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Wondering about the word "corrida"

Seito

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Hi everyone 🙂

First my apologies for posting so rarely in this forum. I come and check it out every few weeks, but since I've never been in Japan, I feel I don't have much to contribute, though I'm interested in reading the discussions.

Anyway, now for my question: I've always wondered about the word "corrida", in Nagisa Oshima's famous film "Ai no corrida" (Empire of the Senses). It seems like a very un-Japanese word to me (the sound, and the spelling with a 'c').

Does anyone know where it comes from?

Oh, I should mention, I can't see kanji with my Mozilla browser, so use only romaji please. If anyone can suggest a solution for this, that would be welcome too 😊
 

undrentide

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Corrida must be a loan-word, as it is written in katakana.

I don't know its meaning though - according to the quick search I made on the internet, it means "bullfight" both in French and Italian. (Cannot not find it in Spanish so far.)
I have no idea why this word is used as a title of the film, as I've never seen the it myself and the word might mean something totally different.

If the word "corrida" was taken from either Fernch or Italian, the title of the film means "Bullfight of love" - if literally translated.

Sorry it is not much help - hope someone will shed a light on this.
😌
 

Seito

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Thank you, ricecake and undrentide. Yes, it looks like it's a Spanish loanword. And at IMDb they also give 'bullfight of love' as the literal meaning.
 

Nysha

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As you all very well said, corrida is the spanish name of bullfight... But there's another slang meaning of it that makes a little more sense:
correrse (verb, reflexive) to have an orgasm

"corrida" would be the substantivation of this verb.



I hope that the fact that I had to quote it because I was uncomfortable with just explaining it shows it's level of vulgarity. :unsure:
 

Seito

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Hm, yes, but how many Japanese would understand such a slang meaning of a Spanish word? Therefore I'm not sure it is meant in that way here, even though it fits the context...
 

Cierzo

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Minnasan konnichiwa.

I had choose a "delicate" thread to my first post 😌 hahaha

Sorry, my english is not good, you´ll see.

Nysha is on the right way, I think.
"Corrida" can be translated as "bullfight", yes. If we spanish are speaking about that topic, saying "corrida" we know that we are speaking about bullfight, but if I say "yesterday, I went to a bullfight" I do specification: "corrida de toros".

Like a verb, we use "correrse, corrida (noun)" as vulgar language with friends, our partner of love, etc. with the meaning of "to have an orgasm" or "ejaculate"
It´s both used by men or women.

I think that Oshima-sensei named his movie with this last sense, viewing the story of that movie.
Why? I don´t know, perhaps to avoid the censure if he use the english or japanese word for this meaning.
 

Steve Ototo

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Konbanwa.

In Mexico, the "corrida" is a Country/Western style song with a strong Mexican flavor. Often a song about love and lost love, it would be very similar to Nashville music to Japanese ears. It is not an impolite or sexual term.
 

doinkies

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Maybe the slang meaning is only used in Spain? I know that in Spanish-speaking countries, slang will vary a lot depending on the country.
 

Seito

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Thanks everyone for your replies :)

Minnasan konnichiwa.
I think that Oshima-sensei named his movie with this last sense, viewing the story of that movie.
Why? I don´t know, perhaps to avoid the censure if he use the English or Japanese word for this meaning.

Yeah, to avoid censure is a possible explanation. I suppose he must have been aware of the meaning of the title he chose... but then he did take the risk of not being understood by his audience. How many Japanese understand Spanish, let alone slang Spanish?
 

Nysha

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The meaning is not really that obscure, I would say even 12 years old kids in Spain already know this word. Slang in Spanish-speaking countries is very different indeed, but for the most part understandable, the few exceptions (as the verb "coger" or "mamar") are well know as they can cause some funny situations.
but then he did take the risk of not being understood by his audience. How many Japanese understand Spanish, let alone slang Spanish?
I think Japanese are more accustomed to loan words than we are (using them, not necessary understanding them, just look at the many engrish sites in Internet). It is true that a lot of people just wouldn't understand the word (A standard Japanese wouldn't understand the word anyway, neither as bullfight nor as orgasm.) , but isn't it one of the reasons why films have foreign titles? Not only can they make a movie look modern or exotic, they can also help to create a bond with those who research its meaning, (thus creating interest and/or a connection). Look for example at this thread, 10 posts discussing one title: doesn't it in some way make you feel a little more involved / familiar with the movie?

Why? I donエt know, perhaps to avoid the censure if he use the english or japanese word for this meaning.
I also think that maybe it had something to do with censure. After all, they tried to make it pass as a French Japanese production in order to fool the censure in Japan, didn't they? And France has been somehow involved with Spain regarding censure. But I'm just guessing here, the only way to be sure of it, is to find an interview of the director explaining it.
BTW, May I ask where exactly are you from, Cierzo?, I am from Zaragoza, although I have been living in Germany/Austria for a while now. It is nice to see more mas in this board!!
 

