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In my JLPT textbook, it defines ~もさることながら as saying that the speaker feels one thing is true, and in addition another thing is true.

One example they give which makes sense to me is:


Here the speaker is saying that while the woman is beautiful, it goes without saying her personality is part of her charm. Note I'm not trying to make a perfect translation, just focusing on the essence of ~もさることながら.

But there is this sentence in a test question in the book:


I'm a little fuzzy on what this is trying to say, partly because 舞台{ぶたい}のセット is just a neutral thing. There's nothing inherently good or bad about it. Unlike, for example, 美{うつく}しさ, which is presumeably a good thing.

To me, the sentence seems to be saying something like, "While it's true that's a stage set, the acting group is no more superior." I might be wrong about what 上{うえ}なく豪華{ごうか}だ means too, but partly that's because my confusion over ~もさることながら is giving me little context to build on.

The point is, I don't see how a stage set can be said to be true or not true in any way that one can attach ~もさることながら to it.

So I'm probably wroing about what ~もさることながら does. Does it imply a judgement? Is the sentence in the question saying that the stage set is good?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

~もさることながら means "even more than" or "not only".

[A]もさることながら[B] expresses that [B] is of greater consequence than [A].

"Even more than (her) beauty, when all is said and done her charm is in her personality."

"Not only the stage sets, the cast is also as magnificent as could be."

この上なく means "to the fullest degree", "as ~ as [can/could] be", "extremely" etc.

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