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.

A lance where your chin should be

枕戈待旦 chin.ka.tai.tan Literally: pillow – “spear”* – wait – sunrise Alternately: Always ready to give battle. Never dropping your guard or slacking off from necessary preparations. “Sleeping with a weapon as your pillow, awaiting the break of dawn.” Notes: This … Continue reading

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

By plop or by poit

天から降ったか地から湧いたか(Ten kara futta ka chi kara waita ka;“Fallen from the sky, or sprung from the earth”) Definition: A completely out-of-the-blue occurrence, or something or someone appearing suddenly as if out of nowhere. The image is of something being unexpectedly present … Continue reading

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

Make sure you get your ball back afterwards

一球入魂 i-.kkyuu.nyuu.kon Literally: one – sphere – enter / insert – soul Alternately: This phrase from the world of baseball refers to putting your full energy and focus into each action; specifically, putting everything you can into each throw of … Continue reading

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

May it be a light to you in dark places

…when all other lights go out – JRRT, FotR 長者の万灯より貧者の一灯(Chouja no mantou yori hinja no ittou;“A pauper’s single light is greater than a rich man’s ten thousand.”) Definition: There is greater honor in a poor person sincerely giving what they … Continue reading

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

Why that two-faced rat

Well, he looks that way sometimes 首鼠両端 shu.so.ryou.tan Literally: neck – mouse / rat – both – edge Alternately: Caught in indecision, often between two choices. Vacillating; sitting on the fence. By extension, the phrase can also refer to someone … Continue reading

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

Double rhyme; wastin’ time

(Imagine my horror when I realized that after a year of pushing through Pandemic Doldrums, I finally managed to completely blank out and miss last week’s yojijukugo. In “honor” of that unwonted error, I’ve chosen a compound containing the character … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, Yojijukugo | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

We’ll cross that non-bridge the instant we come to it

You can’t a ford to wait! 川越して宿とれ (Kawa koshite yado tore; “Cross a river; take lodgings”) Definition: A warning to think ahead and make arrangements just in case. Alternately, an admonition to take care of difficult or annoying tasks quickly … Continue reading

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

But what age group are riders of the storm?

No age, silly; they’re ghosts! 子供は風の子 (Kodomo wa kaze no ko; “Children are children of the wind”) Definition: Children sometimes seem impervious to the cold, and will happily run around and play outdoors in weather and temperatures that tend to … Continue reading

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

For I am the ruler of all that I spoon

杓子定規 shaku.shi.jou.gi Literally: scoop – child – determine – measure Alternately: Assessing everything based on the same criteria, regardless of whether this is appropriate or not. Inflexible; clinging to a single set of rules no matter what. Like trying to … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, Yojijukugo | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Pets, utensils, and maybe even people!

猫も杓子も (Neko mo shakushi mo; “Even cats and serving-spoons”) Definition: Everyone and everything. “All that and the kitchen sink.” “Everyone and their brother.” Everything at hand, thrown together in a jumble without distinction. I get the impression that this phrase … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, Kotowaza | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment