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 natural state of heroes

疲労困憊 hi.rou.kon.pai Literally: tire(d) – labor – distress – fatigue Alternately: Complete and utter exhaustion. As tired as one can be. Notes: This is another compound of redundant terms for emphasis: both 疲労 and 困憊 mean “exhaustion,” “fatigue,” “weariness.” I … Continue reading

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A tip for an umbrella

濡れぬ先の傘 (Nurenu saki no kasa; “(Opening) an umbrella before getting wet”) Definition: Thorough advance preparation. Like opening an umbrella before any rain has even started falling. Prevention is better than cure; better early than late. Breakdown: We begin with the … Continue reading

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An iceberg… of detergent

潜在意識 sen.zai.i.shiki Literally: submerge – exist – mind – know Alternately: Subconscious. This modern compound comprises 潜在, “dormancy,” and 意識, “awareness,” and stands in contrast to terms such as 前意識 (zenishiki, “preconscious”) or 無意識 (muishiki, “unconscious”). Notes: I have nothing … Continue reading

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Ready to go, but never to return

傘と提灯は戻らぬつもりで貸せ (Kasa to chouchin wa modoranu tsumori de kase; “Lend umbrellas and lanterns with the awareness that they will not return”) Definition: People are forgetful. Human nature being what it is, there are certain things that you should expect, such … Continue reading

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Consider the lotus of the pond

It toils and spins SO HARD 難行苦行 nan.gyou.ku.gyou Literally: difficult – go / undertaking – suffering – go / undertaking Alternately: Extreme difficulties or suffering. In particular, this describes when someone is enduring privation and hardship as part of (Buddhist) … Continue reading

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If the cattle are horny, you shouldn’t care if they’re straight

角を矯めて牛を殺す (Tsuno wo tamete ushi wo korosu; “Straightening the horns, killing the cow”) Definition: A situation where trying to fix a small problem ruins the whole thing. The cure being worse than the disease. Hammering and pulling on a cow’s … Continue reading

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Like yourself; like Mt. Tai

泰然自若 tai.zen.ji.jaku Literally: calm – “sort of thing” – self – (young) / similar Alternately: Unflappable. Calm and self-controlled. Notes: This is another compound of synonymous compounds; 泰然 means “composed; unmoved,” while 自若 means “self-possessed.” This yojijukugo has a number … Continue reading

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