I am reading よつばと. In chapter 1, Yotsuba's father is carrying some boxes when he meets the neighbor Fuuka. She sees the cardboards (ダンボール) in his hands, and says:

そのダンボール ゴミに出す分ですか。

And he responds:


I can understant well what the sentence means... But doing a more intensive reading, I can't get the meaning/usage of 分 in this sentence.

I have looked up the meaning of 分 in the dictionary, and saw that it can mean part, division, etc. Doing some research I came up with the following translation:

These cardboards... Is this the bunch you want to throw in the trash?

I wonder if my translation makes sense or if I'm losing the actual meaning of 分 in this sentence.

Another usage of 分 I don't quite get is in the song 前前前世 by the band RadWimps and theme song of movie 君の名は.

何億 何光年分の物語を語りにきたんだよ・・・

銀河何個分かの 果てに出逢えた・・・

Again, I can understand the general feeling the sentence implies... But I'm not confident about the actual usage of 分.

Doing some research I managed to understand it as:

何億年分の物語 = A story worth hundreds and hundreds of light years.

何個分かの果て = 何個 (how many?) + か = some... With 分 = worth some good amount... = at the end of some part of this Milkway.

Well, I'm not sure if that makes sense.


  • 1
    I think this is a good question, but for it not to qualify as just a translation request (and consequently be off topic), it would help if you included some information about what you think these 分 usages might mean and what research you've done.
    – Mindful
    Apr 21, 2020 at 22:10
  • Have done so, thank you.
    – Francis
    Apr 21, 2020 at 22:52
  • 2
    Possible duplicate: japanese.stackexchange.com/q/12040/9831 Also related: japanese.stackexchange.com/a/30056/9831
    – chocolate
    Apr 22, 2020 at 1:49
  • 1
    You seem to understand the basic meaning, but since there is no perfect equivalent in English, you may need to come up with a natural expression on a case-by-case basis. Actually it's often reasonable to ignore this 分 when you translate. Please read the links posted by Chocolate.
    – naruto
    Apr 22, 2020 at 2:35
  • Francis, your understanding is correct.
    – wip
    Apr 22, 2020 at 12:15

1 Answer 1


I echo comments that your translations are good.

One footnote I might add for the first usage is that "分" is primarily used to refer to a part of the whole. So that line makes me wonder if there are other cardboard boxes that are not getting thrown away. If so, your translation might shift accordingly, say "is this the portion you want to throw away?"

Some other interesting variants of 分:

  • 分をわきまえる: be cognizant of one's place
  • オレの兄貴分に当たる人: he is practically my brother

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