How to Find Stuff

The other day at work I was faced with a challenge – a phrase made up of individual words I recognized, but whose collective meaning I didn’t know and wasn’t available in ALC.

The phrase was – 「HIPHOP界のカリスマband name」 It doesn’t matter what the band name is. I understood a good bit of this phrase. HIPHOP was very clear, as was 界. Together they mean “the hip-hop world/industry.” You often see the word 業界 (ぎょうかい), which means a given industry. You can change the 業 to a more specific kanji/word to make it specific – e.g. HIPHOP界, 音楽界, 文学界, etc. カリスマ is also relatively straight forward; it should mean something like “charisma.”  

The strange thing about this phrase is that HIPHOP界のカリスマ all modifies the band, but there’s no な or の connecting the phrase to the band name. At first I thought “charisma” might be part of the band name or some other musician, but it didn’t turn up any searches, so I figured it had to be modifying the band.

Google to the rescue. I tried a search for 「HIPHOP界のカリスマ」, but nothing helpful turned up. I tried image searching and a picture of Eminem came up, as well as some other Japanese hip-hoppers.

That’s when I realized what to search for – 「界のカリスマ」 This gave me tons of different results – ヨガ界のカリスマ、映画界のカリスマ、ファション界のカリスマ. All of these phrases modify different individuals who are all at the top of their respective industry. This I realized when I clicked on the result for 音楽界のカリスマ任天堂の近藤浩治氏. He’s the guy who did all the music for Mario, Zelda and some other Nintendo games. He’s the master.

A few google searches and I figured out that this is the way they say someone is at the top of the industry – someone is, I guess, the "charisma" of their industry. I translated it as the phrase “band name, currently at the top of the hip hop world.” A very strange phrase, and I think there is probably a better way to translate it. I’m just glad I understand it now.

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