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.

The only thing worse than kanabou

Like so. 鬼の女房に鬼神(Oni no nyoubou ni kijin;“For an oni’s wife, a female oni”) Definition: The woman who becomes an awful man’s wife will tend to be awful as well. A married couple will tend to resemble each other – even … Continue reading

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

Weighed in the balance and found offering

論功行賞ron.kou.kou.shou Literally: discourse – achievement – conduct – reward Alternately: Awarding honors, prizes, or praise based on someone’s work and achievements. The meritocratic ideal. Notes: This phrase comes to us from the “Book of Wei” in the Records of the … Continue reading

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

All in one basket, no less

累卵の危うき(Ruiran no ayauki;“The peril of a pile of eggs”) Definition: An especially unstable and dangerous situation. Potential downfall and ruin. Breakdown: We begin with the compound noun 累卵 (ruiran), literally a “pile of eggs.” This is joined by the associative … Continue reading

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

The best lover is one who breaks your spine

A book lover breaking your book’s spine, I mean. 葦編三絶i.hen.san.zetsu Literally: reed – braid – three – sever Alternately: Reading the same book over and over again. Close, careful, and frequent reading of a text. Notes: Think of a text … Continue reading

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

The danger of lawn sprinklers

When getting your toes wet is off the deep end 濡れぬ先こそ露をも厭え(Nurenu saki koso tsuyu wo mo itoe;“Shun the dew before you get wet”) Definition: It’s best to avoid even a minor error, because surviving the experience leads to relative comfort … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, Kotowaza | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Orthogrothy

Giving heterodox doctrines a bit of what-for 破邪顕正ha.ja.ken.shou Literally: destroy – wicked / injustice – express / reveal – correct / justice Alternately: The Buddhist concept of breaking down that which is wrong, bad, or untrue, and making the truth … Continue reading

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

Work-life balance?

Once upon a time, there lived a lovely old couple whose start-of-stoy childlessness kind of flew in the face of this week’s saying. 律義者の子沢山(Richigimono no kodakusan;“The many children of the righteous”) Definition: An honest, sincere, hard-working person will get along … Continue reading

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

The Repairer of Reputations

名誉挽回mei.yo.ban.kai Literally: name – honor – grind – revolve Alternately: Regaining trust, reputation, or fame that has been lost. Notes: This is a compound of compounds; 名誉 is “prestige,” while 挽回 is “restoration.” As such, one can express the same … Continue reading

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

One nugget at a time

A pollo, the god of wisdom? 知恵は小出しにせよ(Chie wa kodashi ni se yo;“Portion out your wisdom”) Definition: Reveal your abilities a little at a time, as needed, rather than all at once. Always keep something in reserve in case of emergency. … Continue reading

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

Panta Rhei

流金鑠石ryuu.kin.shaku.seki Literally: flow – metal – melt* – stone Alternately: Incredible heat. Hot enough to soften and melt metal, or even stone. Notes: Bear in mind that there are multiple characters that can be rendered in English as “melt.” 鑠 … Continue reading

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