The opposite of Genji

天真爛漫
ten.shin.ran.man

Literally: heavens – true – inflamed – involuntary

Alternately: When a person’s thoughts and feelings show on the surface of their words and behavior.Simplicity; naivete; unaffectedness. Wearing one’s heart on one’s sleeve. Keep in mind that in contemporary Japan, this compound and the quality it describes are heavily associated with (stereotypes of) femininity and youth.

Notes: This is a compound of compounds. 天真 refers to a person’s character that is natural, unguarded, or “pure”, while 爛漫 is something like “shining forth.”

In some cases 爛 may be replaced with homophone 瀾 (“large waves,”), which we’ve actually already seen once. That said, the former (with the fire radical 火 rather than water radical 氵) seems to be preferable. Also, replacing 真 with homophone 心 (“heart”), or 漫 with homophone 慢 (“ridicule,” “laziness”) is an error.

This phrase comes to us from the Chuo geng lu (『輟耕録』, Japanese Tekkouroku), an extensive collection of all sorts of writings from mid-14th century CE Chinese scholar Tao Zongyi (陶宗儀, Tou Sougi).

Tiny yakuza boss is honest about his feelings!

A rare male example

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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