Author Topic: Japanese fantasy token, what are the symbols?  (Read 5408 times)

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Offline Michiel

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Japanese fantasy token, what are the symbols?
« on: October 28, 2012, 07:45:01 PM »
what is the meaning of the symbols? front and back are the same.

translateltd

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Re: Japanese fantasy token, what are the symbols?
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2012, 08:38:19 PM »
It has to be Japanese rather than Chinese.  The top and bottom letters are the Japanese syllables "so" and "wo" (phonetic value only, no meaning).  RH character is ki = tree; LH is shi = history / chronicles.  However, what it's all supposed to mean when put together is anyone's guess.


akona20

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Re: Japanese fantasy token, what are the symbols?
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2012, 09:04:13 PM »
wo shi = I am
Soki = Soki or an abbreviation of a name
given this is Japanese.

translateltd

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Re: Japanese fantasy token, what are the symbols?
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2012, 09:32:18 PM »
wo shi = I am
Soki = Soki or an abbreviation of a name
given this is Japanese.

That's mixing languages!  "Wo shi" is Chinese, and uses different characters entirely :-)  It would never be written in the way shown here, trust me.  The letter "wo" here is an objective case marker in modern Japanese, though it had wider uses in the classical form of the language.


akona20

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Re: Japanese fantasy token, what are the symbols?
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2012, 09:37:12 PM »
Yes you are correct however I attempted a guess at your translation.

There may be a regional significance to do with death that I need to check today.

translateltd

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Re: Japanese fantasy token, what are the symbols?
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2012, 09:43:47 PM »
My Classical Japanese dictionary contains no entries for "so[w]o" written as above, nor anything for "kishi" (assuming a top-bottom-right-left sequence).  Even reading clockwise, so-ki-wo-shi or ki-wo-shi-so makes no sense.

The character for "shi" in the sense of death also is entirely different to the one shown here, so I don't think that's a likely lead (Japanese abounds with homophones borrowed from Chinese, which is exacerbated by the relative absence of tones).

As you noted in a different context recently, we need to proceed on facts rather than suppositions, and the meanings of the individual characters are as I stated in my initial reply.


akona20

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Re: Japanese fantasy token, what are the symbols?
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2012, 09:52:35 PM »
The problem as you know abounds with diffculty in these words and word plays and regionalisation make it diffuclt.

so ki if we take that as a possible combination can be played with in many ways  including meaning in Buddhism an uncertainty or in Okinawa when placed before soba it means from memory "pork soba".

I n and out of context it becomes almost impossible.

In my mind and not quite knowing what it is made from a possible Buddhist charm "I am uncertain" as part of a progression.

Offline Michiel

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Re: Japanese fantasy token, what are the symbols?
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2012, 10:10:14 PM »
thanks for the help.
I got lost, its not chinese, but youre not also sure about the japanese origin of this piece of metal.  ???

I quite often find this kind of fantasy tokens and every time I wonder why, when, who  :D
Most of the times They look like real cash coins, but this was just to strange.

akona20

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Re: Japanese fantasy token, what are the symbols?
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2012, 10:14:02 PM »
I would view Translateltd descriptions as more accurate than mine.

In parts of Japan and China I have frequently wondered about the translation of various characters from area to area, temple to temple etc.

It is a little like reading bptism records in England across the ages, is that really what that writing says is an expression often heard.

translateltd

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Re: Japanese fantasy token, what are the symbols?
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2012, 11:12:00 PM »

I got lost, its not chinese, but youre not also sure about the japanese origin of this piece of metal.  ???


Just to summarise: the top and bottom letters are exclusively Japanese.  There can be no doubt about that.  We just don't know what they are supposed to mean in this context.

So the language is Japanese and it was presumably made in Japan (though manufacture by expatriate Japanese living somewhere else is still a small possibility!)


Offline Figleaf

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Re: Japanese fantasy token, what are the symbols?
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2012, 11:35:15 PM »
History or chronicles remind me of anime and manga and from there to a cosplay accessory. HTH.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline FosseWay

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Re: Japanese fantasy token, what are the symbols?
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2012, 08:54:02 AM »
Merchandise produced in Japan and China abounds in 'English' words, or just combinations of Latin letters, that have been used purely as a design feature, and were probably introduced into the design by someone who speaks no English just to give a feeling of exotic foreign-ness.

The same no doubt occurs the other way round, with Western designers including random Chinese or Japanese (or both at once) characters to make an object look 'authentically oriental'. Could this be an example of the latter? Some form of gaming counter to be used in a Far Eastern context, where it's necessary for it to look authentic but no-one will be any the wiser if what's actually written there is nonsense?

translateltd

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Re: Japanese fantasy token, what are the symbols?
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2012, 09:24:55 AM »

The same no doubt occurs the other way round, with Western designers including random Chinese or Japanese (or both at once) characters to make an object look 'authentically oriental'. Could this be an example of the latter?


My only argument against this is that the characters are too good - they haven't been copied by a furriner, and don't quite look like a machine-generated font.

akona20

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Re: Japanese fantasy token, what are the symbols?
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2012, 09:26:49 AM »
Martin is correct in this, that is the key to the question.

Offline Michiel

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Re: Japanese fantasy token, what are the symbols?
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2012, 09:37:06 AM »
Its clear for me.
I\ll put it with all the rest of the oriental fantasy tokens and catalog it  "made in japan with oriental symbols on it"  ;D

Thanks for the info and the time spend on this little thing.