Let's decipher stylized kanji!

I like that one. I definitely see 河豚 (ふぐ) on the right side. I’ll let smarter people decode the rest.

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first try:
河豚好に否茶相当な好きであた。
食はめ見せなの山福

second try:
河豚食は好にぬ見否せな茶の山相当な福好きであった

And that means (Deepl):
He was a great lover of fugu.

Easy.

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Each character on this station name has a little something interesting:

This is an unexpected way to write 殿

I guess there are a lot of ways to write 献 / 獻 but the version here seems to differ from the most common new and old version you see in a dictionary。(奉献 written right to left)

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I can see a 河豚 right in the middle.

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Excellent point!

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Have you got a source or a context for this image? Where did you see this piece of art?

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I asked my husband and his reply was:
If I look at it for an hour I might be able to understand it…
Didn’t sound he wants to do so though.
However one part is 一茶, that’s a name.
Another thing is, the direction is not following the rules.
Maybe the lower right part is 食はぬ

河豚
食はぬ (?)
見せな
好に
否 (?)
一茶
の山
相当な

好きであった

Maybe this Issa:

It could be fragments of Haikus.

image

ふぐかはぬ
やつにみせな
ふじのやま
いっさ

And maybe:
そうとうなふく
すきであった

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This is definitely what’s being referenced. There’s one particular part of the parsing that doesn’t convince me even after searching for hours, but all the Japanese sources I can find online tell me that’s what 見せな amounts to here, and there are proverbs containing 見せな with similar meanings, so I’ll just roll with it while hoping that when I start studying Classical Japanese properly, I’ll find an answer. Here goes my attempt at interpretation then…

河豚ふぐ食はくわ
fugu-not-eating (食はぬ is old spelling for 食わぬ, which is the classical version of 食わない)
やつに見せな
guy to do-not-show (I don’t get why 見せな is treated as being equivalent to 見せるな because that doesn’t match any of the uses of な in the Weblio Classical Japanese dictionary, but never mind…)
不二ふじやま
Fuji-san/Mount Fuji (不二 can also mean ‘unique’, but here, it’s a reference to the mountain)
一茶いっさ
Issa (the haiku poet)
相当そうとうふくきであった
[he] quite a good-fortune-liker was (it’s a pun on ふぐ and ふく sounding similar, because in the caption, the creator said that if one does not ‘muddy’ ふぐ – a reference to the voicing/‘muddying’ indicated by dakuten – it becomes ふく = good fortune, a blessing etc.)

In other words,

‘Do not show Mount Fuji to one who does not eat fugu (i.e. that person is unworthy)’ – Issa.
He was quite a fan of fugu/fuku.

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Maybe the る is missing?
Because shouldn’t a Haiku have a rhythm like 5-7-5?
Now it is 5-6-5.

After a google search, most of the results are 奴には見せな.
Anyway, maybe not so important…

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I saw this too and figured は was missing. I don’t think 見せる existed in Classical Japanese, and there are some proverbs that contain 見せな anyhow. I still don’t understand the grammar used, but if everyone agrees that it means ‘don’t show’ or something like that, I assume I’ll find the reason some day. For now I’ll just accept it, because I’ve already done enough fruitless searching for tonight. Hahaha.

I believe there’s a special name for haiku with one extra syllable or one missing syllable. I’ve forgotten what they are though, and I think they were fairly rare among classical poets anyway, so there was probably an error. It doesn’t change the meaning though.

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My husband says 見せな is the imperative of 見せる.
Like 見せろ or 見せなさい.
That would be the opposite of what seems to make sense.

I found this explanation of the proverb 青菜は男に見せな.

「青菜は男に見せな」とは、ほうれん草や小松菜などの野菜を見せないようにしなさいという注意事項なのでしょうか。
Again, don’t show it.

Kind of confusing.

青菜は男に見せな
DeepL
Don’t let the man see your greens.

さっさとオレにアレ見せな (Manga)
DeepL
Now go show me what you got.

見せなよ本気
DeepL
Let me see it. I mean it.

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Yeah, I’ve heard that it comes from 〜なさい, but maybe that’s only for modern Japanese? Might not work for proverbs and other old Japanese phrases.

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Ah, I see. I never thought about old Japanese before.
Now I understand your previous comment I think.

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This is somebody I know’s back, hence the spoiler tag, but I really want to work out what the kanji (or hanzi because they may be Chinese rather than Japanese), since they said it’s apparently an old proverb (a three world proverb?!).

The top one certainly looks like lightning.

image

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From what I can see, I think it’s 雷切尔 which is the name “Rachel” in Chinese.

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Oh this is too funny for words; Rachel is the name of this person’s ex girlfriend apparently. They’ve been telling people it’s a Chinese proverb :joy:

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蟹. It’s all 蟹.

Also, there’s a 七代目 三升 in there too, which Wikipedia is telling me is the name of a Rakugo performer…

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This confuses me so much wouldn’t even a native speaker sometimes struggle with reading this :smiling_face_with_tear::joy: