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.

Greetings from a distant riverside

If only the poets of Chinese Antiquity had had video chat, right? 渭樹江雲i.ju.kou.un Literally: Wei river – tree – large river – cloud Alternately: To miss, to think fondly of, or to worry about a friend who is far away. … Continue reading

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

Suddenly, given the bird

Imagine if it did just literally “stand up,” though! 足下から鳥が立つ(Ashimoto kara tori ga tatsu;“A bird takes flight at one’s feet”) Definition: An expression of startlement. Something happens suddenly close at hand, or someone abruptly begins doing an activity, especially if … Continue reading

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

Vignette: the Vampire’s Visit

(The Kid has been practicing writing Japanese every day for a couple of years now. These days he writes enough to fill about 3/4 of a wide-ruled notebook page – with each row of characters taking up two lines for … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, Setting, Short Fiction, World-Building | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ooh, yeah; uh, no?

有耶無耶u.ya.mu.ya Literally: exist – [interrogative particle] – not – [interrogative particle] Alternately: Vague; unclear; noncommittal; unsettled; indefinite; obscure. It’s not clear whether something is, or is not there, or in a certain state, etc. Notes: 曖昧模糊 and 五里霧中 are both considered … Continue reading

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

How about umeboshi?

Benign when it’s just a matter of taste 亭主の好きな赤烏帽子(Teishu no suki na akaeboshi;“The master’s favored red hat”) Definition: When someone with power (e.g. the head of a household) has some odd or nonstandard tendency, everyone under them has to follow … Continue reading

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

The preferred state of Mucha

無我夢中mu.ga.mu.chuu Literally: nothing – self – dream – middle / inside Alternately: Utterly absorbed in something; a state of deep concentration or focus. This is usually positive, but it can be negative, as in losing oneself in something; losing control … Continue reading

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

Personal growth vis-a-vis other people’s persons

Don’t pick your nose; just pick your friends! 益者三友、損者三友(Ekisha san’yuu, sonsha san’yuu;“Three beneficial friends, three harmful friends”) Definition: There are three kinds of friends who are good for you and three kinds who are bad for you. The beneficial kinds … Continue reading

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

A compassionate landslide

磊磊落落rai.rai.raku.raku Literally: “many stones” – “many stones” – fall – fall Alternately: Generous; tolerant; forgiving; not stressing over little things. Notes: This is a phrase that creates emphasis by doubling: 磊落 (rairaku) on its own has the same meaning. 豪放磊落 … Continue reading

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

“Our chain of love”

…but hard to shake once taken on 子は三界の首枷(Ko wa sangai no kubikase;“A child is a binding for all time”) Definition: A connection with a child is a strong bond that affects you for your entire life. Even after the logistical … Continue reading

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

The bread and butter of foreign affairs

As long as it doesn’t devolve into something like the Butter Battle Book? 内政干渉nai.sei.kan.shou Literally: inside – government – dry / ebb / interfere – ford [a river] / involve Alternately: Interference in another country’s government or domestic politics. Interventionism. … Continue reading

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