Giving heterodox doctrines a bit of what-for


Literally: destroy – wicked / injustice – express / reveal – correct / justice

Alternately: The Buddhist concept of breaking down that which is wrong, bad, or untrue, and making the truth clear, or upholding that which is right. While I’m sure we can all think of cases where this is broadly needed in our secular lives, the phrase carries a connotation of defeating heresies and upholding the orthodox, “correct” ways of thinking and doing.


As one might expect, this phrase comes to us from a (late 6th century CE) Buddhist text: the 『三論玄義』 (Japanese Sanron gengi), one of the works on which the “emptiness” school of Buddhist thought was based.

正 may also be pronounced sei, although this is less common.

This sort of boasting does not actually always go well in Japanese stories.

Pictured: a completely normal Heian-era Buddhist monk, preparing to engage in a lively philosophical debate. Original source unclear.

*(Post title spelling is correct, probably.)

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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s