Jōhatsu (蒸発 – Evaporation/Missing)

  • Jōhatsu


    Some people around me sometimes do jōhatsu (蒸発).

    Jōhatsu means “evaporation,” and it usually refers to the process of a liquid changing to a gas.
    「蒸発」は “evaporation” を意味し、通常は液体が気体の状態になる過程のことを表します。

    When the subject of “evaporation/evaporate” is a person, such as kare wa jōhatsu shita (彼は蒸発した – literally means “he evaporated”), it actually means “he went missing.”

    This expression says that just as an evaporated liquid is invisible, so is an evaporated person.

    Incidentally, the process of a substance changing directly from a solid to a gas is called shōka (昇華 – “sublimation”), but shōka is rarely used with a person as the subject.

    When using it in a phrase like kare wa shōka shita (彼は昇華した – literally meaning “he sublimated”), it means something like “he reached a higher state (existence) than before”.

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