Tag Archives: Analects

Book learnin’ minus brain learnin’ ain’t learnin’

But a rabbit-hole is just as dangerous. 学びて思わざれば則ち罔し (Manabite omowazareba sunawachi kurashi; “Study without consideration is nothing.”) Definition: No matter how much you study, if you don’t also think about the content of what you’re learning, you can’t actually reach … Continue reading

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Pretty words, pretty face, ugly heart

巧言令色 kou.gen.rei.shoku Literally: skill – word – command – color Alternately: Flattery. Blandishment. Pretty words and ingratiating facial expressions, usually backed by a desire to deceive or manipulate. Making nice with someone but hiding ill intent. Notes: This yojijukugo comes … Continue reading

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A lost art?

和して同ぜず (Washite douzezu; “harmonize but not agree”) Definition: Cooperating, but only within reason. Making a point of getting along with others – but not when doing so would be at the cost of reason, truth, one’s individuality, or other important … Continue reading

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But what does it all MEAN?

論語読みの論語知らず (Rongo yomi no rongo shirazu; “A reader of Confucius; doesn’t know Confucius”) Definition: Use this when someone technically knows the words of a field of knowledge but doesn’t understand the meaning of the words and is unable to act … Continue reading

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Clowns to the left of me; jokers to the right

過ぎたるは猶及ばざるが如し (Sugitaru wa nao oyobazaru ga gotoshi; “Too much is the same as not enough.”) Definition: Overdoing something is ultimately the same as not doing it enough. For most human endeavors there is a happy medium range, and going beyond … Continue reading

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Extrapolator extraordinaire

Sherlock Holmes again! 一を聞いて十を知る (Ichi wo kiite juu wo shiru; “Hearing one; knowing ten”) Definition: Having great powers of reasoning and understanding. Learning one part and understanding the whole. Hearing just a little bit about something is enough for the … Continue reading

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On achieving clarity

Here’s our fortieth kotowaza: 四十にして惑わず (Shijuu ni shite madowazu; “At forty, no doubts”) Definition: This extremely optimistic saying asserts that by the time you reach forty years old, your ability to reason is well-developed, your studies have given you a … Continue reading

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