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Meaning of 間髪(かんぱつ)

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Meaning of 間髪(かんぱつ)

Postby Roy Candler » Fri 02.10.2012 4:19 pm

Can anyone tell me what the English is for 間髪(かんぱつ)? I know the meanings for the individual kanji, but not for the compound, which I came
across in the last verse of the song " 一剣" as performed by Kiyoshi
Hikawa (it's in the line marked with an arrow, thus "→”):

 風の涙と 草の露
 行雲流水(こううんりゅうすい) 成るがまま
 襟(えり)を正して 瞼(め)を閉じて
→間髪(かんぱつ)の この気合
 剣に男は 。。。
 剣に明日(あした)の 道を知る

This, complete with furigana, was copied from the subtitles of the YouTube video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMGEZdJmXfs&feature=related

I have not been able to find the word in my Compact Nelson or in a hand-held
electronic dictionary. On-line, EDICT has this:

間髪をいれず 【かんぱつをいれず】 (ik) (exp) in no time, in a flash

but doesn't give a meaning for 間髪 itself. "ik" indicates "irregular kanji usage", so
might it be equivalent to this?

煥発 【かんぱつ】 (n,vs) brilliance

which could, perhaps, fit the context. The arrowed line, and the one before it,
seems to be describing the swordsman (一剣)who is the topic of the sentence.
I can understand him setting forth with a straight back (襟を正して)but not
with his eyes shut (瞼(め)を閉じて). . . maybe this one last word will help.

Any suggestions appreciated,

Roy
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Re: Meaning of 間髪(かんぱつ)

Postby Ongakuka » Fri 02.10.2012 4:27 pm

Maybe it has the same meaning as 間一髪?
なぜなら、おまえは・・・・・・人形だ
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Re: Meaning of 間髪(かんぱつ)

Postby jimbreen » Fri 02.10.2012 6:03 pm

Roy Candler wrote:Can anyone tell me what the English is for 間髪(かんぱつ)?


I think it's an abbreviation of 間一髪 (かんいっぱつ) , i.e. "hair's breadth". I'd be interested in an opinion from a native Japanese speaker on this. I've mainly seen it in the expression "間髪を入れず (かんはつをいれず) (exp) in no time; in a flash", and I think it is more usually pronounced "かんはつ".

On-line, EDICT has this:
間髪をいれず 【かんぱつをいれず】 (ik) (exp) in no time, in a flash
but doesn't give a meaning for 間髪 itself. "ik" indicates "irregular kanji usage", so
might it be equivalent to this?


"ik" means "irregular *kana* usage". It's referring to the ぱつ.

Jim
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Re: Meaning of 間髪(かんぱつ)

Postby jimbreen » Fri 02.10.2012 6:12 pm

jimbreen wrote:
Roy Candler wrote:Can anyone tell me what the English is for 間髪(かんぱつ)?


I think it's an abbreviation of 間一髪 (かんいっぱつ) , i.e. "hair's breadth". I'd be interested in an opinion from a native Japanese speaker on this. I've mainly seen it in the expression "間髪を入れず (かんはつをいれず) (exp) in no time; in a flash", and I think it is more usually pronounced "かんはつ".


Further to that, I checked in 大辞林 and it has:
かん ぱつ 【 間髪 】
「間(かん),髪(はつ)を容(い)れず」の「間,髪」を誤って一語と解釈した言い方。

So it's saying it's not a word, but the erroneous interpretation of two adjacent kanji as a word.

I think that might be a bit precious. If it waddles and quacks, let's call it a duck.

Jim
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Re: Meaning of 間髪(かんぱつ)

Postby Roy Candler » Sat 02.11.2012 10:15 am

Thanks very much (I am bowing deeply while typing this). 間一髪 is something I can understand, and it seems to fit the context. It would have ruined the phrasing, though, if the songwriter had used it - かんぱつ keeps that phrase down to seven mora.

This is one of those songs where one would need to be either a Native Speaker or to have bilingual friends at hand to get the full meaning. I'm happy just to get the gist of it.

Again, many thanks.

Roy

 
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Re: Meaning of 間髪(かんぱつ)

Postby NileCat » Sat 02.11.2012 11:26 am

Well, let me explain about the difference between 間髪 and 間一髪.

The word 間髪 is used here as an abbreviation of the idiom “間髪を容(入)れず”. You can find this usage (treats 間髪 as if it were an independent word) only in some archaic and poetic writings. (The lyricist was born in 1925, JFYI)
It usually appears as “間髪をいれず” or “間髪いれずに”.
Literally translated, it means “in no time like there is no gap where even a string of hair cannot stick between two consecutive things”.
間髪をいれず銃を撃った (He shot a gun without a pause)

On the other hand, 間一髪 means “with a string of hair between them”. Which means, it is used when you managed to dodge something at the last instant.
間一髪、逃げることができた (He managed to escape in the nick of time)

In the lyrics, 「間一髪のこの気合」 doesn’t make sense. Or, it just sounds weird. Or, it would sound as if he had a narrow escape from something.
間髪(を容れないほど)の この気合い」could be translated like “the (fighting) spirit which is like a (lightening) flash” or something like that.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Meaning of 間髪(かんぱつ)

Postby jimbreen » Sun 02.12.2012 1:31 am

NileCat wrote:Well, let me explain about the difference between 間髪 and 間一髪.


Thank you, NileCat, for a very elegant explanation, which should be recorded somewhere for posterity.

People have suggested in the past the addition of 間髪 as an entry in JMdict/EDICT. It has been rejected on the grounds that it's not really word. I think we can safely add it as an abbreviation of "間髪をいれず”.

Jim
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Re: Meaning of 間髪(かんぱつ)

Postby Roy Candler » Sun 02.12.2012 7:24 am

May I add my profuse thanks to Nilecat for such a full, and clear, explanation. Very much appreciated.

Roy
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