Tag Archives: Buddhism

The playground of Tengu!

天上天下 ten.jou.ten.ge Literally: heavens – up – heavens – down Alternately: The world above the sky (the heavens) and the world below the sky (the earth). Also, the space between heaven and earth. The whole world. Notes: Reading 下 as … Continue reading

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Written on the 4th of July

(I searched for phrases using 独 because of the 独立記念日.) 唯我独尊 yui.ga.doku.son Literally: only – self – alone – precious Alternately: Thinking that oneself is the best in the world. Being so self-assured that you don’t listen to anyone else. … Continue reading

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Cosmic triage

悪人正機 aku.nin.shou.ki Literally: evil – person – correct – loom / machine Alternately: No matter how evil a person is, the Buddha’s wish is for them to be saved. Or perhaps, the worse a person is, the more important it … Continue reading

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Not just hermits

Buddhist tzaddikim? 仏千人神千人 (Hotoke sennin kami sennin; “A thousand Buddhas, a thousand gods”) Definition: The world may be full of bad people, but there are also many good people as well, including people good enough to be compared to bodhisattvas … Continue reading

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Yes elephant plus no elephant

Equals EVERYTHING 有象無象 u.zou.mu.zou Literally: exist – shape – nothing – shape Alternately: All things; a Buddhist phrase combining “things with physical forms and things without physical forms” to denote the entirety of existence. By extension, “A large number of … Continue reading

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I see your Aeschylan harpies

And raise you LOVELY OPERA HARPIES 迦陵頻伽 ka.ryou.bin.ga Literally: “ka” (this character is only used phonetically) – imperial tomb – repeatedly – attend Alternately: A beautiful voice, or a person (especially a woman) who possesses one. This phrase refers to … Continue reading

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You want me to shave *what*?

Ohhh, it’s a metaphor. (My deepest apologies to my readers! On Sunday, in place of the regularly-scheduled kotowaza, I instead posted a song as a joke. At the time I promised that the real thing – which had already been almost … Continue reading

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Ask an evil question…

悪因悪果 aku.in.a-.kka Literally: evil – cause – evil – fruit Alternately: Evil deeds have evil effects. From bad comes bad. Misfortune and suffering follow misdeeds. Notes: Originally derived from Buddhist teachings (specifically the 117th verse of the Dhammapada, this compound … Continue reading

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Too mad right now to come up with a witty title

I literally searched for kotowaza about betrayal 獅子身中の虫 (Shishi shinchuu no mushi; “A bug in a lion”) Definition: Someone ostensibly a member of an organization who nonetheless causes it harm. Someone who rewards kindness with enmity. Like a parasite living … Continue reading

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Whee!

I only used to have nine pen! 有為転変 u.i.ten.pen Literally: exist – do / change – turn – strange Alternately: Everything in the world is in a constant state of flux. Everything changes; nothing stays the same. A Buddhist comment … Continue reading

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