Grieving for forms now departed long ago

Oh, EDICT/JMdict. I understand the temptation, but this is not how you translate Noh jargon.

So what does Kokushiki-jō mean? Well, koku 黒 clearly means "black," although not in the sense "of African descent"; it either describes the color simply or has some shamanic implication. Shiki is written either 式 ("style", "ritual", etc.) or 色 ("color"). 尉 means "old man," but it isn't clear exactly why. It might come from ancient Japanese bureaucratic nomenclature. The 13th-century dictionary Myōgoki 名語記 also proposes that it might come from 叟, a Sino-Japanese word meaning "old man." The connection here was presumably suggested because the mask Kokushiki-jō is (only) used in the dance Sanbasō 三番叟, "Third old man."

Popularity factor: 3


Can we have an EDICT thread? Not to slander a collaborative and free dictionary, but their mistakes are often entertaining or informative. I made a post about how their translation of gizen(sha) is wrong, here: Gizen does not mean “hypocrisy”


Sure, stipulating in advance that EDICT and its successor projects represent one of the great triumphs of early internet culture without which I for one would know a lot less about Japanese, I don't think some friendly ribbing can hurt. I'll even make the change requests afterwards!

Nice find on "gizensha"/"hypocrite", by the way -- it never occurred to me that the pairing might have been accurate at the time it stuck.


Matt's already on it, but here's a friendly encouragement for everyone to contribute to the project by pointing out mistakes and problems, as well as suggesting missing words and meanings. Your contributions will eventually improve the quality of, like, about every ja-en dictionary software there is.

Aime la vérité, mais pardonne à l'erreur

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