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Tatsunoshi
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 2:35 am    Post subject: 殺女 Reply with quote
My wife's name is Ayame, and she uses the traditional kanji for the name: 菖蒲 ('iris'). I was playing a Japanese version of Tenchu earlier today, which features a character named Ayame that uses 彩女 ('colorful girl'). While 彩 isn't usually read as 'aya', it is in at least one compound. In a bit of dialouge (all in Japanese) from this game, a character Ayame has just slain asks for her name and she replies. He says "...a flower...what a nice name" (mistaking it for the more common version). She replies, "No-it means 'assassin girl'" (which of course, describes perfectly what she is).

The kanji given for this is 殺女. I'm unaware of any instance where 殺 is read as 'aya'. Is this one of those situations where a character has decided that a certain kanji will get the pronunciation they want because they want to use it as part of their name? Is it some sort of 'kanji pun' I'm unaware of (perhaps having something to do with the fact that 殺 and 彩 can both be read as 'sai'-that and one of the radicals are the only similarities I can see)? Or did the game developers just pull it out of their butt because it sounded 'kewl'?
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Matsuhide
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
http://www.whiteknightlogic.net/kanjidb/search/search.php?kf=&rf=ayame&ef=&dict=all&a=edictSearch&edictSubmit=Search&page=3

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Tatsunoshi
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thanks-that clears that up nicely. I hadn't heard of Enamdict, either, which looks incredibly helpful.
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Ashigaru
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
"Ayameru" (殺める) is another word for "kill." 危める is read the same way but it means to injure OR kill (or, perhaps more accurately, "to endanger through injury"); 殺める lacks this ambiguity.

My understanding is that 危める came first and 殺める is an example of latter-day ateji that eventually entered common usage.
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