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Help with English to Kanji translation please

ScottG

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Hello and thank you in advance for any help you can offer.

I trying to write Nakahara Clan and my first attempt was 中原氏. Well, that was a little off target and I even had the Nakahara name wrong as it should have been 仲原. I've done some more research and I think I've got it right this time but wanted to make sure before I embarrass myself again.

Is this correct --> 仲原 藩

This is something I'm doing for my best friend of 40 years and his family so it's important to me to get it right. Also, I realize that direct translations from one language to another are not always correct when it comes to how something would be said or written in the native tongue. If there is a more culturally correct way to write it, I would definitely like to know.

Thanks again
 

Majestic

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氏 is actually a valid translation for "clan", but, as with many things in Japanese, the best translation will depend on the context. This is actually the same for Nakahara also. 中 is as valid as 仲 .
In a textbook sense, 氏 works for clan, as in the Taira clan vs. the Minamoto clan. But it should be clear from the context that you are talking about the forces of one family-based faction versus another. If it isn't clear, then 氏 might be confusing...it can be used to refer to a single person, as well as a family clan.
藩 Han, refers mainly to a geopolitical entity (ruled by hereditary clan, if you like).
Other possibilities are 派閥 (or just 派) or 勢力 (or just 勢).
 

ScottG

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Thank you for your reply Majestic. What I'm beginning to see is that not only do some kanji characters have multiple meanings but some words can be represented by multiple kanji... If I had included more detail in my original post it probably would have made it easier to identify the most correct choice, sorry for that. Here is a better explanation of what I'm trying to do:

I'm having a golf towel embroidered for several of the Nakahara family members and my idea was that it would say "Nakahara Clan" -- sort of like a banner that has the meaning of " I'm a member of the Nakahara family". Unfortunately, there's nothing else to help add context -- it's just going to be these few characters. Knowing that, would one of the options you listed be appropriate?

Thanks and happy New Year
 

Majestic

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Hmmm, first off, you need to know how they spell their name in kanji. Is it 中原 or 仲原 (or some less common spelling). If, as you hinted in your first post, you are sure it is 仲原, then I would go for something like チーム仲原 (Team Nakahara), which has enough whimsy without any annoying hierarchical baggage or conflicts with politeness/impoliteness.
 

Mike Cash

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I would use just the family name, with nothing else. If you have to use something with it or bust a gut, then I would suggest 家. As already suggested, you need to ask them in order to know for certain exactly how they write the name.
 

ScottG

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Majestic and Mike --

Yes, it's definitely 仲原 -- got that directly from the source. I was hoping for something with a little more cool factor than Team but trying to translate what's in my American brain into appropriate Japanese style may not be possible. In my mind's eye, I had pictured something that might have been written on a Japanese banner in feudal times -- a nobori I think, assuming Google has not betrayed me again.

Sorry to be such a nitpick about this. I honestly and truly appreciate all your help.
 

Majestic

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I had pictured something that might have been written on a Japanese banner in feudal times -- a nobori I think,

You could do that, but as I hinted above, something of that nature might be an embarrassment for the family. It seems cool to you, but the recipient may not think having a feudal war banner for golf equipment is such a hot idea.

Even something as seemingly benign as a family crest; to some families it just reminds them of funerals and graves, and so they wouldn't choose to put their crest on personal items. My wife's crest is pretty cool, and if it were up to me I would put it on everything in the house... alas, she does not share my enthusiasm.
 

Mike Cash

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trying to translate what's in my American brain into appropriate Japanese style

If they've been your friends there in Texas for forty years, their brains are every bit as American as yours is. Just get "Nakahara" on the towels.
 

Majestic

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Oh - I missed the 40 years part. Yes, if they have been your mates in Texas for over 40 years, I wouldn't worry about the cultural implications. They are probably as Americanized as anything. So 仲原家 would be fine.
 

ScottG

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Thank you both for your help. I really appreciate it. Happy New Year and hope you have a great 2017.
 
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