What does "手の上" mean and why can't I find it?

I came across this sentence in Bleach: 今までの俺の戦いがてめえの手の上!?

I’ve checked multiple online dictionaries and even a Japanese slang dictionary but none of them had a definition. The English version of Bleach translates the sentence as “Up to this point all my battles where according to your plan!?” So 手の上 means according to plan?

Both 手 and 上 have A LOT of different definitions so there are a lot of possibilities.

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above/on top of (my) hand: てのうえ

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Can you provide a chapter and page number? I’d be curious to see the sentence in context.

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Here is a use of it which seems obvious:

But, I guess context could completely change the meaning.


Also are you sure you transcribed the sentence correctly?

I searched for the sentence as you typed it and ended up on a Japanese web page about Bleach chapter 573 that has this sentence quote:


The sentences seem too similar to be a coincidence.


Ah, didn’t see the part about the English translation (and the !?).

Yeah, it makes sense.

Ah, てのひら rather than て


So then てまえの掌の上 is just literally “in the palm of your hand”, right? I guess it’s just a loose translation…

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掌の上で踊らせる is an expression that exists… Make someone dance in the palm of your hand. Basically manipulate someone.


So I finally actually found the page. I don’t know why the first website I went to said Bleach 573, but it’s chapter 397. Here’s what appears to be the page in question:


Although not sure at this point that it really adds anything beyond what we talked about.


It does explain one thing. Since the reading for 掌 as displayed on the page is て, and the words that came out of his mouth were てのうえ, then 手の上 would also work as a correct transliteration. It’s probably just a more slangy way of saying the proper expression.

I’m not sure of official the subs are that I have (they’re from kitsunekko.net) and they use 手, I didn’t know about 掌.


@Leebo Ah, that makes sense!

Thanks everyone!

I don’t know that there are official subs. I have the Japanese DVDs and they have no subtitles. Those look like someone transcribing what they heard which makes sense to see the 手 since the manga marks て as the reading for 掌. Someone probably didn’t cross-reference their transcription to the manga since that’s a non-filler episode.

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