チョウ・蝶/Butterfly

Butterfly2
All of a sudden it’s September and I’m realizing October isn’t that far away. I’ve been preparing for several residencies coming up, but haven’t had “real” confirmation that they are going to happen. I’m certain of  one, but I still have to prepare for the others. If they fall through, I’m ready for others later on.

I spent all of last week at the serger & sewing machine and this week is mostly the same. Today, though I stopped to do some research from the Japanese perspective on butterflies, since that’s due to be one of the themes in one of these residencies. Since I reference Japan, I like to expose the students to the language and of course, to make it relevant to the topic.

So, today I went exploring, looking at butterfly imagery and things related, such as milkweed, chrysalis and caterpillars. I also looked up some of their vocabulary (in the Japanese dictionary, of course).

I couldn’t find the specific word for butterfly egg, but I found insect egg, which is chōran (虫卵). A caterpillar is kemushi (毛虫), a word I recall from childhood. A chrysalis is sanagi (蛹) and lastly, the butterfly is chō (蝶)or sometimes chō cho.  Madame Butterfly is referred to as Chōcho fujin (蝶々婦人) or Lady Butterfly.

A butterfly proverb:

諺とは蝶々のようなもの。Kotowaza wa chōchō no yō na mono.
Proverbs are like butterflies.
人に捕まえられるものもあれば、hito ni tsukamaerareru mono mo areba
(if they have the ability to be caught [by people])
逃げるものもある。Nigeru mono aru.
(Some flee)

The “J”dictionary translation:
Proverbs are like butterflies, some are caught, others fly away.

I don’t know about proverbs, since I don’t write them, but I do find the butterfly elusive, especially when trying to “catch” them with the camera.

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6 Responses to “チョウ・蝶/Butterfly”

  1. jan in nagasaki Says:

    i will ask my boys if there is a specific word for butterfly egg..

    i don’t have “the very hungry caterpillar” in Japanese or i could look it up in there!!!

    • Susan Says:

      I’d appreciate that. There’s a specific one for silkworm eggs, so you’d think…I’m also wondering about my own kid’s books…I wonder what’s in my collection…I don’t have “caterpillar,” but I might have something else…if I find something I’ll add it. Thanks Jan!

  2. whereishenow Says:

    yeah, i asked two boys and the husband and looked in some MUSHI books… looks like “cho cho no tamago” is the winner… they couldn’t come up with anything else….

    but i think there must be something more specific… I will keep on looking!!!

    and you know that Nagasaki is Madame Butterfly town… at Glover Garden, they pipe in the music and there is a statue and everything!!!

    • Susan Says:

      I didn’t know that about Nagasaki. Amazing!

      I agree with you about the “cho cho no tamago.” I found a kids book with that expression – I’ve been to scan the image and haven’t gotten to it, but I will. I’m really surprised since there’s specific terminology for the silkworm egg.
      Hm.

  3. 吉成 正 Says:

    I am impressed with your blog. I have been thinking to start my own site in English. I would appreciate it if you would let me know where to start and how to set up.
    By the way, Iwrote about butterflies and cicada in my URL recently.
    (The typo in my previous comment was fixed here.)

    • Susan Says:

      Thank you so much for your comments. I really appreciate it. I also took a look at your blog and found the piece on butterflies, but haven’t had a chance to read through it. I hope I’ve used correct terminology in my piece. I’ll also be glad to you what help or pointers I can to set up a blog…not difficult.

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