I came across this sentence in an anime I am watching. I am wondering if this is some kind of expression that means something like "no matter which way you look at it"

I can't seem to find anything in my searches. Could someone please explain this to me.

The context of this sentence is someone trying to sell a knife to a merchant. The sentence is the reply of the merchant while inspecting the quality of the knife:

押しても引いても切れやしない まぁ、ガラクタじゃな

2 Answers 2


I think it still holds a literal meaning of 押す: push and 引く: pull in your sentence, so the merchant has confirmed it’s a junk knife since it does not cut anything after his attempt of pushing and pulling.

You can use it metaphorically when you challenge something. In that case, 押す means trying to be aggresive and 引く means trying to be defensive. In a marketing sense, 押し引き may mean estimating the balance of companies' campaign to the customer.


It is used more or less in the literal sense of pushing and pulling. Maybe you don't push or pull knives (on the object to be cut) in English, but in Japanese 押して切る means moving your knife away from you and 引いて切る moving your knife towards yourself.

Typically, sashimi is a thing you 引いて切る (hence 刺し身を引く means cut out slices of sashimi). Cf. 刺し身の引き方 - How to Slice Sashimi at youtube

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