The Meaning of Konoko
The page for Konoko offers the interpretation of her name ("this child") that I most prefer. However, I think it's important to note here, for those who aren't familiar with the way Japanese works, that one must always be careful when interpreting names based on a breakdown into syllables. The actual meaning of a name must be determined by the kanji with which it is written. Simply hearing a word or seeing it written in Roman letters like "Konoko", you don't know what kanji make it up, or even how many kanji. Therefore, you cannot know the real meaning of the name. If a person only knew the syllables, they could just as easily break down "konoko" as "ko no ko", meaning "child of child", "child of sin", "price of sin", etc., but none of these are likely to be correct if you consider Konoko to be a "proper" Japanese name that is based in kanji. To my knowledge, there is no official representation of Konoko's name in the form of kanji.
Stepping out of the world of the game, one could ask, Well, what did the creators intend Konoko to mean? There is evidence that they were not just randomly slapping Japanese syllables together, as "Mukade" likely refers to the insect (again, we can't know this without kanji, but this is a case where the word "mukade" has a traditional usage in Japanese myths (and real-life, if you are unfortunate enough to have them in your house), so we can make a reasonable assumption as to the meaning). However, the notion that Bungie West had a meaning in mind for "Konoko" is pretty much blown out of the water by this interview. Stepping back into the game's world, we can still pretend that it means "this child", or whatever we want it to mean, when plotting an Oni 2, or trying to be clever in an Added value section. Just don't make the mistake of asserting your opinion as if it's fact.
Here's what we can state as fact based on the sounds in Konoko's name:
Hiragana (used for personal names): このこ
Katakana (used for sounding out kanji):コノコ
But again, that's of limited value because name meanings do not come from the kana.
Occurrences of Oni Names in the "Real World"
Do the quotes on "real world" seem strangely disdainful of reality as we know it? Oops. Oh well. Here is a place for listing actual places where names and places from Oni show up. Again, it's not a matter of whether these occurrences have any significance, but just for the sake of showing that we found something weird/interesting. If it's not self-evidently weird or interesting, explain why you find it so.
- Konoko No Nanatsuno Oiwaini. Can also be written as "Konoko no nanatsu no Oiwai ni", which is easier to parse.
- You can find a mention of this phrase here and here. IMDb gives the literal translation as "For My Daughter's Seventh Birthday". My limited understanding of the language tells me that, out of the three significant words in that phrase, "nanatsu" is "seven" or "seventh", and "oiwai" is probably "birthday", leaving "konoko" to mean "daughter" or "my daughter". This is quite interesting. Once again I am astounded at the beneficial coincidence that "Konoko" can mean something significant even though Brent Pease, in the interview linked to above, claims it 'just popped into my [non-Japanese-knowing] head'. I would really like to know whether the "konoko" in the title means "daughter" or "my daughter", but I'm guessing it's just plain "daughter".
- That still doesn't tell me why on earth a Japanese video game has a song by that title, but hey, why start trying to understand the Japanese now?
- "Shounen A" Konoko wo Unde
- http://www.sasugabooks.com/product_info.php?products_id=30417 is a book with an interesting title that I can't translate. I know "Shounen A" is "Kid A", which is pretty amusing for fellow Radiohead fans out there.
- Konoko wa wagamama...
At http://www.cherryblossom-garden.com/1/aiko4.html are the lyrics to a song by the band AIKO that has the line “Konoko wa wagamama nandakara amayakashi chadame yo”. It's actually in quotes, set apart from the other lyrics as if someone in the song is speaking it. To the right are the original Japanese characters, ｢この子は我が儘なんだから甘やかしちゃだめよ｣ (notice the quote marks there too). Presumably the "この子" would have to be "konoko" but then why are the first and last syllables different? You'd expect them to be the same. I am also unable to find that 子 symbol in either the katakana or hiragana scripts. There's also no translation of the lyrics. Babelfish provides this, suprisingly enough: "Therefore as for this child selfish what you pamper, ちゃ useless." That's actually pretty good for Babelfish. It actually recognized the "this child" in there somehow (especially dubious trivia: "wagamama" is "selfish", so "konoko wa wagamama" is "this selfish child").
- Konoko Philips
Who the heck is Konoko Philips, you ask? The love child of Konoko and Emo Philips, perhaps? No, it's not that frightening or interesting. From http://www.vor.ru/Exclusive/excl_next8884_eng.html:
The Lukoil transnational corporation expands its presence in Europe. The company, notably, buys on the European retail market a network of petrol
stations from its US partner Konoko Philips.[...]
- Actually the company here is ConocoPhillips. The English article and the Russian one were apparently not written by the same team of highly trained monkeys. Sheesh.
- geyser 22:48, 27 March 2008 (CET)
- Konoko's Ovaries?!
This alarming note from a bonafide Japanese person, at http://www.spc.int/coastfish/news/BDM/19/BDM_19.pdf, page 3:
The ovaries are dried (called konoko), and the intestines are salt-fermented (called konowata).
She's talking about fish, by the way. And it's possible that the drying process is what's called konoko.
Actually, konoko are sun-dried gonads of sea cucumbers, and sea cucumbers aren't fish. A Google image search for "konoko" returns about as many pictures of this delicacy as of the Konoko we know.
- geyser 22:48, 27 March 2008 (CET)
- There aren't many (free) resources on the Web for translation. The only two I'm aware of at the moment are:
- The FreeDict is the only good choice when getting translations for romanized Japanese, because Babelfish apparently expects kanji/kana as input. But the FreeDict is quite limited. For instance, looking at the items above, if you wanted to know what "oiwai" or "unde" mean, you're out of luck. Also, Babelfish is the only tool that accepts whole phrases, whole web sites even. On the other hand, Babelfish is notoriously poor at syntactical interpretations, and its actual vocabulary is quite limited too.
- If anyone out there reading this really knows their Nihongo, we'd welcome their input on translating any of the above Japanese.
- There are actually tons of dictionaries out there that are way better that FreeDict. Just google for "japanese english".
- geyser 17:18, 27 March 2008 (CET)