Tag Archives: 日本語

Opening Poem on “Twilight” by Vangelis

The lyrics that are floating around on the Internet are mindless cut-and-paste jobs by people who have never sat down and listened to the  beautiful opening poem on “Twilight” from Vangelis’ album The City.

日が暮れる。 Hi-ga kureru. Day falls.
それは時の魔法。 Sore-wa, toki-no mahō. This is time’s magic.
明日同じ時、 Asu onaji toki, Tomorrow at the same time
違う魔法。 chigau mahō. there will be a different magic.
それは色が香りに、 Sore-wa, iro-ga kaori-ni, It is when colour becomes fragrance,
香りが色に変わる時。 kaori-ga iro-ni kawaru toki. and fragrance becomes colour.
そして陰は Soshite, kage-wa Then shadow
限り無い青に溶ける。 kagirinai ao-ni tokeru. turns into fathomless blue.

(This is my shot at the lyrics as I hear them. Corrections and comments welcome.)



「日本鬼子」(Japan-devils) is a Chinese racial slur for the Japanese.

Leave it to the Japanese to take the insult and make fun of it by turning it into a もえ (cartoon character representing something).

That sequence of Chinese characters can be pronounced several ways in Japanese, including “Hinomoto Oniko” which sounds like a woman’s name. …

Thus, the racial slur has been owned and turned into a cartoon of a warrior woman with demon horns.

Only in Japan.

China Hush has an article on this.

Handy Japanese Web Site Dictionary Tool

Is 朝日新聞社 all Greek… er… Japanese to you? Here’s a useful Firefox plug in.

I’ve used Rikaichan to help interpret Japanese web pages for quite some time. When activated, placing the mouse cursor over Japanese text causes a window to appear with the WWWJDIC dictionary definition. とても便利ね。 (Very useful, isn’t it?)

Install the plugin, labeled “the main extension”, then the dictionary of your choice. If you speak English, choose the Japanese-English dictionary. Dictionaries for Japanese to French, German, and Russian are also available.

Here is a shot of Rikaichan in action. The mouse is over the word 「警官」. Rikaichan shows that it’s pronounced keikan, and that as a noun it means policeman. The word can also function as a の adjective (indicated by adj-no).


There is an optional dictionary for those pesky Japanese name kanji. If this is installed, hold down the shift key before putting the mouse cursor over the kanji, and a list of possible names will appear instead of the dictionary definition.

In Japan, Signals Are Red and Blue

Just as with the English-speaking world, Japan uses red and green lights to indicate “stop” and “go”. However, the Japanese language does not use those terms. They call the red light 赤い(red)and the green light 青い (blue) even though it’s actually green. I do not know the historic reason behind this, but I suspect that this may be bleed over from Chinese.

赤い信号 青い信号
Akai Shingō Aoi Shingō
Red Signal Blue Signal
赤い信号 青い信号