind of deprecating don't you think? It's supposed to be the haven of human spirits, which are a separate existence from the other animals, including the monkeys and apes. Plus the existence of this place is destroying the balance of the Animal Realm! (Kind of like what humans are doing to the Earth right now huh?) Anyway, thinking further it feels like this term is really taking on 3 meanings as a whole. Humanity (the pinnacle of creation and viewpoint of Keiki), Primate (from the perspective of animals), and Cemetery (from 霊園). So translating this into English really will be unfortunate, but I feel the "Human" definition should take priority in this case considering who this place belongs to. If there are some better suggestions, it'd be nice to see. --SupremeExplosion (talk) 05:24, 2 September 2019 (UTC)

I agree with you, "human" certainly takes precedent over primate in this case. However, I'd also like to point something else out. The location's name has another important connotation. It's a play on the word 動物園 (doubutsuen, lit. "animal garden"). The word is a direct Japanese translation of the English term "zoological garden", more commonly known in the shortened form of "zoo". ZUN just switched 動物 (animal) with 霊長 (human). So yes, ZUN is indeed saying that humans are seperate from animals. The interpretation that 霊長 means "primate" in this case falls apart, as ZUN already switched out the word for animal with human. There's a reason the human spirits are seperate from the animal spirits, they can produce faith whereas the animals cannot. Anyway, in Yachie's profile it was specifically stated that one of the reasons Reichouen was even created was to preserve the human spirits population and prevent their extinction. That's one of the main functions of zoos. The profile also goes as far as to say the animal spirits considered it a recreational facility (娯楽施設, literally "amusement establishment"); a classification that 動物園 definitely falls under. Based on the evidence and context presented to us, I do strongly believe that ZUN intended the primary meaning of Reichouen to literally be, at face value, "Human Zoo". Or, if you wanna take it to the next level, "Anthropological Garden" (as opposed to "zoological garden").
Ennin (talk) 05:50, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
Forgot to mention this but a common synonym for 動物園 in Japanese is サファリパーク (safari park). The word "safari", when it first came to be used in English, referred to an animal hunting expedition. Nowadays the word is mainly used to describe a trip in which you view animals. Interestingly, as stated in Yachie's profile, Reichouen was also used as a hunting grounds for the animal spirits. In the Kemono Friends series, the main location is a giant zoological garden named Japari Park (ジャパリパーク), an obvious play on words with safari park (サファリパーク). During the special radio show Touhou Station #17, ZUN said that he partly based the conflict of Touhou 17 on the controversy surrounding Kemono Friends 2 (summary of the radio show: http://theylivewesleep.blog.fc2.com/blog-entry-135.html). So yeah I think it's undeniable that the main meaning of Reichouen is "Human Zoo" or "Anthropological Garden". Of course I'm not denying the cemetery aspect either, that's definitely the secondary meaning behind it, just not the main one. But now I think there is a way to translate the double meaning. 園 can be translated as "garden" or "park". A common synonym for zoological garden is "wildlife park". Two synonyms for cemetery are "memorial park" and "garden of remembrance". Could we perhaps use something like "Human Garden of Remembrance"? or "Humankind (opposite of wildlife) Memorial Park"? The words "remembrance" and "memorial" invoke the meaning of a cemetery, but the animal spirits are also trying to keep the human spirits from going extinct too so those words can also neatly imply that as well. The pun can easily be explained with an annotation on the article.
Ennin (talk) 18:27, 16 September 2019 (UTC)