Saturday, January 29, 2005

housekeeping notes: sidebar graphics

I've done the graphics for the three additions to the HOLY SHIT section of my sidebar. As I mentioned before, I like to use Sino-Korean characters (hanja) for blogs that have a primarily religious focus or disposition.

First up is Ow, My Blog. The three characters are read as hapkido in Korean, and as aikido in Japanese. Harmony-energy-way.* Interesting, because the same three Chinese characters refer to two distinct martial arts (I elaborate on this point here).

Ow, My Blog!

Next up: Mis-nagid. The term misnagid apparently means "adversary" or "opponent"-- specifically, opponent of the Hasidim (see this reference). I was tempted to translate this into Sino-Korean as ma-wang, or King (wang) of Evil (ma, more properly "evil spirit"), a reference to Satan, the Adversary** of God. Instead, I chose jeok (pronounce it somewhere between "juck" and "jawk"), which simply means "adversary" or "enemy." Unlike my other images, I've added the Korean transliteration of the Chinese character.


I opted for a simple color scheme when I designed Get Religion. The hanja says jong-gyo, or "religion."

Get Religion

Now it's official: Welcome to my sidebar!

*I'm not a fan of the awful translation, Way of Divine Harmony. The word "divine" is an extremely loose translation of ki. I think it's a bad translation because it's misleading, unhelpfully freighted with Western connotations.

**As scholars point out, "the satan" wasn't originally God's absolute, diametrical opposite. The word has a legal resonance and would have been understood more as "opponent" or "opposing counsel"-- a reading that makes God's behavior toward Satan, and vice versa, understandable in the book of Job. (Read Elaine Pagels's The Origin of Satan for more on this.)


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