Can someone help me make sense of this letter?

I am reading a manga and a character received this letter, while I know the general gist of this being a political marriage proposal, I just can’t garner the meanings on the parts that talk about 4割 and 6割.

I would appreciate if someone could give me a rough translation about the whole letter because machine translation isn’t helping me there. Thanks!



Machine Translated

I hope you are well.
It’s about 40% of our land, so you must have extra energy for 60% of ours.
I am envious of you.
By the way, I have just heard that a princess has been born, and I congratulate you on the birth of your successor who will start with 40% of your land.
We have several princes in our family, so you may help them.
They are excellent and have 60% of the power. Oh, 40% is good, isn’t it? Sorry. Let’s cooperate with each other to enrich our country.

I don’t think I could do better than the machine translation :sweat_smile:
So they are discussing marrying their children and how much of their respective land possessions would be transferred to the children.
What exactly is it about the 40 and 60% that confuses you?

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I don’t really know what this means to be honest. So I thought it might be wrong, but when I read it in Japanese, I couldn’t think of any other meaning. Thought I was missing something crucial, but if that’s actually what it means, I guess I don’t know English either.

Ah maybe this is not „you must“ but „I should“? So they are handling off 40% of their lands so for the remaining 60% they should be extra energetic (because it’s less work now with fewer land)?
But the exact whereabouts of their deal are not discussed here (at least to my understanding) so what exactly they are negotiating is also a bit nebulous to me, sorry! Maybe somebody else can make more sense of it.

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More context would be helpful. Who are the sender and the receiver of the letter? My guess is this is two separate kingdoms, and the sender rules a large country and is sending the letter to the ruler of a kingdom that is just 40% of the size of his own, and is rather rubbing in the fact that the receiver’s country is small. This is definitely not a friendly proposal…

The machine translation has tripped up on 手伝ってあげてもよい, by the way – this must be that the writer is offering for the princes to help (or “help”) the recipient of the letter (by one of them coming in, marrying this daughter eventually, and ruling the kingdom), because it’s あげる.


I read this as “your country is only 40% of the size of ours, so (you can handle it with only 40%-genkiness, and) you must have all that (60%) extra genki-ness to spare that we have to use for the other part of our country”. It’s just an excuse to say “ha ha, your country is a lot smaller than mine, it’s less than half a real country”.


I find the first sentence very confusing.
Is the subject missing? And is it supposed to be “you”?
Don’t うち and こちら both mean me/mine?
(You have) 40% of our land, so you must have/there must be extra energy for our 60%? :face_with_raised_eyebrow:
Context would definitely help. Is it a divided kingdom or something?


@NicoleIsEnough @pm215 @omk3
The only context is that the letter is supposedly full of sarcasm which you managed to get spot on, ans yes it is between two kingdoms. There genuinely is no other context since the chapter is a skit and holds no relation to the actual story of the manga. I also find the wording very odd but that is exactly how it is, the digital scan was pretty bad but then i realized i had a physical copy and checked it, but it was exactly as i had transcribed.

Anyway thanks for the help you three, I think I have gotten the meaning now.


They do in most (all?) contexts, yes. However, こちら can also be the polite “this” from the perspective of the speaker, so not necessarily our (うち), but the “this right here”.

EDIT: The joke went over my head anyway. :sweat_smile:


Sure, but since this is a letter, what ever is “right here” is probably the sender’s, or at least that’s how I took it.


Oh, now I get it:


[your country] has [only] 40% of the land mass of ours therefore


the 60% part of our [land mass] [that you are missing]


you have energy in surplus [compared to us], I suppose.

Truly pretty sarcastic - way above my level so thanks @pm215 for the help!


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