📆 Hobonichi 2021・Translating a quote a day

I think it’s supposed to be a joke, that he misspeaks? This is the Japanese:


January 30

I first met the pianist Spike Wilner the day before the live performance. So it was like “Nice to meet you, by the way, can you play this song?”, rushing through the introductions and handing him the score to ‘Ringo Oiwake’. Then, while looking at the score, Spike started playing ‘Ringo Oiwake’ veeery slowly, in the empty store before it opened. It was impossibly slow and felt like an entirely different chord.

January 31

To this day, I am a devoted handwriter. Even when I was writing a series for the same magazine, my deadline would be one day earlier than other people’s deadline. “What’s up with that?” I used to wonder, but it was because the editor would type it into the computer for me.

February cover page

It’s not snowing. Rather, the world carrying us is going higher and higher through a cosmos filled with snowflakes.

February 1

I’m not worried. What is there to be worried about? I think I can think about worries when I get there. There are also people who worry about things right from the start, when they haven’t even occurred yet and get stressed. It’s fine to toot your own horn a little, isn’t it?

February 2

February 2nd. In France, it is called ‘crêpe day’. This day is also called ‘La Chandeleur’ and ‘candle procession day’. Light is the symbol of Christ. Because of the fact that light is something that is brought about by the sun, it has apparently come to be that they eat crepes, which represent the round golden sun.

February 3

If you feel ‘that was good’ about the time you were doing it, I think that’s called ‘a good time’. Even experiencing unrequited love, though it is in my opinion surely the worst feeling, might some day be counted among ‘good times’. Isn’t happiness ‘having a good time’?

February 4

When we try to understand things, even now, ‘separating’ and ‘joining’ are the things that provide us with a ‘way of thinking’. If you write it in kanji, the one becomes 分類 ‘sorting’ and the other becomes 系統 ‘grouping’. We’re not just talking about science here, but all living things and non-living things taken together, whenever we try to understand all sorts of things, without exception we are looking at it from either of these viewpoints.

February 5

There are times when those who listen to my music are reminded of something and cry in the audience, and I cry in sympathy with them. ‘Cut it out’, I think, but still I cry.

Oh my goodness. To think that something like this exists. THANK YOU. One of my the goals in my Japanese journey is to one day be able to understand the quotes in my yearly Hobo (I’m partial to the Japanese original, not the English, for some reason)–I know I’m still far away from that but reading these helps. Thank you!

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Same here. I love the colours in the Japanese version. This year I went so far as to try and find matching inks haha. Thanks for your kind words!

Ooh that reminds me of a JetPens article I read sometime ago where they recommend pens that match the monthly colors! I would have done it if I didn’t already have a lot of pens. :joy:

Ahhh, I found it!

I went with fountain pen ink (Diamine, specifically, cause it’s cheap here). Ordered like 45 different sample vials to figure out the perfect match for each month. My husband thought I had lost my damn mind :sweat_smile:

February 6

From now on, I want meet the elderly people who came and survive in Alaska and listen to their stories. If I don’t listen to their stories now, the tales that are stored within them will be forever lost when those people are no longer there. Hoshino Michio said this at some point. In my opinion, one person dying is the same as one library burning down.

I am not sure which part exactly is the Hoshino quote, as there is no explicit marker, but I think it makes sense for it to be the last sentence, as that is particularly pithy.


Ah, I wish I had the same diligence as you for fountain pens–I was into it 5+ years ago (I still have a couple of my more expensive pens!) but the cleaning definitely took a toll on me. Diamine Syrah was one of my favorite inks!

Also that quote is lovely–I do think I’ve read the last sentence somewhere too, just not sure who wrote it.

Ooph, rough couple of days, quite the backlog of quotations!

February 7

Something that happened at my part-time job at an izakaya. I shouted, repeating the order, but while I should have shouted ‘one opened mackerel!’, I shouted ‘open one mackerel!’. I was laughed at by the boss: ‘the mackerel is already opened!’

February 8

When I was a police reporter for NHK, I was suddenly entrusted with being newscaster for the capital region. When I was promoted to the position of reading the news, I was shocked that the copy was so difficult to understand. Moreover, I couldn’t hold my breath because the sentences were too long. So I rewrote the copy so that I would be able to read it. Because I couldn’t hold my breath, I cut down the long copy. When I cut it down to the level where I could hold my breath, it became easier to read.

February 9

The things that enrich our lives, in my opinion, are curiosity and the power of imagination. The world is overflowing with things we don’t know yet.

February 10

There isn’t really any way to recover from a cold quickly. However, there are ways to make sure it doesn’t get worse: diligently doing things such as resting, sleeping, drinking water. Also, make sure your body doesn’t get too cold. It is also important to change out of your clothes properly if they’ve become wet. So the necessities of life are important: living environment, food, clothes. By taking proper care of these aspects, I believe you can make sure that you don’t make the cold worse.

