In the below I would have thought 無茶ぶりした時 would have been 無茶ぶりされた時. Am I missing something?

でもあんたって、どんな仕事でも途中で放り出したりしないでしょ? 無茶ぶりした時こそ必死になって動くのが、あんたの昔からの長所だからね

  • Maybe you could explain why you think 無茶ぶりされた sounds more appropriate?
    – A.Ellett
    Oct 18, 2020 at 18:49
  • Well because I understand 無茶振りをされた to mean e.g. someone did it to you, and 無茶振りをした to mean you did it to someone. From context its obvious that it is not him doing the 無茶ぶり.
    – renzoko
    Oct 18, 2020 at 19:23
  • Perhaps you can provide the context.... because from what you presented it looks like what's being said is something along the lines of "when it comes to you, whatever job you're in the midst of working on, you don't just chuck it, do you? Your strength has always been, even in unreasonable times, to work like your life depended on it." Granted I've taken some liberties here with my translation, but from what you've provided, that seems to be the general sense. But, perhaps a larger context would make it clearer that something else is actually meant.
    – A.Ellett
    Oct 18, 2020 at 19:46
  • From my understanding in context, your translation is pretty spot on. His mother is trying to convince him to take an opportunity offered by one of his relatives that he feels he isn't quite ready for. However I am still confused as to why した not された. e.g. for example from the link meaning-book.com/blog/20190708143513.html one of the first sentences is: 「無茶振り」をされたことがある、誰かに「無茶振り」をしたことがある、という人もいるでしょう. So when I see 無茶振りをした時 I'm thinking of him doing it do someone else which clearly isn't what is being said.
    – renzoko
    Oct 18, 2020 at 20:13
  • In 無茶振りをした時, there is no expressed agent. Instead, 無茶振りをした is just a modifier for the times. Perhaps, think of this a bit more broken down as 無茶 (unreasonable) +振り (appearance), so that 無茶振りをした時 is more like "times that feel unreasonable (to you)". Does that help?
    – A.Ellett
    Oct 18, 2020 at 20:21

2 Answers 2


Both sentences are okay, and mean almost the same thing:

  • 無茶ぶりされた時こそ必死になって動く
  • 無茶ぶりした時こそ必死になって動く

In the former, the subject of 無茶ぶりされる is simply the listener (あんた). In the latter, there is an implicit subject switching; the subject of 無茶ぶりする is the speaker (i.e., あんたは私が無茶ぶりした時こそ必死になって動く). You have to infer the hidden subject from the context.

In general, this is not a rare phenomenon in Japanese. For example, 添付したファイル and 添付されたファイル usually both mean "attached file".


I think what you're seeing here is somewhat akin to expressions like ぼんやりした or びっくりした. 無茶振りをした時 is just expressing the idea that the individual experiences the time as unreasonable. There is no explicit or implicit notion of someone who is being unreasonable or creating trouble for this individual. Rather, it's just expressing a subjective perspective on what this individual has experienced.

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