I'm reading a passage from a Japanese novel and happened upon an unfamiliar piece of vocabulary "勢力図的な." When I tried looking it up in an online dictionary, I got the definition of "Power relationships" for the term 勢力図, however I am unsure what this refers to exactly, does it refer to how much power person A has over person B in a relationship? Or maybe something else entirely?

If someone could explain the meaning and in what context it might be used, that would be great!

  • 2
    Simple Google Image Search should tell you how a 勢力図 normally looks like, but 勢力図的な is "勢力図-ish" or "勢力図-esque", so no one can tell what a 勢力図的なもの will look like without fully understanding the context. Please always try to include the context and the entire sentence if you want a good answer. – naruto Feb 26 '18 at 19:48
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    About the usage of the 的な, this might be of some help: trouble with comprehension: 最大公約数的な and くらいにまで ... The "problem", however, is when people make an adjective out of it -- 「最大公約数的な」. It suddenly becomes a few steps more colloquial in feeling, if not quite slangy. It becomes a pretty fuzzy buzzword without a clear-cut definition. Adding 「的な」 to random nouns and noun phrases is just a new trend in the language. If you listen to older people carefully, you will notice they rarely, if ever, do that like their children and grand-children do. – Chocolate Feb 27 '18 at 3:17

勢力図 would be a 'diagram' showing the distribution of power relationships or influence, where they extend and how far, i.e. Their 'sphere/range of influence'.

As an image, the influence of K-Pop girl groups in Japan.

As a sentence example.

The power (political) influence map of the Oda family was drastically redrawn.

I think that in this case, ~的な would be akin to 'a kind of' / 'a sort of'.

I made kind of a diagram of the spheres of power/influence. 

Edit (Feb.26): @mackygoo's answer is helpful in understanding that this expression has taken on a broader context and can be used with many visual representations of user preference, market dominance, product trends, voting habits, etc.

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I think that user27280's answer regarding '勢力図的な' is almost correct. (+1)
The meaning I expressed as "almost" is that the explanation of "勢力図" and the explanation of "~的な" are perfect. However, the explanation of the last example sentence is inadequate, so I think that those who read this answer cannot think it as a satisfactory answer. Even if there is such a reason, it is regrettable that someone downvoted the answer.

Well, I'll present my answer.
As a means to explain something to other people in an easy-to-understand manner, there is a method of expressing something with a piece of paper using pictures or figures. "勢力図 a diagram showing the distribution of (military) power relationships or lit. power diagram" is a technique that expresses "power relationships" as figures or pictures and generally with only one piece of paper. I think it is a very easy-to-understand method.
I would like to explain what kind of nuance exists in "勢力図的な", what kind of situation it is used, and how it differs from "勢力図".
Let's think about the situation where you want to express something like superiority or power relationships easily and clearly.
People using the phrase with "勢力図的な" can come up with various ways as a means of expressing superiorities or power relations, but none of them can be an exact expression method as is said in "帯{おび}に短{みじか}し襷{たすき}に長{なが}し There is no suitable one".
Although none of them can be said to be exact, the better way to express the intention up to now is "勢力図".
"勢力図" is superior in that "the scope of influence of factions" can be understood "easily/accurately/at a glance".

Since 勢力図 is originally used to represent the power distribution in the feudal age, it has the nuance of bloodiness accompanying wars or battles.
But what you want to convey is somewhat different from the blood smelling one that the word "勢力図" has, so you cannot use "勢力図" as it is.
However, since the superiority as the expression means possessed by "勢力図" cannot be excluded, the author used the expression "勢力図的な" in the sense of "like 勢力図 or 勢力図-ish".

After finishing the above explanation, if I read the user27280's answer once again, the explanation of "勢力図" and the explanation of "~的な" are essentially the same as my understanding.

When I searched sentences using ”勢力図的な” on the Internet, the following ones were found.
As for the phrase with "勢力図、的な" in the last sentence, I understand that the author wished to express an intermediate nuance between "勢力図" and "勢力図的な" so he/she intentionally used a "読点 comma" there.

  • 今回{こんかい}の選挙{せんきょ}の勢力図的なものをお願{ねが}いします!
  • まとめページを作{つく}ってみました。 当初{とうしょ}は、ひと目{め}見{み}て分{わ}かるような一枚絵{いちまい}の勢力図的なものを構想{こうそう}していたのですが、 筆者{ひっしゃ}の貧弱{ひんじゃく}なプレゼン能力{のうりょく}と技術力{ぎじゅつりょく}ではまったくもって無理{むり}でした。
  • 現在{げんざい}の勢力図的なものをまとめたものです
  • 最近{さいきん}の聴{き}いてるアーティストを勢力図的な感{かん}じで考{かんが}えてみた
  • 最近{さいきん}聴{き}いてる人{ひと}を勢力図的に書{か}くと、
  • ユーザーさんがどんな端末{たんまつ}を使{つか}っているのか、勢力図的なものがあればいいですね。
  • リーグ戦{せん}が終盤{しゅうばん}になると今季{こんき}の勢力図的なものがはっきりとするんでしょうが
  • 日本{にほん}の企業{きぎょう}勢力図、的なものは、. 前職{ぜんしょく}で徹底的{てっていてき}に勉強{べんきょう}させられて、. (◯菱{びし}、◯井系{いけい}が、銀行{ぎんこう}がどうで、メーカーがこうで。。 どこのメーカーの商品{しょうひん}がどの会社{かいしゃ}で、その系列{けいれつ}で、、、). 的{てき}なことも、宙{ちゅう/そら}でスラスラ言{い}えるくらい、身{み}についているんですが、. 外国{がいこく}のことはさっぱりわからないですね。


The title of the question:

Meaning and usage of the word “勢力図(的な}”

The text of the question:

... and happened upon an unfamiliar piece of vocabulary "勢力図的な."
When I tried looking it up in an online dictionary, I got the definition of "Power relationships" for the term 勢力図, ...

