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Trying to name a concept...

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Well, after having developed a concept since 2012, I've been having trouble naming it; that's literally all that remains. I have asked in answers, yahoo answers, people I know, etc. I'm just having trouble getting results and/or trusting the results I get because I want to KNOW it's correct before I copyright. I'm glad I found this forum and hope you can help me.

So, I'm about to be very cliche and just come out and say, this is a Shinobi-based fiction. I understand some Japanese words; however, I don't understand the grammar and what context to use such words in. I have come to learn that it's important to say exactly what I want the words to mean because context is important and some words have negative meanings in Japanese.

That said, in this fiction, a Japan-like culture was going through a Sengoku-like era. It was united by a Hattori-like clan through political intrigue and clandestine operations. This culture then conquered an Asian-like continent and while the clans are united under the Shogun - there is a lot of in-fighting. This isn't a kawaii-type theme. It's more rugged and gritty. Think Game of Thrones meets Feudal Japan.

Anyway, I wanted a name that implied Shinobi undertones. A name which will roll off English-speaking tongues well... And the kanji associated with it.

Here's what I've been toying with:

War of Shadows
Hidden War
Hidden by Shadows
Hidden in the Night (eg: concealed in the darkness of night)

And I'd love to hear other suggestions.

Thank you very much!
 

mdchachi

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By concept you mean literature? Or is it a video game or something else?
By Shinobi you mean Ninja or is there some differentiation?
 
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It's a battlegame with extensive lore. So a game and a story.

I've fought in Belegarth and Dagorhir for 10 years. You could say it's like LARPing, but with no "magic," full force contact, grappling, kicks, etc. However, the ruleset does not really capture the essence of Japan's feudal warfare and most Japanese groups do not last long as they try to stick to the meta of "shield and sword." Florida has a high demand for a Japanese group formerly having a 400+ active fighter Japanese group - however, its members began using the meta as well. This is why myself and a few other longtime fighters came in and decided to make a niche organization based out of Florida with a ruleset that caters to polearms and single-edged swords. While Japan did make use of shields at one point, we created a ruleset that played into the typical stereotype of shieldless Japan.

We developed an extensive game around the concept. The result was a pan-Asian battlegame. We have single-day events monthly. And have multi-day campouts where it's fighting by day and cultural activities at night. During the night time we try to simulate the culture but there is still political intrigue. Assassinations, koku theft, camp raids, etc.

Think paintball with physical contact. Replace guns with the weapons of Feudal Japan. Add culture for the non-fighters which also enriches the entire organization (because some are craftsmen and will make period clothes, armor, accessories). And that culture makes for a good distraction during the night portion of the game where the clan vs clan competition is high.

Yes, by Shinobi, I mean Ninja.
 
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I'm not sure if I'm allowed to post links on this forum, but here's a video of Dagorhir, what I fight currently and what has influenced my development of this new game:

 

mdchachi

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Got it. Hence the need for a well thought out name! I think this description will help generate some ideas within the forum.
 
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Is kagegakure accurate for: "hidden among shadows?"

Is Yorugakure accurate for: "hidden in the night?"
 
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I guess that depends what you mean by accurate.
They are not dictionary words, but if you made compound words of 'shadow' (kage), 'night' (yoru), and 'to hide' (kakureru) those would be reasonable.
 

Mike Cash

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I guess that depends what you mean by accurate.
They are not dictionary words, but if you made compound words of 'shadow' (kage), 'night' (yoru), and 'to hide' (kakureru) those would be reasonable.
I think ya or yo would be more likely readings of yoru in compounds.
 
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So Yagakure or Yogakure would be the compounds in that case?

Is there a compound form for Kage?

And I'm assuming Nihon, itself, is such a compound?
 
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So Yagakure or Yogakure would be the compounds in that case?

Is there a compound form for Kage?

And I'm assuming Nihon, itself, is such a compound?
Yes, in that case they would. I kind of like 'yogakure' of the options.

nihon is a different kind of compound, using the Chinese readings (or Japanese approximations of the Chinese readings, anyway) of the characters.

Using the Chinese readings you might have 'yain' and 'inin' for 'hidden in the night' and 'hidden in the shadows'. They both seem kinda weird to me though. Much more like 'fake' words and much less like 'newly coined compound'. Maybe that's just me.
 
