I’ve found that countless websites, an especially those edited through fans, don’t usage the correct definitions for the key characters’ names in Samurai Champloo. I enjoy translating Japanese kanji, so I assumed I’d carry out a small analysis and try to work out a couple of misconceptions. I’ll carry out some character evaluation along the way.

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I’ll begin with Jin, due to the fact that he’s easy. His name is usually analyzed correctly. Mugen and also Fuu are much much more complicated.

Jin (仁)



No illusions, or not an illusion (i.e., the real thing).

無幻 go not typical infinite, however it is a homophone because that a various word spelled 無限, an interpretation limitless, boundless, or infinite. (Infinite and infinity room not the very same word - infinity is 無限大.)

The indigenous mugen is also a homophone for these other words:

Mugen (夢幻): dreams; fantasy; visionsMugen (無間): incessant; uninterrupted (referring to Mugen Jigoku, the eighth and most serious level of buddhism hell)

I’ll talk an ext about the infinite definition in a minute. First, let’s look in ~ the kanji.

Gen (幻) method illusion, and also mu (無) is a negator meaning none, nothing, nothingness, not, un- (as a prefix), or no (as a prefix). (If you’re a fatality Note fan, you might recall Ryuk explaining to irradiate that customers of the fatality note can’t walk to sky or hell when they die. They can only go to mu, nothingness. It’s the same word.)

Just like Mugen’s sword, his fighting style, his clothing, and pretty much everything else about him, 無幻 is a distinctive name. I’m conscious that Mugen is the surname of a video clip game character, one auto manufacturer, and also a piece of software(?), however, none of these usage the assignment 無幻 or its connected definition. It’s not a usual word. I’ve actually never ever seen 無幻 written in a sentence. Try looking it up - you’ll have a tough time finding it. At best, you’ll discover the two kanji separately, yet even then, it’ll be difficult to uncover 幻. That’s since the native 幻 is not normally pronounced gen.

Gen is the on’yomi or Chinese reading for 幻. However, as a stand-alone word, 幻 is usually review as maboroshi, making use of the kun’yomi or Japanese reading. That way you’re more likely to find 幻 in a thesaurus if you find for maboroshi rather of gen. When you uncover it, you’ll see that it has actually both pronunciations.

無 is an extremely common - I see it every the time. It’s almost always pronounced utilizing the on’yomi reading mu. The kun’yomi or Japanese analysis is -naiwhich is a negating suffix attached come the informal type of verbs and adjectives. You’ll check out it composed in hiragana practically exclusively.

Any time you put two kanji together, girlfriend can’t mix the on’yomi and kun’yomi readings. It’s has to be one or the various other for the totality word. Therefore 幻, pronounce maboroshi through itself, becomes gen when merged with 無 to kind mugen.

Given that words mugen,spelled 無幻, is for this reason uncommon and near impossible to find in a dictionary, I have to assume that the creators of the series made a an extremely deliberate decision when they decided this spelling because that Mugen’s name. They could have offered 無限, i beg your pardon is much much more common, yet they didn’t. Since of this, ns think it’s essential that we respect your decision in choosing the spelling of 無幻 with the an interpretation of “not one illusion,” quite than discounting that in favor of 無限 an interpretation “infinite.”

But that doesn’t mean unlimited is irrelevant. The just method that the wasn’t the original intent.

無幻 (not one illusion) is the only kanji spelling provided by Manglobe, as presented in the image above. Come the finest of my knowledge, they have actually never offered the kanji 無限 (infinite). I’ve looked in ~ a hell the a most resources, and I’ve never ever seen the used anywhere except on website edited by fans that obviously didn’t bother to look increase the correct kanji.

What this means is the the an interpretation of unlimited did not come to be canon till episode 18, almost two-thirds that the method into the series. Of course, currently it’s baked right into the collective fan consciousness together if Mugen’s name constantly carried this meaning. But originally, that didn’t.

My an individual head canon: The truth that Mugen choose the meaning of infinite, as soon as the original an interpretation was no an illusion, is a prize of his personality development. He to be illiterate up until episode 18, and also he had some insecurities about it. As soon as Fuu quizzes him on the personality me(”meh”) and he it s okay it wrong, he’s pretty pissed off. He also blames she for making the a cheat question. Yet then he learns to get over this obstacle with his own hard work, and also he feels a deep feeling of accomplishment for having done so. He driven himself past his own limitations and expanded his potential in a way that he’d never ever done before. Therefore the an interpretation of unlimited or infinite.

However, ns think the original an interpretation still hold true. Mugen is that he is, and he’s very up front and straightforward around that. No frills and nothing inauthentic. He’s the genuine deal.When it comes to protecting Fuu, the can always be counted on to obtain shit done. I prefer to think the very same thing to be true once he was a pirate. In fact, my concept is the he might have gained his name throughout his days of piracy. The word mugen did not originate from Ryukyu, so perhaps it was provided to that after the left Miyako(?). (Insert your an individual head canon here.)

