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Kanji in this term

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Etymology 1Edit


From Old Japanese. Attested in the Kojiki spelled phonetically in man'yōgana as 无耶志 (​Muzashi).

Ultimate derivation unknown. One theory is based on an earlier placename, 身狭 (Musa), which was apparently divided into upper 身狭 (Musa-gami) and lower 身狭 (Musa-shimo) portions, roughly corresponding to the later provinces of 相模 (Sagami) and 武蔵 (Musashi). The modern name Sagami then arose as a corruption of Musa-gami, while Musashi derived from Musa-shimo. However, this may be only a folk etymology.

A separate theory suggests that Musashi derives from an old Ainu borrowing.[1] Linguist Alexander Vovin derives this from ムンサリ (mun-sar-i) or ムンサリヒ (mun-sar-ihi, weed-marsh-[possessive suffix]), hypothetical Ainu forms that would mean "marsh/wetland of (i.e. belonging to) weeds/inedible or otherwise useless plants," and Musashi sits in the middle of the Kantō Plain.[2] However, John Batchelor's 1905 Ainu dictionary and grammar includes no mention of a possessive suffix -i or -ihi.[3] Another possible Ainu source could be ムンシㇼ (mun sa shir, nettle plain land).[3]

The kanji spelling 武藏 probably first appeared in the Wamyō Ruijushō of 938 CE, but that origin is also unknown.


Proper nounEdit

武蔵 (shinjitai kanji, kyūjitai kanji 武藏, hiragana むさし, rōmaji Musashi)

  1. Musashi Province: a region of old Japan consisting of modern-day Tokyo, Saitama, and Kanagawa prefectures.
  2. a battleship of the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II (see   Japanese battleship Musashi on Wikipedia.Wikipedia )
  3. a place name
  4. a surname
  5. a female given name

Etymology 2Edit

Various nanori readings.

Proper nounEdit

武蔵 (hiragana たけくら, rōmaji Takekura)

  1. A surname​.

武蔵 (hiragana たけぞう, rōmaji Takezō)

  1. A surname​.
  2. A male given name (Can we verify(+) this sense?)

武蔵 (hiragana ぶぞう, rōmaji Buzō)

  1. A male given name (Can we verify(+) this sense?)

武蔵 (hiragana むぞう, rōmaji Muzō)

  1. A surname​.


  1. ^ Alexander Vovin (2009) "Strange words in the Man'yoshū and the Fudoki and the distribution of the Ainu language in the Japanese islands in prehistory"
  2. ^ Alexander Vovin (2008). "Man'yōshū to Fudoki ni Mirareru Fushigina Kotoba to Jōdai Nihon Retto ni Okeru Ainu-go no Bunpu". Kokusai Nihon Bunka Kenkyū Sentā.
  3. 3.0 3.1 John Batchelor (1905) An Ainu-English-Japanese dictionary (including a grammar of the Ainu language)[1], Tokyo; London: Methodist Publishing House; Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner Co.