Whilst researching for upcoming projects in relation to the next work to compare and analyse, I came across various Japanese translations of Andersen's De Vilde Svaner ("The Wild Swans") - which involves a young princess by the name of Elisa, who must save her eleven cursed brothers who have been turned into swans by her wicked stepmother, whose wiles has entranced Elisa's kingly father.

Most Japanese versions render her name as eriiza (エリザ) in the katakana script, but one version in particular opts for giving her a Japanese name instead.

Wadagaki Kenzou (和田垣謙三, 1860 - 1919), whom is no stranger to this blog, since we covered his translation of The Emperor's New Clothes before, included a translation of the fairy-tale in the very same volume (published in 1910) that includes said tale of sacerdotal imperial swindling.

Here is the paragraph in question from the original Danish, the bracketed translation is mine:

Langt borte herfra, der hvor svalerne flyver hen, når vi har vinter, boede en konge, som havde elve sønner og én datter, Elisa.

(Far away from here, where the swallows fly to, when we have winter, lived there king who had eleven sons and one daughter, Elisa.)

And Wadagaki:


Mukashi, saru kuni no ousama ni, juuninin no ouji to, icibansue no Tamaeda-hime to iu, tsugou juuninin no o-ko-sama ga arimashita.

"Long ago, in a distant land lived there a king who had eleven princes and in the very end his favourite daughter, who was called princess Tamaeda; all in all he had twelve children."

The reference to swallow, the boreal country and the emigration of said birds have all been abridged away to reduce the size of the fairy-tale, which is one of Andersen's longer ones, though not at all the scope of The Snow Queen.

Most interestingly Elisa becomes Tamaeda-hime, whose name literally breaks down as "princess jewelled twig/branch," which makes for a name that references nature, presumably Elisa's original wintry home, and the kanji for jewel or jade, 玉, was anciently used to refer to the Imperial families of China and Japan, hence it could also be a reference to her status as royal princess.

The name is also constructed akin to the name of actual nobleladies both fictional and real, whereof the former has the selenian Kaguya-hime, for example. The word hime does not necessarily refer to the daughter of a monarch, but can also refer to the daughter of nobility.

The word itself is ultimately from a compound meaning "daughter of the sun" (Old Japanese "pi no me"), appearing as a common part of goddess names in Shintoism, and probably referencing its ancient usage as a title of nobility.