Like installing screen doors in a sub



Literally: connection / border – tree – request – fish

Alternately: An unreasonable or impossible implementation of a goal. A methodology so flawed that it cannot possibly succeed. For example, climbing a tree in order to catch fish. (Not in order to hang a fishing line or net into the water from, mind you: to catch fish in the tree.)

Notes: is the first character in the entries of all three traditional iroha karuta sets, so I’m guessing that classical orthography would render the modern “en” reading as ゑん here. This compound is certainly of sufficiently ancient lineage, apparently originating in one of the recorded dialogues between Mencius (of 孟母三遷 fame) and King Hui of Wei.

A more Japanese rendition of the same four characters, using kanbun reading, is 木に縁りて魚を求む (ki ni fuchidorite sakana wo motomu).


For some reason, the name of a blog that devotes its space both to explaining Excel tricks and to following the exploits of famously teen-girl-fronted heavy metal band “BABYMETAL.”

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 Like installing screen doors in a sub

  1. ku gu says:

    I feel like to really understand each of these entries I have to go back to the beginning and read them all, but I’m still really enjoying them as they come.

    • Confanity says:

      For this series, I don’t think you need to read them all. There are occasional callbacks, but I try to provide links in those cases, and each one should be able to stand on its own. I’m glad you’re enjoying them, though! 🙂

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