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Speaking of O- (was: Name help)

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  • Maria
    ... I do have a question about that. In watching some Japanese dramas/movies set in the Edo period, there seemed to be a habit where women s names would have
    Message 1 of 26 , Mar 1, 2005
      Solveig wrote:

      >
      > Late Muromachi is different. The new fashion in women's given names
      > uses an
      > O-<theme> construction. And, I believe that the name is combined with the
      > family (more accurately residence) name. The order is what you would
      > expect,
      > the given name is last.


      I do have a question about that. In watching some Japanese
      dramas/movies set in the Edo period, there seemed to be a habit where
      women's names would have the O- added to the front as a sign of respect
      (or affection??). For example, a girl named Masu was called Masu-san or
      Masu-chan by most people, but O-Masu by a guy who admired her. Or say,
      the lord's sister, Ichi, would be referred to as O-Ichi, although the
      subtitled hiragana when they introduced her simply said "Ichi". What
      was the rules of that usage, and when did that start? Is it within SCA
      period?

      A second question also: it seems like the Kyoto folk kept saying "-han"
      when the Edo people were saying "-san". Was I mishearing things, or is
      that a regional variation? (Note: didn't hear the Osaka folk saying
      "-han" so I didn't think it was Kansai-ben). When did "-san" come into
      usage? I know "-dono" and "-sama" were in use for the Good People, but
      was "-san" being used amongst the commoners at an earlier time?

      Writing from my home overlooking the Great River,

      Ki no Torahime
    • Solveig
      Noble Cousin! Greetings from Solveig! Late Muromachi is the sixteenth century. If I was being more exact, I would have mentioned the azuchi-momoyama period.
      Message 2 of 26 , Mar 2, 2005
        Noble Cousin!

        Greetings from Solveig! Late Muromachi is the sixteenth century. If I was being
        more exact, I would have mentioned the azuchi-momoyama period.

        >I do have a question about that. In watching some Japanese
        >dramas/movies set in the Edo period, there seemed to be a habit where
        >women's names would have the O- added to the front as a sign of respect
        >(or affection??). For example, a girl named Masu was called Masu-san or
        >Masu-chan by most people, but O-Masu by a guy who admired her. Or say,
        >the lord's sister, Ichi, would be referred to as O-Ichi, although the
        >subtitled hiragana when they introduced her simply said "Ichi". What
        >was the rules of that usage, and when did that start? Is it within SCA
        >period?

        This gets a bit messy. You need to understand that dropping name parts is
        an easy way to make nick-names. -san is a fairly recent honourific.
        Technically,
        the O- is also an honourific, but it functions more as part of the name. This
        busines about O- pretty much dissappeared in the early Meiji period. Many
        years ago there was a Taiga drama called O-?? I forget her name at the moment.
        Regardless, she is born sometime around the Meiji Restoration and makes up
        to sometime around Taiheiyou Sensou.

        >A second question also: it seems like the Kyoto folk kept saying "-han"
        >when the Edo people were saying "-san". Was I mishearing things, or is
        >that a regional variation?

        Kansai-ben (Osaka area dialect) is supposed to be softer sounding than
        Kantou-ben (Toukyou area dialect). Kyouto is supposed to pretty much
        have its own distinctive women's speech. However, except when explicitly
        writing dialogue, you will see Kansai people writing -san.

        >(Note: didn't hear the Osaka folk saying
        >"-han" so I didn't think it was Kansai-ben). When did "-san" come into
        >usage? I know "-dono" and "-sama" were in use for the Good People, but
        >was "-san" being used amongst the commoners at an earlier time?

        Knowing when -san came in may be difificult. However, I believe that it is
        simply an informal variant on -sama. You see -sama as early as the late
        Muromachi, but I think that is about the earliest I have seen it and only
        rarely in those cases. The same document may show several people with
        different honourifics attached to the ends of their names. Just to complicate
        things, you can also see the kanji for uji attached to peoples names. This is
        fairly common in newspapers. In modern Japan, you encounter -<sama>
        -<dono> and -<uji> fairly frequently. Here I wrote forms by which you can
        easily tell which character is being written, I am not saying that they are
        read in this way when used as honourifics.
        --

        Your Humble Servant
        Solveig Throndardottir
        Amateur Scholar

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      • elwenaduialloth
        Hey all. I m somewhat new to the SCA and recently a few friends and I have decided to do Japanese personas as a group. First of all, would we be able to all
        Message 3 of 26 , Mar 24, 2008
          Hey all. I'm somewhat new to the SCA and recently a few friends and I
          have decided to do Japanese personas as a group. First of all, would
          we be able to all take the same clan name and would we have to do
          anything special to get that passed? Second of all, we have some ideas
          for names that we came up with based on the information in "An Online
          Japanese Miscellany" and I would like some feedback on whether they are
          viable or not. The clan name is Yashiro. The full names in question
          are Yashiro Ryuutarou Katsuaki, Yashiro Ryuuzaburou Harutoshi, and
          Yashiro Hana, although I'm a lot less certain about the female name
          structure than the males. Am I just way off base with this or are
          these workable? We are currently looking at Muromachi period, early to
          mid 1500s. Thank you so much.

          ~Renee
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