Whee!

I only used to have nine pen!

有為転変
u.i.ten.pen

Literally: exist – do / change – turn – strange

Alternately: Everything in the world is in a constant state of flux. Everything changes; nothing stays the same. A Buddhist comment on the fleeting and mutable nature of the world we live in.

Notes: U is an uncommon reading for the character 有, brought to us by the compound’s Buddhist origins. That said, the only phonetic variants of this phrase leave the initial character as it is, while the final character 変 can also be pronounced as ben or even as den.

This yojijukugo too comprises two two-character words: 転変 is “to change,” while 有為 is a more arcane expression referring to phenomena or events brought about by fate or karma. Note that this only applies to ui, though: homonym yuui means “talented.”

UITenPenCover

Also the title of a Vocaloid album. I wonder if the monks would have found it appropriate that their phrase also changed like that.

About Confanity

I love the written word more than anything else I've had the chance to work with. I'm back in the States from Japan for grad school, but still studying Japanese with the hope of becoming a translator -- or writer, or even teacher -- as long as it's something language-related.
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