(Please read) Unlocking Japanese, may have discovered something

Hey guys. This might be a long post, but I’m gonna open with a pretty bold statement.

I think I accidentally unlocked a fact about Japanese that isn’t taught anywhere. Either it was forgotten at some point in history (doubt it), or because Japanese people live inside of it, they think it’s normal and probably don’t even notice it (more likely).

The discovery in question-
Japanese people dont experience space and time in the same way we do. Instead, there are 3 states and one ‘non’ state.

I know this is a pretty outrageous claim. But give me a chance to convince you. I will be happy if you can prove me wrong. On to the convincing, please use the attached diagram I made to illustrate the world. (Everytime you think I am crazy, look at the diagram and really ask yourself)

In Japanese, everything, absolutely everything lives inside まま (yep, just like the grammar point). You have one, I have one, and everything else has one. They are grouped into ここ、そこ、あそこ。If you are the speaker, you are ここ, if you are the listener, you are そこ, if you are something apart from the speaker or the listener, you are あそこ. If you are none of these, you are む (a state of non existance).

Let’s take a look at the simplest elements of japanese first to test this. かな… Yep, here comes part two of my claim. Every single かな has a distinct meaning in relation to まま, dont believe me? Let’s test with a few of the simplest かな, particles.

We think particles have many meanings… Actually, they are 100% consistent. They have only one use, the problem is that when we think in english, we dont have ‘preset’ borders in our heads (the 3 worlds). We have to paint our borders with unique words, japanese does not. Examples as follows.

か- this particle throws a dart in まま, it doesnt ask a question. It presents a real or imaginary event, if that ‘dart’ hits the mark, whoever you are speaking to will confirm that you were right. In this way it looks like a question, but its the same か role in から、かも and every other combination.
に- this particle sets a stage. A stage from where you will describe further. Will you describe something going to it? Away from it?, Its opinion?, That’s up to you, you’re only highlighting it as the stage.
は- This one is great. は points to まま as it should be. Think of は like a flat surface, it just means ‘nothing surprising is happening’ ‘this is the way things are’. You are highlighting to the listener that you are describing your world based on its regular conditions.
が- the opposite to は instead of describing your world based on its regular conditions, you are describing something unexpected or unknown. (A bump on the road). When you talk to someone else, you are adressing their world, so using が to describe ‘normal’ things about yourself is fine, because you are telling someone else things they dont know (bumps).
を- This particle says that whatever is being acted on isnt in charge of that まま.
で- で tells you anything short of the finish line… That’s all. The finish line is what is happening inside まま
と- と adds another まま to yours, it says ‘Ok, if we pull in this outside factor and pretend its part of us from here on out’. Hence why it is exhaustive. It means if in the same way, it pulls in an imaginary or real event and then tells what Its result will be.
も- This particle is a bit like と, but instead of being pulled in, it inserts itself, asserting that it shares a quality with the まま that is being discussed.

Tbh I wrote pretty much every かなs meaning and a few hundred words trying to disprove this but I couldnt. If I just keep typing this will get ridiculous. Instead, if you are skeptical, think of a grammar point and I will tell you how it fits perfectly with only one meaning in this 3 world system. The こ、よ、そ markers on the diagram show levels of conjecture. Imagine the centre of the circle is the person in question, moving further out removes certainty about them. こ turns to よ、ようだ、ような、etc, moving out from there is そ、そうです、そんな etc, even less certainty.

(Need as many people helping as possible).


I think I love you?

I need time to process this (I’m a process engineer!). I like the concept and it makes sense so far.


Please hit me up if you want examples of how the grammar fits. I was afraid of writing too much to start with cause I didn’t want to make it a giant wall of text. Also hit me up if you find where it doesn’t fit!

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I’m saying that I noticed something like this also, but haven’t fully formed a concept yet. So your proposal is pretty cool because it fits with my observations.

I also speak German, which has a very healthy boundary between there and over there that includes an outgroup functionality.

I also noticed the functions of the various particles and was starting to build up a way to describe the commonalities.

But I like your work and would totally read your wall of text. :+1:t3::+1:t3::+1:t3:

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I think of む as an absolute term more for metaphysical discussions. For practical purposes I think it just gets addressed as the “unknown” Ds (どこ). There seems to be a lot materials focussed on Japanese deixis linguistics already. Japan has always been very hierarchial so not surprising the language reflects it (and easier to accept as it’s own universe rather than attempting to connect too many western parallels).



