The Meaning of Sasageyo: What It Is and How To Use It

This article will give you all of the knowledge you need on the Japanese word sasageyo, including its Japanese translation and definition, usage, origin, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word sasageyo mean in Japanese?

According to Linguaholic, the Japanese word sasageyo, or “捧げよ” in kanji, is the imperative form of the Japanese verb sasagu, or “捧ぐ”. This verb has three possible definitions. The first is “to lift up,” or “to hold up.” The second is “to offer, give, or consecrate.” The third means “to sacrifice, devote, or dedicate. Adding “yo” to the end of the word adds emphasis. The imperative form of the verb turns it into a command; this word commands someone to lift up, devote, or sacrifice something. 

Where is the word sasageyo seen in popular culture?

Sasageyo is most commonly seen in the theme songs of the anime Attack on Titan, colloquially known as AOT. According to Fandom, the manga was created by Jajime Isayama. In Attack on Titan, humankind lives in wall-enclosed cities that protect the people from monsters who attack humans for supposedly no reason. The show and manga center around people who join a group of soldiers in an attempt to defeat these monstrous creatures. 

The anime was produced by Wit Studio, Production I.G., and MAPPA, and began airing in 2013. Its final season aired in 2020. This series was licensed by Funimation for its English release, and currently streams on both Funimation’s website as well as Crunchyroll. 

The third opening theme song of the anime Attack on Titan is entitled “Shinzou o Sasageyo!” or, “Dedicate Your Hearts!” This is sung by Revo of Linked Horizon and is on the album Shingeki no Kiseki. The romaji, or phonetically spelled song lyrics are below from Fandom, along with their English translations. In this song, the word sasageyu means “dedicate.”

kore ijou no jigoku wa nai darou to shinjitakatta

saredo jirui saiaku no hi wa itsumo toutotsu ni

(We wanted to believe that this hell can’t get worse

But mankind’s worst day always comes out of the blue…)

tobira o tataku oto wa taezu hidoku musabore

manugareta saiaku no hi wa akumu no you ni

(The ceaseless sound of knocking a rude awakening

Followed by a catastrophic light much like a nightmare)

sugishi hi o aragau mono

yatsura wa kuchiku subeki teki da

(The ones who turned their backs to our days past

Are enemies that we must exterminate)

ano hi no unmei ga oni hitomi de

oretachi o mitsumeteita

(Just what kind of expressions did they wear

As they gazed upon us on that day?)

nani o sutereba akuma o oshinokeru

inochi sae tamashii sae

kesshite oshiku koenai

(What do we need to throw away to overcome the demons?

Take my life…take my soul…I don’t give a damn!)

sasageyo! sasageyo! shinzou o sasageyo!

subete no gisei wa ima, kono toki no tame ni

sasageyo! sasageyo! shinzou o sasageyo!

susumu beki mirai o

sono te de kirihirake!

(Devote it! Dedicate it! Offer up your hearts!

Every sacrifice led to this moment

Devote it! Dedicate it! Offer up your hearts!

Carve out with your own hands a path to the future)

What is the origin of the word sasageyo?

The word sasageyo comes from the Japanese verb “sasagu,” which means “to devote,” “to lift up,” or “to sacrifice.” Linguaholic states that the verb sasagu has an archaic, literary feel, alluding to worship and offerings to different gods.

From this, the imperative verb sasageyo is formed. This is considered an “u” verb in Japanese, or a “godan” verb. This refers to the endings of the verbs, typically wither “ru” or “u.” In conjugating the imperative, or command form, one will change the “u” on the end of the verb to an “e.” This changes “sasagu” into “sasage.” From here, the “yo” is added to emphasize the word before it. Therefore, it gives a sense of urgency and demand to the word “sasage” to change it into “sasageyo,” a very forceful command.

What are synonyms for the word sasageyo?

There are many English synonyms for the different meanings of the word sasageyo. The first meaning of the word sasageyo is “lift up,” and synonyms for this phrase from Thesaurus are below.

  • Boost
  • Climb
  • Hoist
  • Pick Up
  • Raise
  • Hold up
  • Erect
  • Heft
  • Mount
  • Uplift
  • Upraise
  • Bear aloft
  • Hike up
  • Jack up
  • Put up
  • Uprear

The next meaning of the word sasageyo means “devote” or “dedicate.” More English synonyms from Thesaurus from this meaning are listed below.

  • Apply
  • Donate
  • Apport
  • Appropriate
  • Bestow
  • Bless
  • Confide
  • Consecrate
  • Consign
  • Enshrine
  • Entrust
  • Hallow
  • Pledge
  • Sanctify
  • Concern oneself
  • Set apart

The final meaning of the word sasageyo is “sacrifice.” Listed below are more synonyms from Thesaurus for this final meaning.

  • Cede
  • Drop
  • Eschew
  • Forfeit
  • Immolate
  • Offer
  • Surrender
  • Yield
  • Offer up
  • Part with

Since this word has so many different meanings, there are many different synonyms for it! This word is not typically used in English outside anime fans who are making a reference to the anime Attack on Titan’s theme song. Most of the time when speaking English, it will be more prudent and appropriate to use the translation of the word sasageyo, or one of the synonyms for its translation.

Overall, the word sasageyo is a Japanese word. It is an imperative verb meaning “dedicate,” “devote,” “lift up,” or “sacrifice.” This word is most famously seen in the theme song to the anime Attack on Titan, in which the listener is urged to dedicate their hearts. This word stems from the Japanese verb “sasagu,” which means “to dedicate,” “to devote,” “to hold up,” or “to sacrifice.”

Sources:

  1. https://attackontitan.fandom.com/wiki/Opfert_eure_Herzen!#Romaji_
  2. https://attackontitan.fandom.com/wiki/Attack_on_Titan_(Anime)
  3. https://linguaholic.com/linguablog/sasageyo-japanese/
  4. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/lift?s=t
  5. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/devote?s=t
  6. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/sacrifice?s=t