Bokou (母校 – Old School)

  • Bokou


    I visited my “bokou” (母校) yesterday.

    Bokou is a school that one’s graduated from, that is, it is “old school” or “old university.”
    「母校」とは卒業した学校、すなわち “old school” や “old university” のことです。

    Bo (母) means ‘mother’ and kou (校) means ‘school.’ (Here kou(校) is short for gakkou (学校).)
    「母」は ‘mother,’ 「校」は ‘school’ を意味します。

    As you can guess, this word compares the school with one’s parents who raised them, however, the word fu (父 – father) is never used.

    In the Meiji period in Japan, the word gakkou (学校 – school) was chosen as the translation of the English ‘school’ and the French ‘école.’
    明治時代、「学校」という言葉は英語の ‘school,’ フランス語の ‘école’ の訳として選ばれました。

    Also, in many European languages containing French, nouns were classified into male nouns and feminine nouns, and ‘école’ was a feminine noun.
    また、フランス語を含むヨーロッパの言語の多くは、名詞が男性名詞と女性名詞に分類されており、’école’ は女性名詞でした。

    Because of this, we came to call “a school like parents” bokou.

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