What Does That Temple Text in the Ace Attorney Series Say?

A while back, DocHobo asked about some Japanese text that appears in the Ace Attorney series.

First is the sign on this room in a temple:

This sign says 一期一会, which is pronounced “ichi-go ichi-eh” and literally means something like “one time, one meeting”. It apparently comes from old Japanese tea ceremonies and has connections with Zen Buddhism. It sort of signifies that every encounter or event in life is a unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

If you’re interested, there’s some more info on Wikipedia here.

The iOS ports of the Ace Attorney games also upgrade the graphics, which makes stuff like the text on this lady’s clothing much clearer:

So another part of DocHobo’s question was: what does this text say?

…To be honest, I don’t really know. I can make out some individual characters, but I can’t seem to piece anything together that I can look up or research well. It seems to be your regular ol’ all-kanji Buddhist scripture, or at least meant to look like it. I actually have some examples tucked away in my closet somewhere, maybe I’ll dig them out sometime.

Anyway, if anyone does have more info on what the text on her clothes might be saying or what it might be from, let me know! There’s also the text in the back, but that seems pretty hard to analyze too. But who knows, maybe someone out there will recognize what it’s saying!

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  1. I still think it’s a little weird that these games were put onto iOS. But then, quite a few handheld and even a few console titles were put on iOS, so I guess it’s not SO weird.

    I never really wondered about these signs since that part of the game is so culturalized. I figured it would just say boring stuff like that. XD Nothing really interesting to speak of, IMO.

  2. The Ace Attorney series is one of the few “older” games that really shines with a pure touch interface. Heck, I played the DS games purely with touch. It certainly is far more natural than controlling Secret of Mana with a touch screen.

    While I enjoy the updated graphics, the text and interface elements all look absolutely horrid to me. They really look “cheap”, like something put together in a flash game.

  3. I lol’d at the hidden comments 😀
    Figured the scribbles on the clothes and the backgrounds (Kanji is so scary sometimes) wasn’t extra important since this level of detail wasn’t even in the DS version.
    They did a pretty good job in localizing this game otherwise, translating signs and changing vertical stickers to horizontal stickers.
    Also, I hated the iOS version with a passion. Not the first, proper conversion, but the compilation one.

  4. I found out what the text on the lady’s clothing is by searching some part of it.
    It seems to be a sentence in Jinno Syotoki, which is a Japanese historical book in 14th century.
    At least, the sentence on the clothing “大法輪又付大唐弟子僧順嘵是鎭國道場大德阿闍梨” also appears in the book.

    Wikipedia article on Jinno Syotoki

    Official illustration of the lady

    So why the Ace Attorney’s designer quoted the sentence from the old historical book?
    I’m not sure. I haven’t played the game yet, but I think there isn’t special meaning.
    The designer maybe used the sentence on the clothing to stress she is the person related to a time-honored clan.

    1. Awesome, thanks so much for digging into this! I had very little luck investigating it myself, I should’ve thought to look at other pictures. Silly me 😛 I’m really intrigued now, so I’m going to read more about this sometime.

  5. The same chapter in the game has an event about cars behind driven on the left/right side of the road, too. I’ve always wondered how this was localised.

    In the french version they say the girl is a enthusiast of british cars so he had the driver’s seat on the right, which sounds really weird because nobody is enthusiast of british cars, and even if somebody would be, they are all made with models with the driver’s seat on the left.

    I know from mangas that in japan it’s common for car enthusiast to have models with driver’s seat on the left though (as in continental Europe and America), because high performance models aren’t always sold in a british/japanese “driver sits on the right” model.

    Tom, could you please figure it out ?

  6. Well, this certainly is a good article about the *twinkle* Ace Attorney. How about it Mandelin? Would it be awesome if your next big project is about the Ace Attorney series? That series is a goldmine when it comes to culture-specific translations and jokes.


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