Category Archives: Japanese

The impossible wisdom

…of, you know, not deliberately endangering people. 明哲保身yui.itsu.mu.ni Literally: bright – clear / philosophy – preserve – person Alternately: The wise and rational person avoids danger and thus remains safe. Alternately (through a common misinterpretation of 保身), this phrase may … Continue reading

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Riker, to Picard

He was always calling him “number one” even though the captain is the actual #1 officer in a ship. So…. 唯一無二yui.itsu.mu.ni Literally: only – one – not – two Alternately: Unique. “The one and only.” There’s nothing else like it … Continue reading

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Somebody remind the CEOs

Isaac Newton: “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.”A plutocrat: “… I went to space. Best day ever!” 一将功成りて万骨枯る(Isshoukou narite bankotsu karu;“A general achieves glory; ten thousand bones dry out”) Definition: For each … Continue reading

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For acting poetry

起承転結ki.shou.ten.ketsu Literally: wake up – receive – revolve – bind Alternately: The four phases of a text, according to traditional analysis: “introduction, development, turn, and conclusion.” In other words, the setup, development, climax (or major change, twist, etc.), and resolution … Continue reading

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You kiss your mother with that mouth?

“No, but I do eat reptiles.” あの声で蜥蜴食らうか時鳥(Ano koe de tokage kurau ka hototogisu;“With such a sweet voice, do you devour lizards, o lesser cuckoo?”) Definition: You can’t judge a book by its cover. People and things often have aspects that … Continue reading

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Make like a tree and endure

Of course, the way things are going, extreme-heat resistance is probably going to be more valuable than cold resistance. 歳寒松柏sai.kan.shou.haku Literally: year-end – cold – pine tree – cypress tree Alternately: Seeing one’s convictions through even when times are bad. … Continue reading

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Verweilst du in der Welt, sie flieht als Traum

(Goethe) 京の夢大阪の夢(Kyou no yume Osaka no yume;“Capital dreams; Osaka dreams”) Definition: Dreams are mysterious and one can’t expect them to make any sense. Alternately, dreams are where one’s desires are most easily manifested; or by extension, a statement that different … Continue reading

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Wouldn’t it be nice

Imagine 安穏無事an.non.bu.ji Literally: peace – calm / quiet – no – thing Alternately: Peace and quiet; safety and calm. Uneventful, in a good way. This phrase evokes the pleasant side of mundane day-to-day life, on both the personal and the … Continue reading

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Squeezed by one’s vices

Crunch crunch crunch 粋が身を食う(Sui ga mi wo kuu;“Worldly pleasures devour the man”) Definition: Too much pleasure will destroy you. A man, specifically, who spends all his time and money on dissolution with geisha (i.e. entertainers who provide music, song and … Continue reading

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Iron heart, kidney stone

(Technically intestine, but, well.) 鉄心石腸te-.sshin.seki.chou Literally: iron – heart – stone – gut Alternately: Ironclad willpower; unshakeable determination; hardened resolve. Notes: This is a compound of compounds. Keep in mind that the guts are thought to contain one’s courage and … Continue reading

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