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Crime Victims = Buddah
2006.09.25. (Mon) | Edit |
I've been re-reading all of the Detective Conan manga since I've been watching Case Closed on the Funimation Channel.

And in response to that, my sister's been watching a lot of Furuhata.

So she had an episode of Furuhata on when I got home... and I thought it's funny how Japanese police refer to the murder victim as "hotoke-san."

Literally, it means Buddah.
Although it just means the "dead guy."

Not that wikipedia is the best source for these kinds of things, but they say about police use of the term "hotoke-san":
A euphemistic expression of referring to the dead. Comes from Buddhist believe that the dead become Buddah. In police terms, a slightly roudy expression of the dead. A slang similar to gaisha = higaisha (victim).

Then there are the two words for corpse, shitai (死体) and itai (遺体).

I have a vague idea that shitai is more emotionally distant or blunt way of saying corpse. And you're supposed to use itai when referring to the person lying in the coffin at the funeral.

So I looked at definition comparison on goo.ne.jp, and it seems like shitai can be used for human or animal corpse. While itai is only for human corpse.

And I always thought shigai (死骸) was the term used for animal corpse.

Where is a Japanese linguistics professor when you need one?


2006/09/25 23:14 | Translation Explanation | Comment (1) | Trackback (0) | Top▲
I'm not a professor of any sort, but this is what I know. Hotoke is the Japanese word for Buddah. It's only used by the police to refer to dead body to show their respect for the deceased. The ultimate afterlife is "shoubutsu" (成仏), and to say someone has become a buddha is the most respectful thing you can say about a dead person. It's not said out to make fun of the dead.

shitai (liternally dead body) is more like a medical term, refering to any dead body. itai (the body that's been left behind) is a very formal word used for human bodies only. Shigai can be used for human when you're talking about rotton bodies in a war zone, for example. In normal everyday conversation it's used as an kind of derogetory word to describe animal corpse.

2006/09/26(Tue) 17:11:10 | URL | Ibitoshi #-[ Edit]
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