In the expression 山と積む (meaning 山ように積む , I think) I can't understand the grammatical function of this と.

Is there any omission after と in the phrase? Or is this a use of と that I don't recognize? Or maybe it is just a set expression, and this と doesn't convey any grammatical meaning?

  • 2
    I can say there is no omission after と and it's meaning is 山のように詰む indeed. But I can't explain it's grammatical meaning.
    – mmtootmm
    Commented Apr 28, 2020 at 16:00
  • 2
    Maybe related: japanese.stackexchange.com/q/68125/5010
    – naruto
    Commented Apr 29, 2020 at 8:21

1 Answer 1


One of the "と" functions is making a metaphor. As mmtootmm comments, this case "と" can be paraphrased as "のように".

These are some examples:

山と積まれた放射性廃棄物は現在,深刻な憂慮の対象となっている。= The mounting piles of radioactive waste are a present cause for genuine concern.

もし船長が「メーデー」を発信しなかったら,ノーティカル・レガシー号は海の藻屑(もくず)と消えていただろう。 = Without the captain making the Mayday call, the "Nautical Legacy" would never have been found.

PS: Here is an explanation from 広辞苑:

と(助詞) ➊(格助詞) 体言あるいはこれに準ずる語句、または文に付く。

  1. ある事物・状態であると認定して資格を与える。指定の助動詞「たり」の連用形に相当する。


So と is used to make a metaphor(比喩). Of course not for all metaphor. I think this usage of と is very limited, only for some idiomatic phrases like we're seeing here.

  • 1
    でも、海の藻屑と消えた は、「海の藻屑のように消えた」って意味じゃなくて「海の藻屑となって消えた」って意味ですよね。
    – chocolate
    Commented Apr 29, 2020 at 2:16
  • 1
    「海の藻屑のように消えた」でも「海の藻屑となって消えた」でも、言わんとしているのは船が文字通り海の藻屑に変化したというわけではなく、「跡形もなくなった」ということを海の藻屑に例えて表現している一種の比喩かなと思うんですが、どうでしょう? Commented Apr 30, 2020 at 1:23
  • wait, @Chocolate said that, however, this と was a kind of quotative-と, the same used as intensifier after abstract numbers or in fixed idioms such as ごまんと, is this not true?
    – giuc99
    Commented May 4, 2020 at 18:00
  • It's とあり ithink
    – Star Peep
    Commented Feb 6 at 0:56

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