I would like to know if someone can help me with the word あらそう. Dictionaries online translate it like "to compete" or "to oppose", but in the context of the whole sentence, this definition makes no sense at all.

The whole sentence is this:


If I'm not wrong, the translation should be something like this: "Aiolia, now that he was brainwashed by the Pope, is nothing but a fight machine. Aiolia "あらそう" among the 12 Gold Saints, if he attacks like a demon, a Bronze Saint has no chances, the corpse of Seiya should be lying in the floor by now...".

But as I said, I can't find a decent translation for "あらそう". Does anyone have any idea?

Thanks in advance.

  • If you use hiraganas instead of using the kanji, people would think you meant 「あらそう」, which means 'Oh, is that so?'
    – hello all
    Commented Jun 16, 2013 at 10:54
  • You can look up 「[一]{いち}、[二]{に}を[争]{あらそ}う」 in a dictionary
    – chocolate
    Commented Jan 16, 2016 at 2:20

2 Answers 2


arasou is 争う. itini (一二) wo arasou means to compete to become either #1 or #2, or more commonly aim for being #1, but settle with being #2 at worst. This too is in the dictionary.

  • So, the sentence would be "Aiolia competes with the 12 gold saints"?
    – Seiya
    Commented Feb 20, 2013 at 12:13
  • 5
    No. 一二 does not mean 12. Please re-read my answer. "Aiolia competes for top position among the Gold Saints"
    – Dono
    Commented Feb 20, 2013 at 12:16
  • Ohh, I see. My confusion is because there are 12 gold saints in this story. So... are you sure that isn't a reference of 12 gold saints, right?
    – Seiya
    Commented Feb 20, 2013 at 12:24
  • 2
    @Seiya As you can see from my second link, 一二を争う is a fixed expression with the given meaning. Also, the word for 12 is 十二, not 一二. Further, there are no counters--such as 人 or 士 etc--attached to the numerals to suggest 12 people.
    – Dono
    Commented Feb 21, 2013 at 0:41
  • Oh, I understand now. Thank you very much for your help.
    – Seiya
    Commented Feb 21, 2013 at 16:29

Though 一二を争う literally means to vie with another for the top, or second position, it actually means vie (compete) with your rival(s) for the top position or the crown. It doesn't make sence you aim at winning the second position in the race. There is no Japanese idiom to say / mean 十二を争う.

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