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I'm leaning towards Yogakure right now, though... I know the shorthand "yoga" will inevitably be adopted by fighters, lol. This is why I'm still brainstorming.

Would Yokakure also be an acceptable compound?

I see "gakure" and "kakure" used interchangeably.
 

mdchachi

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How about yokage sentou 夜影戦闘 to mean Night Shadow War.
And yokage (Night Shadows) for short.
 
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Love it. Combines pretty much everything I'm looking for.

I understand that O is pronounced "Oh." And u sounds like "oo in 'oo.'"

Do o and u sound different together, eg: sentou. Or is is sen-tO-oo?
 

mdchachi

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Love it. Combines pretty much everything I'm looking for.

I understand that O is pronounced "Oh." And u sounds like "oo in 'oo.'"

Do o and u sound different together, eg: sentou. Or is is sen-tO-oo?
It's pronounced "oh" like the sound in boat. The "oh" is elongated slightly more than it would be in sento. I wrote it that way because the actual character is u (う). You may see the same thing written as sentoh, sentoo or sentō.

Let's get some other opinions on my idea. I'm not an expert (I just pretend to be sometimes ;).
 

Toritoribe

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戦闘 refers to regional or individual battle/fight rather than war, and it's rarely used to make a compound word except when referring to the kind of battle such like 近接戦闘 "Close Quarters Battle".

Do yo prefer a single word? How about 影の戦 Kage no Ikusa War of Shadows/Shadows war ?
 
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Now I have options... thank you as well, Toritoribe.

I try to aim for a single word for the sake of servicemarking, website urls are easier, etc. But Kage no Ikusa is literally one of the things I came here to figure out. And if it sounds good, means the same thing in English and Japanese (context wise), and feels right... I'll take anything.

I do want to figure out a compound to name the land, for sure. Despite the fact that the organization is more about fighting than roleplay... a lot of awards, names of groups, etc. reflect the lore. So there is a backstory that sort of serves as a guide to leaders when they create their group. This keeps people from coming out to an immersive feudal Japanese battlefield dressed as Ninja Turtles, or Blackbeard for instance.

My goals for joining this forum is to name the organization. Name the fictional land in which it takes place. And later on, get help verifying the grammar here and there.

I'm a huge fan of the suggestions so far but after going over what I asked for, I've come to realize a couple things...

If I name it "something War" it might get redundant when an event is called "something war" too. Or when one clan declares war on another clan. So it would be a war within a war. Example: The organization is called Yokage Ikusa or Kage no Ikusa... Then I name the primere event this July "Gaijin Ikusa" - it gets confusing.

As of this morning, I've been debating naming the land and the organization one in the same. For the sake of simplicity and to avoid overuse of "Kage."

Compound words, for example:

Origin of Shadows
Realm of Shadow

Can anyone turn those into compounds? Or offer suggestions?

I greatly appreciate your help. I have something to send the person who helps me arrive to my decision, a sort of "thank you" and incentive. I don't care where I have to ship it to. It means a lot to me to finally have credible help and be able to copyright the rules and launch the org after years of development.
 
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iI would have called 'Gaijin War' 外人戦 (gaijinsen).

影本 could be eihon (origin of shadows in the same way Japan's name means origin of the sun.) Of course it sounds awfully similar to 絵本 (ehon - picture book ; like Dr. Seuss, etc.).

With a different kanji for shadow it could be 陰本 inhon, but it doesn't sound good to me. It is however a unique word with no homonyms.

Similarly, 'country of shadow' would be 影国・陰国 (eikoku or inkoku), but 英国 (eikoku) is England. 'inkoku' is a couple of uncommon words dealing with engraving so the homonyms aren't a problem there really.

For what it's worth, 影 is more like a person's shadow or the shadow cast by an object (silhouettes, etc.), while 陰 is more like shade or hidden.

If you use Japanese readings instead of Chinese then you could have 影国 = kageguni or kagekuni... (shadow country) or even kage no kuni (country of shadows); compounds like this can have an implicit conjunction 'no' in them, especially for placenames.
 
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Awesome, thanks for all the ideas to work with.

I definitely want to go with 陰 in context.

It's a shame inhon is so weird. I'm a big fan of the similarities with Japan's etymology and the simplicity of the word itself.

Would it be redundant to call the country [whatever]kuni, if I'm calling the provinces within it [whatever]kuni?

I haven't announced the July event yet, so I can still change it for accuracy's sake, my only problem is I have two conflicting opinions on the use of sentou/sen and ikusa.
 
