Consider the extracted original Japanese text from the translation attempt in "Why is 知りません the negative form of 知っています?" :


Also consider this proposed translation:

"Regarding this fact, I think it is appropriate to think that it is due to the 'semantic features' of the verb '知る' and the image (= the way we perceive) that we have against '知る'.

Isn't "the way we ~" for する-nouns expressed using ~の仕方? How is it different from ~の在り方?

Can the same difference be reflected in other verbs?
I.e. if for する-nouns there is a "pair" like 認知の在り方/認知の仕方 then is there a similar "pair" concept for verbs like 書く? If 書き方 is analogous to ~仕方, what form of 書く is analogous to ~在り方?

What is ~在り方 used for?

  • 1. 書きの在り方 as well as 書きの仕方 are ungrammatical. 2. If what you meant by "expressed using ~の仕方" was 認知の仕方, then 認知 is a する-noun, not する-verb.
    – user458
    Jun 21, 2012 at 4:33
  • There is 書き方, but I cannot think of a counterpart with 仕方.
    – user458
    Jun 21, 2012 at 4:37
  • If 書き方 is analogous to X仕方, what form of 書く is analogous to X在り方?
    – Flaw
    Jun 21, 2012 at 4:39
  • I meant I cannot think of a counterpart with 在り方. It was a mistake.
    – user458
    Jun 21, 2012 at 4:48

1 Answer 1


I think the literal idea of 在り方 is 'the way it came into existence', 'the way it should exist', and it is concerned with the meta level of the way of doing something. As opposed to 仕方 'way of doing', 在り方 may be translated as 'the way it is designed to do', 'the way it should be done', etc.

For verbs not derived from suru-nouns, you can add -方 to their stem: 書き方. If you want to use a counterpart to 在り方, you would have to find a noun with the corresponding concept. You may not be able to find an exact counterpart, though: [書]{しょ}の在り方 'the way calligraphy should be', [書]{しょ}[物]{もつ}の在り方 'the way books should be'.

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