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.

Teeing up some self-improvement

爪の垢を煎じて飲む(Tsume no aka wo senjite nomu;“to boil and drink fingernail-dirt”) Definition: To follow a good example that someone has set. To learn from someone who excels, by doing whatever it takes to get any positive effect at all. Often referenced … Continue reading

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They do toil, and they do spin

Humans aren’t plants, it turns out; we just raise ‘em. 粒粒辛苦ryuu.ryuu.shin.ku Literally: grain* / drop – grain* / drop – spicy / unpleasant – bitter / suffer Alternately: Hard, steady work. To carry on with plain, painstaking, long-term labor. Elbows … Continue reading

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The sleeve’s edge; another life

袖すり合うも他生の縁(Sode suriau mo tashou no en;“Even a brushing of the sleeves is a connection from a past life.”) Definition: Every relationship you have in your entire life – including not just the big important ones, but the people you merely … Continue reading

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Leaving the ivory tower

What is the tower of practical applications made out of? Tungsten? 知行合一chi.kou.gou.itsu Literally: know – act – join – one Alternately: One’s knowledge and deeds are in accordance. One’s actions must be guided by one’s knowledge, and knowledge only has … Continue reading

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Better to be thought a fool

…than to be shot down. 怜悧なる頭には閉じたる口あり(Reiri naru atama ni wa tojitaru kuchi ari;“In the clever head, a closed mouth.”) Definition: A wise person doesn’t speak any more than necessary, and thus doesn’t say foolish, boring, or pointless things. “Silence at … Continue reading

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Not a problem if you’re Solo?

(Yes, that’s a source text / Star Wars joke.) 党同伐異tou.dou.batsu.i Literally: faction – same – strike / punish – different Alternately: Blind partisanship. Supporting one’s associates and attacking one’s rivals without any regard for what is actually correct or proper. … Continue reading

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Wonder is the seed of knowledge

(France is bacon) 大疑は大悟の基(Taigi wa taigo no motoi;“Great doubts are the foundation of great enlightenment”) Definition: Great doubt is the first step toward great realizations. Doubt leads to asking questions, which leads to seeking answers, which – in theory at … Continue reading

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Gaijin, he zen

変幻自在hen.gen.ji.zai Literally: change – illusion – self – exist Alternately: Able to change one’s form or appearance, or appear and disappear, at will. Shapeshifting; protean; phantasmal. Notes: This is a compound of compounds; 変幻 refers to an illusion or vision … Continue reading

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Maybe that’s why we always wear our hats

夜目遠目笠の内(Yome toome kasa no uchi;“Seen at night; seen from afar; wearing a hat”) Definition: This phrase asserts that women are most beautiful when seen in the dark, or from a distance, or when mostly obscured by something like a large … Continue reading

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Sing as though no one can hear you

Why can’t they hear me? I’d better sing even more loudly. 放歌高吟hou.ka.kou.gin Literally: release – song – high – recite / chant / sing Alternately: Singing in a loud voice, without worrying about whether you may be bothering anybody else. … Continue reading

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