For full context, see here: https://www.docdroid.net/hK45eJm/img-20170916-0001-new.pdf

The sentence in question is taken from line 17-18. "ところが、1585年11月29日、大地震が起きた。「三百軒以上の家と数百人の人が一人残らず消えた。Ushigashima の時代が終わった」と歴史の本に書かれている。

My main problem lies with 一人残らず But first, my attempt at translation: "However, on november 29th in the year 1585, a great earthquake occured. In a historians book is written: 'More than 300 houses and several hundred people ... disappeared. The era Ushigashima has ended.'."

I just can't make any sense of this 一人残らず. 残らず is the conjunctive negative form of 残る in written/formal language, but I don't know how this "not remaining" makes any sense in this context. "more than 300 people did not remain and disappeared" would be possible, but at least to me this way of expressing that the survivors left the area sounds very odd. And then there is 一人. I don't know what it is supposed to tell me. Before, the text told us about "not more than 300 people", and now we get the additional information that these are all "solitary" or "single" persons? I don't know, I'm confused by this...^^

  • 2
    There you go again, calling the things you don't understand "odd", "weird", etc. when the sentences/phrases are completely natural and grammatical.
    – user4032
    Commented Sep 17, 2017 at 9:36
  • 1
    Is there any reason for your hostility? Is it supposed to help me better understand the constructions I asked about? There is a saying here in germany: "There is no such thing as a stupid question, there are only stupid answers." I apologize if this sounds "odd" to you. I don't know if my translation can fully transport the german original into english.
    – Narktor
    Commented Sep 17, 2017 at 9:56

1 Answer 1


lf you thought 一人残らず is "odd", that means you are successfully building a good circit to comprehend Japanese sentences in your brain :)

Actually this 一人残らず is a set phrase meaning "everyone" or "to the last man". More generally, 一 + counter + (も +) 残らず means "every last ~" or "all ~ without exception". It works as an emphatic adverb as a whole.

  • ゴキブリを一匹残らず殺してください!
    Kill all the cockroaches!
  • 部屋のものを一つ残らず調べた。 They investigated everything in the room.
  • 一円残らず使え。 Spend every last cent/yen.

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