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.

All the difference in the world

(And yet it was a close race. We should be ashamed.) 雲泥万里 un.dei.ban.ri Literally: cloud – mud – ten thousand – ri (a unit of distance, about 2.4 miles or 3.9km) Alternately: Two things are incomparable. A vast difference. Like … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, Yojijukugo | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

They just schlep around

毒にも薬にもならない (Doku ni mo kusuri ni mo naranai; “Neither poison nor medicine”) Definition: Something – or someone – that doesn’t matter. Something neither harmful nor beneficial; it doesn’t matter whether it’s there or not. Something that’s just kind of whatever … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, Kotowaza | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lobbyists have been providing the former

Who intends to provide the latter? 邪知暴虐 ja.chi.bou.gyaku Literally: wicked – know – violence – oppress Alternately: Using knowledge and violence to harm and oppress. Jachi is knowledge or cleverness turned to evil purposes; bougyaku is committing atrocities or violent … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, Yojijukugo | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Too mad right now to come up with a witty title

I literally searched for kotowaza about betrayal 獅子身中の虫 (Shishi shinchuu no mushi; “A bug in a lion”) Definition: Someone ostensibly a member of an organization who nonetheless causes it harm. Someone who rewards kindness with enmity. Like a parasite living … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, Kotowaza | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Like a tax code, perhaps

“Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master.” – Commissioner Pravin Lal, “U.N. Declaration of Rights,” Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri 複雑怪奇 fuku.zatsu.kai.ki Literally: multiple – miscellaneous – mystery – … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, Yojijukugo | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

In which 0 = 7

And (n ≥ 1) = 48 無くて七癖 (Nakute nanakuse; “None, seven quirks”) Definition: Even someone who appears completely normal has their quirks, flaws, or questionable habits. Nobody is truly ordinary or above criticism. Everybody has their own faults. Breakdown: This … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, Kotowaza | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It was the best of stuff, it was the worst of stuff

玉石混淆 gyoku.seki.kon.kou Literally: jewel – stone – mix – mix Alternately: Good mixed with bad. Valuable things mixed together with worthless things. Wheat and chaff. Notes: Rare character 淆 may be replaced with 交 without any change in meaning or … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, Yojijukugo | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment