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.

Udo you, man

独活の大木 (Udo no taiboku; “A large udo tree”) Definition: Of a person, big but good for nothing. An udo plant can grow up to about two meters tall and as thick as some trees, but its flesh isn’t strong or … Continue reading

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In one ear and then who cares?

[Insert tofu joke here] 馬耳東風 ba.ji.tou.fuu Literally: horse – ear – east – wind Alternately: When a person utterly fails to heed what others have to say. Opinions, criticism, and so on just go in one ear and out the … Continue reading

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Elbow grease begins at home

Be nice to your neighbor, and you’ll attract better neighbors? 先ず隗より始めよ (Mazu Kai yori hajimeyo; “First, start with Guo Wei”) Definition: When starting a large, ambitious undertaking, it’s best to begin with what’s close at hand. By extension, it can … Continue reading

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We need to make our own light

Contact your representatives! 広宵大暮 kou.shou.tai.bo Literally: wide – evening – big – sunset Alternately: This is a phrase used to express great sadness and lamentation after someone’s death. Notes: Both 広宵 and 大暮 express the idea of night that stretches … Continue reading

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What would you do for your deer?

秋の鹿は笛に寄る (Aki no shika wa fue ni yoru; “An autumn deer approaches a whistle”) Definition: Destroying oneself for the sake of love. Alternately, being in danger or being used by others after having one’s weakness taken advantage of. From the … Continue reading

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Risutora?

As in リストラ, not squirrel-tigers. 新陳代謝 shin.chin.tai.sha Literally: new – old – replace – apologize Alternately: Replacing the old with the new. Originally this yojijikugo referred to living organisms expelling waste and taking in new resources; but by extension it … Continue reading

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Buddhsplaining?

釈迦に説法 (Shaka ni seppou; “Lecturing the Buddha”) Definition: The foolishness of a person who knows just a little about a field trying to lecture an expert. Like delivering a sermon on Buddhism to the Buddha himself. “Teaching your grandmother to … Continue reading

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