Who are those gazing faces in Hibike! Euphonium’s prologue?

Reading a book in original language can help you to get that information which you will never get if you will read the same book in translation.

While that information may give you only insignificant minor details which may be interesting only for those who are interested in academical linguistics (I consider myself as a such person), mistranslation or omitted significant details may leave a reader in the state of unconscious  misunderstanding. Misunderstanding not of a translated text, but of an original one.

Some details may play a huge role in correct understanding of a text. They are important.

Below I will analyze the first sentence of the original Japanese text of the prologue for the light novel Sound! Euphonium Volume I by Ayano Takeda.

何百という顔が、一様に同じ方法を見つめていた。Hundreds of faces were uniformly gazing at the same direction

While I am interested in linguistic nuances of this sentence I would like to think also about the content of the novel.

In this sentence I’ve found interesting usage of という pattern. It cannot be understood as denoting direct speech. It doesn’t give name of the thing (“the face(s) called ‘Hundreds’ “): the context doesn’t support such hypothesis. It doesn’t describe any rule, opinion, incident, article etc.

The JMdict (Japanese-Multilingual Dictionary) gives possible clue: <after a quantity> as many as, as much as. 何百 is certainly a quantitative: how many (several). So, 何百という顔が can be translated as “as many as several hundreds faces”. But I translated simply ‘hundreds of faces’. I’ve searched in Google the phrase ‘何百という顔’. It seems to me that the Japanese use ‘何十という’ and ‘何百という’-like patterns to denote a number of things. It’s very likely that they usually don’t use 何百顔 although it is theoretically possible word. The common phrase is 何百という.

一様に denotes equality (uniformity) of action of those several hundreds of faces: all of them do the same thing – they are gazing at the same direction. 

 Why such uniformity of action is described in the very first sentence of the novel? Who are those faces? 
Obviously, they are the participants of secondary school wind bands’ competition. They were anticipating the announcement of the results. That’s why they were gazing intensely at the direction of the scene.

How many times such situation did happen in the history of such competitions? Hundreds, if not thousands, times. Internal intensity of anticipation… Flood of adrenalin… But for what purpose?.. Hibike! Euphonium not only entertains but it also gives food to mind for analyzing competition custom from the perspective of the participants.

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​Can Christians watch anime? – God’s original plan

When God created our world, everything was “very good” (Genesis 1:31). And there was no anime in that world… You may say: “Stop! You can not know whether anime existed in that time, because Bible doesn’t mention anime at all.” Yes, you are quite right. But anime is artefact – a thing made by men. Anime in its present form didn’t exist in the sixth day of the creation. Maybe Adam (and Eve) did not invent something new in that day. He only gave names to living creatures (Genesis 2:19,20). And God gave him occupation: “And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.” (Genesis 2:15). It is not unlikely that the work of Adam and Eve was to train the branches of the vine to form bowers. They were gardeners, NOT animators. And they were happy in doing the work appointed to them by God. And while doing their task they were coming to know their Creator, “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead” (Romans 1:20).

Anime was not the part of God’s original plan for mankind…

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Can Christians watch anime? – How the question should be answered

​Authority for Christians

What/Who is authority for a person who profess to be Christian? Of course, Bible and God.

But Bible doesn’t say anything about anime… Of course, it is true. But Bible gives guiding principles to true Christians.

The Bible is God’s will expressed to man. It is the only perfect standard of character, and marks out the duty of man in every circumstance of life.  IN EVERY CIRCUMSTANCE OF LIFE! Even in a case when a Christian faces anime… 

 So, Bible is the ultimate authority for Christian. Because true Christian is a follower of Christ. Jesus Himself organized His life according the Word of God.

That’s why the question should be answered in harmony with Bible.

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Can Christians watch anime? – Understanding the question

​LANGUAGE NUANCES

Meaning of can.
   I am not a native speaker of English, that’s why I will check whether I understand the question correctly. 

   As I remember, we, Soviet pupils, were taught, that can means ‘ability‘, while may means ‘permission‘. But I sense that in this question can, due to the context where it used (see the quotation of Theresa Christina’s words in my previous post), means the same as may does, namely: permission.

I looked can up in Concise Oxford English Dictionary:

can1 

n modal verb (3rd singular present can; past could) 

1 be able to. [with negative or in questions] used to express doubt or surprise: he can’t have finished. used to indicate that something is typically the case: he could be very moody. 

2 be permitted to. 

ORIGIN

Old English cunnan ‘know’. 