Glenn

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Just an FYI, because I was a bit confused -- "censure" means to berate someone; "censor" means to cut something out or cover something up to avoid a taboo. I think you (plural) mean the latter.
 

Seito

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Just an FYI, because I was a bit confused -- "censure" means to berate someone; "censor" means to cut something out or cover something up to avoid a taboo. I think you (plural) mean the latter.
Oops! Yes, obviously all three of us meant the latter 😊 In Dutch and French, the word for 'censor' looks more like 'censure', and I suppose in Spanish too, hence our mistake... Thanks!
 

Seito

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isn't it one of the reasons why films have foreign titles? Not only can they make a movie look modern or exotic, they can also help to create a bond with those who research its meaning, (thus creating interest and/or a connection). Look for example at this thread, 10 posts discussing one title: doesn't it in some way make you feel a little more involved / familiar with the movie?

Yes, true, to create curiosity could be a motivation.

Thanks for your input!
 

Cierzo

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Konbanwa.
In Mexico, the "corrida" is a Country/Western style song with a strong Mexican flavor. Often a song about love and lost love, it would be very similar to Nashville music to Japanese ears. It is not an impolite or sexual term.
Yes, youツ´re on right, but in Spain that kind of music is named "corrido".
Humm the country&western from nashville sound so different that corrido (or corrida, there) I think... Neither mexican sound in rootツ´s country, i think.
---
In Spain was named "El Imperio de los Sentidos", like in english. I canツ´t imagine a movie in the 70ツ´s named "la corrida del amor" hahaha. Certainly, "ai no corrida" is a strange title...

There are some songs with the same title (Quincy Jones, Nylons, etc.)
---
nysha said:
May I ask where exactly are you from, Cierzo?, I am from Zaragoza, although I have been living in Germany/Austria for a while now. It is nice to see more mas in this board!!
Jajaja... increíble... ¿Te suena Torrero? :p
Really are you from Zaragoza? You have a good camouflage under the austrian flag... hahaha. Hajimemashite, maña!!
Hehe, after first post I meet a forum-mate from the same city that me...
Sore dewa, mata ne!
 

epigene

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My two yen about "Ai no Corrida."

There were many instances in which loan words from foreign languages (usually English but also French and Spanish) are understood incorrectly, very often due to lack of comprehension in the language in question and also from blind acceptance of hearsay from some persons who claim to be "in the know" regarding the language--which was not true in many cases.

These things are happening less and less today, as the Japanese have gained greater understanding of other cultures and languages (esp. North America and Europe). But, since Ai no Corrida was filmed in 1976, I suspect inaccurate comprehension of the word happened again in this case. Mistakes of this kind are left uncorrected, since it will cause confusion in viewer recognition of the film. That is probably the reason why the English and Spanish titles of the film are totally different from the Japanese.

As for the song "Ai no Corrida" by Quincy Jones, I think it was either written on commission from the Japanese production company that distributed the film or Quincy Jones was inspired by the film (I'm not sure which). In those days, Quincy Jones was a frequent visitor to Japan, performing here regularly. When the song was a hit in Japan and was played over and over on the radio, I used to be puzzled why he wrote the song, since the words "Ai no Corrida" had nothing to do with the rest of the lyrics... 😊
 

Seito

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But, since Ai no Corrida was filmed in 1976, I suspect inaccurate comprehension of the word happened again in this case.

You mean you think that Nagisa Oshima himself misunderstood the word, and used it in a wrong way?
 

Nysha

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Just an FYI, because I was a bit confused -- "censure" means to berate someone; "censor" means to cut something out or cover something up to avoid a taboo. I think you (plural) mean the latter.


Yes you are right. Sorry to confuse you. "Censorship" would be right, wouldn't it?. I'm slowly forgetting English...

Wikipedia also has an opinion about the title:

The title reflects the intellectual sources that affected the thought of Oshima. The Japanese title is inspired by works of Michel Leiris and Georges Bataille. Curiously, 'corrida' is not a Japanese word, but a Spanish word related to bullfighting ('Corrida de Toros' in Spanish). 'Corrida' also means 'cum' in slang Spaniard Spanish, while the title sounds strangely similar to the sentence 'no hay corrida' which means 'there's no cum'. The widespread Western title is derived from a Roland Barthes book on Japan; The Empire of Signs. The "In" in the English title is actually a mistake. The designer of the English-language materials for the film assumed that the "in" (dans) in the French-language production material was not referring to the stars who were in the film, but was a part of the title of the film itself. Mistake or not, the name stuck, and other versions of the film use the English naming convention for the film.
 

epigene

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You mean you think that Nagisa Oshima himself misunderstood the word, and used it in a wrong way?
There is no written evidence regarding why it came to be, I'm just guessing what happened, as what happened for many titles of songs, books, films, etc., in Japan. The likelihood is high that he had been told of the meaning inaccurately from a purported "fluent" speaker. Otherwise, he used it wrongly deliberately.

Those were the days when Japan knew little about other countries and languages.😌
 
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