February 11

‘Living by oneself’ and ‘being able to look after people’ are actually almost the same thing. When one is young, one is only thinking of becoming successful, but as one becomes an adult, one’s flower won’t wilt before one knows it when one has a sturdy vigour for the sake of others.

Are you sure this is an inspirational quotes calendar thing?

Is “hold my breath” the right translation? The feeling I’m getting from the context is that the sentences are so long that he doesn’t have the time to breathe, and “hold my breath” doesn’t feel right for that in English. Not… that I can suggest a more natural, but concise, translation. “Couldn’t breathe” works well though, I guess.

So, typical trope in anime, if a character has a cold, someone - sometimes a parent, but more typically a visiting love interest - will tell them they should change out of their sweaty pyjamas into a clean set. But I’ve never in my entire life sweated so much because of a cold or fever that my pyjamas have become noticeably sweaty. Are… are fevers just worse in Japan?

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I think it’s more of an ‘interesting quotes’ calendar haha. Some of them aren’t so much inspirational, just downright weird :grin:

Ah, that’s an interesting way of looking at it. My own personal experience with long sentences (lol) is that you run the risk of taking a deep breath at the start and then reading the whole thing without breathing in between. So in a sense you’re holding your breath, I figured. The Japanese is 息が続かない. Maybe ‘the breath wouldn’t hold out’ is a more literal approximation?

February 12

I think people who wear the things they’ve knit themselves are charming. The sweater or scarf shows off the personality of the person who made it and, in addition, the happiness of wearing it emanates from that person. Furthermore, hand-knitted clothes give a sense of maturity when a young person wears them and a sense of youth when an older person wears them. Why that is, I am still figuring out.

February 13

There isn’t a single thing that doesn’t have anything to do with design. Things that can be turned into motifs are scattered all over the place. Anything whatsoever can be applied to any sort of shape and one could propose “this is also design, isn’t it?”

February 14

If you feel like you really want to tell something to a person you care about, I think you can only stand up honestly like a person who doesn’t have anything and return to the starting point of the embarrassment: what do I want to tell, to convey, at this opportunity?

February 15

Because consciousness is an orderly activity, garbage naturally accumulates in the brain. That’s why we sleep.

February 16

When I was waiting on the platform, thinking that once I got on board the shinkansen I would read the mystery novel that I had started on, a passing shinkansen stopped 100m ahead of me. The people behind me had started saying “what’s wrong?”, but I ー the rest of that detective novel on my mind ー answered, without thinking and on no grounds whatsoever “maybe there has been a murder?”. My mind was full of that detective novel.

February 17

I think it’s a little strange, the notion that one is only a good person or a bad person. There are people who have both elements, who are neither good nor bad, neither black nor white. That’s why my pro wrestling became the way it is.

February 18

The Tale of Genji is a long story, but there are hardly any descriptive narrative parts in which the feelings of the characters are described. People’s feelings are only described in poetry. Basically, poetry is the best way to express your own feelings. That has continued to be the case to this day, I believe. What can’t be said face to face between a husband and wife or a parent and child, can be communicated through poetry.

February 19

When your interests increase because something unexpected leaves a deep impression on you, that’s as if your friends in this world increase, I think. That’s why I am currently editing the series かがくのとも while keeping that feeling in mind, that you too could become a friend.

February 20

Tomizawa: “It’s because when you are holding the ball and you’re standing in front, it becomes a 15 against 1 situation.”

Nakatake: “Because they aim for the opponent that is holding the ball and go towards him like ‘waa’. It gets like ‘waa, here’s one, here another one, here’s another one!’”

Date: “I don’t want to carry it, the ball. It turns into a feeling of ‘I don’t have it anymore! I don’t have it anymore now!’. The foremost position is especially scary.”

Some googling told me that this one is about being scared while playing rugby. The original article is here.

February 21

What I recently learned and made me think ‘that’s lovely’, is the concept of ‘competence’. If I were to translate it liberally, it’d be something like ‘the capacity of being familiar with many things’. Or if I put in in another way, like a song: ‘I smile at the world, the world smiles at me’.

February 22

When I’m ill I get dizzy. When I am living life bumping my body into various things, delusions take over reality. But I don’t like it when my daily life becomes full of delusions. Eventually I started feeling like the expressions my pet cat Rocco made were like a movie scene. No, if I didn’t think that, it might have been boring. That’s why I suspect that I brought myself to think in that way.

At first I thought this was a very strange little quote, but after seeing the original article (here) I’ve figured it out. Key information:


So realising that his cat had a bit of an actor vibe he started taking ‘dramatic’ pictures of his cat as a way to cope with his Parkinson’s.

February 23

When I was watching figure skating with my wife’s family, the music from ‘Phantom of the Opera’ オペラ座のかいじん came on. Without delay, my mother-in-law said: ‘Member of the Opera!’ オペラ座のかい. So the opera is membership-based, huh?

February 24

What I want to say to those who are entering university, is that they should study, but not just study. I want them to eat delicious things, listen to good music, look at good images and, by doing that, develop your appeal as a human being. What is worth the name of ‘youth’, after all, are reading, travelling and loving.

