God; unusual; mysterious; soul; spirit; divine essence; lively; spiritual being
wind; news; style; custom; manner
|Kanji in this term|
- Literally “divine wind”, a name given to a typhoon that saved Japan from a Mongol invasion in the 13th century.
- 神風 is also the ultimate source of the English word kamikaze, by a circuitous route. The characters appear in 神風特別攻撃隊, “神風 special attack unit”, the name of one kamikaze unit surely named after the typhoon but given the Sino-Japanese reading “shinpū”. However “shinpū” is not a word in its own right. The Japanese use the term “special attack unit” written in the abbreviated form 特攻隊 (tokkōtai) when referring to the WWII suicide pilots.
- 切腹 (seppuku)
- 特攻隊 (tokkōtai)
- 腹切 (hara-kiri)
- Discussion of this term on Languagehat, a language blog