I believe that both interpretations of mugen - no an illusion and also infinite - have the right to be applied to his character. Not an illusion is the essence of that he is in ~ the beginning of the series, and also he grows right into the meaning of boundless as the collection progresses.

That gift said, 無幻 is tho the only main kanji spelling. If you want to order “infinite” in referral to Mugen’s name, usage the infinity price (∞) prefer Mugen does. I consider that to be canon (as of episode 18) because it’s actually shown on display screen and spoken by Mugen. It’s the many accurate.

無限, ~ above the other hand, is not canon. It is never presented on display screen or talked by the characters, and also it doesn’t show up in any type of of the source materials.

Sorry to every those civilization who tattooed 無限 on us or to buy t-shirts through it… however I guess you can pick whatever kanji spelling/definition friend want. Watanabe-san is well known for leaving specific details open up to interpretation, therefore if you feel so inclined, go for it.

Fuu (風)



Manner, method, style, tendency, demeanor(i.e., a person’s technique or means of law things, or a person’s outward bearing or means of behaving)

Yeah, that’s right… the word fuudoes not straight translate to wind as many fans believe.

If you believed my explanation the Mugen’s name was long and also complicated, climate buckle your seat belt. I’m going to talk around the meaning of fuu, and also I’m walk to challenge the concept that fuu is quick for fuukinchou.

Regarding kanji, I currently mentioned the on’yomi or Chinese analysis vs. The kun’yomi or Japanese reading. V some kanji characters, the different readings actually have various definitions. One kanji can represent multiple words. 風 is an example of this.

Fuu is the on’yomi reading for 風. The kun’yomi reading is kaze, meaning wind or breeze.

Kaze as a stand-alone native always way wind. Fuu as a stand-alone word typically carries the meaning above (when not created in the context of Chinese texts).

However, when 風 is supplied in a link to kind other words, it deserve to be review as either fuu or kaze. Once read as fuu, it might or might not typical wind, depending on context. (Japanese is so paper definition dependent the it can be maddening for a newbie who’s do the efforts to translate straight indigenous a dictionary.)

Here are a couple of examples where fuu method wind in a compound:

Fuusoku (風速): wind speedTaifuu (台風): typhoon; hurricane

And below are some examples where fuu method manner or format in a compound:

Fuuzoku (風俗): manners; customsFuumi (風味): taste; flavorFuushi (風刺): satire; irony; sarcasmMukashifuu (昔風): old fashioned

Examples are taken native Tangorin virtual Japanese dictionary

So you have the right to see, it’s no as an easy as saying the 風 method wind. The real answer come the concern of what does 風 mean is, the depends. Is it being supplied by itself, or is it part of a different word? which word? What’s the context? Japanese is tricky like that.

What does all of this typical for Fuu’s character?

Fuu has her own unique style, and her own way of going about things. Just look at she physical figure - she is no dressed prefer a common young woman of Edo duration Japan. She hair is lightened (my theory, due to the fact that it looks like a modern hair color for girl who’ve lightened your hair), her hair is in a modern-ish updo rather of a classic style, he kimono is shining pink - i m sorry wasn’t common ago then, she obijime is a large pink bow tied off-center - which is reasonably common now, however wasn’t ago then, and also her fingernails room manicured with flowers painted on them.

Regarding her manner or tendencies - she has actually a strong personality and also she’s ready to walk to any lengths to attain her goal. She’s a young, unmarried mrs traveling through two older, unrelated men, which would have earned her a an excellent deal of disapproval and criticism in Edo period society, but she clearly doesn’t care. She’s challenging enough to boss Mugen and Jin around. In one episode, she literally bring away Mugen through the back of his collar and drags him through the street. Who else might get away with that besides Fuu? She likewise has a natural propensity to want to help other people, which is something the neither Jin nor Mugen, nor numerous of the side personalities possess. She’ll aid a finish stranger, even when it might derail her journey. Sara is the finest example.

However, regardless of the reality that fuu doesn’t straight translate come wind, we can’t overlook the running allegory transparent the series of the pinwheels, which room powered through wind - although, the very first pinwheel we check out is relocated by Mugen as soon as he flicks his finger at it.

The shade of the pinwheels is nearly always yellow, and also in the episodes through Sara, the pinwheels blur right into sunflowers as soon as they’re spinning. It could be a way of associating wind with Fuu’s travel to uncover her father, and also maybe Mugen to adjust the entirety thing turn off by flicking that an initial pinwheel prior to he enters the tea house.

Fuu appears to be naturally pulled in the direction of her father, also though she’s unsure i m sorry direction the is. So essentially she’s drifting ~ above the wind till she finally gets to Ikitsuki Island. In those episodes with Sara, once Fuu sees the pinwheels spinning right into sunflowers, she’s in reality in the process of drifting way off food by helping Sara on her journey.

