浮き草 vs 浮草 (Floating Weeds)

I’ve been really into Yasujiro Ozu recently and just watched his film Floating Weeds from 1959. I noticed that the Japanese title is 浮草, though according to Jisho the word is more commonly written as 浮き草.

Is removing the hiragana simply a stylistic choice? Are there any other examples of this with other words or in other media? Or even in everyday Japanese?

2 Likes

Ye there exists a huge number of words where you can leave of the okurigana or include them. The most prominent example I can think of is 締め切り which is often 締切 (or 〆切) for example.

There’s often a preferred way to write it (with or without) but you will find the other form too.
Since the film is pretty old it could also be that the preferred way to write it changed over time. I’m currently too lazy to look into it though so take this just as a wild guess from me.

10 Likes

Interesting! Is that 〆 character pretty rare? I’ve never seen that

Nah, you see it all the time in places where people have to write that a lot (businesses, schools, etc.).

3 Likes

Yeah what leebo said. Basically a bunch of Kanji that can be read しめ and are a little harder to write are substituted by that wierd non-Kanji thing in handwriting. The most common being 〆切

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/〆

5 Likes

Neat! I didn’t know about this, either.

Reducing fifteen strokes to essentially one seems like a pretty big win when handwriting.

The last line on that page says it’s a ligature. I imagine it evolved from writing the しめ in hiragana instead of kanji to save strokes, then gradually devolved to look like just part of the め.

All of the others listed were new ones for me, too. Are any of these other ligatures used very often? Several don’t render in my browser which makes me suspect they are pretty uncommon.

The list includes the or “ノマ” mark, but I don’t think it’s really a ligature for ノ+マ (at least I’m unaware of any Japanese word pronounced similarly that means repetition/iteration). I think it’s just an accidental resemblance. I wonder, though, how this character evolved as a repeater. I’ve also no idea how one would enter 々 directly with an IME: I had to type a repeated word and delete the first character. I can find the ゟ glyph eventually by typing より, though!

Thanks for leading me down such an interesting rabbit hole!

4 Likes

Wiktionary (linked above) claims it’s from 占める as cursive form of top component

1 Like

If you are using the Microsoft IME, when typing おなじ, the repeater mark shows up as an option after pressing space twice to bring up the suggestion list (it was option 4 for me). I believe the Google IME accepts のま as an option, but I could be mistaken. On my mobile device (Android), のま pulled it up as an option, so I’d imagine the Google IME likely treats it the same.

おなじ works with the Apple IME as well. Also pulls up the hiragana and katakana repeaters, too.

Thanks! I love learning new things. :grin:

1 Like

It’s a simplified form of 仝, which itself is a variant of 同, hence it coming up when you write おなじ. :stuck_out_tongue:

3 Likes

That’s awesome. Great thread.