May 27, 2009

Let's Yoji: 屍山血河

Yesterday I brought news of the Evil Dead Japanese musical. I can't help but wonder if the Japanese Ash will utter the word 屍山血河 (shizanketsuga) after carving a swath through some deadites. Tell us what the words mean before we kill you Clay! Okay! Time for the B-b-b-b-breakdown!
The breakdown for 屍山血河
屍 shi: corpse (an uncommon kanji)
山 san (rendakued to zan): mountain
血 ketsu: blood
河 ka (rendakued to ga): river (an older character than the usual 川)
collective gloss: mountains of corpses and rivers of blood
rank: super rare= impress your Japanese friends
alternative spellings: 尸山血河
alternative readings: しざんけっか

Though this yoji has little practical application, I find it cool. That first kanji, 屍, is found in some good words for us supernatural buffs. For instance 僵屍 (kyonshi, usually written in katakana because them kanji is teh hards) which is the word for Chinese hopping vampire. You may enjoy a post I did recently about the Hopping Vampire boom of the 80s.
Another cool word is 生ける屍 (ikerushikabane), meaning the living dead. I found a book named 生ける屍の死 (death of the undead) that looks promising; I'll tuck it into my wishlist for now in preparation for when my life gets resurrected from study hell.

Another cool yoji that shares the concept and this 屍 character is 死屍累々(shishiruirui).
The breakdown for 死屍累々
死 shi: death
累 rui: accumulate, trouble
々: kanji ditto mark
累々ruirui: in heaps
collective gloss: piles of bodies
rank: common enough to be understood
This one easy to remember because of how it's said. I think these days you'll see it used most in video games or to describe the reader count of this blog.

[J source]