I'm having some problems understanding the following sentence (it comes from a Taisho era story):


My understanding of it is:

I felt forlorn and lonely, just as if a woman had pointed her visor in my direction, and the light reflected therein had blinded me

My problems with it are

  1. I'm not sure how 女が額の真廂《まびさし》をむきつけに relates to 電燈の光で射向けられる (my guess is that that at the end of the first part works as a ので or のに, but I'm not sure)
  2. I'm not sure what those verbs (むきつける・射向ける) mean. I haven't been able to find them in any online dictionaries. They are compounds, and from the constituents I get something like "direct and fix" and "point and shine {on something}". But that's just guesswork.

Additional problem (This one intrigues me, but might not have an answer so you are welcome to ignore it)

  1. I wonder if 額の真廂《まびさし》. refer to any specif accesory or clothing item women wore in those days? (My gut say it must. Otherwise, the comparison would not make a lot sense. And even then, why would this incident be interpreted as 寂しくもけうとい? to my lay ears it sound as depressing as the sun being reflected on a window (i.e: not at all).)



1 Answer 1


It's from this novel. Translation first:


Recalling how I went in and out of the house when I lived in a house with an ivy-less gate, I felt a sense of loneliness and eeriness, just like when a woman is having her forelock directly illuminated with the light of an electric lamp.

  • This sentence has an indirect passive construction, 女額の真廂射向けられる, "A woman has her forelock illuminated" (Compare: 私財布盗また "I had my wallet stolen").
  • むきつけ is a na-adjective, and むきつけに ("directly, bluntly, unreservedly") is an adverbial phrase modifying 射向ける. 射向ける is a rare verb but you should be able to understand it along the lines of "direct/aim and shot". I translated it like 照らす.
  • I have never seen the expression 額の真廂 (lit. "forehead visor"). I guess this refers to the front part of this hairstyle rather than a part of a hat. Based on the atmosphere of the novel, it is unlikely that it refers to Western-style hats, but I may be wrong. And don't ask me why hair (or a hat) illuminated by a lamp gives off a sense of loneliness. I don't think such an aesthetic sense is something shared by Japanese people.

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