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A few Language/ Translation Questions 2017/6/15 02:17
I'm doing some character development for a story that involves a yakuza group. Although these characters aren't central to the plot/plots currently working my way through to David E. Kaplan's "Yakuza" to ensure maximum accuracy. My interest stems from the concept of the yakuza being somewhat chivalrous, or at least in the folk concept of the groups. Ideas of Western gangsters is that they are strictly murderous and even disloyal.

My original concept for the group was a criminal organization that has standing ties with the police and government, and frequently using their access to the underworld to purge those they see as corrupt- only criminal activities closely regulated by them are 'acceptable'. This seems to generally fit the model of the yakuza from what I've gathered so far. In addition the ideas of using samurai rituals and having very close ties within the 'family' works well with my conept of an occult undertone. Mixing Japan's yakuza brand samurai soul with a more Western variety of a coven cult seems like it will be a very spooky and fun combination for a deadly reoccurring antagonist group. And yes, telling you this is relevant.

On to the questions; the reason the title is so vague is because I have a few.

The first has to do with this post;

Yakuza group names (at least in Western translation) are followed by the suffix "-gumi".
The second commenter says this is a 'corruption' of "-kumi".

Is it a Westernized translation corruption, though? Should -kumi actually be used for accuracy, or is -gumi the Japan- accurate word, like an accepted jargon of -kumi that specifically refers to yakuza?

Next question is about yakuza hierarchy.

The leader is referred to as 'Oyabun'; underlings are referred to as 'Kobun'.
Oyaji (apprently?) means father and Ko means child. -Bun refers to the applied person as being the foster or adopter/adoptee.

As their is a cult element in this story, I want the members of the group to look up to a normal oyabun as in yakuza structure. However, I want their to be a related attachment to the presence of the being the cult aspect refers to (it is a being that can have a physical manifestation and so reference to the character within the group is not just ritual respect). I would like the being to be referred to with a similar title. Possibly grandfather?

From what I understand of Asian patriarchy, the eldest male always has the highest respect. So while the kobun would show deference to their oyabun, they would then show a deeper respect to the image of/concept of/appearance of this being.

Is sofu the correct form for grandfather? Would the "yakuza'd" version then be 'sofubun'? Or is there a much better word/concept in existence that I could use?

Last question is purely translation confusion. I'm very unfamiliar with the language of Japan and don't really trust Google translate- and probably rightfully so. I want the group to be called something along the lines of 'shadow of the thirteenth'.

According to google translate, 13 translates 'Daijūsan'.

Adding 'shadow of the' turns it into 'Jūzō no kage'.

Why is this? Can someone break this down for me and explain?

Although I won't very often refer to the group by it's more native name, I still want to have a well put together backstory and info for them. In addition I'd like to be able to write the correct translation in at least kana for jacket/clothes/emblem/and tattoo designs.

Sorry for the huge post! Hopefully this is at least a thought provoking and fun inquiry. I thank you in advance for the time you've taken to read this and look forward to any ideas and responses!
by InkSpecer (guest)  

Re: A few Language/ Translation Questions 2017/6/15 21:02
Never use google translate. It doesn't make any sense
by justmyday (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: A few Language/ Translation Questions 2017/6/15 22:38
When this person said "corruption," they just meant a phonetic variation. "Kumi" is the original reading of the kanji 組 meaning "group," but when it is used as part of the name "ABC-Group," the pronunciation changes, namely, the first "k" sound becomes "g," which happens often in Japanese when words are strung together. That is what is meant.
by AK (guest) rate this post as useful

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