I was reading about the formation of 福井 Prefecture recently and I was a bit confused about two sections quoting old texts:


My interpretation is that this means: The people of southern 越 and the people of 加賀, 能登 and 越中 are in perpetual strife. They are in a state of 氷炭相容レサル.

I'm not sure what the レサル means, but I suppose 氷炭相容レサル is likely the same as 氷炭相容れず, indicating さる=ず. I guess really maybe it means ざる?


My interpretation is that this is trying to say: One must be aware that one day this might be the basis of upheaval.

From context and with the idea that さる=ず. I guess that へらからさる means べからざる. Is this right and these differences are just due to some typography in older Japanese? Or is this a transcription error? (I also saw a number of instances of ルヘカラサル on Shounagon so I'm not that certain of the transcription error explanation)

1 Answer 1


Yes, this 相容レサル is 相容れざる in modern orthography, and ざる is a negation auxiliary. 氷炭相容れず is an idiom (although modern speakers use 水と油 much more commonly for this purpose). Likewise, 知ルヘカラサルナリ is 知るべからざるなり in modern orthography. The history of the voiced consonant mark (゛) is long, but its use was optional until relatively recently.



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    One factor that contributes to the absence of dakuten is that it looks more archaic, traditional, and thus prestigious. Actually the use of dakuten is fairly common since the 17th century, except in some authoritarian language like legal texts, just like how English laws are still full of old words that few people really understand. Commented Jul 5, 2023 at 13:31

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