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The words of a Samurai

Written by Life in Kansai

During the Edo period, communication to other samurai from different areas of Japan was tricky. Because the dialects between areas were so different, they created a common way of speaking among each other. The words had a strong influence from noh and kyogen, the reason why the phrases are so rigid.

Good morning
おはようございます –> おはようでござる
Good morning! As you can see, the first part is the same (ohayou). The only part that is different is the “gozaimasu” which changes to “degozaru“. Easy!

How are you?
元気ですか? –> 達者でござるか?
Tasshya degozaru ka” means the same thing as “genki desu ka“, it’s just a different set of words. As you can probably guess, “Tasshya” means “in good health” and “degozaru ka” is the “are you” bit of things.

Thank you

ありがとうございます –> かたじけない
Katajikenai” is the samurai version of “thank you”. When translated directly, it comes out to “I am grateful”, or something similar. “I am thankful I didn’t run into a ninja today”. Katajikenai indeed.


By Life in Kansai

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Life in Kansai


  • Having read this I thought it was extremely enlightening.

    I appreciate you finding the time and effort to put this article together.
    I once again find myself personally spending way too much time both reading and posting comments.
    But so what, it was still worth it!

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