My reason for learning Japanese is actually to master the logic of Denso electrical systems in cars and motorcycles.

I am a Bosch expert and eventually realized it was because I understand German linguistic architecture, and as language informs logic, it all falls into place.


Thankyou for your thoughts. Here are some reasons and examples I think む specifically means ‘non-existance’. All the ‘M’ sounds refer to a state まま can be in. ま, its usual state. み, its investigative state (action taking). む, its ‘anti’ state. め, its perceptive state. も, its receptive state (foreign entry).

Lets assume かな、not just kanji, all have meaning. Kanji ‘solidify’ the meaning, but かな itself does a good job.

むだ - む ‘anti state’, だ ‘is’. (Existing in an anti state, hence useless, no good, worthless)

むり- む ‘anti state’, り ‘logic/definition’ (Trying to define nothing, hence impossible)

むかし- む ‘anti state’, か ‘marking it as a location’, し ‘documenting action’ (Documenting something which no longer exists, hence the distant past)

むこう- む ‘anti state’, こ ‘marking the speakers immediate vicinity’, う ‘marking movement’. (Moving to something seemingly -non existant- yet in the immediate vicinity, hence the other side).

Keep your thoughts coming :blush:


無 conjugates freely to form a variety of vocabulary to allude emptiness but alone is a in-depth Zen concept with a variety interpretations. I would hesitate to start freely using it in linguistic explanations or statements such as 1 of 4 states Japanese people exist in. It also could be misinterpreted as “it ceases to exist” if not observed in a sphere of perception which is not true either…this “I’m the center of the universe” I’ve never observed in eastern-thought unlike Judeo-Christian linages. In fact the study of Mu is to break this line of thought entirely on the fundamentals of personal existence…not necessarily an ‘emptiness’ but a calmness toward a natural existence. I don’t claim to be expert but this setting seems out of place to me when I read it (therefore, preferred ‘unknown’)

I don’t understand these…無 is not used. Looks like we are just connecting M words here.

I read one logical theory the そこ・あそこ may have come from fishing directional communication and come up with other coastline/island languages…otherwise other languages have done just fine without these particular spatial deictics.

Ahhh, but this is actually the opposite of what I am saying. I am not saying all む means nothing. I am saying all む carries the sense of nothing/ emptiness/ obliteration/unknown. It is 無 that adds to the meaning of む, not む that adds to the meaning of 無. I am proposing that each かな have specific meaning, and the kanji just help give nuance. This phonological theory also has quite a lot of research to support it, but I believe that by combining phonology and deixis, japanese has made their language unique. Unique and almost 100% predictable gramatically.

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I don’t get it. :man_shrugging:


Well, I’m all for heuristics methods if they make sense. After all, there is already plenty to memorize and life is short. If you expand on the ‘100% predictable grammatically’ on some examples, I will listen since I’m not following entirely. The aforementioned particle descriptions you wrote feel right but the 1st person perspectives narrow it a bit IMO.

I don’t get it either but here is an attempt: delicious purple (red shiso) furikake rice seasoning guarantees an empty bowl. But wait, it’s full of flavor… And a 村 is full of people unless you count the empty villages of an aging population in Japan’s country side. 息子, having children empties your wallet…but is full of life. 胸, I won’t even attempt it but ‘empty’ does not come to mind.


These ones still work, the key element in ら is that ら marks ‘origin’, all actions take place starting from ら. Hence から. か pinpoints location, ら states that a new event will take place. むら states that a village is action that started from nothing. If you expand it further to まち and とし, it is actually audibly showing you that まち is bigger than むら and in a state of permanenece (bigger towns). ち symbolises solid locations/states, things that remain stable. とし shows that we are adding other ままs to create one huge structure, し documents the action as it always does. Hence being a city (a constantly moving thing with pieces added to it all the time).

むすこ - む - nothing, す, potential to move by itself, こ(core of a まま). (The act of creation resulted in something from nothing that is now こ.)

むね- む in this case shows something which exists but cant be defined (in this case it is lungs, the original meaning of むね before more specific medical terms were needed with the coming of modern medicine).

