Expression: Marriages & Sea Sponges

Another interesting expression/idiom

偕老同穴(かいろうどうけつ): Till Death Do Us Part (lit. Together Death Same Hole)

Kotobank quotes the Book of Odes which contains the poem:

穀則異室、死則同穴。
謂予不信、有如皦日。

While living, we may have to occupy different apartments;
But when dead, we shall share the same grave.
If you say that I am not sincere,
By the bright sun I swear that I am.

(Translation from ctext)

Apparently, in Japan, this expression is also used as the name for the sea sponge called a Venus’ Flower Basket. To quote Wikipedia:

In traditional Asian cultures, this particular sponge (in a dead, dry state) was given as a wedding gift because the sponge symbiotically houses two small shrimp, a male and a female, who live out their lives inside the sponge. They breed, and when their offspring are tiny, the offspring escape to find a Venus’ flower basket of their own. The shrimp inside the basket clean it and, in return, the basket provides food for the shrimp by trapping it in its tissues and then releasing wastes into the body of the sponge for the shrimp. It is also speculated that the bioluminescent light of bacteria harnessed by the sponge may attract other small organisms which the shrimp eat.

Source: Yoru no Mijikashi

四条木屋町《しじょうきやまち》の交差点から高瀬《たかせ》川を下った暗い街中に、木造三階建の古風な西洋料理店があって、高瀬川沿いの並木に温かい光を投げている。

ただでさえ温かみのある光景だが、中はもっと温かかった。むしろアツかった。

偕老同穴《かいろうどうけつ》の契りを交わした新郎新婦はまさに天衣無縫と言うべく、お姫様抱っこで接吻《せっぷん》を交わすところを写真に撮られてもなお恬然《てんぜん》としている神をも畏《おそ》れぬアツアツぶりは、たちまち参会者たちを黒焦げにした。

Translation

When you walk down the Takase river from the intersection at Shijoukiyamachi – down that dark street into downtown – there’s a certain old 3-storey Western restaurant done up in wood. The trees running alongside the Takase river are bathed in the warm light from over there.

But, even in this normally warm scenery, there was something even warmer within. It had crossed the threshold to piping hot.

Having just pledged their eternal dues, the newly married till-death-do-us-part couple could be said to be the very article of heavensent flawlessness – and while he carried his princess in his arms, exchanging those full kisses for the camera to catch – they piped hotter than hot cross buns in that very state of matrimonial contentment – fearlessly piping to the point where the surrounding congregation were burnt black in their boots.

Expression: Violence Begets Violence

The Japanese version is:

行使された暴力がさらなる暴力を招く

Which translates directly to ‘Exercised violence begets further violence’

Source: Yoru wa Mijikashi Arukeyo Otome

「おともだちパンチ」を御存知であろうか。

たとえば手近な人間のほっぺたへ、やむを得ず鉄拳《てっけん》をお見舞する必要が生じた時、人は拳《こぶし》を堅く握りしめる。その拳をよく見て頂きたい。親指は拳を外からくるみ込み、いわばほかの四本の指を締める金具のごとき役割を果たしている。その親指こそが我らの鉄拳を鉄拳たらしめ、相手のほっぺたと誇りを完膚《かんぷ》なきまでに粉砕する。行使された暴力がさらなる暴力を招くのは歴史の教える必然であり、親指を土台として生まれた憎しみは燎原の火のように世界へ広がり、やがて来たる混乱と悲惨の中で、我々は守るべき美しきものたちを残らず便器に流すであろう。

Translation

Perchance you would know what a “Friendship Fist” is?

If – that period comes about which necessitates directing a fine visitation of an iron-fist upon the soft muscular of a proximal human’s cheek, we grit our fists. I shall kindly illustrate it for you. Kindly witness the thumb, left on the outside to enclose the fist – namely, the other four fingers… stuck together like metal fittings while locked in by that mechanism. The fact of this thumb is what charges up the fist, ensuring that this comrade’s cheek and pride shall undergo a full pulverization until not an unbesmirched locale is left. There is that ever so important expression left to us in history that “the act of violence shall invite further violence” – and with this thumb as the starting point, may we find the flames of our hate spreading outwardly into the fields of the world, and in that soon forthcoming madness and despair – shall all of our most cherished and beautiful be placed into the gutters and pisspots without a single exception.