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Thursday, June 12, 2008

表現 Break: 怪我の功名

けが の こうみょう
kega no komyou

The great achievements of an injury... Sounds kind of sadistic doesn't it? Maybe it's some kind of martial-arts related phrase about the efficiency of the hammerfist technique when applied to the Triple Warmer-23? Maybe not.

Rikai-chan will get you closer, by telling you that 怪我の功名 means a "lucky hit," but this doesn't capture the nuance of the phrase. 一刀両断-ing a watermelon with a broom stick while blindfolded is a "lucky hit (or at least, it appeared to be). It's not 怪我の功名.

Definition:
当初は過失や災難と思われたことが、思い掛けなく好結果を齎すこと。
Translations:
1. A fortunate mistake
2. A happy accident
3. Fortune disguised as misfortune

To qualify as a lucky hit of the 怪我の功名 variety, you have to start with something that seems to be bad, a mistake, a screw-up, or a calamity of some kind.

One of my books, 小学四字熟語・ことわざ has this great picture of a baseball player who has accidentally knocked a man unconscious with an out-of-the-park smash... but the black mask that the injured party wears, the sack of loot he carries, and the elated police officer standing over him reveal that this unlikely head trauma was actually a civil service!

A lot of the usage on the internet is related to cooking. "I mistook oyster sauce for ソース, but it came out DELICIOUS," etc.

Can you think of any examples of things that would count as 怪我の功名? I'll start us off with some historical examples of fuck-ups with fantastic consquences.*

わー!チョコチップをクーキーの生地に落としてしまった!台なしだ!
Crap! I dropped all these chocolate chips in the cookie batter. Now, it's just RUINED!

... もしかして、お前がそんなに不器用でいるのは、ベーキングをする
と、そのくだらない手袋をはめること...
... Maybe you wouldn't be so clumsy if you didn't always wear those stupid gloves when you baked...



この白ワインに気泡がいっぱい入ってしまった!お前が超失敗した!
This white wine has all kinds of bubbles in it! You've really messed it up this time!

気泡が入って来た上に、燃えているみたい...
And on top of that, it seems to be on fire...

And I'll make the last example, today's

例文:
毎回、怪我の功名でScoobyたちは犯人を掴む。小さい子じゃないなら、何か、つまらねー。
Scooby and those dudes manage to mess up in a way that somehow catches the criminal, EVERY TIME! If you're not a little kid, it's pretty fricking boring...

...though I might still watch it if it looked like this.

*Historical examples do not accurately reflect history.

3 comments:

Claytonian said...

先生、鉄鎚という秘技を教えてもらったのに、僕を対戦相手に散々叩きのめさせれたのですよ。

Sensei, despite you teaching me the secret hammer-fist technique, I was beat down severely by my opponent, you know!

ふむ。それこそは怪我の功名だぞ。君子豹変で隙を直すチャンスだ。さ、練習!練習!

Hm. Such things, above all else, are fortunate disasters. The wise use what they have learned from their mistakes and so you have a chance to fix the holes in your defense. Okay! Practice! Practice!

AzzidisRidden said...

Wow. Two points to Clay for using two yojis in one example(one that we haven't even gotten to yet), two points to Clay for referencing the hammerfist technique, two points to Clay for making use of yesterday's vocab(隙), and then he captured the quintessential spirit of ALL Japanese sports senseis in just a handful of sentences.

The Gauntlet has been thrown DOWN.

Claytonian said...

ha ha thanks!