むらさき- I am glad you pointed this one out as I struggle with it myself. To be honest, all the colors are difficult and I believe the key is in the kanji. さき is the same さき from 先。むら the same from むら so something from nothing but lays ahead in time… I am looking at this one wrong atm, but I believe the reason is that the colors (primarily) reflect mental states, hence why 白 is seen as a part of so many other kanji. It refers to the ‘self’ as a pure stronghold, hence also meaning castle しろ. 黒 is similar in that it is the unlocked part of oneself (all other possibilities in まま). (I will get more into colors later as I am rewriting what all the radicals mean, I believe there is alot more info in radicals than textbooks would have us believe).

I understand 100% stuff needs meat to back it up. I will include a few examples from the monster text I wrote in a bit, absolutely smashed atm on zero sleep.

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I would not start with むらさき! There is an entire body of science regarding the perception of color and how it has developed over time. Purple is one of the last colors peoples have adapted to see, as blue receptors are the latest to develop in humanity.

Could you post the list of proposed meanings?

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Sounds like a bunch of nonsense to me, but if it works for you then great. :man_shrugging:


I mean, that’s my intuition; it reminds me of John Wilkin’s Philosophical Language and the shortcomings of such approaches; but I’m interested to see the idea more fully developed.

Here are a few examples from what I have been writing. Mostly small words as this is taking me ages.

に- breaks まま down into desired, potential or actual fragments, に is the peaks of the mountains. (‘で’ is the ascents and descents. How the peak was reached and what was done after the peak was reached). に just shows where the peak was, is, will, should or shouldn’t be. The changes in まま which did, didnt, will or wont happen. Put simply, if まま was a book に is the chapter titles and で is everything written in the chapter.

で- tells how まま goes from location to location, whether it be in space or time. It describes all the tools we use to take actions within まま, these tools can be objects, actions, or even time itself in the form of 時間. 時間 being one of our measuring tools for まま. We can look at で as the climb that leads to a goal(に). All it symbolises is how things within まま are changing. This happens in a forward in time manner, saying that one event changed or allowed the new state of まま. Lastly, and most importantly, a tool that で uses can be まま itself in the form of まで, signifying the end of まま、and what will happen before まま ends.

まで- As briefly just touched on まで is the limit (simply culmination of using まま as a tool to reach a place in time or space), it doesn’t mean ‘until’, ‘before’, ‘even’, or ‘including’. It simply means we are using まま itself as a vehicle for action. Here are a few examples.
私まで (even me) - I am using my まま to achieve something.
いつまで (until when) - which point in time within まま, is the point when まま will be used up.
今週末までに (before this week end) - This weekend is the limit/goal(に), within which we can use まま as a tool.

まだ- ま points to a place in まま, だ points to when something will come to be or is in a state of being, hence how it can be translated as yet, or still. The use of 未 simply shows that it lies somewhere ahead within まま.

では- で is where one action or interaction caused a new action to play out within まま, the は (or normal state or まま) has been changed. では?asking someone what happened after that is exactly how it looks. The asker seeks to know how は’s new state was effected by で.

には- に points out that the afore mentioned statement, is or was the intention or end goal (a peak), and something is either true because of it, or will require change to escape it. When the peak becomes the object of は, it shows the times within まま where no ‘で’ is causing any shifts.

は- は points toward an unchanging thing, any ままs default state, something that should by all rights appear the same at all times within まま. If は varies from its normal or expected state, が points it out. For example if you wake up one morning and the sun is blue. ‘太陽が青いだ!’ points out that the suns まま has been majorly shifted, in other words the は of the sun is lost. The reason why は so casually allows for contrasts to be made between different ままs is because it never has to worry about major shifts in meaning. On top of this, saying 私は simply conveys that you are about to express an ongoing (expected) state within your own まま.

が- が is used when something within まま stands out as a sharp peak that didn’t have time to become a は (ongoing state), or when lots of different まま’s are intersecting. This highlights how when the borders of まま are broken and lots of individual まま’s collide (students sitting in a classroom for example), one student sticking out for some reason is a が, because it breaks the continuity (read は) of the collective まま. Perhaps something dramatic has happened, this means a new まま can begin from が (very important) if the shock is great enough to まま. Think of it like a wave in まま, whereas は is still water.

てform- Just like how で shows how one state was reached, て shows how the time between states is being spent, by linking events. Unlike で, て looks at the whole picture and focusses on its ‘continual movement’, where で focusses more on the individual movements. One thing that lead to another.

まで- (part 2) Remember how I said で finishes events in まま? Bingo. (Interval stop) we are marking the limit for a まま.