February 25

The best way to support restaurants. It’s by going to restaurants. Going to the restaurant, eating some food, saying ‘thanks for the meal’ and paying them with money. That is the basis of support, right?

February 26

Ambergris 龍涎香 can sometimes be extracted from beached sperm whales. It is written like ‘dragon drool scent’. A different name for it is ambergris アンバーグリス. It is a calculus that is formed inside the intestines of sperm whales and it is thought that it consists of hardened, undigested parts, such as octopus and squid bills. It is highly prized as a perfume.

I had the hardest time with this one, because it uses the word 採材 and I couldn’t readily find a decent definition. Weblio EN gave me ‘wood conversion’, which didn’t seem quite right. I imagine it means something like ‘resource extraction’, but I am still very curious why I can’t find this word in any dictionaries.

February 27

I am sometimes asked ‘what is the knack to taking cute pictures of mushrooms?’. Get your face close to it, if possible do a 360 and search for an angle at which the mushroom looks cute. Then, just by carefully removing the ‘debris’ that is stuck to the mushroom, it looks 50% better. That’s also a very important point.

The original article is delightful!

February 28

The hammer throw is difficult if you not only lack physical strength, but also technique. The hammer is heavy, because it’s about 7kg, or 16 pounds. It’s no good throwing a heavy object far with only your physical strength, you also need technique. That’s why it’s an event where one’s development curve as an athlete is slow, or rather, comparatively gentle. This means that there is also the joy of spending time on it. It’s an event with a long life span for athletes.

March cover page

While I was sleeping like a log I missed the first storm of spring. What a shame! I like those spring storms. That moment when sweet dust touches your nose is to die for. For some reason it warms my body from the inside.

March 1

In the rocket business, the things we’re moving are absurdly important and expensive. That’s why the thought ‘we absolutely can’t fail’ is foremost [in our minds]. But because there has been a failure in the past, the success rate will never become 100%. Our current success rate is about 97.8%. Even if we pile up successes, we will approach 100% without end, but we will never manage to reach 100%. That’s why we are at least aiming for a perfect score at every launch.

March 2

Even if I had a single flash of personal and poetic inspiration, it’s not like I could give expression to it on my own, because the source material is the many things I have lived though up to this point. The self that I arbitrarily think is my self is a container with the name ‘self’ and inside of it it is full of other people, nature and irrelevant things.

At first I didn’t get this at all, but now I think it’s kind of deep and it does ring true; we are an amalgamation of our surroundings, cause our surroundings impact and shape who we are.

March 3

The only plastic models that my father, who was a truck driver, bought for me were plastic models of deco-trucks. So then… once I became like this, there are times occasionally where, when I unintentionally look at myself on stage, I think ‘ah, I look like a deco-truck!’. That’s life like a rolling stone. My dad was a weird guy and there were times where I kind of avoided him, but as I am drifting along and taking on this form, I sometimes think that in the end, I became a deco-truck.

Yet another one I didn’t really get until I looked for the context. The speaker is a guy who looks like this when he performs:


So that’s why he thinks he looks like a deco-truck!

March 4

The important thing when you’re thinking about ‘just right’ is understanding what ‘just right’ looks like and, at the same time, knowing that there are cases where ‘just right’ is good and cases where it’s bad.

March 5

I have been influenced by the roles I’ve played so far, and I have changed, and then a different role comes along and I am changed again, and so I move foward a bit… I feel like I’ve made it to this point because I was guided by those roles. The roles I’ve played up to now, all of them, exist within me. King, Peko, Kinchijiro.

The characters he mentions are from Ikebukuro West Gate Park, Ping Pong and Silence respectively.

March 6

I am a childcare working. During the lunch service, I accidentally said to a kid who was sneaking food: ‘Not yet! After we’ve had a toast!’. It’s not a reception.

March 7

The Manyoushuu is a cultural asset of words. And the reason it has value, is because there are people who think about history because of this cultural asset. If there weren’t any people thinking about history, stone tools would just be rocks and Buddha statues would be no more than wood or stone. When we read the Manyoushuu, lend an ear to it, we come to be able to hear the voices. Through writing, we can have a dialogue with the people who lived in ancient times.

March 8

When I leave on a trip, I always encounter a moment where I stop being me. The life habits that I am clad in don’t apply at all anymore and I encounter myself naked. The time that I have passed and the time that has passed in that place are swapped, and a new time begins to pass inside of me.

March 9

With everything, there are things to put away, things to leave in place and things to forget about, I believe. But everything doesn’t go that smoothly. I think it is also important at times to nonchalantly put the things you don’t understand right now away for a while and to move on to the next thing.

March 10

The phrases “I won’t forget”, “I can’t forget” and finally “don’t forget!” have been repeated for a long time, but now one can be confident that “I won’t forget what I won’t forget”. That’s why my friends in Tohoku seemed to be advising themselves “let’s forget what is best forgotten”.

