|This article is about supplemental information in Umineko no Naku Koro ni.|
The Grimoire was an addition by Witch Hunt to the TIPS in their old translation of Umineko's Question Arcs. This wasn't present in the original Japanese version, and serves to explain several keywords marked in green text, mostly Japanese phrases. These are no longer in the official PC releases, but can be found more in-depth on Witch Hunt's website. This page covers only the grimoire entries found within the game.
- 1 Japanese Honorifics
- 2 Episode 1
- 3 Episode 2
- 4 Episode 3
- 5 Episode 4
In Japanese, honorifics are often used following names to convey respect. Different honorifics are used in different relationships, and forgetting to say an honorific can either be rude, or mean that both people have a close relationship.
- san (さん): neutral honorific, this suffix is a generic word for Mr./Mrs./Ms.
- kun (くん): used on a person of lesser age, usually male, denotes affection.
- chan (ちゃん): used on a person of lesser age, usually female, denotes affection/close relationship, youth and cuteness.
- sama (さま): denotes high respect towards one person or used for someone of a higher status. A very formal and polite suffix.
These are used similarly to and sometimes together with honorifics.
- aniki (兄貴): older brother, “yakuza”-like honorific. This word can be used either as a standalone, or as a suffix for someone’s name.
- aneki (姉貴): older sister, “yakuza”-like honorific (rarer)
- (o)nii (兄): older brother. This word (and the following ones) usually have a proper honorific attached to them in order to refer to someone with them. Similar to aniki, you don’t have to include the person's first name with it. In fact, the word by itself is enough most of the time. Note this word can also be used to refer to a young man, not necessarily a sibling. In such case, it denotes some familiarity.
- (o)nee (姉): older sister. Female counterpart of (o)nii in every way, this word can be used to refer to a young woman, not necessarily blood related.
- oba (伯母): aunt. Note this word also means “middle aged woman” while its pronunciation is pretty close to “obaa” which means “old woman”. This is the reason why in many manga and anime series, some characters tend not to call their aunt like this, otherwise they might have “some” trouble…
- oji (伯父): uncle. Pretty much like oba, this can also be used for "middle aged man".
- (o)ka (お母):mother. This is always with an honorific, generally san.
- (o)tou (お父): Father.
- Senpai (先輩): Often translated as "senior". This word, pretty much like the previous ones, can be used as a stand alone or associated with one's name. It is used for someone that is in a particular group or organization longer than you. (Example: an upperclassman at school, someone with a higher rank in a sport, etc.)
The names of many characters in this game sound very foreign. Normally, foreign words are written in katakana (phonetic characters) instead of the more common kanji.
However, several members of the Ushiromiya family have foreign-sounding names written in kanji (characters that have a meaning, but may be pronounced in several different ways), which is very strange in Japan, but not unheard of.
Battler's name is pronounced "Batora", but the characters it is written with would usually be pronounced like Sento or something similar.
Derived from “Namu Amida Butsu”, a Buddhist prayer, literally “I believe in the Amida Buddha”. Recited to get into Amida’s paradise. In other words, Battler simply says something like “Rest in peace, old bastard”.
In Japanese, men and women speak slightly differently. This difference is much larger than what you find in English. Simply put, Jessica speaks like a guy, which makes her sound bolder and ruder than you'd expect from a girl of her age, regardless of what she's actually saying.
This doesn't translate too well in all situations, so bear in mind that Jessica's speech is almost always casual and not particularly polite.
Toriis and Tutelary Gods
A torii is a ceremonial entry gate to a Shinto shrine, painted red. The word "tutelary god" was originally 鎮守様, which means the god of a region or place.
A Japanese type of skewered chicken dish. Literally means 'grilled bird'.
A table frame covered by either a futon or a blanket, which is itself covered by a table top, and has a heat source beneath that is often built into the table itself. Kotatsu is a reliable way to keep yourself warm, since heat is expensive in Japan due to the poor insulation of housing in general. The heat source and the blanket/futon can be removed, so the kotatsu can be used like a regular table.
Literally “tree-jellyfish”, this mushroom is also known as “Auricularia auricula-judae”, or the Judas’ ear fungus. This species is often used in Asian cooking.
The word shore is composed of one kanji, “岸” (kishi). This kanji is also used as a suffix for place names near the shore, such as Sogakishi (曽我岸).
Inari Shrines and Kitsune-sama
Inari (稲荷) is the shinto god of fertility, rice and foxes and one of the most revered Shinto gods in Japan. This is made apparent by the sheer amount of shrines dedicated to her, along with torii and lots of statues of kitsune (foxes). The kitsune are white foxes that are her benevolent messengers. However, they can be malicious and generate grave disasters.
The Japanese word "kakera" means "shard", "piece" or "fragment". It has a very special meaning in both Umineko and Higurashi. More details can be found in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni.
Romaji reading for "tundra" which is often used as a pun and reference to the term “tsundere” (ツンデレ), which has become increasingly popular in recent decades. This Japanese term is composed by two words, “tsuntsun” and “deredere”, meaning respectively “aloof or cranky” and “lovestruck”. It is mainly used for characters that demonstrate an aggressive and/or cold behavior (tsuntsun) but then become all lovey-dovey (deredere) under some circumstances.
‘Boku’(僕/ぼく) is the pronoun for “I”. This is often used by young boys and can have a slightly cute feel to it. It is less often used by teenagers and adults who would rather use “ore” (俺/オレ) or neutral pronouns like watashi (私), and implies a casual deference.