She seems uncomfortable with not knowing where she’s headed, always depending top top Mugen and also Jin for support and also stability, but at the finish of the series, she drifts off again in the direction of an unknown future, and also she lastly seems to be in ~ ease. I don’t recognize if that piece of her character advancement indicates the the wind has actually subsided, or if it just way that she’s content to drive it, wherever it bring away her. This is all simply my theory, that course. (Insert your own head canon here.)

So, just like Mugen’s name, ns think it’s reasonable come say the you could apply a double definition to Fuu’s name as well, and perhaps she grows into both definitions as the series goes on. She has actually her own distinct style, and she’s additionally drifting on the wind to reach her goal.

Now, as for the concept that Fuu is short for Fuukinchou: I speak to bullshit.

Fuukinchou (フウキンチョウ or 風琴鳥) is a modern-day word meaning “tanager,” a household of birds. Notification that it has a katakana spelling quite than a hiragana spelling. Once katakana is used, that usually suggests that a word represents something foreign. And also indeed, the herbal habitat of the tanager household of birds is limited to the Americas, with around 60% of the species native to south America. They carry out not exist together a native varieties in Japan, or all over else outside the west hemisphere.

So… You recognize that nice bird in the series with the red face and breast? The one in Mugen’s memories when he’s dying? The same one that paris away during the finish credits the the last episode? no a tanager. Sorry, guys.

From that fact alone, the idea the Fuu is brief for fuukinchou doesn’t make any type of sense at all.

Need an ext proof? Let’s look at the kanji.

風琴鳥 is actually consisted of of 2 words, not three: fuukin (風琴) and chou (鳥). Fuukin is a music instrument - an body organ or harmonium. Look up 風琴 top top Google utilizing the kanji, and also look in ~ the images. Every organs.

Chou (鳥) is words for bird. So fuukinchou literally method organ bird, although ns think the definition is much more figurative 보다 literal. I think organ most likely refers to the bird’s song, equating it with a music instrument, but that’s simply a guess.

You have the right to break fuukin down additional into fuu (風), i m sorry in this context means wind (remember, i talked about using the on’yomi or Chinese reading as soon as multiple kanji are placed together), and also kin (琴), an interpretation harp or koto. The koto is a Japanese cable instrument. The harp is a european string instrument, probably introduced to Japan in the so late 19th or 20th century, throughout or after the Meiji Restoration once western timeless music started making its method to Japan.

The Japanese more than likely assigned a kanji character to the harp by associating it through the the next Japanese instrument. A harp features a lot choose a koto, so let’s give it the same kanji. That’s a common an approach of assigning kanji personalities to ideas or objects for which there is no currently Japanese equivalent.

Thus, when both kanji room taken literally, the translation of fuukin is wind harp or wind koto. Figuratively, it to represent the organ. It renders some sense, provided that the sound coming out of pipe organ are managed by air or wind. Applying this indigenous to explain a family members of birds provides some feeling too, if you’re talking around the sounds they produce.

So to recap, here’s the breakdown:

風 + 琴 = 風琴 (fuu + kin = fuukin)

風琴 + 鳥 =風琴鳥 (fuukin + chou = fuukinchou)

What does this mean?

If Fuu to be going come be quick for anything, it would be fuukin, no fuukinchou. But I’m saying that purely hypothetically, simply to beat devil’s advocate, since even this is fundamentally wrong - fuu is not short for fuukin.

Just for the sake of argument, if us were come assume that fuukinchou is consisted of of three words, whereby the an initial word is fuu - i m sorry it’s not, favor I described above, however again, I’m play devil’s advocate - you simply cannot take it a word like 風琴鳥 and decide the the an initial kanji is one abbreviation. Why? since 風 is currently a native on its own. You’re committing two sins below - you’re separating fuukinchou incorrectly by break it right into three words rather of two, and you’re do the efforts to create an abbreviation utilizing an independent word. Fuu is fuu is fuu. It’s not quick for an additional word.

Not only that, but 風 is the first kanji in numerous other link words, and also it’s no an abbreviation for any of them. Have the right to you imagine that if was? Fuuki, fuudobyou, fuukei, fuudo, fuuchou, fuusoku, fuuja, fuukin … every one of these room words spelled with 風. If 風 was an abbreviation, which among these words would certainly you be talking about?

Plus there’s the apparent fact the Fuu’s surname is order 風, no 風琴鳥. Fuukinchou walk not appear anywhere in the source materials. Not in the series, no in The roman Album, no in battle Cry: The art of Samurai Champloo, and also not in any interview that I’ve read.

Nope. I hate to burst her bubble, but Fuu’s name is not short for fuukinchou.

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That’s the finish of my spiel. Let me understand what friend think, and feel totally free to ask concerns if you require clarification or an ext details. I’m happy to talk about it. I’d likewise love to hear other theories and also ideas.