March 11

In the years up to now, I think I’ve learned to have a ‘look on the bright side’, ‘let’s do something fun’ attitude. The force that pulls your backwards is really strong. Moreover, it’s easy. If you look backwards, there are people who help you. But you cannot rely on that and keep looking backward.

March 12

The secret to a long life is to live confidently, it would seem. Man, it is really difficult! Especially for magicians, because they are always fearful that their tricks will be found out. “But the Napoleans boldly reveal their tricks, right?” It seems that I will have a long life.

It’s a member of the Napoleans speaking here, I believe.

March 13

I’m always thinking things like ‘why does this have this shape?’ or ‘if only you were more like this’. About the shape of the table legs, or for instance the opening of a cup, the texture of the ceiling that I catch sight of when I’m in bed, the feel of the things I’m wearing. Due to those various things I miss my stop on the train.

March 14

Before I thought she was lovely or cute, there were a lot of things I had to do. I did a lot of things in order to try and make the milk come out well, but a nurse came to me and praised me: ‘with breasts like yours, it’ll come out’. ‘I’m so grateful’ I thought.

恐縮 can mean a lot of different things, but fundamentally it seems to imply a sense of social obligation. I imagine she was very happy to be reassured, so I went with ‘grateful’.

March 15

The people who live on the Japanese islands, how did they get here, I wonder? The history of the changes to the topography and sea level have been largely studied and understood. It is also understood when the people of Japan got here originally. It is clear that they came across the sea more than 30,000 years ago. They were people who faced a tremendous challenge. So the stage that opened up a new world was there.

March 16

Because a phone call from Kominami-sara had come in for Nomiyama-san in the same department, I tried to convey this and shouted ‘Nominomi-san, there is a phone call from Komikomi-san!’. Before I said it I though I would fumble my words, but to think that it actually happened…

March 17

I have thought about ‘me dying’ a lot, but it’s impossible to think about it seriously from morning til evening. My wife probably can’t either. When I go through the ticket gate at the station, I suddenly remember ‘ah, I’m going to die, aren’t I?’ It’s like that repeatedly.

March 18

Not thinking is the best. It’s no good, thinking too much. Then again, thinking too little is also no good. If you don’t think, that’s not good for you, it’s not motivating and it’s not interesting.

March 19

The fourth winter after deciding to live as a falconer, was the first time I could catch a wild rabbit with a falcon I had trained myself. For the rest of my life, I will never forget that feeling. I was so happy. I cried while shouting “This is the day I have been living for!” and “This is the moment I’ve been chasing!” in the snow.

March 20

It’s really difficult to keep telling lies. Not from the viewpoint of ethics, but if I were to summarise it in my own way, it is because lying makes you lose your own freedom. The bother of not telling lies is the price of freedom. It’s very high, but you’re better off paying it.

March 21

Usually, I can tell from the first brush stroke that something bad is bad, because I’ve come to be able to observe instantly by touch how it will progress next. At the first beginning of a brush stroke, I start to write a bit and realise that it’s off. Or it is one stroke and then one character. With bigger works, once I’ve written two or three characters it’ll go fine. After that I can modify it while I’m already writing.

Hobonichi sure likes their calligraphy quotes :grin:

March 22

When his father and mother were talking about the dream he dreamt last night, their 6 year old child woke abruptly. Then he said ‘I dreamt I was smiling’ and fell asleep again. Monday morning. The melancholy atmosphere was instantly covered in tenderness.

March 23

The joys of writing are threefold: liberation, understanding and creativity. First, when they really write down their thoughts, a person is ‘liberated’ from the bottom of their heart. Moreover, you gain the ‘understanding’ from people who read it. When [your thoughts] are conveyed, it is a delight as if there are blossoms of understanding falling down. Finally, ‘creativity’. People can also write and create things that are not yet real. The written things will go on to become reality. If you train your writing skills, you can write and create a life that lives up to your thoughts.

March 24

In the end, there’s no other choice than to find out the fun, cute or interesting things for yourself. Discovering fun, cute or interesting things is the joy of being human. I think that is the point of life.

March 25

In rugby there is a strong sense of respect, also for the opposing team. Even though we do such violent things, after the match is over we all go drinking together. Drinking after a match is not very good for an athlete, so it runs counter to the times, but there is something in rugby that goes beyond that.

March 26

When you’re trying to create innovative things, you have to turn the thing you think is most impossible upside down. I want to compete on a technical level, where any further differentiation from other companies is said to be extremely difficult.

March 27

You’re in a river and you’re being chased from behind by a bigger fish. You have to get away to the right or to the left. At such a time, a fish doesn’t think, but instantly makes a clean getaway. Such an instinct is not random. Only individuals whose instincts were correct survive the process of evolution without being eaten, without being weeded out. We all came this far by continuously making the right decision while in a haze.

March 28

Even if there are always things you don’t understand, if the other side is bright, go.

