December 25th, 2006

ronin

In which Ben is ignorant of Asiatic languages.



Does anyone know what this says? (My apologies for the 2rd grade handwriting - if it's any consolation, my handwriting is unreadable in English too.) My little sister gave me a shirt with this on it for Christmas.

My Nelson Japanese dict, after a lot of pain, has revealed the first character as "angry", and the last one as "group, school or party". But even after I figured out that the enclosing radical on the middle character was actually a 2-stroke variant of a 7-stroke radical(!) I still can't figure out the middle character.

I tried to look up that radical plus four strokes at mandarintools.com but got nuttin'. An obscure Google hit for "chinese character octothorpe" came back with some reference to a character for "community farm". So my best go at this has yielded "Angry Commune Farmer's Association", a translation that is sure to go down as one of the most riotiously incorrect ever seen when this post inevitably winds up on hanzismatter.com. ;]

I suspect this is either pure Chinese (in which case of course it's not going to be in my Japanese dictionary) or else it's just nonsense characters thrown together for visual appeal - which I've read sometimes happens on shirts.

Edit: Thanks to some quick responses by guyinchina and pacchi, the answer is: ji(1)jin(4)pai(4), roughly "radical group" - though I think I prefer the slightly less literal "radical faction". Also, zhongwen.com is a good Chinese character lookup site.