ら- You might be wondering why ら matters. It really… Really matters. ら shows us the start point for a new まま and the agents used from then onwards to describe that まま (pluralizing suffix, amount, direction)
彼ら- The boys (about to describe or clarifying something already described about a まま involving them)
あちら- That direction over there (about to describe or clarifying something about a まま involving over there)
いくら- いく being one of the volumes of measurement within まま, ら in this usage states that the amount of movement was enough to cause a state change, whether it be the purchasing of something, highlighting a certain amount of something, etc etc.

か- Not actually a question marker at all. か simply tries to define a place in まま that we want information from or want to highlight. This can be misconceived as a question because english thinks of time and space differently. か transforms the statement about まま into an interrogation. Literally simply pointing at it. 分かりませんですか? Asks about (The spot within まま where you are in a state of not understanding) by pointing at it. Whoever you ask simply confirms or denies whether that is the place they exist in まま

から- This is where it starts to get fun. The か and ら from the previous points working together. か points at a location in time or space, ら points to a new state being created and who, what or where is involved in it. 駅から家に歩いた 駅(Our location)か(pinpoints 駅)ら(states that the pinpointing of 駅 is where our new phase in まま begins)家に(house is the goal of the new まま)歩いた(walking is how I reached the goal).

いつ- For me, いつ is the target of particles that try to isolate まま. いつ and も are two sides of a coin. も is everything that can possibly be in まま (except its owner), but isnt until specified. And いつ is everything that is already in まま but cant be seen unless we ask for information about it. か lets us grab hold of も and いつ and describe them. いつも act together as well by showing that all the not yet defined places in まま have points that can be defined and given ownership. Hence the meaning of forever or always or never wrapped into one, depending on what the verb says about it. も works by pointing to an external まま becoming included in our まま , and いつ by pointing to the existence of everything internal within まま (points to all the locations and times where something can be happening or not happening). いつ needs the help of other まま defining particles to be pinpointed. いつか、いつも、etc.

も- As stated alongside いつ, も tries to break barriers between まま’s, も reflects coming toward our まま, hence how so many も containing words can sound very personal, they are space invaders. Take もの in both its forms for example 物 and 者, one referring to all the psysical or tangible things, and one referring to ‘somebody’. Notice how 身 and 者 are very similar in meaning. But 身 acts as the nucleus of one まま, 者 is always the invader.


Sorry for not adressing this sooner. Actually you are pretty on the money here. I do agree that む is closer to ‘the unknown’, although it fills all the roles of non existance as well, depending on which kanji accompanies it. The only difference is ど must be something that exists in relation to something else. む doesnt have the requirement that it must exist. In relation to that fishing story, I read the article and agree it is right, however I still believe there is a fourth ‘sphere’. Let’s pretend those fishermen said here in relation to me, there in relation to you, over there in relation to both of us, that’s 3, but now let’s extend that to one fisherman pointing at a small island. The first guy says ‘You want to go back to the island?’. The first says ‘No, let’s try fishing on the other side’ 向こう in this case.

It’s not about it working for me, it’s about thinking whether it could be a gramatically valid concept on a larger scale. I am not bothered if it is wrong, just examining it.

Well it seems to me like you’re basically just coming up with mnemonics down to the kana level. Again, could be useful to you, but I doubt there’s anything there as a whole. That’s not to say that no kana have meaning in some cases (like む・こ・そ), but I doubt you can ascribe meaning to any of them universally.


There is ALOT going on here. I know there are discertations on phonology and deixis that go indepth and really require a good grasp of historical Japanese. If grammar is a car, I’m mostly trying to get from point A to point B. I enjoy looking under the ‘linguistic’ hood, but I not so invested to rebuild a grammar carburetor at this juncture. That said, the phonetic similarities can’t be ignored either and I’m sure many of us have already recognized some patterns, even if just intuitively. I could see this helping beginners stuck with basic particle behavior. Do you have any phonology materials that back up what you are presenting as I have no idea.

I know several natives that are English fluent and I’ve never heard them express this dichotomy before but I will ask them.

I’ve heard of synestheisa before but more in the context of savantism…not an everyday condition with enough people that would evolve a language (unless early scholars were ripped on psilocybin :mushroom: for grammar/color connotations which would also explain Japan’s fascination with きのこ…not a likely theory either). Otherwise, I agree they appear mnemonic-ish like @seanblue mentioned which is useful too unless the phonology studies have more evidence to connect the dots.

Anyone studying Japanese linguistics to give their 2 cents?

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