Context: in this manga, an ex boxer now working for a yakuza group has just attended the funeral of his boss (組長). After the funeral, he sits alone and watches his pinkie. Then thinks:

何考えてんだ俺は… あめェよ… 命【たま】かけなきゃならねェ世界【とこ】で生かされてんだ。あめェよ… 小指じゃ命につりあわねェっての。

In the manga the word 世界 is often used to refer to the boxing world, and I think in this case too. I understand that he is talking about the yubitsume ritual, but the meaning of the last sentence is not clear to me, the verb in particular. I think it literally means "a pinkie can't match life", but what does he actually mean by that? What is the general meaning of the whole sentence? Also, why 命 has たま as furigana? My attempt:

What the hell am I thinking? I'm so naive... I am forced to live in a world where you have to risk your life. I'm so naive... a pinkie can't be compared to life.

Unfortunately, the manga doesn't provide much context because it focuses on the boxing part, this is just a minor scene. I don't know why he thinks about cutting his finger, maybe he feels guilty about the death of his boss?

Thank you for your help!

EDIT: maybe my explanation wasn't clear, but in the end he doesn't cut his finger. Here you can see the page in question (page 29) and some pages before it. In the first page, you can see an unknown member of the yakuza clan with his amputated pinkie. This is all the context the manga provides, after these pages it goes back to the main story.

  • Is ex-boxer a trainer now? – user25382 Nov 9 '17 at 10:09
  • @kimiTanaka No, he isn't. – Marco Nov 10 '17 at 1:07

First of all, I think this 世界 is used to refer to Yakuza world because the ex-boxer who said that is now working for a Yakuza group.

Dictionaries say that 釣り合う means "match、coordinate、balance and equal". I think 小指じゃ命につりあわない means "The value of a pinkie isn't equal with a life.", that is to say, "A life is worth more than a pinkie". This "The value of a pinkie" means "the action of cutting a pinkie" because yubitsume ritual is worth for Yakuza.

In addition, 命 is called たま in yakuza world. You can hear it in yakuza movies.

  • Thank you for your answer. I not sure about what 世界 refers to because I don't understand the tense of 生かされてんだ. Is it past or present? I think that if it is past, it refers to the boxing world, if it is present it refers to the yakuza world. – Marco Nov 9 '17 at 9:47
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    @Marco It is present. 生かされていたんだ is past. – Yuuichi Tam Nov 9 '17 at 9:52
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    原文を読むと、命(いのち)ではなく(たま)らしいですね。魂の方。 – user25382 Nov 11 '17 at 1:57
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    生かされている seems to have some translations. For example, to be made to live, to be allowed to live, to be meant to live, etc. – Yuuichi Tam Nov 11 '17 at 8:23
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    I am not sure because I don't know why he became yakuza. If he wanted to be yakuza, it would be close to permission, but If he didn't want to be, it would be close to obligation. – Yuuichi Tam Nov 12 '17 at 8:11

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