February 08, 2009

Shin, god?

I'm rewatching Macademi Wasshoi, because I have in mind to do a TMW about it and I'm preparing my thoughts.

Listening to it, there's a word stem they use, shin it sounds like to me, which they're using to mean "god". For example, at one point they refer to shinkai to makai and it means "the realms of the gods and demons."

makai is perfectly fine; I've run into it before. (That's the name of the place Glenda comes from in Petite Princess Yucie, for example.)

ma means "demon".
kai means "world"

But I've been burning up the dictionaries tonight and I cannot identify any kanji or any other use of shin that means anything remotely like "god" or "deity" or "angel". The only word I know for that is 神 kami which they aren't using.

Anyone care to give me a hand here? What am I missing?

UPDATE: And no sooner do I post this than I find the answer. shin is one of the pronunciations of 神. How common is it?

So shinkai would be 神界. I wonder why they're using shin exclusively in this instead of kami?

UPDATE: I was wrong. They also use kami in some cases.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Japanese at 08:41 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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1 Maybe there's a subtle difference in connotation?  kami having more of a 'spirit of a place or object' element, whereas shin having more of a 'spirit from a different place' element?

Posted by: metaphysician at February 08, 2009 09:57 PM (h4nEy)

2 It's the difference between the on and kun readings - in just about any compound, you'll see shin used instead of kami. When used as a separate word, kami.

Posted by: HC at February 09, 2009 05:21 AM (y9yco)

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