2004
10.16

Nadeshiko

I overhead a conversation about ‘Nadeshiko’. Have you ever heard of this word? Actually, it rang a bell… I realised I’d seen an anime called Nadeshiko a long time ago!

After asking someone to explain it to me they told me that the complete phrase was ‘やまとなでしこ’. やまと is actually what Japan used to be called! なでしこ refers to a flower – ‘pink’ flower it would seem, in English.

So, なでしこ seems to be a name to describe a woman. This woman is kind and gentle, beautiful but not loud or showy. Perhaps it is a phrase used to describe the ‘ideal’ woman from a Japanese man’s point of view? The translation I got wasn’t too clear, but these are the impressions I got.

Can anyone offer an extra information?



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  1. Anyway there is a JDrama called
    “Yamato Nadeshiko” played by
    Matsushima Nanako about a stewardess
    who seems “perfect” in the way you
    explain.
    Greetings from Spain

  2. I feel the sound of “なでしこ” is also important. “なでしこ” arouse an image of traditional and graceful Japanese woman, though I don’t know the exact meaning.

  3. Yes, I’ve seen pages on the Internet about the drama you describe, Ragundo.
    Thanks, Shohei. なんとなく分かるようになってる。Even if the meaning is not very clear, this phrase seems to be famaliar to all Japanese people I talk to.

  4. Let me advise you for the purpose of your study. “なんとなく分かるようになってる。” sounds weird a bit. “なんとなく分かるようになってきた。” is better.
    But I think “なんとなく分かるようになってきました” or “なんとなく分かるようになってきたよ。” may be the best in this case. It is more friendly.
    Buy the way, how does the Japanese words usually occur to you? Do you translate English into Japanese each time? I wonder if “なんとなく分かるようになってきた。” directly occurred to you.

  5. Thanks Shohei. Actually, at the time of writing that sentence I did wonder if it was a little strange or not. I normally use ‘分かってきた’ in conversation but in this case I wanted to emphasize that I hadn’t completely grasped the entire meaning (I.e. less certain than なんとなく分かってきた).
    If what I want to say in Japanese is something I say regularly then I don’t think I have to translate from English to Japanese. If you notice, the sentence we are talking about is quite a conversational style sentence – it came naturally and I modified it a little.
    One of my beliefs is that you have to experiment with what you already know – change it a little and see if it works. If a Japanese person, such as your kind self in this case, points out that it sounds weird then you’ve still learnt something.
    Thanks again 🙂

  6. Just wandered onto your site today at work while looking for a denshi jisho. Planning on getting the G50 myself. Damn, you are working hard on learning and I’m inspired! Do you have a Japanese computer or are you using a program for typing Japanese characters?

  7. Thanks for wandering by Luke. I’m working hard? It doesn’t feel like it!
    The G50 is a great buy, though if possible try it out before you buy it. The Sharp is also a great denshi jisho. It wins in terms of speed and seems better for translation work due to its more advanced jyuku-go functions.
    I have a Japanese computer with Japanese Windows so I didn’t need to install any extras to start experienting in Japanese. Working and playing around with Japanese on a computer really helps you learn – if you aren’t doing it then give it a try!

  8. Hey everyone. I was actually looking for some information on this name!
    The other night I was hanging out with a couple of Japanese girls I met recently (they’re actually my students for the practicum I’m doing) and they asked me what their English names would be. My friends and I all collaborated and decided. I asked them what my Japanese name would be.
    Maybe less than 2 seconds later, after the 2 girls look at each other they say Nadeshiko! Nadeshiko!
    I’ve NEVER heard that name before, so I was super curious to find out what it meant.
    I’m thrilled to hear it’s got good connotation 😉 Actually, I asked a Japanese guy about it and he said he knows it as やまとなでしこ too.

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