The impossible wisdom

…of, you know, not deliberately endangering people.

明哲保身
yui.itsu.mu.ni

Literally: bright – clear / philosophy – preserve – person

Alternately: The wise and rational person avoids danger and thus remains safe. Alternately (through a common misinterpretation of 保身), this phrase may sometimes be used to describe someone who lives according to the dictates of prioritizing their own safety or status over all else.

Notes: This phrase comes to us from our friend, the Classic of Poetry (Japanese 『詩経』 = Shikyou).

A synonymous phrase uses 防 (bou, “defend,” “ward off”) instead of 保. It may also be given the Japanese-style reading 明哲身を保つ (meitetsu mi wo tamotsu).

Japanese bike cop with virus mask

Japan, where the police actually see protecting-and-serving civilians as their job

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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