Help with a Japanese term

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Help with a Japanese term

Post  Jim Doiron on Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:20 pm

Hey everyone, I was hoping that some of you out there that speak Japanese might be able to help. I am looking for more information on a tradition mentioned in the beginning of this video but I can't quite get how to spell it in english to find information on it. It sounds like "mok tai nai" and, I believe could be roughly equivalent to "waste not want not" and is tied to the philosophy of wabi sabi. Some out there (especially potters) might be interested in the subject of the video as well. It is a traditional repair technique called kintsugi. My wife used it in her last show to repair some pieces the came out of the kiln cracked. We were on such a dead line to get this last show done that the typical losses just could not be accepted so after seeing a show in Washington DC called "Gold Seams" that showed pieces with this technique I suggested maybe she could use it as a way to salvage all the work that would have been otherwise lost. I hope the notion does not offend any potters out there but here is the video. Thanks in advance, Jim

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3mZgs0vkDY


Last edited by Jim Doiron on Tue Oct 26, 2010 3:55 am; edited 2 times in total

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Re: help with a Japanese Term

Post  Kakejiku on Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:53 pm

ドイラン様へ

I could not watch the video because I am in a library. If the term is Mottainai, it is a common Japanese term meaning it would be a waste for something. This term was obtained from Jim Breen's Online dictionary at http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/

もったいない 《勿体ない(P); 勿体無い; 物体ない; 物体無い》 (adj-i) (1) (uk) impious; profane; sacrilegious; (2) too good; more than one deserves; unworthy of; (3) wasteful; (P) [Ex][L][G][GI][S][A][W] [JW]
とてもいい天気だから家の中にいるのがもったいない。 It's too sunny to stay inside.

I am making an assumption because I can not hear the sound on the video, but it is probably expressing something to the effect of it would be wasteful to throw this pottery away because it can be fixed by the technique you describe at "Kintsugi"....

Jonathan Maples

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Re: Help with a Japanese term

Post  EdMerc on Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:29 pm

Jim Doiron wrote:It sounds like "mok tai nai" ...

As an aside to your question...

When trying to figure out a Japanese word, keep in mind that no Japanese words end in a consonant other than the letter "N". So when trying to sound out a word, you automatically know that it ends in one of these letter A, E, I, O, U or N.

Ed

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Re: Help with a Japanese term

Post  Jim Doiron on Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:30 pm

That's exactly what I needed and I think you are right on with the philosophy I was trying to nail down. In fact I think the actual definition is more aligned with the notion of why we chose to do it with her work. I couldn't figure out how else to search for something I couldn't translate into English and did not know the true definition of!? Thanks a lot. Just out of curiosity does the term "kintsugi" make any sense to you? I use it only because that is how it is described in the video and a search of the term as I have spelled it turns up listings for gold seams. The video also refers to urushi but that seams to specifically refer to the lacquer part of the art. Just want to make sure I'm not making some gross mistake in terms. Thanks again.


Last edited by Jim Doiron on Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:40 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Help with a Japanese term

Post  Jim Doiron on Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:33 pm

Thanks Ed I will keep that in mind next time. I have no practical knowledge of this language really so every bit helps. Thanks.

BTW, here is an image of one of the application she used in her pieces.


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Re: Help with a Japanese term

Post  Stone Monkey on Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:52 pm

Jim

No offense at all, quiet the opposite. I have been looking for more information on this technique for ages and you have just helped me out. Thanks so much for posting

All the best

Andy

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Help with a Japanese term

Post  Jim Doiron on Tue Oct 26, 2010 2:43 am

I came back to check the link from Jonathan and realized that I misspelled Japanese in the subject line Embarassed . I was looking for a way to correct it but didn't find one. Sorry about that.

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Re: Help with a Japanese term

Post  John Quinn on Tue Oct 26, 2010 3:52 am

Consider it done. Cool

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"Eschew obfuscation"

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