The Japanese 'word' for omgomg was ktkr, an abbreviation for “kita kore” (キタコレ), which literally means “it’s coming”. This Japanese online slang term is often used to demonstrate excitement or expectation and is often seen in the ASCII art shown below.
キターーーーーーーーーーー（ ・∀・ ）ーーーーーーーーーーーーーーー！！！！
The name of the song Jessica's band plays is Tsurupettan, which was actually composed by Silver Forest and is one of the most popular songs related to the characters from the Touhou Project, a famous doujin danmaku shoot'em up created by ZUN. The cross reference is doubled with Jessica's costume, which is Marisa's, one of the main characters of the Touhou franchise, along with Reimu.
This "Devil’s Proof" (悪魔の証明) is actually the legal requirement used in court, known as Probatio Diabolica.
A locus is basically a curved line or surface. The Japanese word used here can also mean a trace or a track, and is pronounced the same as "miracle" (kiseki).
Reference to Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything.
Ore (俺/オレ) is a pronoun used by boys and young men in general, an informal “I” that denotes familiarity among friends and family, but also masculinity and superiority towards their peers or people of lower status.
Watashi (私) is the neutral and formal pronoun for “I”, that can be used by anyone, regardless their gender or status.
Switching from ore to watashi may be a sign that the person is trying to sound more serious, rather than simply masculine.
Give up and die
This line was originally "bite your belly-button and die", pronounced "heso kande shijimaeba". The first part is a set phrase meaning something hopeless and isn't meant literally, but the literal meaning may end up becoming important as well...
Lines in English
Some lines in Umineko were written in katakana English, meaning the phonetic Japanese characters were used to sound out English. These lines will be closed in <>, like <See you again.>
Because they're written in katakana, they would be pronounced a little different than you might expect. eg. Shii you ah-gain.
This word is probably related to a fictional unit of length measurement from "Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind", which seems to be about one meter long.
The Japanese pronunciation for Virgilia (Warugiria) and Valkyria (Warukyria) are almost the same, which is why Battler mentions it.
Village of Gold
One of the puzzles of the epitaph is the meaning of the word "Golden Land": 黄金(gold) + 郷(land/country)=黄金郷(Golden Land).
In the line about the tenth twilight, it is written slightly differently: 黄金の郷. In this sense "の" (pronounced no) is similar to the English word "of", in that the first word describes the second. The difference between 黄金郷 and 黄金の郷 could be as simple as "golden land" and "land of gold"...in other words, no real difference.
But when the 郷 character is by itself, it is often pronounced differently and may refer to a village or hometown.
A pin in chess is a situation where a piece is unable to move because it would expose a more valuable piece otherwise. An absolute pin is when the pinned piece is defending the king, and it is therefore impossible to move the pinned piece as it would leave the king in check (illegal move).
Don't use Katakana!
Katakana is the phonetic script used in Japanese, which is usually used to write foreign names and is the way Beatrice's name is written every time during the game (ベアトリーチェ). Apparently Beatrice doesn't sign her name with the Roman alphabet and sticks with the katakana.
A kind of theatrical narrative and singing focused on human feelings and stories of loyalty.
Contraction for Gal Games (Girl games). This is a synonym for the archetype of games in Japan, known as Bishoujo games, which involve beautiful girls as the name implies.
As mentioned in an earlier tip, a certain catchphrase is pronounced "heso kande shijimaeba...
The Names of Witches
In certain parts of the story, the names of some characters are written in Katakana instead of the normal Kanji. In this translation, those names have been written in all-caps. The reason for this is still shrouded in darkness, but you may spot a pattern as you read...
Lines in English
Some lines in Umineko were written in katakana English, meaning the phonetic Japanese characters were used to sound out English. These lines will be enclosed in <>, like <Have a nice dream>. Because they're written in katakana, they would be pronounced a little different than you might expect. e.g. Ha ba naisu doriimu.
The man whose face was on the 10,000 yen note from 1957 to 1984 (about 55 dollars at that time).
The word translated demon here is actually "hannya", a type of mask common in Japanese Noh Theater that represents a jealous, female demon.
The Japanese word used here is "yorishiro". A yorishiro is an object or person that acts as a physical entity for a spirit or god to dwell in.
The first characters kids learn to write in Japan are Hiragana, which is a phonetic set like Katakana but used mainly for Japanese words instead of foreign ones. For example, Katakana is used to pronounce the foreign word "rifle", while the Japanese word for gun, "teppou", would be written in Kanji, or else hiragana if the writer was a kid who hadn't learned Kanji yet. There are several thousand Kanji in common use in Japan, so students keep on learning more and more of them from elementary school until high school.
Shiritori is a Japanese game where players take turns saying words that start with the last syllable of the previous word. Anytime someone says a word that ends with nn (ん), they lose, because no Japanese word starts with that sound.
The person who said "Kanon" loses.
This is the number for calling the police in Japan.
The Japanese word for 9 is pronounced "kyuu".
Input Method Editor. This is a computer term which means a way to write characters that don't appear on a keyboard. Often used to input Japanese text.
Parody of the usual “love/event/bad end/etc.” flags you can find in most visual novels.
People say something is a "death flag" or "loser flag" to refer to a cliché that is almost always followed by death or total failure for a character in a story.
A parody of a fictional series of books from an old manga that explains fighting moves and the like with ridiculous, fake explanations that may sound somewhat believable.
The scene with the "triple cross" is probably a parody of the very famous and long-running boxing manga, Ashita no Joe, which had the same explanation for the move.