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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2020 8:33 pm 
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Regarding the language issue, one thing that really bothers me is the existence of kanji and sino-japanese vocabulary in Kamigawa. In real life, kanji are characters designed to write chinese - the name "kanji" itself is a reference to the Han dynasty! So there must be a part of Kamigawa where the local name for the plane is Shenhe, or maybe planar portals are involved - perhaps to the copy of Earth where P3K takes place.

Or maybe the Kamigawans actually speak a totally different language, the japanese names we see are just calques, and the "kanji" in the novels are just magical symbols of some kind.


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PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2020 2:10 pm 
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Thats the trap of all fantasy worlds. Real life cultures are blend of earlier cultures, so you have to take some of the parallelisms with a good dose of suspension of disbelief.

For example, did Innistrad's past have a Greco-Roman analogue? Dominaria semi-addresses this with the Thran, which are fantasy Greeks, but even they must have had some sort of Middle East and Indo-European predecessors of some kind.

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PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2020 6:52 pm 
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Yeah, I know that every plane based on a real-world culture has the same problem, but the kanji thing makes it much harder to ignore.


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PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2020 9:13 pm 
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spagety wrote:
Regarding the language issue, one thing that really bothers me is the existence of kanji and sino-japanese vocabulary in Kamigawa. In real life, kanji are characters designed to write chinese - the name "kanji" itself is a reference to the Han dynasty! So there must be a part of Kamigawa where the local name for the plane is Shenhe, or maybe planar portals are involved - perhaps to the copy of Earth where P3K takes place.

Or maybe the Kamigawans actually speak a totally different language, the japanese names we see are just calques, and the "kanji" in the novels are just magical symbols of some kind.

Well, in this specific instance, we have to step back from it, in a way that we are forced to do so with Innistrad, and realize that despite the absurdity of addressing a monolithic culture that fully dictates the way we view a world... that the culture in question ISN'T alone on it.

The books specified that nobody knew what was on the other side of the Jukai forest, similarly to how nobody knows what lies on the other side of the ocean on Innistrad.
To a smaller degree, Ixalan suffers this as well.

It's the hard disconnect of being forced to accept that the plane is named after a single continent and then having to deal with THAT headache of what 'foreign' culture exists on a world named after a different part of that world.

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PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2020 10:35 pm 
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The people in the part of Kamigawa we've seen must have gotten the kanji and most of their vocabulary - including the name of the Jukai forest! - from this other hypothetical civilisation, and they somehow don't know it exists?


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PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2020 11:22 pm 
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spagety wrote:
The people in the part of Kamigawa we've seen must have gotten the kanji and most of their vocabulary - including the name of the Jukai forest! - from this other hypothetical civilisation, and they somehow don't know it exists?

Prehistory is a hell of a drug.
Though seriously, we don't have any real sense of time for how old the civilizations were prior to Kondo's rise. We have a vague sense that there was a massive feudal states war prior to Konda's reign, but this isn't a modern civilization we're talking about.
Records probably weren't kept aside from at Minamo. Likely nothing prior to Kondo's reign exists in Eiganjo, for example.
There's also the awkwardness that Kondo is a Daimyo and not a Shogun. Despite everything we know about the power structure, there SHOULD be an even greater ruler than Kondo, but there isn't.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:48 am 
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Hm, I'll have to read the Kamigawa books again to see if that makes sense.

Barinellos wrote:
It's the hard disconnect of being forced to accept that the plane is named after a single continent and then having to deal with THAT headache of what 'foreign' culture exists on a world named after a different part of that world.

Now that you mention it, naming a plane after a single planet can cause the same problem. For example, Cosmic Horror comes from Dominaria-the-plane but not Dominaria-the-planet.


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