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What is the meaning of the structure ~に於るが如くin the sentence「兵士の気節に於るが如く」?

It is my understanding that [Verb]+が如く is a somewhat literary synonym for [Verb]+ように, meaning "like [Verb]", or "in the manner of [Verb]" and [Noun]+に於る means "regarding [Noun]", or "as for [Noun]", but I'm not sure how the two articulate.

Could it be that が如く instead complements the noun phrase 兵士の気節に於る, all together meaning something like "Like the moral backbone of the soldier"?

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  • I guess almost all Japanese people dont understand the phrase you cited especially without context. におけるがごとく looks quite strange collocation, though perhaps our ancestors would say so hundreds years ago or so. – Seapineapple Dec 10 '20 at 16:49
  • It's relatively easy to translate 兵士の気節が如く without context, but 兵士の気節に於るが如く is hard to interpret without the full context. From what I could google, this phrase is originally from this book written in 1970, but I could not identify the exact page. Please share the surrounding context. And could you tell us how much do you know about classical Japanese? – naruto Dec 10 '20 at 17:38
  • For context: the phrase appears here kotobank.jp/word/気節-474038 in the example sentences for the word 気節. This example comes from a book written in the 1870's so it is indeed quite old. After some quick googling I found that the phrase also appears here hiroseki.sakura.ne.jp/minpon.html in the sentence 然し民主主義といへば,社会民主党などといふ場合に於けるが如く,「国家の主権は人民にあり」といふ学説と混同され易い。in an equally old text. – grove Dec 10 '20 at 17:44
  • @naruto Sorry I did not see your comment before posting mine, I encountered the phrase as I was looking for the definition of 気節 in kotobank. I thought that its meaning would be somewhat self-contained given that it was used as an example sentence. I do not know much about classical Japanese. – grove Dec 10 '20 at 17:50
  • Okay, so no one of us don't know the full context :) That's fine. – naruto Dec 10 '20 at 17:53
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兵士の気節に於るが如く means not "like the moral backbone of soldiers" but "like in the moral backbone of soldiers" or "similarly to the case of the moral backbone of soldiers". (気骨 is a fairly rare word and I don't know if 'moral backbone' is the best translation, but let's leave it for now.)

Likewise, 社会民主党などといふ場合に於けるが如く in the example you found means "as seen in the case where people say something like 社会民主党".

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  • Thank you for the very thorough explanation! Would ~に於るのように work as an equivalent, less archaic version? – grove Dec 10 '20 at 18:45
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    @grove No, when you say this using modern grammar, ~におけるように is enough. Don't use the nominalizer. – naruto Dec 10 '20 at 18:48

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