(Yes, that’s a source text / Star Wars joke.)
Literally: faction – same – strike / punish – different
Alternately: Blind partisanship. Supporting one’s associates and attacking one’s rivals without any regard for what is actually correct or proper.
Notes: This phrase comes to us from our friend, the Book of the Later Han (Japanese 『後漢書』 = Gokanjo). It also has a more Japanese-style reading based on kanbun rules, 同じきに党がり異なるを伐つ (Onajiki ni muragari kotonaru wo utsu). Its parts may also be rearranged to give 党同伐異 (toudou ibatsu) or 伐異党同 (batsui toudou).
When a threat is felt, impartiality often takes a back seat compared to closing ranks and bristling up.
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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