View Full Version : Kiai

29th August 2002, 12:49
I was wondering if any of you in Japan can tell me this...

I know what Kiai is. I also have seen Japanese language helps that have stated that you seperate the word into syllables between double vowels.

How is Kiai supposed to be pronounced? (i.e. - Key-Ah, Key-ah-ee)
What is the breakdown of the meanings of this word by syllables?

I hope that I have asked the question correctly. I know what I mean, but I may not have conveyed the questions in an understandable format..

29th August 2002, 13:55
Usually pronounced (Key eyee)

though I have been told that when you are practicing Kiai the sound should be natural more - Ya, or Ha or Ah not forced and unatural if you have to think to much its too cerebral and your sort of missing the point, It should contain the focus of everything, your mind, your intent, your spirit, the strength of your body and the energy (Ki?) contained within this being greater than the sum of its parts.

Just what I have been taught

29th August 2002, 17:55

Ki means "energy" or "spirit". Ai means "to harmonize". Kiai means, at least in my eyes, "to harmonize the spirit" (as opposed to "to harmonize the energy").

Pronunciation: kee-eye (Daruma said it already)

Just have a look on the "Hepburn-System". Most japanese words are written in this system. If you know it, you know how to pronounce every word correct.

30th August 2002, 11:09
"Ki" can also mean "air" and there are probably a dozen kanji for "ai" all meaning something different. Even if it is the character for "harmony" (ai), definitions are not static (I don't read kanji, and have a rough time with romaji as well so it can be taken for what it's worth).

I recently heard a great description for aiki recently, and if I could remember it exactly, I'd post it, but I don't want to do it an injustice by not getting it right.

In general, Japanese don't accent syllables as we do, but elongate them for effect. Try going from romance languages to Japanese. Once one has sunk in, it is nearly impossible to speak the other just so. However, in general, if you use the Spanish pronunciations for vowels as a very general guide, you won't come off too badly.

There you have just about everything I know of speaking Japanese and that is further limited to judo and other budo terms.


30th August 2002, 23:11

Hmm. In french there are a lot of nice accents. I saw that some people wrote "ki-ai" whereas others wrote "kia-a". Two points above the "i" means that you have to seperate the vowels.

ki-ai = kee-eye
kia-a = kee-ah-e (speak very fast!)

I can't tell you how the kanji is pronounced in japan, sorry.

30th August 2002, 23:37
In Japanese, it's three beats: ki-a-i. You can't help but make it into a triphthong, but if you particularly try to not make the a-i into a diphthong, you'll come closer to the Japanese pronunciation.

The kanji are: C?.

C (ki) means spirit, mood, energy, etc.

? (ai) means things like meet, fit, join, suit, etc.

Is that what you were looking for?