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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

百鬼夜行


ひゃっ き や こう
hya kki ya kou

The Kanji that make up today's special Halloween 四字熟語 are, in order: hundred, demon, night, and go.

Definition: たくさんの妖怪が夜俳諧すること。

Translations:
1. There are a shit-ton of unseen monsters prowling in the dark.
2. A situation where extreme caution is prudent; unseen risks lurk everywhere.
3. Evil characters and sinister plots abound.
4. Something wicked this way comes?

I found a website that says:
「...妖怪の百鬼夜行ではありません。先物の世界を百鬼夜行に例えています。」
(My terrible translation: It's not about ghosts and goblins roaming the night. It's a metaphor about the future of the world.)
(Nirav's contextual [better] translation: It's not a literal procession of demons in the night; it's a metaphor for the unknown dangers the future certainly holds.)
But then one of my Japanese friends says that it's extremely rare to hear it used, and that maybe the only time she can think of to use it would be Obon, when the spirits of the dead are given their own parade.

Today's pictures come hand-stolen from my all time favorite ghost and demon website, The Obakemono Project, which you can now also find in my links section. It's a great site.

例文:もしも八ロウェーンのことをぜんぜん知らない日本人が十月三十一日の夜にアメリカに行ったら、「百鬼夜行だ!」と思うかな?
If a Japanese person who knew nothing about Halloween happened to go to America on Halloween night, would they think it was the real deal?


Happy Halloween!

5 comments:

Nirav said...

As gmail chat will attest, I think that "unknown dangers" can be replaced just as well (or perhaps to better effect) with "pandemonium," which has the added benefit of literally containing the word "demon" in it.

One translation of 百鬼夜行 that may be more familiar, especially to readers of this blog, is: "And the trogdor comes in the niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight!"

How about this as an example?

俺はこの目で戦争を見てる。家が住人ごとに燃やされたり人間が人間を殺しあったり、百鬼夜行の有様だ。

I've seen war with my own eyes. Houses being burned down with the inhabitants still inside, people killing each other... its like a scene out of hell.

Though I may be pushing it a little bit on this one. Happy Halloween everyone!

Defendership said...

最初から小学校を楽しみでしたけど、着いてこいつもどいつも浣腸させたから、じつは百鬼夜行だぜ!

At first I was looking forward to elementary school, but since everybody and their uncle gave me the fingers-in-the-butt since I got there, it's become a living hell!


DEFINITELY a loose translation. But I'm kinda drunk right now. FORGIVENESS PLEASE.

AzzidisRidden said...

NO FORGIVENESS! Drunk on a Wednesday night, without me.... for shame.

Nice sentence though.

Claytonian said...

俺の教室の状態は百鬼夜行ほどなあ。

I dunno, maybe I actually got to mention the students in that sentence

Claytonian said...

correction:
俺の授業の状態は百鬼夜行ほどうるさいなあ