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Midori 緑

nedkelly

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Shimazaki Toson wrote a poem 惜別の歌. In the final verse there are the words 君の緑の黒髪も.
How should one understand the meaning of midori in this context? On YouTube where one can find the poem sung, someone has translated midori as “shiny”. I cannot find such a translation in the dictionary. Surely it is not green, black hair. Can someone help me? The words of the whole poem can be easily found by doing a net search.
 

bentenmusume

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It doesn't literally mean "green" here, but rather is a literary phrasing used to refer to glossy/lustrous/beautiful hair.
This alternate definition (and the fact that it is used to describe hair) is specifically listed in Japanese dictionaries like the one linked below.

㋒黒くつややかな色。多く毛髪にいう。→ 緑の黒髪


This usage of the word is not so common in everyday speech, I think.
 

Toritoribe

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Incidentally, 緑 originally means "sprout", as in the dictionary bentenmusume-san linked, so 緑の黒髪 refers to glossy/lustrous black hair like sprouts. It's also said that this expression came from old Chinese poems.

 

nedkelly

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Thank you very much. I better search dictionaries more thoroughly before posting next time.
 

nedkelly

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Midori is also a common female name. I guess it means “lustrous” in that context too.
 

bentenmusume

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Midori is also a common female name. I guess it means “lustrous” in that context too.
Well...not necessarily?

Besides the fact that the precise "meaning" of a given name is a subjective thing in the first place, the name "Midori" (as with essentially all Japanese names) can be written with a variety of kanji or kanji combinations (some more common than others, of course), or even in kana: 「みどり」と読む女の子の名前・漢字一覧 - 名付けポン

Even if it were written with the character above, there's no reason a parent couldn't name their daughter Midori with the intended "meaning" or inspiration being one of the other definitions of the word (such as nature/greenery, etc.)
 

Toritoribe

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In addition, some parents take 姓名判断 "onomancy/fortunetelling based on writing or pronunciation of one's name" into consideration when naming their children.

(all in Japanese)

Thus, the number of strokes of each kanji (and the meaning of each kanji) is sometimes more important for them than the meaning of the given name as a single word like "Midori".
 
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