> And beyond that there are full words and a symbol for "place
> of prayer" that I've never seen anywhere (rather like the
> "hot springs" symbol; perhaps drawn from some guidebook?).
Actually, I've seen the "Hot Springs" Symbol (Onsen-Mark) in all sorts
of places in Japanese pop culture literature. In the world-famous manga
"Urusei Yatsura," Rumiko Takahashi parodies the character, naming a
teacher "Onsen-Mark," because he wears the symbol on the back of his
I've also seen it in many Japanese video games, for one reason or
another. And I've also seen it in Japanese contemporary literature as
part of a meaningless characters stream (e.g., when a character is
swearing or when a character is speaking a foreign language... much like
English does the following: "... and I'll be %&#$!@ if I let the $#&*ing
boy in our house!"
I can't think of any real value it has for Japanese literature, though.
I think people just include in their Japanese text because their
Japanese word processor has the character and it looks cool. :)
-- Adrian Havill <http://www.threeweb.ad.jp/> MAIN: +81 (06) 536-6731 S.E., System Planning & Production Division FAX: +81 (06) 536-6741
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