With single solitary blade, the samurai his entrance made

単刀直入
tan.tou.choku.nyuu

Literally: simple/single – sword – direct/frankness/repair – enter

Alternately: Charging into a mass of enemies with just one sword to protect you. Getting straight to the point. Being direct instead of roundabout. Saying something point-blank without niceties or politeness.

Note: There is a tension, in studying foreign culture, between essentializing and Otherizing them (“all Japanese social interactions are ambivalent; the Japanese are trained from birth to be inscrutable and indirect, to place politeness and social self-defense over all else”) and pretending that they are only a trivial variation on a theme (“everybody’s the same no matter where you go, right?”). In my mind this phrase highlights that tension: Japanese people can be direct instead of tactful or considerate when they want… but perhaps there is more danger felt in the act than in the relatively blunt and forward USA.

MoneyMoneyMoney

Would somebody write a book for businessmen based on the idea? You tell me.

About Confanity

I love the written word more than anything else I've had the chance to work with. I'm back in the States from Japan for grad school, but still studying Japanese with the hope of becoming a translator -- or writer, or even teacher -- as long as it's something language-related.
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2 Responses to With single solitary blade, the samurai his entrance made

  1. Pingback: The blood doesn’t fall far from the tree? | landofnudotcom

  2. Pingback: Forthright to an actual fault | landofnudotcom

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