In Japan, kanji are sometimes used as the symbols of virtues. 武士道(Bushido) for Samurai is very well-known one.
And I received a question about the virtues in the Anime show today!
I’m watching “Ronin Warriors (鎧伝サムライトルーパー)”. Is this English dub accurate?
仁, 義, 礼, 智, 信, 忠, 孝, 悌, 忍
virtue, justice, trust, wisdom, life, loyalty, piety, obedience, and serenity
Hmmmm, unfortunately, they don’t seem to be accurate.
First of all, I searched the same episode in the original language, Japanese, and I found out that they said nothing in that part. (+_+) Yeah…Japanese people enjoy the silence a lot. There were no words but the slow music and the image of kanji.
I also found this phrase in Wiki “愛、勇気、希望、愛情、喜びの感情が平和を作る(The love, courage, hope, affection, and joy make peace)” but this is not explaining each virtue either. This phrase don’t fit those symbols, and the idea is just very general for a hero show.
Kanji Symbols for the 9 Armors Spirits are Familiar in Japan
First of all, this set of the symbols are not 100% originally made for Ronin Warriors.
The 8 of 9 symbols “仁義礼智、信忠孝悌” are used in one of the most famous novels “南総里見八犬伝 (Nansou Satomi Hakkenden)” that was written by 曲亭馬琴(Kyokutei-Bakin) also known as 滝沢馬琴(Bakin Takizawa) in late Edo era.
Ronin Warriors added one more symbol “忍” to Bakin’s 8 symbols as you can see.
And there is another fact that Bakin got the idea of the symbols from 論語 (Rongo the Analects of Confucius) by 孔子(Koushi: Confucius). In Rongo, we see only 仁義忠孝礼智信.
Especially, 仁, 義, 礼, 智, 信 are called “五常 (Gojou)” the 5 virtues of Confucianism.
So, what do those Japanese Kanji Symbols truly mean?
Real Meanings of Each Kanji Symbol for 9 Armors
Well, I’ll explain the meanings of those 8 kanji based on Confucianism and Japanese culture. Puls, I talk about the meanings the kanji 忍 contains.
仁(jin) is Compassion to others.
I don’t know why the translator of the English dub picked the word “virtue” for 仁. All 9 spirits are supposed to be virtues.
義(gi) is Righteousness. It includes “Justice” and some people may translate it so. Please be sure that the bottom part is 我. (‘Д’)/
So many people write this kanji wrong. Please be careful!
The original meanings of 礼(rei) is the norms that protect social order. It’s important to respect others through following the norms. Therefore, 礼 is usually translated as “Respect“.
They say that an English dub was “Trust”, but 礼 is not it. (+_+)
智(chi) is Wisdom. It’s to know the truth and reasons, especially about people.
Here is 信(shin). This can be “Trust“. This symbol means to tell the truth, to keep your promises, and to be sincere.
…I don’t know how the word “Life” got replaced with this one in the English dub.(+_+)
Being honest without deceiving yourself and being loyal to your lord is 忠(chuu). So, “Loyalty” is right.
The bottom part of the kanji is 心 by the way. That part is the same as 忍. I’ll show you the sample of “心” later!
孝(kou) is Filial Piety. It’s to respect and take care of older family members like parents.
This picture of kanji might make you confused if you don’t know the actual kanji. 孝 is the kanji that 土, ノ, and 子 are combined.
The English dub says it’s “Obedience”, hmmm this is tough one. So, I don’t highlight it for now.
The word “孝悌” also means “Filial Piety”. In Confucianism, they teach that young people must be obedient to the elders.
And there is 孝 already. “Obedience’ is a good translation, but I think we should understand some more details. 悌 has another meaning, which is “Good Relationship between Siblings“.
In Confucianism, there is a virtue that young people are obedient to older people…then “the kanji 孝 is for parents, and 悌 is for siblings”. I can understand these clear when I think that way.
忍 is uncommon symbol for a virtue. This kanji is known as 忍(shinobi) representing what Ninja is. However, when we read it in onyomi reading like other symbols, 忍 is “nin”. Yes, nin is the part of the word ninja(忍者).
“Serenity” is not bad translation. The kanji 忍 contains meanings that holding down the emotions and holding back.
And again, the bottom part of this kanji is “心”. Here is the sample from my Kanji shirt collection.
Phew! All done! I hope this explanation helps you enjoy the Ronin Warriors more! (*’▽’)/
Thank you so much!
Today’s Kanji Shirt is “Samurai”! Ronin Warriors are also Samurai!
If you want to know the meanings of any Japanese kanji that you don’t see English subs for in a particular animation or live action movie, tell me “Name of the Show”, “Season and Episode #” and “the Exact Moment (Minute: Second) if it’s available”!
If it’s just Japanese kanji that you see around you, like a shop sign or a tattoo, you can send me the photo as long as you are allowed to take picture of it.
I can’t promise to reply to everyone but I’ll try my best!
Email to: email@example.com