Forums > Social Discussion > the word poi is not japanese!!!

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Singed Piper (formerly Mark1)
Singed Piper (formerly Mark1)

resident bagpiper
Location: Vermont, USA
Member Since: 12th Jul 2003
Total posts: 342
Posted:i have had several people tell me that poi is japanese for ball, and that "japanese children have been plaing with these poi on strings for thousands of years"

i have a limited knowledge of japanese, so i used a dictionary and some translation software for help...
i tried poi, and the romaji poii and found nothing (i also tried the corresponding katakana and hiragana)
i thried ball in the english side and found no references to poi or poii

POI IS MAORI!!!!!!

where is this belief coming from??


Q:What's the difference between the Great Highland Bagpipes and the Northumbrian Pipes?
A:The Great Highland Pipes burn longer.

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Durbs
Durbs

Classically British
Location: Epsom, Surrey, England
Member Since: 23rd Sep 2001
Total posts: 5688
Posted:Not here... smile

It says on the first page here that Poi is Maori.


Burner of Toast
Spinner of poi
Slacker of enormous magnitude

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Zim
Zim

Former Raver Invader... Not sure what i am now...
Location: Southern California, USA
Member Since: 28th Sep 2004
Total posts: 284
Posted:maybe you shuold carry around a bucn of pieces of paper that has the history of poi from some website and has all the sources written on them and put some kind of adherent on en so you can slap people that try to tell you it's japenese with it and it'll stick to their face smile

Clean for 6 months and counting... ah yeah, that's nice.

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Cantus
Cantus

Tantamount to fatuity
Location: Down the road
Member Since: 30th Jul 2001
Total posts: 15965
Posted:Written by: singed grumpy
the word poi is not japanese









Neither is the word rabbit.



glad we cleared that up.


"I'll carry this....It's harder to spill a hat" - Chellybean
"...like a rabbit caught in a lighthouse?" - Chellybean

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Sakura_Moon
Sakura_Moon

Hop's Kitten Jester.
Location: Wonderland igloo, Vic, Austral...
Member Since: 12th Jul 2004
Total posts: 1803
Posted:No i dont think poi is japanese, if it were, it would pronounced po-i. its defiantely a maori word. I did japanese for 7 years and i never came across the word "poi"

.:Pink Exocutioner:.

I am Jack's Raging Bile Duct...

Loving you from the deepest part of my loins.


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Kat
Kat

Pooh-Bah
Location: London
Member Since: 13th Dec 2000
Total posts: 2211
Posted:The word poi is not Japanese. Poi were known as Temari and were a childrens plaything - introduced by Chinese. There are websites showing you how to make Temari poi. Temari moved from being a childrens plaything to an arts craft, with intricate designs created and silks used in their creation. Temari goes back about a thousand years and there is a theory of thought from people who have studied the designs of poi in New Zealand and the temari of China / Japan that there was some influence / connection. In fact the timing suggests strongly that the Maori could indeed have taken the idea Temari and adapted into poi swinging.

However poi is not a Japanese word - poi to Japanese would probably be the Hawaiian potato thingy thats also poi - if anything I would say the Chinese had more influence over poi as it is known today as the most commonly held theory is that Maori originated in Mainland Asia (probably China).


Come faeries, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame.

- W B Yeats

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Rouge Dragon
Rouge Dragon

Insert Champagne Here
Location: without class distinction
Member Since: 21st Jul 2003
Total posts: 13215
Posted:It has been annoying me as well. But then I remember that there are these kinds of cultural and language misunderstandings all over the place. Still bugs me though.

i would have changed ***** to phallus, and claire to petey Petey

Rougie: but that's what I'm doing here
Arnwyn: what letting me adjust myself in your room?..don't you dare quote that on HoP...

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twistedfirestarter
twistedfirestarter

member
Location: OZ
Member Since: 22nd Oct 2004
Total posts: 53
Posted:hmmm i dunno bout the word all i kno is that they are fun to use! smile

~*~peace and trust takes years to build, yet takes only seconds to shatter~*~

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musashii
musashii

starring Skippy the green llama
Location: Seattle, WA
Member Since: 14th Dec 2002
Total posts: 1148
Posted:say it with me..MAY - OR - EEE biggrin biggrin
easy enough


First intention, then enlightenment..
Ars Pyronomica

" Life is programmed. Whether death is programmed or not is yet to be determined."

