Category Archives: Japanese

When Debate Club has fewer rules than Fight Club

喧々諤々 ken.ken.gaku.gaku Literally: noisy – [doubling mark] – outspoken – [doubling mark] Alternately: A furious uproar; large numbers of people voicing their opinion without restraint or consideration for others. Notes: Naturally, this may be written with repeated characters instead of … Continue reading

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When the bones are bad

…the rest is needed 骨折り損の草臥れ儲け (Honeori zon no kutabire mouke; “Bone-breaking loss and a profit of weariness”) Definition: Working hard without any reward. Bone-breaking labor with no fruits but exhaustion. A wasted effort or thankless task. Breakdown: It turns out … Continue reading

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What was I saying? Ah, yes.

閑話休題 kan.wa.kyuu.dai Literally: leisure – talk – rest – topic Alternately: “But setting that aside….” A phrase used to put an end to a digression, aside, or idle chatter, and return the listener’s attention to the main topic or thread … Continue reading

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Giving trash the bird?

掃き溜めに鶴 (Hakidame ni tsuru; “A crane on a dunghill”) Definition: An especially talented or beautiful person amid mundane folk. A rare gem amid dross; a beautiful crane that has incongruously alit on a midden-heap. Breakdown: We begin with the same … Continue reading

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Sal mirabilis

博引旁証 haku.in.bou.shou Literally: extensive – pull – to the side – evidence Alternately: As one member or side of a dispute or controversy, supporting one’s case by citing an extensive body of examples or material. Presenting a solid, perhaps overwhelming, … Continue reading

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A midden of lucre

掃き溜めと金持ちは溜まるほど汚い (Hakidame to kanemochi wa tamaru hodo kitanai; “Dunghills and money get dirtier as they accumulate”) Definition: The more money someone has, the more money they want; an increase in wealth tends to bring increasing greed and selfishness rather than … Continue reading

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In truth, I’m feeling feint

虚虚実実 kyo.kyo.jitsu.jitsu Literally: empty – empty – truth – truth Alternately: Two sides in a fierce battle, using every strategy and wile they can think of. Striving to avoid your enemy’s strengths (実) and attack their weaknesses (虚). Alternately, using … Continue reading

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