From the description of an enemy that is a headless Jizō:


When I first read the sentence, I understood it as 'A Jizō possessed by a monk whose head has been cut off due to him disliking the sound of the temple bell.' I've interpreted the と here as causative, as in 'once it came out that the monk didn't like the temple bell sound, somebody else decided to use that as a pretext to cut his head off'. But then I wondered if the と couldn't be interpreted as quotative as well, imagining the person, who cut off the monks head, saying something akin to: 'What?? You don't like the sound of the temple bell? I'm gonna cut off your head for that!' or maybe even interpret it as the person cutting off the monk's head, going something like 'I don't like the temple bell sound (myself), I'm gonna cut off that guy's head out of rage!'.

Now I don't know how much sense the latter two interpretations make in the first place, but strictly grammatically speaking, would either of these three interpretations work? If not, why?


  1. Did the monk not like the sound and as a result got his head cut off?
  2. Did the other person accuse the monk of not liking the sound and cut his head off for it?
  3. Did the other person not like the sound and lashed out at the monk (maybe due to being driven insane by the sound or something)?

Another example:


Who is doing here the action of 気に食わない? The way I see it, just like in the previous example, I could interpret it as either. The person asking this question (referred to as A) is saying that they didn't like that person's driving and in return the other party (B) picked a fight with A (maybe A made it clear that they don't like B's driving, leading to this escalation).
Or maybe B didn't like A's driving and confronted A directly.

So if I understand it correctly, it would be either a quotative or causative と, depending on which leading to one of these two possible interpretations. Or maybe my understanding of ~と因縁をつける is just wrong and it works differently?

I'm sorry for the long-winded post, I hope you can make sense of what I'm trying to ask here.

Edit 2: Sorry for my constant edits, but I believe it just clicked for me. For the first sentence, I'd say that the state of 気に食わぬ refers to the person beheading the monk; thinking about a scenario where a monk would tend to his temple, ringing his bell and somebody gets upset and decides to end the monk's life once and for all. Hence 'the monk being accosted and beheaded by somebody annoyed by the bell sound'. Which logically would apply to the second sentence as well then. The driver B being upset by the driving of person A i.e. 'driver A being accosted by driver B for A's terrible driving'. Does this make sense? Also, would my other interpretations still grammatically be valid?

1 Answer 1


This と is quotative. 因縁を付ける means "to invent a pretext/excuse (for fighting/assaulting someone)" or "to threaten someone (typically on the street) for some random reason". The と-marked clause is a made-up reason. This means someone outside the temple killed the monk under the pretext that he didn't like the sound from the temple. The true reason is that he wanted to extort money from the temple, or something like this. No one actually hated the sound of the bell.

a jizō possessed by a revengeful monk whose head has been cut off after being accused (as a pretext) that the sound of the bell of his temple is displeasing

EDIT: In the example of 運転, Person A believes his poor driving was only a trivial trigger at most, and the true purpose of this yakuza-like man (B) was to threaten him and extort money from him.

  • Thank you for the explanation! I wasn't really sure how 因縁をつける worked, but this makes it a lot clearer. 気に食わない can't even use the causative と, can it? The way I see it, it's more a state than an actual action, so I guess it shouldn't work in the first place, right? I wonder what I was thinking when asking the question initially...
    – Boolicious
    Mar 15, 2021 at 10:05
  • @Boolicious You can say something like 彼は何かが気にくわないとすぐ怒る.
    – naruto
    Mar 15, 2021 at 17:06

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