三味線

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Chinese[edit]

three; 3 taste
 
thread; string; wire; line
trad. (三味線)
simp. (三味线) 线

Pronunciation[edit]


Noun[edit]

三味線

  1. shamisen

See also[edit]


Japanese[edit]

Japanese Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia ja
Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia
三味線 (shamisen, samisen): a street performer playing a shamisen.

Etymology 1[edit]

Kanji in this term
さん > しゃ
Grade: 1

Grade: 3
せん
Grade: 2
on'yomi

Originally from Okinawan 蛇皮線 (jabisen, literally snakeskin strings), so named for the way the soundbox is traditionally covered in snakeskin. The traditional jabisen instrument was imported into the Sakai area of Osaka during the 永禄 (Eiroku) era (1558-1570), then later modified by biwa luthiers to have the square-shaped shamisen soundbox of today.[1][2]

The reading jabisen shifted over time to jamisen (蛇味線), replacing the (bi, skin, leather) character with (mi) for phonetic reasons (i.e. as ateji). Then jabisen changed to shamisen, replacing the (ja, snake) character with (usually read san, three) for semantic reasons (i.e. as jukujikun). The sha reading for the character is irregular.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

三味線 (hiragana しゃみせん, romaji shamisen)

  1. (music) a shamisen: a Japanese stringed instrument played by plucking, vaguely similar to a banjo
Synonyms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Kanji in this term
さん > さ
Grade: 1

Grade: 3
せん
Grade: 2
on'yomi

Sound shift from shamisen above, possibly influenced by the standard san reading of the initial character.

This reading appears to be less common than shamisen.[1][2]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

三味線 (hiragana さみせん, romaji samisen) (rare)

  1. (music) a shamisen: a Japanese stringed instrument played by plucking, vaguely similar to a banjo

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1988, 国語大辞典(新装版) (Kokugo Dai Jiten, Revised Edition) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, ISBN 4-385-13905-9