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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

以心伝心

いしんでんしん
ishin denshin

I was reminded of this one again recently by an eikaiwa student I inherited from Jeff, and kind of just nodded along when it was explained since I've heard it used to many times before. I believe I've heard it before as an explanation for how Japanese people sometimes seem to be able to communicate so much to oneanother when so little is said, and thus why it can be difficult for an outsider to gain complete understanding. Being here for just 2 years has mostly refuted that idea in my mind, though I would say the phrase is still an apt for couples, close friends, and...well...the list goes on.

Definition:
仏教用語で、言葉や文字で表現することが難しい仏法の真髄を師から弟子の心に伝えること。主に禅宗で用いる。転じて、言葉や文字を使わなくても、お互いの意志が通じること。
Translation:
1. Telepathy.
2. Communicating tacitly.
3. Understanding what somebody is thinking without prompting or words.

There are probably a hundred more ways for me to define this expression, but they're all tantamount to the same thing. It applies splendidly to all the moments where, without any prompting, you wonder aloud, "what was that one thing..." or "who was that one guy...", and your friend immediately gives the answer. CREEPY STUFF.

Ex. 一番グループは絶対以心伝心と言える親友だ。何も言わなくても、お互いの考え方を分かりすぎる。

PS. I promise the next one won't be about ichiban group. For serious.

1 comment:

AzzidisRidden said...

Remember that time when we were playing catchprase, and Nirav was like "This... has happened."

And we were like "Global Warming."

2 points.