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Japanese names of characters from “When They Cry”

Japanese names of characters from “When They Cry”
Japanese names of characters from “When They Cry”

Image by: When They Cry DVD Vol.1 ©Ryukishi 07 ©When they cry production committee

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What is the story?

When They Cry, the anime adaptation of a game. This great mystery story is created by Ryukishi07. Hinamizawa is a small village believed to be cursed by the mysterious ‘Oyashiro Sama’, in Japanese ‘Oyashiro Sama no Tatari’(オヤシロさまの祟り.) Every year on the night of the Cotton Drifting Festival (Watanagashi 綿流し) in June, one person dies and another goes missing. Rika, the daughter of the Furude shrine, was fated to die after the festival. However, with the help of her ancestor’s spirit, she gets to go back in time to find another way to survive. Despite the countless attempts Rika always ends up murdered and would never get past the month of June. Could there possibly be a way for Rika to escape her fate?

Image by: When They Cry Official website ©Ryukishi 07 ©When they cry production committee

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What is the Japanese title of When They Cry?

The Japanese title is ‘Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni’ (ひぐらしのなく頃に) which means ‘When the evening cicadas cry’. As you can see the English title ‘ When They Cry’ is not the exact translation but the simplified version of it. ‘ひぐらし’(Higurashi) means ‘Evening Cicadas’, ‘の’(No) means ‘The’, ‘なく’(Naku) means ‘Cry’, ‘Koro’(頃) means ‘When’ and ‘に’(Ni) can be used to indicate a certain point in time.

Image by: When They Cry Official Twitter ©Ryukishi 07 ©When they cry production committee

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Why is it called When They Cry?

‘When They Cry’ is the simplified version of the translation which is ‘When the Evening Cicadas Cry’. However, another name that this series goes by which is ‘Higurashi When They Cry’ is the translation rephrased. The title refers to the cicadas that cry in Hinamizawa. Cicadas are very common bugs so you will hear them a lot in the countryside.

 

Image by: When They Cry DVD Vol.1 ©Ryukishi 07 ©When they cry production committee

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What are the meanings behind the characters’ names?

In Japanese culture, names have significant meanings that are supposed to represent you as a person. Names can be expressed in hiragana, katakana, and kanji. Let’s find out the meanings of some names of characters in ‘When They Cry’.

Rika Furude (古手梨花, Furude Rika)

Image by: When They Cry Ep 5 ©Ryukishi 07 ©When they cry production committee

First, let’s start with one of the main characters Rika Furude(梨花 古手.) Rika is trapped in an endless time loop, therefore she has the body of a child but is an adult inside. ‘Ri’(梨) means pear, ‘Ka’(花) means flower, ‘Furu’(古) means old and ‘De’(手) which can also be read as ‘Te’ means hand.

Mion Sonozaki (園崎 魅音, Sonozaki Mion)

Image by: When They Cry Ep 6 ©Ryukishi 07 ©When they cry production committee

Next, let’s look into Mion Sonozaki(魅音 園崎.) Mion is the more well known and privileged sister of the Sonozaki twins. Mion is older, acts more mature, and is a tomboy. ‘Mi’(魅) means demon, ‘On’(音) means sound, ‘Sono’(園) means garden and ‘Zaki’(崎) means cape.

Shion Sonozaki (園崎 詩音, Sonozaki Shion)

Image by: When They Cry Ep 6 ©Ryukishi 07 ©When they cry production committee

Shion is Mion’s twin sister. Unlike Mion, she is carefree but is not cared for by her parents as much. ‘Shi’(詩) means poem and ‘On’(音) means sound.

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Miyo Takano (鷹野 三四, Takano Miyo)

Image by: When They Cry Ep 13 ©Ryukishi 07 ©When they cry production committee

In Japan, it is rude to call a person by their first name so Miyo is respectfully addressed as Takano-San by the villagers. You add ‘San’ at the end of the name to be more polite. ‘Mi’(三) means three and ‘Yo’(四) means four. ‘Taka’(鷹) means hawk and ‘No’ (野) means field.

Hanyu (羽入, Hanyū)

Image by: When They Cry Kai Ep 6 ©Ryukishi 07 ©When they cry production committee

Last but not least the spirit of Rika’s ancestor Hanyu(羽入.) Only Rika can see her so the sounds she makes are mistaken as Oyashiro-Sama’s curse. ‘Ha’(羽) means wings and ‘Nyu’(入) means in.

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Interesting lines and phrases – Learning Japanese!

Here are some useful phrases from When They Cry which will help you along with your Japanese studies!

Image by: When They Cry Comic Book 1©Ryukishi 07/07th Expansion ©Karin Suzuragi/SQUARE ENIX

EN/ ‘If you miss school tomorrow…. I won’t be happy….’
JP/「明日Ashita 学校 Gakkou 休んじゃYasunjyaいやだよ・・・・Iyadayo

‘Ashita’ means tomorrow and ‘Gakkou’ is school. ‘Yasumi’ means rest or a holiday. ‘Iyadayo’ is used when you want to say you don’t like it or you don’t want to do it.


Image by: When They Cry Comic Book 1©Ryukishi 07/07th Expansion ©Karin Suzuragi/SQUARE ENIX

EN/ ‘She was standing right behind me all this time!’
JP/「俺のOreno  後ろにUshironi ずっとZutto  立っていたんだ!Tatte Itanda!

‘Ore’ is a way to call yourself but mostly used by boys. ‘Ushiro’ is behind and ‘Zutto’ means always. ‘Tatsu 立つ’ means stand, when you add ‘ita’ it makes the verb past tense. ’Tatte Ita’ = stood.

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