I figured ばかり means ‘always’ or ‘constantly’ rather than ‘only’ in this situation :thinking:

March 29

Even when someone comes to me, [saying] they want to be my apprentice, I say: ‘stop as much as possible!’ and ‘give up as soon as possible!’, because it still feels a little strange, the fact that I am able to make a living off manga series. But I think that you can’t suppress that feeling of wanting to do it. So you should give it a try yourself anyway and reach a point where you realise something.

March 30

I am often asked “didn’t you feel nervous about overseas work?” and I did feel nervous. But because it was something I wanted to do, doing it was the only option. There wasn’t the option of “I’m not doing it because I am nervous.”

March 31

What is necessary for young people, for one thing, is to read. I want them to read even if they grit their teeth. What I say to students is to do an overwhelming amount of reading. Through ‘dialogue’ with an author, they come into contact with things they didn’t know and they learn that there are thoughts different from their own. The world of a twenty-or-so-year-old is by all means small. I think it will expand their world, little by little. No matter what sort of job they will do in the future, that intellectual training will certainly come in handy somewhere.

April cover page

I have gradually growing feelings. A piece of notepaper one chooses in sakura season.
~ @Jonapedia

April 1

Simply put, ‘The Pillow Book’ is a ‘search for good things’. From the first paragraph, which is the most famous opening paragraph in all of Japanese zuihitsu, she selects ‘the best time’ from season to season and jots it down. The capacity to look at the same things, and notice in them many ‘wonderful things’ and ‘strange things’. ‘A search for good things’ increases the resolution of the vision we look at the world with.

April 2

If I consider it to be school that enumerates the proper views of the world, I think it is art that enumerates the expansion of the world.

April 3

Yoshioka, our (Ikimonogakari) vocalist, also says “what is singing?” According to her, she sings because she feels like she wants to convey the world view that we have written like a story. She said: “I feel strongly that it has to pass through my own body, or I can’t create. But in the end, I don’t know what the meaning is myself.”

April 4

In the world of martial arts, there is the following saying: 'Don’t mimic the ways of your predecessors, but pursue the direction they pursued." If you don’t imitate them, but pursue a direction from that standpoint, ‘what were those who came before me pursuing?’, then a road will open up for you as an expressive person.

April 5

When I go out with my high school age son, sometimes I’ll think ‘my son is gone’ and he’ll be standing beside me, or I think ‘this unknown young man seems to stand quite close’ and it turns out to be my son, or I think someone is my son and I try to start a conversation, it turns out to be some unknown person. The growth of my son, who has entirely surpassed the height of my husband, makes me happy, but I am also not used to it yet.

April 6

If you don’t start it, it won’t begin. It is impossible to feel a pleasant feeling like it’s interesting or you’re riding high before you have started. Whether you like it or not, if you start it, something will begin. So the first step is ‘you have to start it’.

I couldn’t really find a reference for いやでもなんでも, but it turns out it is probably not a ‘correct’ saying? It also took me a wee while to find ノってる.

April 7

I have a bit of a resistance to the word ‘communication skills’. Of course, I am sure there are many cases in which it is useful as a model, but ‘I want to listen to that person’ and ‘he has excellent communication skills’ are different things, right?

April 8

You should get to the point where you can understand English, because you can compare information from English media directly at the source. If you want to get correct information, you should get to the point where you can do such a triangulation properly.

April 9

There was a time when I thought that if I only drew pictures that I liked to draw, I wouldn’t be able to get orders, so I only drew easier to understand, pretty pictures. But at some point, [I realised] I was wrong after all and because it’d be fine if I got less work, I decided to draw pictures I truly wanted to draw. And once I had decided this, the work didn’t decrease… rather, it increased!

April 10

The sort of people who are actors may do the most work before they enter the set. Once ‘those people’ are properly up there on the set where they’re filming, all ‘those people’ do is talk and move about. It can be said that not a lot of work is being done.

April 11

Because I founded Lifenet Insurance, I am often asked “what is important for starting a business?”, but essentially it’s luck. In almost all business books it says “you have to consider carefully, have a business plan and have ambition”. If you were to say what the greatest act of entrepreneurship in history was, it would be to create a nation, but would I say that the people who created great nations had ambitions and plans? Of course not! It’s all luck.

April 12

A dad and his son were travelling on a crowded train. Because it was packed too tightly, the dad said “grab my knee!”. The son frantically tried to squat and grab his knee… “I meant my elbow!”

I can never keep those words apart in my brain, so I love that it happens to natives as well :wink:

April 13

The one thing I remember of the things my dad taught me, is “what it means to be a manager”. He said that “the number of things to worry about will increase, but being absorbed in thoughts when you’ve gone to sleep is no good. Don’t think when you’re in bed. You won’t think of anything good. If you really do want to think, get out of bed and sit on a chair. Then turn the lights on. Then think. If you do this, you’ll realise that there’s nothing important to think about.”

April 14

“All alone. A room with just me in it.” Even there, there are both you and solitude. Just because of that, that room is a place that comes to life.