USAGE

The use of can rather than may to request or express permission, as in may/can I ask you a few questions?, is not incorrect in standard English, although some people object to it. May is, generally speaking, a more polite way of asking for something, however, and is the better choice in more formal contexts.

So, I make conclusion, that ‘Can Christians watch anime?‘ means ‘Are Christians permitted to watch anime?‘ . 

Meaning of Christian.

There are many Christian denominations in the world. The members of them are called Christians. There are various Christians. Who does the question refer to? Of course, to modern Christians (there was no anime in the first century AD).

There are also true and false Christians. Greek word Χριστιανος means ‘a follower of Christ‘. Only true follower of Christ is worthy to be called Christian
So let’s rephrase the question: ‘May genuine Christians as true followers of Christ watch anime?‘ or ‘Is watching anime morally appropriate for genuine Christians?’.

Meaning of anime.
Simply: Japanese animation.

Final rephrasing of the question:


May genuine Christians as true followers of Christ watch Japanese animation?‘ 


THE ESSENCE OF THE QUESTION



Below I quote from Theresa Christina’s post How anime drew me closer to the Lord:

It all started in high school… as most epic stories do. I was 17 and obsessed with martial arts. Iwent to the dojo almost every day of the week. There I met a friend who I bonded with over our martial art and Star Wars (my second nerd love, my first being Lord of the Rings). Then a crazy idea popped into my head. I asked her if she would go to a Star Wars convention with me in LA. I sewed our cosplay and together we choreographed a light saber routine to do flash mob style at the convention.

As we practiced our sword training in my back yard, my friend mentioned, “Hey, there is thisanime that I really liked about swords. It’s called Sword Art Online.”

“I dunno,” I replied, “Anime is some scary stuff.”

“Oh come on, just try one episode.”

When I saw her next I looked her in the eyes, “I WANT MORE!!!!!” 

And so the obsession started.

As I got more into anime, I remember wondering if my parents were going to stop me. I satdown on the couch and googled, “Can Christians watch anime?”

For Theresa Christina watching anime is obsession. Asking the question “Can Christians watch anime?” she wanted to know if she will be allowed to continue her obsession. For her it was personal question (not abstract or merely theoretical one): ‘Does God approve my obsession?’.

In my following posts I plan answer the question “Can Christians watch anime?” from purely theoretical perspective and then analize how it can be applied to a particular cases.

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Can Christians watch anime? – Introduction.

THE OBVIOUS FACT

   Present day Christians DO watch anime, read manga, light novels and do other things which the world does. That they DO watch anime can be easily proved: there are Internet sites created and maintained by CHRISTIANS who WATCH anime. Some examples:

  • Otaku in My Veins. A Blog about Watching Anime with Jesus. At wordpress.com. By Lady_TeresaChristina.
  • Beneath the Tangles. Beneaththetangles.com. By TWWK.
  • Christian Anime Alliance. Christiananime.net.
  • Christian Anime Review. Christiananimereview.wordpress.com.

THE ISSUE AT STAKE

   Teresa Christina, the author of the first aniblog, posted in July 13, 2017 at Beneath the Tangles guest post about her experience with anime. The title of the post is How anime drew me closer to the Lord. At some point of her experience with anime she came to the state of asking the crucial question: “Can Christians watch anime?”. Below I quote her own words from the post (bold font is supplied by me):

As I got more into anime, I remember wondering if my parents were going to stop me. I sat down on the couch and googled, “Can Christians watch anime?” 

   She did research and answered Yes
 
   After reading her post I had decided to also answer that question and form my own opinion on the issue. I will address it using CRITICAL THINKING.

   I plan to address this issue in the series of posts. As the name of the series I will use that CRUCIAL question: “Can Christians watch anime?

 
 Disclaimer:

   I have no intentions to criticize Christians who watch anime and judge them as a persons and pass a sentence upon them. But I will EVALUATE their beliefs, views, experiences etc.

   John 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. (KJV)

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Health Principles – 健康の原理

NEW START

N – nutrition – 栄養

E – excercises – 運動

W – water – 水

S – sunshine – 日照

T – temperance – 自粛

A – air – 空気

R – rest – 安息

T – trust in God – 全世界を創造した神様に信じること (信託)

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Strange clouds in Shumerlya, Chuvash Republic, Russia

Strange clouds in Shumerlya, Chuvash Republic, Russia, September, 4, 2011, about 6:15 am (video is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZY-5b_9Fwnc).

 

 

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