Context: a boxer named Yanagi is fighting against an opponent named Hyodo. Although Hyodo is really young, he is considered a very talented boxer and is often called genius (天才). Yanagi is thinking about how to face such a boxer.

わかっている ボクシングには数と質を超越する力【もの】を持つボクサーがいるコトを

理論から逸脱した天才に立ち向かうには…… 闘志以外は 無い

わかっている… それでも届かないコトも

だが… わからないのは 現実【それ】を認められない自分自身だ

My translation attempt:

I know that in boxing there are boxers that have an ability that trascends quantity and quality.

To face a genius that escapes theory... the only way is using one's fighting spirit.

But I also know... that this doesn't work.

However... what I don't know... is that the one who can't accept reality is me.

The last sentence seems a little weird to me. Does it sound weird only once it is translated to English or in Japanese too? Is my translation correct?

I know that わかる is an intransitive verb and doesn't actually mean "to know" but "to be clear/known", but that's not the problem here. The fact is that If I take out わからないのは, the sentence makes sense. It seems redundant to me. How would you translate or interpret it?

Here you can see the manga pages: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Thank you for your help!

3 Answers 3


だが… わからないのは 現実{それ}を認{みと}められない自分自身{じぶんじしん}だ

Your TL of that is:

"However... what I don't know... is that the one who can't accept reality is me."

I cannot tell if you are getting the grammar of the original correctly. The original Japanese is completely grammatical and natural-sounding. Nothing about it is weird or redundant.

To me, what is weird is your TL. The speaker knows exactly who it is that is unable to accept reality. It is the speaker himself.

The structure of the sentence is:

"But it is 自分自身 (, who is unable to 現実を認める,) that I cannot quite understand/comprehend/come to terms with."

「現実を認められない」 is a relative clause that modifies 「自分自身」. In other words, the core structure of the sentence is:

「わからないのは自分自身だ。」 (What I don't comprehend is myself.)

Then, you want to qualify 「自分自身」 with 「現実を認められない」. Hope this makes sense to you.

I have practically translated the whole sentence, haven't I?

  • Just to build a little on this, consider that分る meaning to know has the sense of dividing and sorting out information in your head (hence the affiliated kanji). It's not about just knowing a fact. So what @l'èlecteur is saying makes complete sense. Coming to terms, understanding... these connote a mental processing of information that is more than just KNOWING (the latter of which is more like 知る)
    – Kyle
    Commented Nov 30, 2019 at 17:45

I would translate as

However... what I can't understand... is the reason why I can't accept this reality.

From what I interpreted, he knows the facts that only the fighting spirit can drive him to face the genius. And the fighting spirit only doesn't give him victory.

He thinks he knows these facts well. So, in theory, he should accept his loss. But he still gets up. He can't understand why he can't accept that he should just lose. He gets up because of some unknown powers inside his mind.

If you take out わからないのは, the sentence will be

だが… 現実【それ】を認められない自分自身だ

It would mean that he doesn't accept the reality "by his intention". It would have a slightly different meaning in this situation.

  • Hi @Chuy, thank you for your answer! If the translation is "what I can't understand... is the reason why I can't accept this reality", shouldn't the Japanese be "わからないのは 現実を認められない理由だ"?
    – Marco
    Commented Nov 16, 2019 at 2:37
  • @Marco I kind of interpreted the sentence so the TL can't be reversed. I thought that the word "reason" would make the intention clearer. l'électeur's suggestion is more direct and precise I think.
    – Chuy
    Commented Nov 16, 2019 at 5:03

I agree with l'électeur's answer. I think what's giving you trouble is the fact that Japanese is a (relatively) "order-free" language; since the particle words do a good job of indicating what's doing what to whom, the actual content of a sentence can be shuffled around like crazy and still make sense to a native speaker. That particular sentence is ordered the way it is because the previous sentences put わかっている first; it's basically just a rhetorical device. On top of that, English doesn't really do adjectival phrases, so that 現実を認められない feels odd on principle. If you order the sentence as 現実を認められない自分自身 が わからない, it makes sense. As far as translations go, I'm with Chuy: You might be able to get away with "However...what I don't understand is...why I can't accept reality." There's no "why" (or "reason") in the original, but it's solidly implied by the fact that that adjectival phrase is even there, so I think it would be fair. (And clearer.)

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