Executive incense?

(No, that would be 独断線香.)

独断専行
doku.dan.sen.kou

Literally: alone – sever / decide – exclusive – go / act

Alternately: Deciding what to do, and then doing it, all on one’s own without consulting anybody else. Acting arbitrarily or willfully rather than in accordance with consensus.

Notes: In the US, we place a high value on individualism and decisive action, and our media routinely glorify loners who break away from the pack to do what they think is right. In Japanese culture, the concept of just doing what you want without at least making a show of gathering some sort of consensus is viewed in a much more negative light – it’s selfish, arrogant, and often leads to bad results.

Writing senkou as 先行 (“going first,” “seizing priority”) may feel thematically apt, but is considered an error.

DokuDanDang.jpg

Oh, snap! Political commentary!

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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One Response to Executive incense?

  1. Pingback: Giving oneself a (winning) hand | landofnudotcom

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