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Q: Japanese or Ancient Greek Word ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: Japanese or Ancient Greek Word
Category: Reference, Education and News
Asked by: will_127-ga
List Price: $15.00
Posted: 23 Jan 2004 03:51 PST
Expires: 22 Feb 2004 03:51 PST
Question ID: 299249
I am looking for a word which I will for now call ?x?. I need it to be
in a foreign language, ideally Japanese, Ancient Greek or Latin though
I will consider others.

I wish to use ?x? in a business sense. Eg ?The ?x? of our company is
that we manufacture shoes that are so comfortable that people will
choose to walk more?. In the context of this example ?x? is a founding
belief, but I would like the foreign word to encapsulate more than
that. It needs to include purpose ? in that ?x? is a driving force and
intention. Also, when religious people talk of their faith, it is
something that outsiders can potentially join in with and share. With
my example you can see that it is possible to ?buy in? to the
company?s ?x?, in the sense that you might agree with their notion and
end up actively taking part. I would like ?x? to incorporate this.

I have set the price at $15 because I need a word or list of words
that really satisfies the above criteria. I wish that the answerer
really understands the concept that I am looking for. If you require
any further clarification please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Subject: Re: Japanese or Ancient Greek Word
Answered By: hailstorm-ga on 23 Jan 2004 05:01 PST
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Konnichiwa, will_127!

I've been studying Japanese for about a dozen years now, living and
working in Japan for most of that time, so I feel I have the
experience to give you an idea to work with from the Japanese

The best word that comes to mind is "shimei" (pronounced SHE-may)  The
Japanese characters for the word can be seen here:

The word "shimei" in the business context conjures the image of "our
mission", "our purpose", or "our message"  Many Japanese companies
with a passionate message use the phrase "heisha no shimei", or "our
company's mission" in their advertising material.  This phrase shows
up on the websites for Daiei Marine, AC Nielsen, Nikkei, Headstrong,
and many other companies.  In addition, the more general phrase
"wareware no shimei", or "our mission" shows up on tens of thousands
of sites, from goodwill organizations, to hospitals, to churches, to
cooperative farming and other such clubs.  "shimei" is a noun that
conveys the highest level of commitment, and is used by Olympic
athletes to justify the years of training they subject themselves, and
by the Japanese government to justify sending the Self Defense Forces
to Iraq.  It is made up of two characters "shi", meaning "to use", and
"mei", meaning "fate", "destiny", or "life".  Put together, it can be
thought to mean "the use for our life", or "the reason for our

I cannot be sure that there isn't some ancient, obscure Japanese word
that might have a stronger meaning, but if you want a powerful word
that demonstrates your company's passionate commitment to its craft
that will resonate with any Japanese businessman, and that any
Japanese above junior-school age would quickly recognize, then I
believe that "shimei" is the word that best fits your need.

Sources cited:
"heisha no shimei" on the web:

"wareware no shimei" on the web:

Japanese<->English Dictionary:
will_127-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars

Subject: Re: Japanese or Ancient Greek Word
From: hlabadie-ga on 23 Jan 2004 05:39 PST
In such contexts the word "ethos" is generally invoked.

Subject: Re: Japanese or Ancient Greek Word
From: pinkfreud-ga on 23 Jan 2004 09:19 PST
The Latin word "anima" (literally meaning "soul") can be used to
describe the primal driving force of a person or entity, the true
inner self. The great psychiatrist Carl Jung helped to popularize this
use of the word.

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