Learning Differences

It's very interesting that English has so many words which mean "horse."   They are "foal", "yearling", "colt", "Filly", "juvenile", "mare", "sophomore", "gelding", "sorrel", "appaloosa", "bronco", "cob", "steed", "shrew", "mustang", "stallion" and "pony." Depending on the age, sex and characteristics of the horse, their names are all different. 


In Japanese, it is very simple.  They are all called "Uma."  Then if you'd like to specify the horse, we simply add the adjective to the word "Uma."   So pony is called "Ko-Uma (Ko=child)", stallion is called "Tane-uma (tane=seed)", and mare is called "Me-uma" or "Mesu-uma."


On the other hand, Japanese has so many words meaning "I (myself)."   I wonder how many words did you know? 

The most common word is "Watashi ()" but there are much more words such as "Boku( )" , "Jibun(自分 )" "Shosei (小生)", "Ore( )" ,"Ware ( )" "Uchi (ウチ) " "Sessha (拙者) " "Washi (ワシ)", "Oresama (俺様)",  "Warawa (ワラワ), "Kochitora (コチトラ)","Oira (オイラ)" ,  "Temae (手前 )" Wagahai (吾輩), "Chin ( )" , Yo ()", "Oidon (オイドン) " Soregashi (ソレガシ) ", "Ware ( )"  "Touho (当方 ), "Asshi (あっし)" , " Ora ( おら)" and so on.  They all mean "I" and depending on whom you speak to, expression of "I" can be different.  But in English, you can always use "I" whenever and whomever you speak to.  It doesn't matter whom you speak to, "I" never change.


What is the reason why certain words have so many expressions?  I simply think more varieties of expressions of the word indicate the level of people's interest.  So the fact they have more expressions can mean their high interest in the object.


For example, the fact English has more words of "horse" simply mean English-speaking people are so interested in "horse."  Indeed, they say British people love horse.  Therefore, they can watch horses mindfully and as a result of mindful watching, they see differences of the horses.  Then we can assume many different words of "horse" were born.


I think same is true to the word "I."  Japanese are so interested in the self.  They see mindfully themselves, their relations each other, and themselves in the society.  Then they notice difference of "I."  As a result, "I" can be expressed in different word.  Of course, this is due to the Buddhist influence as Buddhism don't think "I" as an eternal and independent being. 


On the other hand, English word "I" and European word "Je" "io" came from the strong concept of "ego."   Ego has been such an important concept and axis in western countries for many centuries and center for the "Identity" which cannot be changed.  Therefore, they didn't need more expressions of "I."  Rather it should be a huge trouble if there are more words of "I."  In fact, our technology and science couldn't have been developed without concept of ego.  When there is stance and axis, there can be progress.


I don't have any intention of which language is superior but it should be more meaningful to learn differences in languages.  Different expressions mean different viewpoint...how do we see the reality.  And the more viewpoints to see this world can lead us to the more ways to accept of this reality.   Life is not fun nor pleasure all the time.

Just like mega earthquakes happened in Japan and Ecuador, anything bad could happen anytime without reason.  The more ways to see the reality can be helpful to accept our nature which is unpredictable.


My conclusion this morning is .....

Will you come to Koloa Jodo Mission for service?   I'm sure my Dharma talk can be interesting because I talk about what I'm so interested in.   In addition, I have an experience of Sushi chef and I can not only talk about Sushi but also often provide Sushi to the participants. 

I think I'll make Sushi this Friday and Sunday for the refreshments after the services.  It's free!!!   So in case Dharma talk were not interesting, you can at least enjoy Sushi, I hope. 


Ok let me announce this weekend again.   On Friday, April 22 @7:00 p.m.  we have an Evening Dharma Talk by Gary Link from New York.  On Sunday, regular Sunday Service will be held on April 24 @10:30 a.m.   

All are welcome and if you come here, you'll know how much welcome you received from the priest!!!

By the way, there are some differences between Japan Buddhist priests and Koloa Buddhist priest.  It may be interesting to know for fun!?


Japan Buddhist Priest    V.S.        Koloa Buddhist Priest

Generally Skinny                          Fat

wear Long Pants                           Short Pants

Long Sleeve shirts                        Aloha Shirts or T-shirts

Work as a team                            Independent worker

Stay more at temple                     More holoholo


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Comments: 1
  • #1

    Virginia Bowden (Tuesday, 26 April 2016 04:02)

    Koloa Buddhist priest sounds much more approachable and friendly!