April 15

During middle school or high school, I really didn’t read any books. But I kept thinking that I would read a lot of books some day. So shortly after I entered university, I ended up reading nothing but books. I was interviewed the other day and when we were talking about my middle school and high school days, it was said “at that time, books were already your unseen lover”. I thought “that’s exactly right”.

April 16

Lately I’ve really been thinking. Being alive is interesting. That’s why, when Itoi wrote “Tsurubesan doesn’t spare himself”, I thought that was a good statement. When I read that, I thought “I shouldn’t spare myself”.

April 17

Birds are dinosaurs, as far as science is concerned. That’s why, there are even people who say that the modern era is a very prosperous time for dinosaurs. Once, weak and small dinosaurs really wanted to live on land, but because there were scary dinosaurs out there, they fled up to the trees as a last resort. And when they were jumping from one tree to another, before they knew it they were flying in the air. These inferior ones somehow survived and as a result, they are thriving this much in modern times. If you take a long-term view, inferiority and superiority are not absolutes.

April 18

I am not aiming to build muscle when I do it, you know? Because I am building a body that can throw a hammer far, or rather, [because] a body that can throw the hammer far is good, the way of thinking “if I build muscle here, it will fly far” is backwards, in my opinion. That’s putting it too simplistically.

This one was a doozy! Thanks @Jonapedia and @Myria for helping me figure it out!

April 19

In germ cells, that is to say in sperm and egg cells, gene mutations occur in the base sequence at a rate of about 1 in 100 million. Even when this happens, the impact is minimal, but very occasionally, there are some ‘very good’ ones born among them. Those come to have a great impact on evolution.

April 20

Children have to live their lives being surrounded all the time by things that don’t have meaning. From there, they gradually go on to discover their meanings, and sometimes it’s fine if they are eternally unable to discover the meaning.

April 21

Personally, I think that my job is to collect ‘sorrow’. Like picking up other people’s sorrow, my own sorrow, the pain and sadness of things not turning out as hoped and digesting them inside of me. Whether I am looking at a leaf or whether it’s a city view, even if it is a trivial thing, I pick up the faint sorrow and try to feel it.

April 22

When you are fighting at a disadvantage, become a trapped rat. If you can no longer flee, put your life on the line and bite them! And if you’re fighting at an advantage, absolutely don’t let your opponent become a trapped rat. A cat can’t win from a mouse that is biting like hell.

April 23

Suppose there is a big earthquake while you are out at work. If you are unable to contact your wife, who is supposed to be at home, leave [a message on] the Disaster Emergency Message Dial. Those saying “Disaster Emergency Message Dial, what’s that?” should remember it by all means. “Ah, my loved one isn’t there (い・な・い), let’s call 171 (ち・な・ち)”. You should remember that the number you should call when your loved one isn’t there is the Message Dial 171.

April 24

I had a friend, Suzuki Megami. In primary school, when he was taking a computer scored test, he accidentally filled in his answers off by one. The test was returned to him with the name ‘Sezeku Mogera’.

April 25

I am always looking for things that remain interesting when I draw them. By continuing to draw, I have come to understand the things that become interesting when I draw them. Just like a cameraman’s “shutter chance”, there are “illustration chances” scattered about, so I want to record them without leaving anything out, as part of what I am responsible for.

April 26

As far as I’m concerned, the colour white is close to words like ‘dignified’, ‘pure’ and ‘refreshing’ and it is a colour that I want to advance in that direction. Maybe beyond that point, there could possibly be a realm that has shimmering white, pearl-like white or a diamond-like sparkle.


I just wanted to say thank you for this- I got the Hobonichi Cousin (Spring) edition which started April 1 and my quotes match yours. It’s really great to see a translation.

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Cheers, good to know they’re useful to others as well! Feel free to weigh in if you see things you think I may have misunderstood :grin:

April 27

In the scolding genre the scolding is the life of the story. To mention an easy example, the pinnacle of this is Kinpachi-sensei. The scoldings in Kinpachi-sensei are wonderful, and the reason I watch it is to listen to them. How beautiful those scoldings are! That’s why, I think, I want to write good scoldings for scolding-centric school drama’s.

April 28

There was an internationally published study about ‘what sort of people live long lives?’. In that study, rather than measures against metabolic syndrome or smoking bans, it was published that it is whether or not one has strong human connections that is most important in order to live a long life. In order words, that human connections contribute the most to longevity.

April 29

The thing that is most effective when you are studying, is to learn things with an awareness of “let’s explain this to someone”. For example, if you study while keeping in mind “if I explain it to my children or my parents, my grandfather or grandmother, how should I put it to get it across?”, then it will enter your mind in an interesting way.

April 30

I am often surprised by the ‘double breakfast’ (eating breakfast twice), but if you’re not eating double breakfast, what the hell are you guys doing during your trip? You have the time, right?

May cover page

Among the myriad green leaves, my child’s teeth begin to come in.

