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.

Four steps or you stumble

It all boils down to the need for as many people as possible to agree to be good dancing partners for everyone else 礼楽刑政rei.gaku.kei.sei Literally: ceremony – leisure – punishment – government **but see below! Alternately: The four pillars necessary … Continue reading

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Actually, don’t put a lid on it

Keep your mouth open and face the music 臭い物に蓋をする(Kusai mono ni futa wo suru;“To put a lid on something stinky”) Definition: Stopgap measures to hide misdeeds, scandal, or other inconvenient realities. The tactic is temporary, but that doesn’t stop some, … Continue reading

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Now with more star power

As in literally not just the north star, but six other stars 泰山北斗tai.zan.hoku.to Literally: Tai – mountain – north – dipper Alternately: A leading and respected figure in a given field; someone of immense personal authority by whose standard others … Continue reading

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Too hot for a cold reading

“Philosophers / must ultimately find / their true perfection // in knowing all / the follies of mankind / -by introspection.” – Piet Hein, Grooks, “The Ultimate Wisdom.” 陰陽師身の上知らず(On’youji mi no ue shirazu;“The diviner knows not their own fate”) Definition: … Continue reading

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You and I, wacky together

Armpit noises??? 用和為貴you.wa.i.ki Literally: (to) use – harmony – do – valued Alternately: A statement that the most important thing is good relations between people. One should cherish positive interpersonal relations in all of society. Notes: This one is in … Continue reading

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The hammer of kindness

鑿と言えば槌(Nomi to ieba tsuchi;“When [asked for] a chisel, [one also brings a] mallet”) Definition: To be intelligent and thoughtful in all things – as a description, or as an imperative. If someone asks you to bring them a chisel, having … Continue reading

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From sea to shining sea to another sea to yet another sea

Earning an A+, though, not a C 海内無双kai.dai.mu.sou Literally: ocean – inside – not – pair Alternately: Top-ranked in the nation, or in the world. Without peer. Notes: This compound comes from our friend, the ancient poetic anthology Wen Xuan … Continue reading

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“Faith is believing in something when common sense tells you not to.”

For better or for worse… or for just vaguely smelly 鰯の頭も信心から(Iwashi no atama mo shinjin kara;“Even a sardine’s head, from faith”) Definition: Faith works in mysterious ways; faith is kind of weird if you stop to think about it. Even … Continue reading

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Under the bushel you go, light!

Reading doujinshi for the Buddha’s sake. 和光同塵wa.kou.dou.jin Literally: harmony – light – same – dust Alternately: An especially wise or talented person hiding their abilities (often through self-effacement) and living a common life among the common people. In a Buddhist … Continue reading

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Out of the wrong, something sweet

嘘から出た実(Uso kara deta makoto;“Truth that came from a lie”) Definition: Something that was said as a lie or joke turns out to be true after all. Note that this applies to coincidences and accidental truths, not “fake it ‘til you … Continue reading

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