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Dragon7
Dragon7

addict
Location: Aotearoa (NZ)
Member Since: 17th Oct 2003
Total posts: 625
Posted:Maaori actually.


Non-Https Image Link


my brothers are the whales, and my mother the earth, the sky is my father and the wind's, my uncle's.

EDITED_BY: Dragon7 (1098953018)


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Dragon7
Dragon7

addict
Location: Aotearoa (NZ)
Member Since: 17th Oct 2003
Total posts: 625
Posted:I would like to see these Temari to jude for myself though. Got any links?

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coleman
coleman

big and good and broken
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay
Member Since: 29th Aug 2002
Total posts: 7330
Posted:judge away sir. smile

"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

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Dragon7
Dragon7

addict
Location: Aotearoa (NZ)
Member Since: 17th Oct 2003
Total posts: 625
Posted:U know me too well Mr Clom wink

Written by:
In fact the timing suggests strongly that the Maori could indeed have taken the idea Temari and adapted into poi swinging.

Personally i dont believe everything i read. I studied ANTH at uni and it was the biggest load of horse [censored] i ever had to endure.

Not to say, i dont believe my ancestors wearnt connected to asia, they could have been, but they were just as likley to have been from south america.. It would be nice to see ur sources on that, because statements like that are why people think poi is a japanese word.

I have studied alot of traditional maori art and even then, 1 art is not enough proof, to compare it to an art from another country and say they were related. Just because maori call sweet potato "kumara" and south americans call it "kuma" dosn't instantly imply we were from there.

Vague comparisons between these art's are:
Temari

Non-Https Image Link

Non-Https Image Link


Simila designs on Maori taniko poi (sry no taniko poi on the net):

Non-Https Image Link

Non-Https Image Link


American Indian:

Non-Https Image Link

Non-Https Image Link


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Kat
Kat

Pooh-Bah
Location: London
Member Since: 13th Dec 2000
Total posts: 2211
Posted:Temari date back a couple of thou years or so around time the Maori are thought to have started their journey which would eventually bring them to NZ. I'd quite like to see my sources on that too biggrin- find the info on the net / books - there was a scientific report a year or two ago based on alcohol genes & DNA testing that Maori came from different places, predominately Asia - in particular Taiwan and China. I stated that there is a strong suggestion that Maori could have brought idea of Temari with them on their travels and used the idea of decorative balls and used them for poi swinging. A suggestion is not a definite, its a possibility! It is a strong possibility that Temari being used in original homeland could have been brought on their journeys, as its unlikely that all the knowledge / culture would have been left behind also. Then again Temari were thought to have been a noblemans plaything. Were Maori poor explorers, decendants of noblemen off to conquer new lands..?

True I don't know that much about Maori culture / history except what I've been told by Maori friends themselves. Neverthless I don't believe your having studied in Uni gives you a right to snitty replies - your tone offends me!

Poi swinging is not a Japanese 'gei' - and I don't see why saying that the theory Maori travelled from China to New Zealand would have any relevance to why people think poi is Japanese? My post was specifically to state why poi are not Japanese but that the fact that temari are used in Japan could have created the misconception that poi are Japanese.

Now that I've said my piece - who fancies a pint biggrin


Come faeries, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame.

- W B Yeats

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coleman
coleman

big and good and broken
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay
Member Since: 29th Aug 2002
Total posts: 7330
Posted:i'm still reading shogun.

god its good.

recently i found out:

what gei-sha means and why they are different from 'courtesans'.
that japenese people liked hot baths almost as much as i do.
where dildos come from.
that incense sticks were carefully rolled so they could be used to measure time by the hour.

ubbrollsmile


"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

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musashii
musashii

starring Skippy the green llama
Location: Seattle, WA
Member Since: 14th Dec 2002
Total posts: 1148
Posted:Shogun is an awesome book..Keep reading the series, it only gets better.

