A shot, but not in the dark

Completely ignoring the phantom dog

(Today I got my second covid vaccine! “Injection” in Japanese is 注射, chuusha, so please enjoy this four-character compound containing 射.)


Literally: shoot – stone – drink – feather

Alternately: If you throw yourself into something as hard as you can, with intense concentration, then there is no worry or difficulty you cannot overcome; nothing you cannot achieve.

Notes: This comes from a possibly-familiar story from our friend the Han shi waizhuan (Japanese 『韓詩外伝』 = Kanshi gaiden) in which Xiong Qu of Chu (熊渠, Japanese Yuu Kyo, of 楚, Japanese So) thought he had spotted a tiger crouching in the darkness. He loosed an arrow at it and struck home, only to find after approaching that he had shot a stone hard enough for the arrow to sink in all the way up to its fletching.

This is a compound of compounds; 射石 means “shooting [an arrow] into a stone,” while 飲羽 refers to “being taken in up to the feathers.”

They got the spike proteins wrong, though

Artist’s rendition: antibodies surrounding a virus

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.
This entry was posted in Japanese, Yojijukugo and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s