I just came across this phrase, which is listed in the dictionary as:
never being satisfied with what one gets, and always wanting more; giving someone an inch and having them take a mile; taking Gansu only to want Sichuan
It's the last meaning that interests me. Is this a relic of Imperial Japanese history? After a quick Wikipedia search I wasn't able to find that Gansu was taken by the Japanese, although they certainly did want Sichuan. Did this phrase originate in historical events, or is it really just a figure of speech?
Also, where does the interpretation of 隴 as Gansu come from? In Chinese it's 甘肃 and in Japanese 甘粛省. I can't find anything in dictionaries about this character relating to Gansu.