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Benkei no Tachi Ōjō (弁慶の立ち往生 – Getting Stuck)

  • Benkei no Tachi Ōjō


    Two years ago, I introduced the term tachi ōjō (立ち往生), which means “to get stuck” or “to be stranded.”
    2年前、私は “to get stuck” や “to be stranded” を意味する「立ち往生」という言葉を紹介しました。

    Since tachi (立ち) means “to stand,” and ōjō (往生) is a Buddhist term that means “to die” or “to die and reborn in the land of Buddha,” the literal meaning of tachi ōjō is “to die while standing.” From this, it has also come to mean “to get stuck.”
    「立ち」は “to stand” を、「往生」は仏教用語で「死んで仏の国に生まれること」や「死ぬこと」を意味するので、「立ち往生」の文字どおりの意味は “to die while standing” ですが、転じて「身動きがとれなくなること」も表すようになったというわけです。

    To tell the truth, the term tachi ōjō was derived from an anecdote about Musashibo Benkei (武蔵坊弁慶), a monk in the late Heian period (around the 12th century).

    It is said that Benkei was hit with many arrows from the enemies to protect his master, Minamoto no Yoshitune (源義経), and died standing up.

    Therefore, we sometimes add Benkei no (弁慶の) to tachi ōjō and say Benkei no tachi ōjō (弁慶の立ち往生).

    Original sentence