Sunday Soundcheck 58

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Well, instead of posting, I’ve been getting rest and healing; however, I’m happy to announce that this week’s Sunday Soundcheck is on schedule. Just for grins, since I’ve got a little time, I may write up a few and post-date them.

The third sound in the ‘M’ column is mu, written as む in hiragana and ム in katakana. A little side story related to the katakana character: such a simple looking character is often the hardest to write properly with a brush. Yesterday I was writing my clean copies for October to submit to the calligraphy society. The kanji character for ‘window’ (窓) is fairly complicated and has the katakana ム inside it, which proved the most difficult to get correct.

Muumin (ムーミン) is the name of a character, Moomin, in a book by Finnish author Tove Jansson. The characters from an animated series based on this book are very popular in Japan and adorn many products.

Most of the Japanese words starting with mu are words beginning with the kanji character 無, which means without. I struggled a bit to find words that didn’t start that because they are usually words like ‘sugar-free’, ‘non-caffeinated’, and such. Although there are some amusing ones: I wrote about one a couple years ago.

Muchi (むち・鞭・笞) is a whip. This word has been popping up lately when we are discussing disciplinary and teaching methods. The Japanese equivalent of “carrot or stick” uses the word for whip. Also, when discussing my recent rehab many people want to talk about whiplash accidents.

Musou (むそう・夢想) is a daydream or fantasy, and musouka (むそうか・夢想家) is a dreamer.

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