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A question about 'boku' 僕

 
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heron
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PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 2:04 pm    Post subject: A question about 'boku' 僕 Reply with quote
I came across a reference in a book the other day which intrigued me: the author stated that the men who attacked the newly built British legation in 1862 were recognised as being from Choshu by their use of the word 'boku' - suggesting that this was peculiar to Choshu at this time. I've been trying to find out the history of the usage of this word - can anyone explain it or direct me to a source?

Thanks!
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lordameth
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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
A most interesting discovery. I'm afraid I have nowhere to point you, but I eagerly look forward to others' insights.
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heron
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PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I thought it might be novelist's licence, but a friend just sent me a link to Japanese Wiki
幕末、吉田松陰に感化された松下村塾門弟が盛んに用い、それが他の尊皇攘夷の志士たちに広まってからといわれる。

so it looks as though using "boku" was a bit of a giveaway Very Happy
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Josh Reyer
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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
On the other hand, Kojien and Daijirin both date it to Meiji Era student boarders. Or at least, the pronunciation of the character by its Chinese reading. The use of the 僕 character dates back to the Kojiki, wherein it was read with native pronunciations such as "yatsugare".

Kojien and Daijirin's entries don't necessarily contradict J-Wiki, the form may have been initially used by Choshu samurai/men of status, and then spread to the rest of Japan by student boarders in Tokyo. But the Japanese Wiki is characteristically unsourced (like all too much of popular Japanese scholarship), so I'd really like a look at the entry in the Kokugo Daijiten.
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heron
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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thank you - without any source I don't suppose any real conclusions can be drawn - but it was interesting to see that the Choshu story was believed widely enough to get into Wiki - even though that may not mean much Very Happy

If you have a chance to look at the Kokugo Daijiten I'd be interested to see what the true history is.
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shikisoku
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I've heard Boku was Yamaguchi(Choshu) accent too.
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