Inspired by naruto's comment, I re-examined what the questioner asked.

When you see the title of the question, you can see that the questioner is asking about "勢力図的な" clearly. When you read the text of the question, the questioner came across the explanation of "勢力図" in searching the dictionary for the meaning of "勢力図的な". Reading the definition of "勢力図" written in the dictionary the questioner became confused, so the questioner asked the question.

According to the Japanese dictionary, 勢力図 is explained as follows.

勢力図 is a distribution chart showing the extent to which a certain power, such as the power of individuals or of organizations, have control and influence over a range.

On the other hand, the explanation in English of "勢力図" obtained by the questioner is as follows.

Power relationships

Obviously, the explanation of the Japanese dictionary I got and the explanation that the questioner got in English are essentially different.

In the Japanese dictionary, the range where the power of a person with certain power has influence is shown as a distribution, but the relationship between two or more people with power is not mentioned as the definition of 勢力図.

On the other hand, though it is ambiguous whether "power relationships", which is explained in English obtained by the questioner, means the relationship between the ruler and the ruled people living in the controlled range, or the relationship between the different controlling powers, it means a certain power relatonships between the parties concerned.

I understand that the ambiguous explanation of English caused the misunderstanding of the questioner, so I'll answer the following questions as follows.

for the term 勢力図, however I am unsure what this refers to exactly, does it refer to how much power person A has over person B in a relationship? Or maybe something else entirely?

"勢力図" does not explain the relationship of how much power A has over B. It merely explains the range dominated by rulers such as A, B and the like by means of a chart.
The relationship as to whether ruler A is dominant over ruler B is to be evaluated by the person who sees 勢力図. In other word, 勢力図 itself does not evaluate the relationship of power between the rulers.





「勢力図的な」という表現を用いた人は、優劣や力関係を伝える方法として色々と思いつくのですが、どれも「帯{おび}に短{みじか}し襷{たすき}に長{なが}し There is no suitable one.」の例え通り、的確な表現手法が見つかりません。
しかし、今、伝えたいテーマとなっているようなものは、「勢力図」という言葉がもっているギラギラしたあるいは血{ち}生臭{なまぐさ}いものとは少し違うものなので、「勢力図」とは言い切れないのです。しかし、「力関係/優劣」を「一覧的に分かりやすく」表現できる点は「勢力図」が持っている特性と今表現手段として求めているものとは大変近いと思っています。 従って、「例えば勢力図のような」という意味合いで「勢力図的な」と表現しております。



  • 今回の選挙の勢力図的なものをお願いします!
  • まとめページを作ってみました。 当初は、ひと目見て分かるような一枚絵の勢力図的なものを構想していたのですが、 筆者の貧弱なプレゼン能力と技術力ではまったくもって無理でした。
  • 現在の勢力図的なものをまとめたものです
  • 最近の聴いてるアーティストを勢力図的な感じで考えてみた
  • 最近聴いてる人を勢力図的に書くと、
  • ユーザーさんがどんな端末を使っているのか、勢力図的なものがあればいいですね。
  • リーグ戦が終盤になると今季の勢力図的なものがはっきりとするんでしょうが
  • 日本の企業勢力図、的なものは、. 前職で徹底的に勉強させられて、. (◯菱、◯井系が、銀行がどうで、メーカーがこうで。。 どこのメーカーの商品がどの会社で、その系列で、、、). 的なことも、宙でスラスラ言えるくらい、身についているんですが、. 外国のことはさっぱりわからないですね。



Meaning and usage of the word “勢力図(的な}”


... and happened upon an unfamiliar piece of vocabulary "勢力図的な."
When I tried looking it up in an online dictionary, I got the definition of "Power relationships" for the term 勢力図, ...





Power relationships
一方、質問者が得た、英語での説明を見ますと、Power relationshipsの逐語訳では「力の関係性」ですから、支配している者と支配地域に住んでいる支配される者との力の関係なのか、異なる支配する勢力間の力の関係なのか分かりませんがそのような意味に受け取れます。


for the term 勢力図, however I am unsure what this refers to exactly, does it refer to how much power person A has over person B in a relationship? Or maybe something else entirely?

質問者が見た辞書の「勢力図」の説明である「Power relationships」は意味が曖昧であると思います。

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  • 包括的な説明であって、+1をしました。それにしても、マイナス領域に下がってしまった。英語圏の方々には日本文が多過ぎるせいでしょうかね? – BJCUAI Feb 26 '18 at 19:57
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    Upvote from me as well; I don't know why this is being downvoted. It is a little wordy, but it's perfectly comprehensible, the contents are useful, and mackygoo even went to the trouble of putting ふりがな on the more obscure expressions. I feel like people are just being scared off by large amounts of Japanese. – Mindful Feb 26 '18 at 20:02
  • @user27280, Mindful: I posted my answer in English. – mackygoo Feb 27 '18 at 6:30
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    そもそも質問文を読む限り質問の焦点は「勢力図」自体であって「~的な」の部分ではありません。この回答では肝心の勢力図自体がどんなものかの説明について、「勢力を図にしたもの、ギラギラしていて血生臭い」と、具体性がないどころか誤解すら招きかねない表現で終わらせています。「~的な」の部分はOPは理解している可能性が高いですが、説明するにしたって「"-like", "-ish", "-esque"のような接尾語だ」で十分だと思います。この回答の9割方がピント外れのように思えるのは私だけでしょうか。 – naruto Feb 27 '18 at 7:26

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