Take the 2-minute tour ×
Japanese Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Japanese language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

First off, I tried looking at the explanation here. However, the reasons for 我が家 don't seem to apply to 我が身.

Here is the excerpt that doesn't seem to apply from Jesse Good's post:

The above also applies to 我が母校、我が国、我が家族、我が妻、我が故郷、etc. They all imply that you have a deep relationship, you are proud of them, show affection, etc.

Obviously 我が身 is not stated there (possibly intentionally?). I'm unsure how it is possible to "have a deep relationship, be proud of, or show affection" to yourself.

The sentence that I read:

だから、自分のことを、なかなか他人に伝えたり、分かってもらえなくて、悲しい思いや、傷ついたりすることも多く、ああ、なんてぼくは損な性質に生まれついたんだろう、と我が身が腹立たしく、悔しく思ったことも一度ならずあった。

What is the purpose of 「我が身」 in this sentence? Is it possible for it to simply be substituted with 私自身? Also, what is implied by 「我が」 in 「我が身」 that is different than the 「我が」 in the examples from the link above?

share|improve this question
    
“Is it possible for it to simply be substituted with 私自身?” I think so, at least in this sentence. Daijisen defines 我が身 as: 自分のからだ。また、自分の身の上。自分。 In this sentence, it is used as 自分の身の上 (someone’s own situation). –  Tsuyoshi Ito Aug 23 '12 at 12:16
add comment

1 Answer

我が身 in this sentence makes it feel like you are "looking at yourself from the outside" more than if you would use 私自身. I believe you could substitute わが身 with 自分自身 or 私自身, however I think 自分自身 would be a better fit because it feels more 客観的. Also, 我が身 doesn't necessarily mean わたしの身, it actually can refer to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd person. Although the 2nd person usage is archaic and not used anymore. So, although it might sound strange to "have a deep relationship with yourself", think of the usage as talking about yourself in a somewhat "detached" way which might help you see the connection better.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.