Wrack, wrack, wrack your brains

And your body too! Merrily… ?

意匠惨憺
i.shou.san.tan

Literally: mind – artisan – harsh – calm

Alternately: Doing one’s utmost in an act of creation (especially artistic creation) or design; painstaking attention to detail and agonizing effort for the purpose of devising something good, or to come up with a good way to get something done.

Notes: This is a compound of compounds; 意匠 refers to “design,” while 惨憺, despite the base meaning of its second character, refers to a truly awful situation – or to “taking pains” in a course of action.

憺 may be replaced by related character 澹 without any change in pronunciation or meaning.

As the rare and complicated kanji usage might suggest, this comes from the Chinese literary tradition – specifically from the writings of our friend, Tang-era poet Du Fu (Japanese 杜甫 = To Ho).

But did you realize that this is a cube of sashimi?

You don’t have to like the food, but you do have to appreciate the amount of thought that has gone into its presentation

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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