📆 Hobonichi 2021・Translating a quote a day! Feedback appreciated 😊

Following as another Hobonichi enthusiast! (I also have the English A6, though maybe by next year I’ll be confident enough in my reading to get the Japanese one!)

1 Like

That’s fascinating to see those translations, thanks for sharing. I guess you can chime in whenever you see us missing the forest for the trees in any of our translations or interpretations :wink:

January 7

Since I have grown older, I’ve reached the point where I can truly recognise if someone – be they younger or older – is a cool person and say “this person is cool”. Since some time or another I’ve become truly able to think like that.

I am having trouble to figure out where the って fits in syntactically with the rest.


when there is a cool person,

I’ve reached the point where

I can recognise them [while] saying 'this is a cool person".

I think maybe something like this?


I really can recognise that “this is a cool person”
(or personally I’d go with “this person is amazing”)

Also I fellow hobonichi fan here too !
Been lurking for a few days, love this idea

1 Like

It’d make a lot of sense, but I am not sure how the grammar works? I have been trying to find the relevant use of って in the Dictionaries of Japanese Grammar but I haven’t managed to find anything. Unless this is って as は? Can は come directly after direct speech?

って is an informal と (particle)

So something like その人は「いいね」言いました。
can also be その人は「いいね」って言った。


Ah, I had a brain fart there. I figured that if「この人はすごい」served as the direct object with 認められる it should have some sort of particle to indicate that, but it didn’t occur to me that 認められる could also just serve as an 言う equivalent (introducing direct speech) :sweat_smile:

Though that weird comma sure didn’t help :unamused:

January 8

Rather than going somewhere, I like to digest places I can’t go by making a drawing of them. There are also places where it is better not to go, rather than seeing how it differs from the real place, because there are many times when I let my thoughts expand too much into a direction that differs completely from the real place. In short, it’s ok if the places you want to go to only exist in your heart.

January 9

Upon entering a restaurant with his family and being asked by the waitress “would you like a seat in a tatami room or on a couch”, my father said with a loud voice “at a table!”. I think both options come with a table, dad.

January 10

Calligraphy is a tactile art. It is not a visual art. If you can sense what sensation you are trying to write, what kind of sensation of the brush you are feeling as you write, you already know how to do calligraphy. Calligraphy is a representation of feeling [something].

1 Like

Unfortunately I can’t make a whole lot of sense of this one… @gabruoy, does there happen to be an English translation in your hobonichi?

January 11

The things I made/did in a time when I was young and trying to bloom,

were things that had いのちの働き that were more のびのび than necessary.

I am glad that I did my job at that time without grumbling.

Until I improve(d),

once I carefully amassed strength or something,

I am truly glad I didn’t say prodigy-like things.

I was about to have to let you down until I turned the page, that’s tommorow’s quote.

January 12 (English)

Those things you make when you are young, when you are so keen for them to blossom into something, are so full of life, more than is even necessary. I’m so glad I got them done then, without moaning about it. I’m so glad, now, that I didn’t wait until I could do them better, as someone smarter might have.

This is still a very strange quote to be honest.

1 Like

Yeah :sweat_smile: And I am not sure how some of the Japanese grammar yields such a translation. Let’s hope some knowledgeable senpai notices this thread.

I’ll give this a try. Going to breakdown the Japanese so the English won’t be translated properly.

First chunk

咲こう咲こうとしていた + 若い時期 につくったものには

Can also think of it like this:

咲こう咲こうとしていた つくったもの
若い時期に つくったもの
these two lines both describe (this isn’t the right word but I hope you know what I mean) the subject: “the thing you made”

So it becomes the thing you made that:

  1. you made when you are young
  2. keen to make it blossom [into something]

必要以上に + のびのびした +
more than necessary + grow/extend quickly
いのちの働き + があるものだ。
has movement of life → “is full of life”

Second chunk

I am glad that I did my job at that time without grumbling.

Until I can do it better/well,

じっくりと力 を溜めてから とか、
or after I’ve carefully accumulated power

I am truly glad I didn’t say something prodigy-like.

So roughly “I’m glad I didn’t say something prodigy-like I’ll wait until I could do better or have more power”

The English translation

I’m so glad, now, that I didn’t wait until I could do them better, as someone smarter might have.

At first I thought the English was saying
“I’m glad I didn’t wait because someone smarter might have [done the job]”
but I think it’s saying
“I’m glad I didn’t wait until I could do them better, as someone smarter might have [waited]”

Hope this made sense somehow!

1 Like

So I guess he’s saying he’s happy he started creating things when he was young, rather than waiting until he could do it perfectly. Because he was so keen for those things to succeed, they ended up having a lot of ‘life’ to them (which they might not have had if he had been more confident and less of a tryhard :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:).

January 12

A researcher prioritises reading the dense passages that are related to the hypothesis of their thesis, right? A translator cannot afford to do that, though. He translates both the famous line from Hamlet “to be or not to be” and a single word from a part however small the same way: diligently word for word. Towards the original work, towards all of the characters, the translator is in the most impartial position, I think.

I am not sure what’s up with 公平・公正なポジション, with that punctuation. Both 公平 and 公正 seem to mean the same thing, so…? I also wasn’t sure about the meaning of 深い. I stuck to ‘dense passages’, but it could also mean ‘closely related passages’. Though in that case I am not sure what to make of 関わり, since that also means ‘relationship’ (論文の仮説に関わりの深いところ).

It’s something disgusting, but also sort of pleasant. It’s supposed to be a sad time, but it’s like the sadness just doesn’t come. It’s the feeling you get when, even though you’re laughing, you’re just getting lonelier and lonelier. You can’t seem to name it–this worthless little feeling–but you can’t just pretend it’s not there.

This is my attempt. How did I do?
(was pretty interesting–I wonder what it’s referring to)

Ah, I like how it reads like something that was originally written in English, rather than a translation!

I personally think it refers to depression. That is to say, that interpretation is most relatable for me.

1 Like

January 13

When I think “I can’t draw very well”, the thought becomes stuck in my head. That is why when I draw, it might look like I am not thinking about anything at all, but I am thinking. And it might look like I am thinking, but I am not thinking.

What the heck did I just translate…?


The one thing I still struggle with is why 咲こう is translated like it’s become transitive (or causative) all of a sudden? I know that volitional + とする = ‘try to volitional’, so I would have thought it meant that the main character himself is trying to bloom.

January 14

Even if I simply asserted that “in order to be happy, you shouldn’t compare yourself to other people”, I have a suspicion that there are truly barely any people who can do so perfectly. But even if it’s little by little, I feel it is important to create a place where you don’t compare yourself to others. It’s very difficult though.

January 15

[I want to tell you about] an important stretch I want you all to do every day without fail. That is the ‘while stretch’. For example, try writing in your Hobonichi while doing a leg opening stretch. That’s doable, right? In this way, do stretches while you’re doing things during your daily life. Doing it like this is quite effective.

みなさんにぜひ毎日やってもらいたい大切なストレッチを。What verb am I supposed to supply, do you think?

January 16

“The process of creating your role” is often talked about, but as for me, I don’t think that “roles” are things that you “create”. The extent to which you can start up the character from the screenplay, that is not an act of “creating”. You felt it from the screenplay and you made a mental picture from the text. If you can get the thing that must be described as the ‘presence’ of that person, the thing that is like the manifestation of that person’s energy, in your belly, it means that you can go out onto the stage.