Hello, Kyra here! This is Onamae wa? #68, our weekly (or not!) encounter where we pick Anime character’s names and look for anything interesting in them.
Our guest today is 三ノ輪(mi.no.wa) 銀(gin), one of the main characters of 結城友奈は勇者である -鷲尾須美の章- (yuuki yuuna wa yuusha de aru – washio sumi no shou) or Yuki Yuna is a Hero: The Washio Sumi Chapter, a fantasy Anime that aired on Fall 2017. This post considers the events up to Episode 6, so you might want to check those out before moving on. It is also advisable to have watched the original series as well.
Have you already thanked 三ノ輪(mi.no.wa) 銀(gin) for sacrificing herself for you? Yes? Alright. No? Ok, I’ll give you a few seconds.
Hope you are done by now. Energetic, kind, tomboy-ish. Always thinking about helping others, especially her little brothers. But above all, Gin is mostly known as THE GIRL WHO STOOD STILL, greatly depicted by Bunbun (pixiv link) in the image below from the original Light Novel.
Alright, let’s check her name out.
Family Name: 三ノ輪(mi.no.wa)
三ノ輪(mi.no.wa) is one of a few variant readings for 箕輪(minowa), which is probably the original name. According to myoji-yurai (link) 三ノ輪(minowa) itself has less than 10 bearers, occupying the 78,111th overall popularity rank in Japan. By contrast, 箕輪(minowa) stands at 1,466th with roughly 11,300 users (Source).
As you have probably noticed, I haven’t included 三 and ノ in the usual images above. 三 simply means number three with no (apparent) additional meaning added. ノ is just there as a possessive particle, similar to of and from in English. Thus 三ノ could indicate three of something. Hmm. This might be useful, so let’s hold on to it.
輪 is mostly known for 輪(wa; ring) or 指輪(yubi.wa; finger ring). This idea of circle can also relate to a family or friend group, as in 内輪(uchi.wa; private or family matter. Lit. inside the circle). A few Buddhism terms involve 輪, such as 輪廻(rin.ne; Samsara, the circle of Life and Death), 金輪際(kon.rin.zai; the deepest bottom of earth) and 法輪(hou.rin; the teachings of Buddha).
Put it all together and we have 三ノ輪(minowa). Three circles? Three rings? Hmm. Maybe a circle of three (friends)? Would have been great if this generation of girls were exactly thr…
It doesn’t stop here though. During my research I ran into the website Japanknowledge.com, where I found an amazingly detailed post (Source) on 箕輪(minowa) and variants. The idea behind 箕 is the act of winnowing, a word that I had to actually Google:
The author then describes villages that grew around a fortress built on a hill, a scenery not very uncommon, at least not in my imaginary of “villages in a fantasy setting”. He then proceeds to link this village structure to that of a winnowing basket upside down, as the image below.
You might be wondering ‘your point being?’. Following the idea of this author, 箕輪(minowa) describes a defensive formation, as in layered circles that aim to protect something in the middle. I thought it fit quite well into the whole premise of Yuusha de Aru series and especially with Gin’s fiercely devotion to her job as the girl who stood still.
Others 三ノ輪(mi.no.wa) in Anime:
- 三ノ輪(mi.no.wa) 聖(hijiri) from Bakuon!! (Spring 2016)
- 箕輪(minowa) 胡桃(kurumi) from Binbougami ga! (Summer 2012)
- 三ノ輪(mi.no.wa) ヒカリ(hikari) from Aikatsu! (Fall 2012)
Given Name: 銀(gin)
Nothing much to go over here. Simple, straightforward and strong name. It is also used among Japanese people, albeit 銀一(gin.ichi), 銀太(gin.ta) and 銀太郎(gin.ta.rou) seems more common.
Most of the time 銀 usage is directly related to the metal silver itself or money, with some interesting exceptions in 銀河(gin.ga; Milky Way or Galaxy) and 銀世界(gin.se.kai; snowscape).
In the book 女の子のハッピー名前辞典 (‘Happy’ Name Dictionary for Girls; Amazon link), 銀(gin) is mentioned as good name to represent something that is resplendent while still retaining a cool aura, which fits quite well into Gin being slightly tomboy-ish but dreaming about becoming a housewife, as shown on Episode uh… 3 if I recall correctly.
Although not very used anymore, 銀 can also be read as ‘shirogane’, from 白銀(shiro.gane; white metal. Can also be written as 白金). When Wasshi upgrades from a bow into a rifle on Episode 6, she names her new weapon as Shirogane as a homage to her fallen friend.
Others 銀(gin) in Anime:
- 堂島(dou.jima) 銀(gin) from Shokugeki no Souma (Spring 2015)
- 白銀(shiro.gane) from Monochrome Factor (Spring 2008)
- 銀(gin) from Akame ga Kill! (Summer 2014)
The resplendent girl who protected not only those in her circle, but the whole world.
Thanks for your time, hope you guys enjoyed your reading. Comment F to pay respects. See you all next weekend, as we continue to explore the Yuusha de Aru series.