I came across this line while reading a manga but was stuck on the 故の portion.


I understood this sentence as, "It's an occupational disease because of (your) excessive thirst for knowledge."

However when I tried looking up for more sentences with 故の functioning as "because", they all had が's before them. Furthermore, I read that 故の is also not a term that'd be used in daily conversation, which has me puzzled since this conversation is between two friends in a cafe.

Could it be that the が was simply just dropped because of the casual nature of the conversation? Or does 故の mean something else in this context?

2 Answers 2


This 故【ゆえ】 is a special type of noun called 形式名詞 ("formal noun" in the sense of "technically/apparently a noun"). Other formal nouns include とき, ため, はず, etc.

Since 故 is a (formal) noun, something that modifies it must be an attributive (i.e., "noun-modifying") expression. So what are "noun-modifying" in Japanese?

  • Attributive form of an adjective


  • Noun + の / No-adjective + の


  • Attributive form of a verb, a.k.a. a relative clause


  • Lexicalized attributives (その, この, etc)
  • Attributive form of a verb + が


The first four bullets should be easy if you understand 故 is technically a noun. They are all valid usages of 故に/故の.

The last one may seem tricky if you don't know what's going on. This is a special construction derived from Old Japanese. This が is actually a linking particle like の, and the verb before it is actually a nominalized verb. Please read: Why is there a が in 深淵に臨むが如し?

Since 故 is a stiff and literary expression, it still tends to be used along with が when it is modified by a verb. But other simpler usages are also perfectly possible. To put this simply, the が between the verb and 故 is optional. In your case, there is another が near 故, so I even feel the sentence sounds slightly better without が before 故.

Finally, it's not that odd to use 故の in casual conversations. Using a bit of idiomatic expressions from archaic Japanese is usually natural. See: Nuance and conversational use of なきにしもあらず


In my opinion, 行き過ぎた故の is not common for me, buy it seems not wrong.

As you said, I guess that ~が故に/の or Noun + 故に/の (e.g. その美しさ故に/の) is more common.
However, it is almost used as literal language and We rarely use it in daily conversation.

Indeed, we occasionally use it in verbal communication.
Occasionally, you want to use a literal language or difficult word, don't you?
That is about it. That is the situation in the Manga though it is grammarly wrong...

  • 2
    When in doubt, you can use a corpus like BCCWJ. In less than a minute, we can see たが故に is roughly 4 times more common than た故に, but the latter is not wrong.
    – naruto
    Commented Dec 18, 2020 at 3:50
  • 3
    @Kay, 青空文庫で「~た故の」「~た故に」「~たゆえの」「~たゆえに」を検索すると結構ヒットしますけど。。。柳田国男「これを促成していたゆえの」北原白秋「充分手に入らなかったゆえに」谷崎潤一郎「籠っていた故に」南方熊楠「百済より渡った故の」などなど。
    – chocolate
    Commented Dec 18, 2020 at 3:52
  • Thank you for your comments. I am sorry. I was wrong. I understand thanks to Chocolate. @Chocolate, ありがとうございます。そうした面々に過去に使われていたいうことは、成立していたのですね。。修正しておきます。
    – Kay
    Commented Dec 18, 2020 at 4:00

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