Author Archives: Confanity

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.

Pride cometh

Every castle is undefeated… for some while! 難攻不落 nan.kou.fu.raku Literally: difficult – attack – not – fall Alternately: Nigh impervious to assault. Difficult even to attack, much less to actually bring down, like a near-impregnable castle. By extension, a situation … Continue reading

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Butter, no; steel, yes

衆口金を鑠かす (Shuukou kin wo tokasu; “The mouths of the masses melts metal.”) Definition: Rumor and slander tend to get worse as they spread. The power of many people all talking about something is to be feared, because even correct information … Continue reading

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Seal up your lips, and give no words

But mum! 他言無用 ta.gon.mu.you Literally: other – say – no – use Alternately: “Don’t talk about this to anyone.” “Loose lips sink ships.” Notes: 言 may also be pronounced gen. In contrast to the aphoristic nature of most yojijukugo, this … Continue reading

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Castles in the (hot) air

口では大坂の城も建つ (Kuchi de wa Oosaka no shiro mo tatsu; “Even Osaka Castle can be built in words”) Definition: Mighty deeds are easy to talk about, but hard to actually accomplish. “Easier said than done.” Breakdown: We begin with the noun … Continue reading

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A long and winding situation

紆余曲折 u.yo.kyoku.setsu Literally: crouch – too much – bend – fold / fracture Alternately: 紆余 refers to something, especially a road, being full of twists and turns. 曲折 similarly refers to something being bent or zig-zag. Put them together and … Continue reading

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High fructose corn syrup and lasers!

More mildly, Stevia and sharpened spoons? 口に蜜あり腹に剣あり (Kuchi ni mitsu ari hara ni ken ari; “Honey in the mouth and a sword in the gut”) Definition: Saying things that sound good, but secretly harboring malice or enmity. Honeyed words and … Continue reading

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Pricier than formula and sunscreen!

(Just a reminder: hi is pronounced like “hee”) 乳母日傘 on.ba.hi.gasa Literally: milk / breast – mother – sun – umbrella Alternately: Raising a child with the utmost care. By extension, coddling and excess in child-rearing. Raising hothouse children. From the … Continue reading

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