The autumn leaves are falling like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are always two cups at my table.

T’ang Dynasty poem

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~


Saturday, June 16, 2018

To Hit the Mark

At the JMCU Official Blog, there was a very interesting post explaining how many common Japanese phrases are derived from Kyudo. Below are a few example. The full post may be read here.

はず (hazu, “supposed to be the case”)
筈 (hazu) is the nock of an arrow. Naturally, an arrow nock is supposed to fit on a bowstring.

モニカは昨日10時間勉強したと言っていたから、今日の試験はよくできたはずだ。
Monika wa kinou juujikan benkyoushita to itte ita kara, kyou no shiken wa yoku dekita hazu da.
Since Monica said that she studied for ten hours yesterday, she must have done well on the exam today.

的を射る(mato o iru, “right to the point”)

的 (mato) and 射る (iru) means “target” and “to shoot with a bow,” respectively, so the literal translation is “to hit a target.”

社長の説明は長過(なが)ぎてわからなかったが、秘書の的を射た質問のおかげで、議事録をまとめることができた。
Shachou no setsumei wa nagasugite wakaranakatta ga, hisho no mato o ita shitsumon no okagede, kijiroku o matomeru koto ga dekita.

Although our company president’s explanation was too long for us to understand, thanks to the secretary’s on-point questions, I managed to put the meeting minutes together.

On the flip side, 的外れな質問 (mato hazure na shitsumon) means “questions beside the point .”


手の内 (te no uchi, “to keep hidden”)
手の内 (te no uchi) literally refers to inside the hand, and it can mean “how to hold a bow” in the context of kyudo. The way of maneuvering a bow is one of the most challenging aspects the art.
  • 手の内を見せない/隠す
    Te no uchi o misenai/kakusu
    Hold one’s cards close to one’s chest
It is said to show how good or bad a particular shooter is, and one can spend years to acquire a good form. Thus, it was not uncommon for techniques and each individual schools’ instructions to be kept secret.
  • 各研究所は、激しい競争に勝つために、実験の結果を発表するまで、手の内を決して見せない。
    Kaku kenkyuujo wa, hageshii kyousou ni katsu tame ni, jikken no kekka o happyousuru made, te no uchi o kesshite misenai.
    In order to win fierce competitions, each research institute never discloses what is important until it presents the results of their experiments.



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