From looking online tho, I don't see what the art of stitched sacks has to do with the art of spinning. Thats like saying the inventor of kevlar has influenced hyperloops. Tool vs technique, I don't see the correlation.


First intention, then enlightenment..
Ars Pyronomica

" Life is programmed. Whether death is programmed or not is yet to be determined."

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coleman
coleman

big and good and broken
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay
Member Since: 29th Aug 2002
Total posts: 7330
Posted:its all about the balls dude.

"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

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Kat
Kat

Pooh-Bah
Location: London
Member Since: 13th Dec 2000
Total posts: 2211
Posted:Glad your enjoying the book Cole! Off to Nihon myself soon, will be back just in time for next Synergy though! Hope to see you then hug

Come faeries, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame.

- W B Yeats

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native
native

sleeping with angels
Location: anaheim CA usa
Member Since: 16th Jun 2004
Total posts: 508
Posted:i know its not japanese... my step dad is japanese and he taught me to speak a lil bit of it and oi isnt even a word in japanese

SLEEP WITH ANGELS muckieha

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MiG
MiG

Self-Flagellation Expert
Location: Bogged at CG
Member Since: 16th Apr 2004
Total posts: 3415
Posted:*considers getting shogun...*

"beg beg grovel beg grovel"
"master"
--FSA

"There was an arse there, i couldn't help myself"
--Rougie

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OrangeBobo
OrangeBobo

veteran
Location: Guelph, ON, Canada
Member Since: 21st Nov 2003
Total posts: 1389
Posted:Ooh, got halfway through Sho-Gun in the summer, but left it at home frown Decided to take Mists of Avalon instead...

If you want to read a gooood book about the Geisha's, read Memoirs of a Geisha. It's really really good, although with more of a feminine feel... But still a great read.

~ Bobo


wie weit, wie weit noch?
fragst mich, wo wir gewesen sind...
du fehlst hier

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Mags The Jedi
Mags The Jedi

Fool
Location: Cornwall, UK
Member Since: 30th May 2004
Total posts: 2020
Posted:I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that the idea of a ball on a string was an ancient japanese thing. I'll try to find out where i read it. In the mean time, here are some other poi-related useless facts. I especially like the "jewish expression of disgust" one. ubblol

"I believe the cost of life is Death and we will all pay that in full. Everything else should be a gift. We paid the cover charge of life, we were born."

Bill Hicks, February 1988

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cranmere
newbie
Location: Somerset, England
Member Since: 9th Sep 2004
Total posts: 19
Posted:I learned to swing poi when I was a kid in New Zeland many years ago; it's a Maori word. The Japanese word for a ball is mari (please correct my spelling, Japanese scholars, I am but a humble crafts person), hence the embroidered te-mari balls pictured above - I learned that craft from a Japanese friend. I wonder if someone somewhere has mis-heard the words and confused Maori/mari?

Maori poi were normally made from flax leaves, you make a ball of dried and scrunched up leaves and then use whole dried leaves to wrap around to make the ball. Temari were based on wadded up scraps of old cloth wrapped with silk threads and then embroidered in geometric patterns. As far as I can ascertain there is no connection.


Pat in Somerset, England

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towery
towery

Member
Location: Wakayama-ken
Member Since: 13th Nov 2004
Total posts: 32
Posted:Though nobody needs help establishing the fact that "poi" is clearly Maori and not Japanese, and besides the existence of the Hawaiian potato of same name, there is one native Japanese use of the word "poi" (at least here in Kansai where I live). The word for tossing something up, or chucking something away is "poito," which gets colloquially shortened to "poi" as a sound effect whenever people toss things. (For example, if you wanted to borrow my pen and I tossed it to you from across the room, either over- or underhanded, I would say "poi" as I threw it.) I ran into this time after time when trying to tell people what I was doing slinging tennis balls around on strings and so I finally asked one of my friends with some English abilities and we worked it out. (I checked my dictionaties to make sure, too. smile ) Not sure how relevant this is to the conversation, but whatever.

"To my delight, I discovered that poi are amazing movement exploration tools. They are guides. They are teachers. They are like Yoda, only smaller and on strings." --Nick Woolsey, also known as Meenik

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