I am trying to translate this song for practice, and am wondering how 理 (ことわり) is being used in this particular line.

According to Jisho 理(ことわり)means, "reason; logic; sense; natural way of things."

Here is the line and the one that follows it. In the line just before these two, the speaker basically says, "What will X wish for?"


Translating this literally I got:

If it is uninvited logic, I will just restore it to 「the way it should be」

If it (the wish) is uninvited logic, I will just restore it to 「the way it should be」

Now this translation sounds odd (but honestly the whole song has very out there lyrics) and so that's why I am wondering if it means something else.

If this literal translation is correct, I would assume it means that the people doing the wishing (who are presumably bad) want the world to run on chaotic logic; i.e. logic that no one wants, that did not get invited. I am assuming this because of Jisho's "natural way of things" definition (So literally something like "If it (the wish) is for an uninvited/unwelcome natural way of things, I will just restore everything to 「the way it should be」"). If my interpretation of this literal translation is correct, I would then translate this line closer to that meaning.

According to a Japanese dictionary, the second meaning of 理 is わけ and 理由 (reason; pretext; motive), so is it possible for 理 to be more figurative using a わけ-like definition?

It's also important to add that this line is repeated in different forms in the song, which include "許されざる理" (unforgiven logic) and "紡がれざる理" (unspun/unassembled logic).

So what is your take on this line. Again, please note that this entire song is very ethereal/figurative, so there is a lot of possibility that this line is just odd to begin with.


1 Answer 1


In this sentence, "natural way of things" is the closest translation for 理. If you want a little more comprehensive words, "destiny" or "fate" would fit in the context. So the translation will be: If (the thing) is destined to be unwanted, (what I/we can do is) only to restore it to the way it should be. Here "招かれざる" qualifies the content of the destiny, not the destiny itself. Assume that "招かれざる" qualifies 理, then "招かれざる理" is a subject of the sentence and "招かれざる理なら" would be "If (something) is unwanted destiny". However, nothing can be destiny itself (at least in this context), so the assumption was wrong.

Also, next one "許されざる理" can be interpreted similarly: (the content of the destiny) is destined to be forbidden. However, the last one is different; in the line "紡がれざる理", probably "紡がれざる" qualifies 理 itself. I can't explain why properly, but while 理 is nothing that is neither invited nor permitted, 理 can be woven("紡がれる") so it is natural to interpret like above, simply.

  • Thanks so much for your response! I'm still sort of confused on why 招かれざる can't qualify 理 itself, but instead qualifies it's contents because nothing can be destiny itself in the context. The translation really can't be "If it (the wish) is for an unwanted destiny (to occur)."? If not, can I write, "If it’s destined to be unwelcome...." With the "it's" being the wish, the thing that the others want? So that would mean that the wish itself is bad, right; the wish is destined to be unwanted by the speaker/others? Anyway, thanks so much for your help already, sorry for the extra questions. Commented Jan 24, 2021 at 18:33
  • The translation "If it (the wish) is for an unwanted destiny (to occur)." is correct. In the English sentence it does make sence, but it doesn't in Japanese sentence; if "招かれざる" qualifies 理, then "招かれざる理" is a subject of the sentence, therefore naturally, "招かれざる理" become a object of "返す". However, destiny cannot be restored or modified. Instead, if you assume招かれざる" qualifies the content of the destiny, the object of "返す" is naturally expected to be a content of destiny. Does it make sence?
    – user41658
    Commented Jan 25, 2021 at 4:18

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