I have noticed a rather superficial notion prevailing among half-informed foreigners, that because the common Japanese expression for one's wife is "my rustic wife" and the like, she is despised and held in little esteem. When it is told that such phrases as "my foolish father," "my swinish son," "my awkward self," etc., are in current use, is not the answer clear enough?

To me it seems that our idea of marital union goes in some ways further than the so-called Christian. "Man and woman shall be one flesh." The individualism of the Anglo-Saxon cannot let go of the idea that husband and wife are two persons;—hence when they disagree, their separate rights are recognized, and when they agree, they exhaust their vocabulary in all sorts of silly pet-names and—nonsensical blandishments. It sounds highly irrational to our ears, when a husband or wife speaks to a third party of his other half—better or worse—as being lovely, bright, kind, and what not. Is it good taste to speak of one's self as "my bright self," "my lovely disposition," and so forth? We think praising one's own wife or one's own husband is praising a part of one's own self, and self-praise is regarded, to say the least, as bad taste among us,—and I hope, among Christian nations too! I have diverged at some length because the polite debasement of one's consort was a usage most in vogue among the samurai.



なお『武士道』の初版1899年。「戦後あたりから間違った意味で使われるようになった」というおまえの説と矛盾する。新渡戸稲造によるとWe think praising one's own wife or one's own husband is praising a part of one's own self(おのれの妻や夫を褒めるのはおのれ自身の一部を褒めることだと、我々は考える)というのだ。だからmy rustic wife(愚妻)のような表現を使うのだ、と新渡戸は言っている。したがって─






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