May 1

I think that the reason I don’t hate being on an airplane, even though I dislike cramped spaces and heights, is because there is something fun waiting for me ahead.

May 2

I understand why Van Gogh is so popular. He is already the idol of the world. Sure, he is dead, but in the long run he will be longer-lived than any idol and generate more money than any idol. In addition, the name ‘Van Gogh’ is good, huh? It has a ‘popular use power’. It’s very different from a name like Wada.

When I went to the original source for this quote I was super hyped to see it’s a travel log of a guy named Wada visiting my country (the Netherlands) to look at Van Goghs!

May 3

In the middle of some shopping with my friend, after I had asked them while they were trying on some shoes how they liked the feeling of them, I was told “ふぃったし!” and I understood that they must really have fit their feet well. フィット + ぴったし (‘exactly right’)

May 4

My personality has many layers, like ‘positive, negative, positive, negative’, but fundamentally I am very positive. That’s why one time, when I was a little tipsy and saw myself in the toilet mirror, I thought ‘huh, I am not so different from Tomoko Yamaguchi’ and I was suddenly overflowing with confidence.

May 5

Very young people who don’t have the capacity to live all by themselves live their days on the assumption of help from adults. Please, no matter how good of a person you are, no matter how bad of a person you are, don’t treat children horribly. Whether it’s out of love or for whatever reason, just don’t.

May 6

Some students from New Zealand came to my team to observe our training. The instant our training had ended, they enthusiastically entered the grounds and began to play with the ball. It looked like they were having a lot of fun. Without even asking “is it ok?”, they were like “let’s goooo!”. “That’s why they are so strong”, I thought. There wasn’t any feeling that they were forced.

May 7

When it comes to the aroma of Japan, it is the smell of dashi broth and soy sauce wafting about the airport. In the airport that is full of the scents of international foods, those two smells strike home. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that for me, Japan begins with those smells.

May 8

I never really talked with Matsuda Yuusaku about acting theory, but he did teach me one thing. And that is that “when the time comes that you will play ‘the centre’” ー ‘the centre’ being ‘the leading part’ ー “don’t do anything”. “When the day comes that you will play the leading part, don’t think ‘I will be doing something’. In the centre, don’t do anything. The people around you will do it for you.”

May 9

The ones who can become a breakwater for the baby in your belly are your family and the people close to you. If the group that you belong to or your company can form a breakwater, it will become all the stronger. The people around a pregnant woman should become a double or threefold breakwater.

May 10

It’s important to enjoy your knowledge, not to be competitive about such superficial knowledge as the various types of birds you know. You should be able to enjoy butterflies and birds by yourself even in places where no one is watching, don’t you think? There is a poem that goes “If I see a rainbow, my heart dances”. That kind of enjoyment. The kind where you’re happy when it’s you and the rainbow, even if no one is watching.

May 11

It would be more accurate to say that time and space originally did not exist in this world and that time and space were born because mankind developed eyes and ears.

May 12

When it comes to evacuating together with your pet, it is important to make preparations for each step. Make an ‘environment where you can wait in your home safely’. Put the names of your pet and the owner on its collar and take care not to take it off, even indoors. Prepare a crate for the occasion you are fleeing together. Give your dogs its vaccinations and rabies shot. Do trainings habitually. It is also useful to make lost dog leaflets at a normal time, in case your dog gets lost.

May 13

I believe that when we are in pain, sad or lost, that is where thought begins. If you were to ask why I think that way, it’s because I am like that. I think questions don’t occur from a place that is too comfortable.

May 14

When I am translating Shakespeare, I sometimes encounter a very complicated passage. I can’t understand it just by reading it. That’s why at some point I have started copying the original text. When I copy the original text and organise it, I can see the thread of it. Then it suddenly hit me: “Shakespeare himself also wrote this text by hand, with a quill.” By writing out the same passage, I felt like I got closer to Shakespeare’s thoughts.

May 15

At the steak restaurant where I had a part-time job in my student days, when I carried some food on a hot griddle to a table, I made a mistake when I was supposed to say “the oil from the meat splashes, so please be careful” and said “the meat jumps up, so please be careful” instead.

A ‘pun’ based on the multiple meanings of はねる.

May 16

When I write while being aware of verticality, the written characters start looking like a staff. Quarter and eighth notes are born and music is played from the calligraphy. Calligraphy is silent music. Because it is like composing on a staff, a scale is born there. This is why you should never play music when you are holding a calligraphy exhibition.

May 17

If you are made to accept a lot of responsibilities as a middle manager anyway, you should work while doing the things you want to do. That is all I want to say to people in their 40s.

May 18

I sing in American jazz clubs, but I don’t feel daunted, because of a sense of “what have I come here to do?”. I came here to seize an opportunity. If I feel daunted, falter or deprecate myself it is no use. Continuing to sing only the same songs every year and even the end result being clear already, that is pointless to me. I want to seize an opportunity somehow. That is why I am continuing.

Quite a bit of discussion about this quote here.

