The standard english dictionary translation of 奥 is "interior" or "inner part". Being literal minded, I have had a hard time getting my head around its usage in a game I am playing.

館の手前にある壁か教会{きょうかい}の奥の壁か、 どちらが追加されたのかはまだ確かじゃないけど…

As context, there are two buildings on opposite sides of the map, the mansion being on the west and the church on the east. There is a boundary wall furthest west (further than the mansion) and another furthest east (further than the church). The 「奥の壁」is not referring to the walls of the church (which is what I would expect), but the boundary wall slightly east.

I checked Kotobank and I think I got the gist, but I am not skilled enough to understand or translate the definition accurately:


So, my vague understanding is that 奥 here actually refers to an entrance that leads to a wider open area, in this case the outside, rather than the interior (of the church, which is smaller)?


If the viewpoint of the speaker is between the mansion and the church, 教会の奥の壁 can mean "the wall behind the church", and 館の手前の壁 can mean "the wall in front of the church" or "the wall between the mansion and me".

←West [館] [館の手前の壁]   [speaker]   [教会] [教会の奥の壁] East→

This happens because this 奥 means "the further place (in relation to the church)". The wall doesn't have to belong to the church itself. If the speaker thinks the church is somehow hiding the wall from the speaker's viewpoint, that's enough.

Please see this related question, too: What is the difference between 前にある vs 手前にある?

  • Thanks, you've given me the insight I need. I didn't explain very well, but there are two boundary walls, the one for the mansion is actually further west. I'll revise my question to make that clearer. – Ubz Jan 3 '19 at 19:05

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