Tag Archives: Analects

Balanced on the head of a hinpin

文質彬彬 bun.shitsu.hin.pin Literally: style – substance – refined – refined Alternately: (A person in whom) external beauty and internal substance are in balance and harmony. Someone unbalanced in favor of their “interior” is crude, plain, unrefined. Someone unbalanced in favor … Continue reading

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Failure to plan is planning to…

…murder thousands of your own citizens, if one of the things you’re supposed to plan for is an emergency situation! 遠慮なければ近憂あり (Enryo nakereba kin’yuu ari; “Without forethought, worry is forthcoming”) Definition: If you don’t act and plan with an eye … Continue reading

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Nothing but boss fights

(Pun) 人の振り見て我が振り直せ (Hito no furi mite waga furi naose; “Observe the behavior of others; correct your own”) Definition: An admonition to grow and improve by observing those around you. When you see good behavior, you should copy it; when you … Continue reading

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Not even jackalopes, please

怪力乱神を語らず (Kairyoku ranshin wo katarazu; “Speaking not of spirits and demons”) Definition: A wise person does not indulge in talking about irrational or unreasonable things; a great person does not dabble in conspiracy or superstition. When you make an assertion, … Continue reading

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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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