So I'm reading part of a book, and one of the characters says this;


When I tried to translate it and understand what it means, it didn't make too much sense to me "Hiding behind ugly skin" (?) leading me to believe this may be some sort of metaphor?

Context: character A is going towards B, about to launch an attack on him. Character B is defending himself behind a barrier he built using the lifeforms he created. I believe it is character A who then says the above line before aiming to attack B in order to make his barrier disappear.


2 Answers 2


特にメタファーなどはないと思います。「a barrier he built using the lifeforms he created」が実際どのくらい「不細工」なのかはわかりませんが、それを指して、侮蔑的に・さげすんで「不細工な皮」と言っていて、文字通り「不細工な皮で(自分を)包みやがって!」あるいは「不細工な皮に隠れやがって!」と言いつつ、「こんなもの剝いでやる!」「こんなもの、破ってやる!」といったような気持ちだと思います。"What an ugly skin you're hiding yourself behind!" という感じだと思います。






「皮で包む」の意味{いみ}は「獣{けもの}の皮で包む」とは違{ちが}って、日本語では「木{き}の皮で包む」、「竹{たけ}の皮で包む」、「餃子{ぎょうざ}の皮で包む」など「~の皮で包む」の表現{ひょうげん}は何{なに}かを包むときに昔{むかし}から普通{ふつう}に使{つか}われてきました。なかでも、捨{す}ててよい (disposable)、薄{うす}い包装{ほうそう}材{ざい}として竹の皮は良{よ}く使{つか}われてきました。





I will answer the question on the assumption that you already know the meaning of "ぶさいくな" and "~やがって".

Because the barrier made by B was quite durable and effectively defending B for the purpose of avoiding the attack of A, A couldn't break it easily. So, With the regret that A could not break it and the irony to the fact that barrier was well created, A said it was "不細工 ugly". Also, since the barrier made by B was not a kind that A knew before, an appropriate name was not found so A promptly expressed it as "皮".

As tha background knowledge, unlike "to wrap something in the leather of a beast", "皮{かわ}に包{つつ}む" in Japanese is the expression "to wrap something in a skin", that has been used regularly since long ago when wrapping something like "to wrap something in a tree skin", "to wrap something in a bamboo skin " or "to wrap ingredients in a gyoza skin". Among them, a bamboo skin has been widely used as a thin and disposable wrapping material.

There are few use cases of expressions such as "to wrap something in the leather of a beast".

Explaining in a bit more detail, "竹{たけ}の皮{かわ} a bamboo skin" is precisely "筍{たけのこ}の皮{かわ} a skin of bamboo shoot", and since it has many advantages such as easy to get, durable, high waterproof effect, and useful for preventing food going bad, it has been used quite a lot.

And, "木{き}の皮{かわ}" is not a tree skin, but is wrapping materials called 枌{へぎ}, 枌{そぎ} or 経木{きょうぎ}, that is made of timber of like cedar or cypress by scraping it thinly like papers. It has been used to wrap food because it has water absorbency, has good aroma and is hard to tear.

  • わかりました!説明してくれてありがとうございます。
    – Percicle
    Commented Jul 9, 2017 at 6:17

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