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what is the Japanese usage or context of the word hakarigoto 謀 [はかりごと] ? Does it have a negative connotation ? Thank you.

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    I believe it's typically a negative connotation but that could just be from my experiences with it. Have you looked for example sentences in any dictionaries?
    – istrasci
    Commented Jan 17 at 17:57
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    It's not a common word. For the neutral sense of "plan" use 計画. You can't go wrong.
    – aguijonazo
    Commented Jan 17 at 22:46
  • @istrasci, I looked in the tanoshi dictionary. There were no examples sentences. I get the impression it is just archaic though.
    – keikaku
    Commented Jan 18 at 22:12
  • @aguijonazo, thanks, i noticed multiple uses of 計画. This seems to be the most prevalent use for a "plan."
    – keikaku
    Commented Jan 18 at 22:13
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    It seems like Japanese has a few such words typically for nefarious/cunning plan, like たくらみ, はかりごと, くわだて. Maybe not exclusively for nefarious things, though. Commented Jan 20 at 14:50

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According to the built-in dictionary on my Mac:

はかりごと【謀・籌】

① 事がうまく運ぶように前もって作り上げた計画・手段。特に,悪事を企てること。計略。たくらみ。「―をめぐらす」

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So yeah, it's more like a "conspiracy" rather than just a neutral "plan". It comes from はかり + こと, and はかり is the nominalization of the verb はかる.

The verb はかる means to "measure, calculate, etc." and can be written with many Kanji, including 測、量、度、謀、図, etc. When written with the character 謀, it's like the English term "to plot." Surely, when I say I'm "plotting (against someone.)" the connotation is almost always negative. When はかる is written with other characters though, like 測 and 量, there is no negative connotations.

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    @keikaku - I'm a native and I've never used this word in my whole life. It's the kind of word you might hear in a period drama. It's not worth your energy.
    – aguijonazo
    Commented Jan 19 at 1:07
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    @keikaku Another native speaker here. When you enjoy dramas or novels set in ancient Rome, China or Sengoku Japan, where royalty and generals commonly engage in deadly schemes, you will easily come across the word はかりごと. Understanding the meaning of the word is necessary if you want to appreciate literary works without a dictionary, though it's not a word you would typically use yourself.
    – naruto
    Commented Jan 19 at 1:49
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    @naruto AND aguijonazo, 有り難うございました. yea, i was watching one of those history dramas about the tayu kuranosuke oishi (47 ronin of ako) and that's exactly what i was thinking. that is probably where they would use it. and in the other ones like account of the shogun guard. and i am sure when get deep into reading classical literature i will find it there also. 本当に有り難うございました !
    – keikaku
    Commented Jan 19 at 2:22
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    As a reminder: don't forget to accept an answer, if it resolved your question. Commented Jan 20 at 14:46
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    @keikaku Technically there is only one answer here as of now, so I'd accept it. Comments added below to an answer are not answers in the StackExchange terminology. If you wish to improve the one answer by incorporating comments you found useful, I think you can do that, too, though. Commented Jan 21 at 5:01

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