May 19

When I look at earthenware that I have unearthed from the soil, there is no way I can understand ‘the heart of the Joumon people’, if I’m being honest. But, even though I don’t understand it and even though it is difficult to get to the bottom of it academically, I hope that somehow, when I am chewing on the traces, I can get closer to the ‘heart of the Joumon people’.

May 20

Both someone who isn’t here and someone who has left are thinking something like “ah, I have become alone again”. The choice of staying behind here is equal in all respects to the choice of going away, in my opinion.

May 21

Cherry blossoms are falling
Mambo strawberry bavarois (seasonal)
sales are coming to an end…
The first skipjacks are lined up on the dining table
The azaleas are beginning to open up.

May 22

We live our modern lives pleasantly, cheerfully, while experiencing, saying and doing various things, but sometimes we [should] try to reflect on the root of our hearts and return our thoughts to the original source. If we don’t have a deep sense of trying to pursue the source inside of ourselves, wouldn’t our future be lonely?

May 23

Finding a source of short-lived elation and being able to jump up and rejoice at unreliable things is natural and important, in my opinion. Aren’t feelings like short-lived elation the driving force behind ideas too, and behind things such as the love we all like?

May 24

I’m a farmer’s wife. At tea time, my mother-in-law was holding my ten month old daughter, but I noticed I had forgotten to put a スタイ (bib) on her. Saying “I’ll go and get it!”, I quickly went to the car to get it and when I got back with it, I moved to put it around my mother-in-law’s neck. After a few seconds my in-laws and husband exploded with laughter. I went red. They said: “Are you preparing for 30 years from now?”

May 25

The other day I went to a sushi place with a woman who said she loved sushi. It was a funny lady. She suddenly blurted out “Takadasan, I’m going commando (ノーパン) today”. After that, I don’t remember what I ate.

I imagine this is supposed to be some sort of garbled speech scenario. @rodan’s suggestion of ノープラン seems to fit well.

May 26

Before I entered primary school, there was a family who kept gamefowl. I was deeply impressed by how many parts there were to their feathers, so I went there to ask them to let me draw them. For me, taking a picture would be less meaningful than that. I think that by drawing them a relationship with those feathers themselves could be created.

May 27

When you touch it, you know that soil is a world of microbes. It is gradually decomposing. The fingerprints of hands that touch the soil for a long time gradually become fainter. That is why I make lumps of soil out of clay particles that are alive in such a way, sticking them together and combining them, while I am dissolving my fingerprints.

May 28

Since I have been sick, I have been living my life thinking “my life is my own”. But, for example, when it turned out I only had three years left to live, there were many people who arbitrarily tried to decide for me how I should spend those three years. “Do that, do this, stop doing that.” Now, I just do what I want to do and choose only fun things. When I did that, there was friction at first and it was hard, but it turned around and I have come to enjoy my life.

May 29

At the register at my part-time job, I was about to ask “do you want separate checks”, but I mixed up ‘separate’ (別々) with ‘disconnected’ (バラバラ) and said “do you want wrong (バツバツ) checks?”. When I got flustered and tried correcting it, I said “do you want flimsy (ベラベラ) checks?”.

May 30

The timing of putting the meat in when making ‘beef butteryaki’ is when, on a heated frying pan, the butter is about half melted and half solid. If you add it once the butter is entirely melted it can get burned, so I suggest you put it in when the butter is partially melted.

May 31

I don’t chat at all. It’s because I don’t have any friends. When I go to sing karaoke or the like, after singing just one song I immediately get hoarse. Even my vocal cords are probably becoming weaker.

June cover page

Runrun rurunbu
Rurunbu rurun
Tsuntsun tsurunbu
Tsurunbu tsurun

The moon sliding around on the kappa’s dish.
Splash splash, it’s splashing the water.
Sticking out just his face.

June 1

Before, I could “work at it until I was finished”. These past ten years or so, I haven’t been able to do that… or rather, I don’t feel any value in working at something until it’s finished. When I’m at it, it’s like “oh well, I’ll do it tomorrow!”. I feel like it might be better to do it after I have had a break.

June 2

Maps are things that are drawn with ‘even scaling’ and ‘even projection’. The information in a map is always nothing but impartial, uniform and completely objective. In a map, good and bad don’t even exist. A map is just objective data. That’s why maps can be trusted.

June 3

The methods that people who are strong or already capable teach often seem too strong to me. I think that there are methods special to weak people or people who have not been blessed by an innate flair.

June 4

I want to encounter young outstanding people, but I will not continue to be a designer as a veteran. While continuing the toing and froing by pencil, like ‘shall I go 0.1mm to the right or to the left?’, I also want to have a bird’s-eye view of things like ‘what should I design for society?’ and ‘couldn’t this have a useful application for the society of the future?’.

I think 選手 must be used figuratively here (as described in Weblio), because ‘athlete’ doesn’t make a whole lot of sense; this guy was never an athlete, as far as I can tell.

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