How would you translate "postliminal"?

Hello! Any sociologists here? :slight_smile:

I was reading about Victor Turner’s research on rituals and the state of “liminality”, as well as the three different types of rituals he identified. Besides preliminary rites and liminal rites he came up with postliminal rites, reintegrating individuals back into social structure after a state of liminality. Liminality on Wikipedia.

Since I chose it as my username here, I was wondering how you would translate it into Japanese, or rather into Kanji.

What I came up with after going back and forth on was: (いき)()(てき)

I basically just pasted some Kanji together, so I would be wondering how this sounds to some more advanced Kanji-Learners. :face_with_monocle:

Thanks already in advance!

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Googling around brought up a lot of your posts on WaniKani, one thing which mentioned 後周縁 and another that mentioned 境界後.


hahahaha :sweat_smile:


This one seems nice! :slight_smile:
You would use this word with の then, I guess?

I am still wondering though if something like 閾 could be used, in contrast to 境界, which seems to mean boundary. More like using “liminality” instead of “threshold state”. I am not an English native speaker, so not really sure in how far liminality and threshold are already the same.

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One thing 閾 has going against it is that it’s a pretty rare kanji. But “liminality” is seemingly on a roughly equivalent scale of “probably unknown to the general public”.


“Liminality” (in English) is the subtitle of the .hack// OAVs. :slightly_smiling_face:

Wikipedia helpfully points out that “Liminality” means 境界性 in Japanese.


I’m a lyrical spiritual miracle postliminal individual.


Yes exactly, I was also wondering how you might create this word from scratch, more like a neologism. 境界後 seems really nice as it uses existing vocabulary. :slight_smile:

Hahaha nice one! :face_with_monocle:

I added some Furigana:

(きょう)(かい)(せい) = リミナリティ

I tried searching around a little more. It seems the word for ‘rite of passage’ (which is the sort of thing for which there is a ‘postliminal’ state) is 通過儀礼, and so, if you search 通過儀礼 局面 (‘rites of passage phases’), the first two results seem to discuss 分離, 過渡 and 統合 more than 境界.

It would seem those are the terms for the different phases that have become accepted in academics, probably because they’re slightly more descriptive than one’s position relative to a 境界.

閾 might still be workable, and you would probably form related terms by replacing 境界 with 閾 in the phrases Leebo gave, but it would translate the metaphor of ‘liminality’ into Japanese, since limen means ‘threshold’ in Latin, which may not be as easy for those new to the subject to grasp. Plus the fact that it is a rather rare kanji. It can be used for the idea of ‘threshold’ in a figurative sense: 閾値 means ‘threshold value’ in biology and psychology. However, the reason (I believe) 分離, 過渡, 統合 and 境界 became more popular terms to refer to the concepts proposed by Victor Turner and his predecessor van Gennep is just that the words are more descriptive/intuitive. It’s also possible that the metaphorical sense of 閾 isn’t very strong in Japanese, because in the dictionary, I only see it for technical terms that relate to biology and psychology.

Additional thought: Ultimately, it probably has to do with with the translations chosen by those who first translated Turner and van Gennep’s ideas into Japanese. It might have happened as part of a wave of importing Western ideas into Japan, which would have encouraged the translators to make the concepts as easy to understand as possible so Japanese scholars would be able to use the ideas themselves.


Thanks for the in depth feedback! :slight_smile:

Van Gennep and Turner also talk about the stages of Separation, Transition and Reintegration. These are associated with preliminal, liminal, and postliminal rites. You could also call “postliminal rites” as “rites of reintegration”. I think even in English most of the time pre- and postliminal is not used that much to be honest. :sweat_smile: I was just wondering about the very literal translation of postliminal. But mayby a 1:1 translation is not possible, because the common interpretation of a Kanji makes the meaning. :thinking:

Thanks to all of you for your help! :hugs:

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