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.

Pets, utensils, and maybe even people!

猫も杓子も (Neko mo shakushi mo; “Even cats and serving-spoons”) Definition: Everyone and everything. “All that and the kitchen sink.” “Everyone and their brother.” Everything at hand, thrown together in a jumble without distinction. I get the impression that this phrase … Continue reading

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Cheers to that

拍手喝采 haku.shu.ka-.ssai Literally: “musical beat” – hand – shout – gather Alternately: Applause and cheering. Vigorous praise and approval. Notes: 喝, in and of itself, is interesting. One dictionary I use translates it as “scold,” but a little deeper investigation … Continue reading

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To an idiot with a hammer, EVERYTHING looks like a nail

小人閑居して不善をなす (Shoujin kankyo shite fuzen wo nasu; “The mean, when idle, accomplish ill”) Definition: Idle hands are the devil’s workshop. Mean-spirited or narrow-minded people will do harm when given free time and left to their own devices. Breakdown: We begin … Continue reading

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The quick and the subtle

当意即妙 tou.i.soku.myou Literally: appropriate – mind / idea – instant – strange / delicate Alternately: Clever; quick-thinking. Able to handle a situation (appropriately!) as soon as it arises. Notes: This configuration is based on the Buddhist phrase 当位即妙. In this … Continue reading

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Like a dash of cold water

年寄りの冷や水 (Toshiyori no hiyamizu; “Cold water for the elderly”) Definition: This phrase describes a situation in which an elderly person is doing something more aggressive or showy, or even dangerous, than is appropriate for their physical condition. The image is … Continue reading

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As clean and pure as burnished bronze

Yes, bronze is an alloy. You know what I mean. 清廉潔白 sei.ren.ke-.ppaku Literally: pure – pure – clean – white Alternately: Someone’s heart and mind – and their actions in the material world! – are unselfish and fair, moral and … Continue reading

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What part of the law is this possession?

正直の頭に神宿る (Shoujiki no koube ni kami yadoru; “A god dwells in the head of the honest”) Definition: Honesty is the best policy. A benevolent spirit will protect, inspire, even possess those who are honest in their dealings. Note that here … Continue reading

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The preeminent hobby of the times

Only in small part due to the weather, sadly. 蟄居屏息 chi-.kkyo.hei.soku Literally: “hibernation of insects” – exist; reside – fence – breath Alternately: Staying indoors and keeping quiet. Waiting inside with bated breath. Notes: This was apparently also the name … Continue reading

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Keep in mind for next year

Seriously, try to avoid travel during a pandemic, even if it’s for love. 惚れて通えば千里も一理 (Horete kayoeba senri mo ichiri; “If you travel while in love, even a thousand ri feel like one.”) Definition: If you’re traveling to meet with someone … Continue reading

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My friend Dan

一致団結 i-.cchi.dan.ketsu Literally: one – do – group – bind / join Alternately: Many people joining and working together for a common cause. Notes: This is a compound of compounds. 一致 is “agreement,” “union,” while 団結 is “grouping together,” “teaming … Continue reading

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