ƒXƒCy‰z


ƒXƒCy‰zgreen-blue-purple-gray-black, kingfisher green, alcedine.

ƒXƒCy‰zis another of that small group of kanji that cover the spectrum blue-green-purple-gray-black. It means 'vivid green-blue-purple-black', and originally referred to the glossy iridescent plumage of the kingfisher. It still occurs as the second kanji in the dissyllabic name of the Asiatic kingfisher (Halcyon), ƒqƒXƒCyγΕ ‰zA‚©‚ν‚Ή‚έ‚Μ‚¨‚·, the male 'common Indian kingfisher', according to Shogakukan Progressive Japanese-English Dictionary, 2nd edition. The Shuowenjiezi Dictionary (100 AD), says: ‰AΒ ‰H  –ηB"The kingfisher (?) with the 'blue-green-purple-grey-black'plumage." (See also Β‚’.) 'Vivid green-blue-purple-black' or 'kingfisher green' can be a bit awkward as a translation, however, and Peter A. Boodberg has suggested 'alcedine', from Latin alcedo, 'kingfisher', as a possible rendition of a word that may equally apply to a woman's penciled eyebrows and to foliage.

One of the quatrains of Du Fu (“m•αi‚Ƃفj):

™_ ‰Σ ‰© –Β ‰ –φ
ˆκ s ”’ λ γ Β “V
βx Šά Ό —δ η H α
–ε ”‘ “Œ Œΰ δέ —’ ‘D

Here Du Fu's quatrain again, in Boodberg's translation.

A couple of orioles -- paried yellow-black -- birdcalling willows plumed with alcedine,
A line of egrets -- a path of dewy white -- ascending quickblue skies,
Where windows hold embouched the Western Range, snows of a thousand harvests,
And gates moor white the Eastern Wu, the boats of Myriad Leagues
(The bridgeport of my autumn in the recurrent vernant green ...)

The “Η‚έ‰Ί‚΅ version by •μ—mˆκ in ’†š Žl‘IWiŠβ”g‘“X, 1957) is as follows:

™_‰Σi‚θ‚ε‚€‚±j‚Μ‰©i‚±‚€‚θj@‰–φi‚·‚’‚θ‚γ‚€j‚ɖi‚ȁj‚«
ˆκsi‚’‚Α‚±‚€j‚Μ”’λi‚Ν‚­‚λj@Β“Vi‚Ή‚’‚Δ‚ρj‚ɏγi‚́j‚ι
‘‹i‚܂ǁj‚Ι‚Ν Šά i‚Σ‚­j‚ށ@Ό—δηHi‚Ή‚’‚κ‚’‚Ή‚ρ‚΅‚γ‚€j‚̐αi‚δ‚«j
–εi‚ΰ‚ρj‚Ι‚Ν”‘i‚Ν‚­j‚·@“ŒŒΰ–œ—’i‚Ζ‚€‚²‚Ξ‚ρ‚θj‚Μ‘D

Reference: Cedule 14 (originally Cedule 022-550201),"On Chromatographic Effects in Chinese Poetry" from Selected Works of Peter A. Boodberg, University of California Press, 1979, ISBN 0-520-03314-0.


This entry was created by Jon Babcock, with additional contributions by Tom Gally.

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