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mdchachi

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You can use 王国 for kingdom(s). Note the second kanji is the same as for kuni but here it's pronounced koku.

For example, kingdom of darkness → 暗黒の王国

As for the war within a war problem, you can use other words than war e.g battle within a war.
Try playing around with words at www.alc.co.jp. Type in kingdom, battle, war, barbarian, etc.
 
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You can use 王国 for kingdom(s). Note the second kanji is the same as for kuni but here it's pronounced koku.
And the first kanji is a long O (which in Japanese actually means it's pronounced for longer, not differently).
o-koku (but normally spelled oukoku )

Also 帝国 (spelled teikoku -- although again, 'tei' is prounced with a long 'e' not as two vowels, 'te-koku' ) for empire, which is how Japan was referred to for much of its late medieval period. (ie, when there was an Emperor).

Actually, ... to be strictly truthful, I have no idea if they called it that then. We call it a 帝国 now, but my knowledge of actual archaic Japanese is fairly limited.
 
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I was going for 帝国 when referring to the state in a political manner.

We have campouts and single day battles.

The day battles are being referred to as tatakai (battle, to my understanding). While garb is required, they're not very immersive. The battles are simply, fight-reset format.

The campouts are being referred to as renzoku (series/persistent, to my understanding - I'm using the word in the context that it's an ongoing story). This is where Clans can assassinate leaders, raid each other, seize each other's koku, only samurai may openly carry weapons, 20-30 minute respawn timer... so the kills REALLY count, etc.

But these renzoku campouts are all named differently. Some might be considered a war between clans, some might be considered a long battle, some will even be themed as festivals and feature tournaments.

Which is why I'm avoiding calling the overall organization X War. Though I have considered calling it "Game of Shadows" - but that would complicate things as I still have to name the country at that point.

Is there a large landmass that would work well with 陰?

Is Injima a proper way to say Islands of Shadow?

Or another way to say archepelago? Inrettō sounds like a mixed drink in a Spanish country...

Is there another way to say night? Yohon (I'm assuming its correct) sounds like the name of a German fashionista.
 
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Island of Shadow would likely be kage no shima, kagejima, or intou ... it's unusual to mix the Japanese and Chinese readings in the same word.

renzoku does in fact mean 'series', it's applied to 'tv program' or 'book' to make the phrases 'tv series' or 'book series'. It seems like a weird thing to call your camps.

tatakai 戦い is a fight, usually spelled with the same character as war ('sen'), but it can also be spelled 闘い with the second character of 戦闘 sentou, battle.

tatakai can be a martial arts bout, a brawl, a battle, or a full fledged war. It's a pretty broad term. Considering your matches are actually martial arts bouts, it's pretty appropriate. 

There's a word 模擬戦 mogisen that means a mock battle that is used for fights like yours (and also for mock-battles in military training), but actually -calling- it a mock-battle is probably not what you want.
 

mdchachi

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The campouts are being referred to as renzoku (series/persistent, to my understanding - I'm using the word in the context that it's an ongoing story).
I think it's ok for a word in your world. In a Japanese context it simply means "serial" or "continuation." So it would be combined with something else usually, for example, renzoku dorama to mean a serial drama tv show.

I definitely want to go with 陰 in context.
Before you jump into using this kanji, be aware that it's used in a lot of words related to hidden places. Such as 陰核 or 会陰 (look them up). Lots of normal words use this kanji so it's not necessarily a problem but something to be aware of.

Injima is not something a Japanese would use probably. kagejima would be more likely to be used (and understood). But since your audience isn't Japanese that doesn't necessarily matter.

archipelago is rettoh 列島. Also guntoh 群島 (but rarely used).

My wife suggested yami 闇 could be useful to you. It means dark, despair, illegal.

Keep in mind you don't have to use actual words and you can make some up if you like.
For example here's one I just made up, yami-en or yamifuchi (闇淵) to mean depths of despair.
淵 means abyss or depths.

My wife says if you want to use 陰 consider Kokuinjima 黒陰島. (Another made up word.) Koku means black. So it would be Black Shadow Island or Island of Black Shadows. (Note this can also be used plural to mean islands. There's no plural form like in English, it's understood from context.)
 
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Mike Cash

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Has anyone else taken into consideration the absolute butchering the pronunciation of any name is going to receive?
 
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