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essay practice

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essay practice

Postby kakera » Thu 10.12.2006 9:44 am

Firstly please excuse my bad Japanese. Secondly, please excuse my bad Japanese, and thirdly please excuse my attempts at writing such bad Japanese... (I am only a beginning second year student, so I don't always know how to conjugate etc correctly. So please be gentle... though any corrections etc are IMMENSELY welcome!)

I need to write an essay about the movie "Zatoichi" for my Japanese class. I thought I'd get a head start on it and begin trying to define some ideas and thoughts for it. Someone suggested I write it in English first and translate it later. I don't know how that would work though... so I'm going to try just paragraph by paragraph and see how I get on.

座頭市物語 

gosh. I don't actually know how to... start. *will think and be back* I don't even know how to say "in 19th century Japan" ;) this is going to be hard. this is my first major essay attempt, and my vocabulary is limited. I could always google it and stuff, but I want to really attempt this and see if I can do a decent job on my own. I think I'll learn much more that way.


座頭市は盲目のやくざ - blind yakuza. hmm.
その町はやくざの銀蔵一家に支配され - the town was controlled by the 「銀蔵一」 (ginzo? i had to look this one up) family.

okay. more research. i'll be back. if anyone has any essay writing tips, i'd appreciate them
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RE: essay practice

Postby ComradeJoe » Thu 10.12.2006 9:50 am

Just a quick thought: shouldn't it be 盲目やくざ?
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RE: essay practice

Postby richvh » Thu 10.12.2006 10:30 am

I don't even know how to say "in 19th century Japan"

日本の19世紀に
Last edited by richvh on Thu 10.12.2006 10:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: essay practice

Postby kakera » Thu 10.12.2006 10:37 am

hmm. i don't know.

盲目なやくざ blind person yakuza

盲目のやくざ blind yakuza

are the translations i get... i'm not very familiar with the use of な like that. *goes to consult books*

richvh wrote:
I don't even know how to say "in 19th century Japan"

日本の19世紀に


Thanks :) it's good to have a place to start at least !!

i'm going to put some small ideas together and come back and post them here when i have a little more idea about what to say.
Last edited by kakera on Thu 10.12.2006 10:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: essay practice

Postby ComradeJoe » Thu 10.12.2006 11:07 am

kakera wrote:

盲目なやくざ blind person yakuza

盲目のやくざ blind yakuza



Shouldn't it be the other way around? Ok, now i'm officially confused.
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RE: essay practice

Postby AJBryant » Thu 10.12.2006 12:01 pm

日本の19世紀に

That sounds like *Japan's* 19th century (as opposed to the one everyone else had). I like 19世紀の日本. Of course, this is purely a sylistic thing.


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RE: essay practice

Postby Oyaji » Thu 10.12.2006 12:20 pm

盲目のやくざ would be the standard way to say it.
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RE: essay practice

Postby ComradeJoe » Thu 10.12.2006 12:27 pm

Oh...uh...I was treating that more like a na-adj than a noun when I said it should take a な rather than a の. Lesson learned.
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RE: essay practice

Postby Mike Cash » Thu 10.12.2006 5:00 pm

Unfortunately, political correctness has come to Japan, at least with regard to handicaps.

"Blind" is one of the words that gets frowned upon. You're expected to say 目が不自由な or 目の不自由な.

Come to think of it....I think they even sort of balk at using やくざ, preferring instead 沫ヘ団員.
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RE: essay practice

Postby AJBryant » Thu 10.12.2006 5:10 pm

Except in the Edo period, they were yakuza, not boryokudan.... :)


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RE: essay practice

Postby Infidel » Fri 10.13.2006 1:17 am

Firstly please excuse my bad Japanese. Secondly, please excuse my bad Japanese, and thirdly please excuse my attempts at writing such bad Japanese...


Don't sweat the small stuff. No one here will give you a hard time so long as you're showing an honest effort.
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RE: essay practice

Postby AJBryant » Fri 10.13.2006 3:26 am

One point:

If you can't say "in 19th century Japan" you probably *shouldn't* be able to say any of that other stuff, either.

I know when I had my first essay assignment, almost half the words were freshly looked-up from a dictionary, and I got a really bad grade when the prof realized I knew *none* of them. As said the prof, "The idea for the essay is to show what you know and can do, not what you can look up." I realized he was right, and spent a lot of time finding a topic I *could* write about, and writinng rather "circularly" when I had to explain bits that I lacked a more precise vocab for.

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RE: essay practice

Postby shin1ro » Sat 10.14.2006 1:48 pm

目の不自由な is, yes, polite way to speak. But it sounds modern (actually, it's kind of politically correct).
The word 盲目 もうもく is a fine and rather formal writing word. That's why it'd be better here, especially in this Edo period.
well...めくら is (regarded as) a derogatory word now... you should not use it in your actual life...but if you watch the movie maybe you'll hear it :(

Edit) Ah...I forgot to mention that the most neutral translation of "blind" is 目が見えない. (for audience Japanese learners)

The family name is 銀蔵. 一家 いっか here is a suffix for "The (familyname)s", that is 銀蔵一家 means "The Ginzos", the yakuza syndicate.

-shin1ro
Last edited by shin1ro on Tue 10.17.2006 11:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: essay practice

Postby kakera » Sun 10.15.2006 12:42 pm

Thank you everyone.

AJBryant: The problem with this assignment is that we HAVE to write about Zatoichi, and we know a fair bit of grammar and vocab, but I just want to really try my best and do a good job. We have all of the tools, but I want to make sure my grammar and stuff is correct. (Although I didn't know how to say in 19th Century Japan, I could have come up with in 1900's Japan). But thanks for the tips. I'll definitely try and keep it within my vocabulary etc. range.

Shin1ro: thanks for clearing up the family name thing. I thought that's what it meant.

I haven't done much more work on it. I'm kind of overwhelmed by the whole idea. The essay only needs to be about two pages long... *goes off to begin some serious work* :|
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RE: essay practice

Postby AJBryant » Sun 10.15.2006 12:55 pm

The essay only needs to be about two pages long.


Write big, it's a fine essay-writing tradition. ;)

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