Category Archives: Japanese

Even super-firm

豆腐に鎹(Toufu ni kasugai;“A wood-clamp in tofu”) Definition: Attempting something that’s guaranteed to produce no meaningful response or results. An utterly ineffectual action, like using a construction-strength fastener on an ultra-soft material like tofu. Like talking to a brick wall, or … Continue reading

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From Abe no Seimei to Naruto

And everything in between 陰陽五行in.you.go.gyou Literally: shadow / yin – sunlight / yang – five – go Alternately: The dual principles of yin and yang, and the five elements (wood, fire, earth, metal, and water), that supposedly form and regulate … Continue reading

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Je n’ai pas eu le loisir de la faire plus courte

Pascal, not Twain 下手の長談義(Heta no nagadangi;“The long discourse of the unskilled”) Definition: A rambling talk or story characteristic of people who aren’t very good at clear and organized speaking. To drone on in a poorly-paced, unengaging way, especially in a … Continue reading

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Horizon-spanning hostility

A puffer-fish, going out of business? 不俱戴天fu.gu.tai.ten Literally: non – together – “be crowned with” / “live under” – sky Alternately: A hated enemy; deep and abiding antipathy toward someone. Someone you despise so much that you can’t bear to … Continue reading

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A Scandanavian problem

惚れたが因果(Horeta ga inga;“The lover’s lot is karma”) Definition: For someone who has fallen in love, suffering because of it is an unavoidable part of human existence. When one is in love, pain is an inevitable result – in part due … Continue reading

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Mooning over those who are absent

風月玄度fuu.getsu.gen.taku Literally: wind – moon – (mysterious) – (degree) Alternately: Thinking of someone you haven’t seen in a long time; missing a good friend due to long separation. By extension, thinking about or even mourning the death of someone exceptional. … Continue reading

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Not applicable to Bāguázhǎng practitioners

(The “eight trigrams palm” art is 八卦掌, Japanese hakkeshou.) 握れば拳開けば掌(Nigireba kobushi hirakeba tenohira;“When clenched, a fist; when opened, a palm”) Definition: A given thing can change dramatically depending on the circumstances or even on how one thinks or feels. The … Continue reading

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Act now!

Supplies will likely last; we’d just like to skip the slow, grinding attrition phase. 速戦即決soku.sen.so-.kketsu Literally: quick – battle – instant – decide Alternately: In war, striking right away at the enemy’s main force in an attempt to end things … Continue reading

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Why the rich have a limited point of view

針の穴から天を覗く(Hari no ana kara ten wo nozoku;“To peer at the heavens through the eye of a needle”) Definition: Attempting to solve big, complicated problems or deal with issues requiring expertise, despite only having a small supply of knowledge. Trying to … Continue reading

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Belly full of sap, head full of sky

Brood X certainly has wings, and they fly like they’re drunk, but I wouldn’t call them immortal. 羽化登仙u.ka.tou.sen Literally: wing – change – climb – hermit Alternately: Feeling as if one has grown wings and ascended into the skies… often … Continue reading

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