I have a friend that is currently writing a FFXIV fanfic for the character he plays in the game. I’m going to be incredibly vague incase there are others who play the game but haven’t completed the story.
Basically - he wants his character to have discovered an ancient katana that once belonged to the far east. He also wanted the katana to have been inspired by Raijin. A quick wiki search pointed that Raijin was also called “Yakusa no ikazuchi no kami” so he decided the sword would be called “yakusa no ikazuchi” simply dropping off the “no kami”. Now he’s asking me (the permanent Japanese beginner) if that would still make sense and keep the appropriate tie to Raijin.
From what I can tell, the kana should be: 八くさ の 雷の 神. (Or maybe “八草 の 雷の 神”? “いかづち” is an old translation for “雷” apparently). The part that bugs me is that I have no idea who or what “yakusa” means. From what I can tell it’s either a reference to a physical location in Japan or it’s “eight -くさ” whatever “くさ” means. One shinto site suggested it means “eight kinds”, since it is in reference to Raijin being one of the eight thunder gods.
Does anyone know that the translation for “八くさ の 雷” would actually be? Is it really just as simple as “eight kinds of thunder”?
Any help at all would be amazing. I’ve checked all the sites I could find and anything that seemed relevant on google. It finally dawned on me that there are several people here that know the language a LOT better than I do that might be able to help.
I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to be 八色の雷の神 with the ruby added. I could be wrong, but I got the やくさ kanji from the word 八色の姓 (やくさのかばね) and I would expect that it’s the same in what you are referring to as well.
Edit to add:
Or maybe not. According to this wikipedia article:
Thank you!! This absolutely helps me. I didn’t come across the “色” kana with all the stuff I was looking at yesterday. Looking at that kana on Joshi.org it looks like it could technically be “kind”, even though it typically means color. My assumption is that “kind” is one of those old meanings that isn’t used very often for that kana.
I agree that the “eight kinds of thunder” seems like a fairly poetic translation to me. Especially given the story behind it from reading the Shinto sites. (The eight thunder gods were born from Izanami as different types of thunder. I.e. “great thunder”, “fire thunder”, “black thunder”, etc). The phrase seems more to me that it denotes Raijin as one of the eight born from Izanami. The story can be found here.