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If おかげで / "okagede" is an expression that means

thanks to ...;  owing to ...;  because of ...;

and the correct (?) kanji that this expression derived from is

陰 as in お陰で

which by itself means

shade;  yin;  negative;  sex organs;  secret;  shadow

what is the relation between the meaning of the kanji and the expression?

(apparently お蔭で · 御蔭で · 御陰で are also kanji precedents)

Possible clues:

(perhaps 陰 could mean "back" or "behind" in the past?)

(and 陰 is the Yin in YinYang?)

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gogen-allguide.com/o/okagesama.html –  Dono Feb 12 '13 at 6:09
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Quote: おかげさまは、他人から受ける利益や恩恵を意味する「お陰」に「様」をつけて、丁寧にした言葉である。古くから「陰」は神仏などの偉大なものの陰で、その庇護(ひご)を受‌​ける意味として使われている。これは、「御影(みかげ)」が「神霊」や「みたま」「死んだ人の姿や肖像」を意味することにも通じる。接頭語に「お」がついて、「おかげ」とな‌​ったのは室町時代末頃からで、悪い影響をこうむった時にも「おかげさま」が使われるようになったのは江戸時代からである。 –  Dono Feb 12 '13 at 6:39
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@yadokari: Not let you copy and paste? I didn't believe you until I tried it. I didn't even know this was possible. –  istrasci Feb 12 '13 at 15:08
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yeah some japanese sites are extremely user unfriendly –  yadokari Feb 12 '13 at 18:33
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Depending on how bad you want to copy the text, here's how you can do it. Save the page to your computer, then look at the page source (ctrl+u on Firefox). You have to scan through the HTML code a bit, but you can copy any text without restriction. –  Dave M G Feb 14 '13 at 1:56
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1 Answer

お陰

I asked my Japanese friend this one a long time ago. It is just as loose as you imagine - It's your friend who 'got your back'. The backup 'hiding in the dark'. The 'secret weapon' to help you out.

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