三味線

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Chinese[edit]

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

Etymology[edit]

Orthographic borrowing from Japanese 三味線 (shamisen).

Pronunciation[edit]


Noun[edit]

三味線

  1. shamisen (Japanese three-stringed instrument)

See also[edit]


Japanese[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

Kanji in this term
さ > しゃ
Grade: 1
(ateji)

Grade: 3
(ateji)
せん
Grade: 2
Irregular goon on’yomi
三味線 (shamisen, samisen): a street performer playing a shamisen.
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The instrument derives from the Okinawan 三線 (sanshin). Originally called 蛇皮線 (jabisen, literally snakeskin strings) in Japanese, so named for the way the Okinawan instrument's soundbox is traditionally covered in snakeskin. The traditional jabisen instrument was imported into the Sakai area of Osaka during the 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 蛇味線 (jamisen), replacing the (bi, skin, leather) character with (mi) for phonetic reasons, i.e. as ateji (当て字). Then jamisen changed to shamisen, replacing the (ja, snake) character with (sha , usually read san, three) for semantic reasons. The sha reading for the character is irregular.

First cited to a text from 1580.[1]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

三味線(しゃみせん) (shamisen

  1. [1680] (music) a Japanese stringed instrument played by plucking, vaguely similar to a banjo
    Synonyms: 三線 (sansen), 三弦 (sangen), 三味 (shami), ぺんぺん (penpen)
  2. [after 1780] short for 三味線草 (shamisen-gusa): the shepherd's purse, Capsella bursa-pastoris
    Synonyms: (nazuna), ぺんぺん草 (penpen-gusa)
  3. [after 1780] from 三味線を弾く (shamisen o hiku, literally “to play the shamisen”): words or actions intended to deceive one's opponent in a game or competition
  4. [1930] (academia, slang) a grade of (, highest mark, equivalent to an “A” in US schools) (from the vague visual similarity between the character and the shape of the shamisen)
Derived terms[edit]
Idioms[edit]

Descendants[edit]

  • English: shamisen
  • Finnish: shamisen
  • Spanish: shamisen

Etymology 2[edit]

Kanji in this term
さん > さ
Grade: 1
(ateji)

Grade: 3
(ateji)
せん
Grade: 2
Irregular goon 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]

First cited to a text from 1632.[1]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

三味線(さみせん) (samisen

  1. [1632] (uncommon, music) a Japanese stringed instrument played by plucking, vaguely similar to a banjo
    Synonym: 三味 (sami)
Derived terms[edit]
Descendants[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 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
  3. 3.0 3.1 1997, 新明解国語辞典 (Shin Meikai Kokugo Jiten), Fifth Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN
  4. ^ 1998, NHK日本語発音アクセント辞典 (NHK Japanese Pronunciation Accent Dictionary) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: NHK, →ISBN