All times as one, and now


Literally: barbarian/flatten* – steep/dangerous – one – joint/section/occasion

Alternately: You should stand firm to your principles regardless of whether things are calm and easy, or dangerous and hard. Don’t sell out your values, no matter the circumstances.

Notes: This particular rare compound comes to us from Chinese antiquity, attributed to a Song-dynasty scholar called Ouyang Xiu (欧陽脩, Ouyou Shuu in Japanese).

*The character 夷 can refer to the indigenous people of northern Japan, such as the Emishi and Ainu. It can also serve as a derogatory term for foreigners or “unsophisticated” people, looked down on by the self-congratulatory, aristocratic, capital-dwelling speaker. For some utterly mysterious reason, the same character can also mean “to subjugate,” “to put down a rebellion,” “to level [something] out.”

This yojijukugo uses the meaning of “level,” or by extension “easy, peaceful.” 夷険 thus means something like “good times and bad,” while 一節 refers to having a single set of principles, in this compound of compounds.


I guess her unwavering principle is… metal?

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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