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.

Under the bushel you go, light!

Reading doujinshi for the Buddha’s sake. 和光同塵wa.kou.dou.jin Literally: harmony – light – same – dust Alternately: An especially wise or talented person hiding their abilities (often through self-effacement) and living a common life among the common people. In a Buddhist … Continue reading

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Out of the wrong, something sweet

嘘から出た実(Uso kara deta makoto;“Truth that came from a lie”) Definition: Something that was said as a lie or joke turns out to be true after all. Note that this applies to coincidences and accidental truths, not “fake it ‘til you … Continue reading

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Thoughtful social distancing

遠慮会釈en.ryo.e.shaku Literally: far – thought – meet – explain Alternately: Holding back and thinking of others; reserve and consideration. Notes: This is a compound of compounds; 遠慮 is “discretion,” “restraint,” and 会釈 is “thoughtfulness (for the sake of others.” These … Continue reading

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Not a typo.

NOT a typo. 馬の耳に風(Muma no mimi ni kaze;“Wind in a horse’s ear”) Definition: Ignoring something somebody has said, especially people’s opinions or criticism that you don’t want to bother with. “In one ear and out the other.” Breakdown: We begin … Continue reading

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For the very rich and the very poor?

(Either you have a big enough house for it, or you don’t have the money for multiple residences, regardless.) 累世同居rui.sei.dou.kyo Literally: accumulate – generation – same – reside Alternately: Multiple generations of a family living in the same house. In … Continue reading

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Serendipitous learning… about farts!

This afternoon I unexpectedly learned something new about Japanese language and culture. In my family we’ve been making a point of watching anime together as a family, for entertainment and for Japanese practice. This isn’t just passive consumption of media, … Continue reading

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There is no rose without its thorns

…and no thorn without its roses? 楽あれば苦あり、苦あれば楽あり(Raku areba ku ari, ku areba raku ari;“When there is ease there is hardship; when there is hardship, there is ease”) Definition: Where there is pleasure, there will also come suffering or toil; where … Continue reading

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A root of the problem

盗人根性nusu.bito.kon.jou Literally: steal – person – root – nature (as in the innate essence of a thing, not “Mother Nature”) Alternately: A thief’s personality. Someone’s character being cruel, devious, greedy, and generally underhanded. Notes: 盗人 may also be read as … Continue reading

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And still the generations of the birds sing through our sighing

(Elizabeth Barret Browning, “Patience Taught by Nature”) 鳴くまで待とう時鳥(Naku made matou hototogisu;“We shall wait until it sings – The lovely cuckoo”) Definition: An expression of patience, of waiting for something good to happen or a good opportunity to arise. If the … Continue reading

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Fences within fences

I heard you like chumrot so I put a chumra in your chumra. 念には念を入れよ(Nen ni wa nen wo ireyo;“Put thought into thought”) Definition: An exhortation to be extra meticulous or cautious in a given task or situation. Make absolutely certain … Continue reading

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