I'm wondering what 形 and 形程度 mean in the following conversation. I know that 形 can be used quite figuratively but I never got a good feel for it.

A: しかしリーダーといっても形程度のことだろう?

B: 形で判断されることもあるでしょ?

1 Answer 1


「[形]{かたち}」, here, means "token" or "by name only".

A: "It's nothing more than a token leader, is it?"

B: "(But) you get judged by your name at times, y'know."

  • Thank you! Does this correspond with a specific dictionary definition of the word?
    – eternal
    Apr 13, 2015 at 0:50
  • 2
    I doubt it as I used no dictionary in answering this question. We (J-speakers) often use 形 to mean "token ~~" as opposed to "real ~~".
    – user4032
    Apr 13, 2015 at 1:26
  • You find the definition in this way at Point 2 (イ) of 形・かたち like noted here: kotobank.jp/word/%E5%BD%A2-463191
    – dinogeist
    Apr 13, 2015 at 1:47

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