Since the last yoji was slightly more "warm and fuzzy" than usual, today's is going to be slightly more defiant, and, okay, cool.
Seeing as how most of the phrases and words which actually describe my character are not quite good things to be, I think I'm going to start doing things that I aspire to instead, in the hopes that the tone of the Daily Yoji will become just a little more positive.
I know that I am in the middle of studying for exams, and that many of you (including my fellow yoji-writers) are studying for exams of your own, whether the 日本語能力試験 or whatever other tests you may be facing (TOEFL, TOEIC, whatever the English exam du jour is these days). I know from experience that exam studying is never easy, and that it's a path full of setbacks and disappointments, but the hope is that this yoji will inspire you to overcome those problems and not get discouraged by them.
Going through all of the kanji in the last example, I think, proved to be useful not only in explaining the meaning, but in giving me ideas for future posts (which, as you may be able to tell, should become more numerous as the urge to procrastinate increases), so I am going to go through all the characters again. The first character is 百, which I'm sure you all will recognize as the number 100. Along with its (larger) counterparts 千 and 万, it is also used to signify any large, indeterminate amount.
折 is another good kanji to know, in part because it has a number of, at times, disparate meanings. The meaning you are most likely to run into during the course of daily life is, of course, to turn (as in 右折 and 左折, right and left turns, respectively). Another important meaning is to fold or break (as in 折り紙 or 骨折). This character becomes really interesting when you use it metaphorically to describe the flow of events in life. Recall my earlier post of 紆余曲折. In that example, I described it as "horizontal," meaning that it was not necessarily a good or a bad thing, but just a new direction that presented itself. Sometimes 折 has this neutral meaning. Sometimes, it can have a good meaning, in that the new direction presents a new opportunity as well. (Look up 折柄.) At times, it can also have a negative meaning, and that is the one present here. Rather than being a turn on the path of life, I think of this as more of a setback in (or a break from) your plans. You see this in words such as 挫折, 屈折, and their brethren.
Relative to the other characters in this phrase, 不 is uncomplicated. Think of it as a negative modifier - "not." Finally, we have 撓. This character is not part of the 常用漢字 (the 1945 characters designated by the Japanese government as the ones necessary for literacy - and, not coincidentally, all of the characters you are responsible for 日本語能力試験1級). This is the first phrase that I ever learned that contained it, although since learning it I have seen it in a few other contexts. It seems to have the meaning of "droop down," as in a tree branch heavy with snow. So imagine a tree branch, warped and bent in a hundred places, yet still not breaking, and you will have the essence of this phrase.
3. Unbreakable spirit
I'm always impressed with Mario's unbreakable spirit. Not everyone can keep chasing the princess after going to the wrong castle all those times.
Ok, I know I promised a more uplifting yoji this time, but I couldn't resist the urge to nerd out. I promise, the next one will really be more positive!