Quick and dirty translation?
February 7, 2006 10:21 PM   Subscribe

What does the Japanese writing on these two packages mean (in English)?
posted by onshi to Writing & Language (13 answers total)
The two words:


on the right of the first pic, and the first two words in the 2nd pic, means the Kamakura perfecture in Japan.


My guess is that the buddha is from the Amida Buddha in Kamakura.
posted by merv at 10:38 PM on February 7, 2006

the second two in the 2nd pic are 'big buddha' or close to it in chinese, so I'd figure (given the subject) that's the rest of it.
posted by kcm at 10:54 PM on February 7, 2006

(大佛, da4 fu2)
posted by kcm at 10:55 PM on February 7, 2006

Holy Awesomeness! I totally have the 2nd one. It's a miniature of the daibutsu. Mine came from here Kotoku-in.
posted by matkline at 11:04 PM on February 7, 2006

yea #2 is "kamakura daibutsu"

#1: wow. i cant find a lot of those kanjis in my nelson's. they must be totally archaic. if someone can would you mind posting what nelson # they are?
posted by joeblough at 12:25 AM on February 8, 2006

oh, okay, #1 says, in the middle "daibutsuden" or temple of the giant buddha. not sure yet about the rest of the stuff, though the kanji at the bottom of the 3rd column means something like "warehouse" or "storehouse" but for the life of me i cant find the first kanji.
posted by joeblough at 12:36 AM on February 8, 2006

and in fact matkline has it, on #1 the left kanji's say "kotoku-in"
posted by joeblough at 12:44 AM on February 8, 2006

The one onshi posted is also fron Kotoku-in, where the Daibutsu is. that's what's written last (on the left) on the package, to wit: "Kamakura/Daibutsu Palace/Kotoku-in"

He's the Amida Nyorai buddha of Pure Land Buddhism, revered because he is all-accepting and not strict, so much so that you can attain salvation from the world of self delusion, greed and ill will rather easily by the patented Amida method: get comfortable and repeat the simple chant, "Namu Amida Butsu." That's it, so get crackin' onshi.
posted by planetkyoto at 12:45 AM on February 8, 2006

I didn't preview. Sorry, Joe, you had it there. Here's a good link: Shinto and Buddhist Corner.
posted by planetkyoto at 12:47 AM on February 8, 2006

Looky. Google's satellite photos for Japan just took a quantum leap in quality at the end of last month. n my blog I've linked some sites around kyoto.
posted by planetkyoto at 12:55 AM on February 8, 2006

i remember visiting there in 1989 and whats scary is that (if i remember right) there was a wooden structure enclosing the daibutsu but it was destroyed by a tsunami! i guess that isnt so crazy based on what happened in indonesia, but still.

so what does kamakura mean literally? i just cannot find kama in the nelsons...
posted by joeblough at 1:14 AM on February 8, 2006

It looks like the answers are all given, but...
鎌倉 (Kamakura) is the name of a city, not a prefecture. Kanagawa is the prefecture that it's located in.
大佛 (dai butsu) is a large Buddha statue. The simpler way of writing it is 大仏.
高徳院 (Koh toku in) is the name of the temple that a famous daibutsu is located, as matkline and others have pointed out above.

joeblough: 鎌 (kama) literally means "scythe" or "sickle." 倉 (kura) means a storehouse or warehouse.
There seems to be various theories as to why the area is called Kamakura, not all of them related to the literal meanings of the characters.
posted by misozaki at 2:05 AM on February 8, 2006

misozaki: thanks. i think the reason i couldnt find kamakura no kama is that whats written on the package seems to be a different form of the character. i guess its archaic or something. though all the strokes seem to be there, they are just not in the "right" place. strange.
posted by joeblough at 8:34 AM on February 8, 2006

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