Talk:Shikata ga nai

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yare yare[edit]

related?

No, "yare yare" is a lot closer to "good grief" (like Charlie Brown). --Jediknil (23:42, 27 May 2006 (UTC))

It's better than before[edit]

But I still don't think it deserves it's own entry. I mean, the phrase "nothing we can do about it" could be used to explain American attitudes if you stretch it and find a historical event where it was uttered, but it's still just a phrase. The literature you quoted is in English which means the author might very well use the phrase just as a ploy, or a literary vehicle. The fact that Hiroshimans definately would have said "Shikata ga nai" doesn't mean the phrase is intrinsically connected to Hiroshima, I think regardless of culture/language the feeling of apathy would arise. You haven't quoted any linguistic articles or any articles directly linking "shikata ga nai" with Japanese culture/mentality (which I think would be unfair to do, one of the reasons the bomb was dropped was because Japan refused to give up). If you want to keep this article, I suggest you find either 1) Japanese sources on the cultural importance of "shikata ga nai", or 2) English sources on the phrase itself (not using it as a headline for a chapter for whatever reason or just mentioning it's the Japanese way of saying "nothing to be done about it").Mackan 02:25, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

I just noticed the link to your reference is broken as well.Mackan 13:07, 16 May 2006 (UTC)
I tried to fix the google books link, and I hope I did... although google books does weird things linked to your id, so you may have to be logged into a google account to see it? I'm not sure, I just tried to copy what they did in the WP:CITE example. Anyway, I just added the info in response to the delete tag at the top of the page. I feel that the topic is encyclopedic, and certainly as encyclopedic as other japanese/foreign phrases we have on the wikipedia (Vergangenheitsbewältigung, kawaii, arbeit macht frei, etc.). I think it's pretty similar to Fin de siècle, in that it could be translated into English, but much of the cultural importance of the phrase would be lost (For example, in the manga mentioned, Barefoot Gen, even when the book was translated to English, the phrase "shikata ga nai" was kept in Japanese). However, if you still feel that the topic is unencyclopedic, you're more than welcome to nominate it for deletion. --DDG 14:33, 16 May 2006 (UTC)
To be honest, it seems to me you're basing the encyclopedic value on one manga you have read. To me it seems like your Japanese level is too low to be able to determine whether "the culutural importance of the phrase would be lost" or not, because you cannot fully grasp the meaning of it from the start. There is also a difference between "shikata ga nai" and for example "arbeit macht frei". "Shikata ga nai" has never been officially connected to any historical event nor does it in Japanese carry any such connotations. Mackan 02:45, 17 May 2006 (UTC)
Umm... I don't see how you say that I inferred this from one manga; I've listed 4 sources that use the term extensively to describe a common perception of Japanese culture, particularly from a western perspective, and in my original version of this article, I didn't even mention Barefoot Gen. I agree that your Japanese comprehension probably far exceeds my own, but one doesn't need Japanese proficiency to see from these sources that the phrase has associations that are shared by many Western writers and journalists. Again though, this shouldn't be reduced to a debate between two people. If you still believe that the term can never be more than a dicdef, you can follow the Wikipedia:Deletion policy. --DDG 15:05, 17 May 2006 (UTC)
I might nominate this for deletion, but before that I want to have all the facts straight and be sure we understand each other, and I think it's fine if it's just between two people at this point. I wonder on what basis you say: "Sociologists often point to this phrase as a cultural acceptance of circumstances beyond ones control, and, in a possibly disturbing light, an ideology that encourages people to conform". I don't think the quote from Linda Trinh Vo or anything else in the article qualifies that statement, it seems to me it's something you thought up, but if I'm wrong, please show me the source. Also, I think that quote is bordering on stereotyping Japanese people to be weak and soon to give up, an image which for one thing doesn't fit the Second World War image of the people at all (which makes it all more confusing why it would be used to describe the Japanese mentality back then).
I'm sorry if I mistook your source for the phrase for a manga, but if it wasn't, may I ask you where you got in touch with it and what made you think it was worthy of an article? I still don't think it belongs in Wikipedia, as you still haven't specified (in the article) why it's notable, you're just listing English literature where it has been mentioned. Mackan 15:49, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
This discussion is getting a little muddled. If you disagree with any of the statements or inferrences I've put on the page, or if you find some of the wording offensive or vague, you should WP:Be Bold and change them to reflect that; I've reworded some of the phrases you found to be stereotypical and hope I've removed any perceived cultural biases or slights. As for the topic of notability, I have tried my best to include news articles, books, magazines, and other works in which it has been explicitly used and defined. It seems to me that you are trying to assess if the phrase is notable itself in Japan. I am not a resident of Japan or an expert of the Japanese language, so I cannot myself speak to this criteria, but I am asserting that, at the very least, the phrase is now notable as a Western concept- particularly in regards to the Japanese American Internment. I first encountered the phrase in that context when studying the internment in High School, and since then I have noticed it in other contexts with slightly different connotations, which I have tried to enumerate here. You have a lot of assumptions about my inferrences and questions about my personal history with this phrase, but I assure you that I have no agenda in attempting to include this phrase; I simply believe that I have encountered this phrase in enough sources and with a specific amount of context to make it notable. Again, if you find it that incomprehensible that I could believe this proves notability, you really should nominate it for deletion so we can get wider participation in this discussion. --DDG 15:27, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

Strong Keep[edit]

It's unbelievable to me that an article of this quality and importance is being considered for deletion. A quick Google search shows that the literary and historical associations have given this phrase a life of its own in American English, and Wikipedia is the first place someone will come to look for factual information about the phrase when encountering it for the first time. Tag the article to further cite the relevance of the phrase, if you must. But deleting it would improve Wikipedia how, exactly? This is historical, literary, and cultural information that people have an interest in seeking, and it has a right to exist on Wikipedia. Deletionism is just out of control. RBalder (talk) 01:06, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Why "Shikata ga nai" versus..[edit]

Why 仕方がない/shikata ga nai, versus 仕方ない/shikata nai or 仕方がありません/shikata ga arimasen?

"Shikata ga nai" is a mixture of formal and informal; it's by far less common in both spoken and written Japanese. People almost always either say "shikata ga arimasen" (12.6 million results on Google) when being formal or shikata nai (14.6 million results on Google) when being informal. Compare that to "shikata ga nai"--4.7 million results.

If this article is truly worth having, you'd think it would be about the form Japanese people actually -use-.Sailoralea (talk) 17:19, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

Agreed. Good point. Actually, Emperor Shōwa said "やむを得ない/Yamu wo enai", instead of "Shikata ga nai". Then I'd like to point out that this article has misleading sentences. Please note that they are similar but different languages. Japanese language has so many words that mean similar to "Shikata ga nai". Greenware001 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 03:01, 4 February 2010 (UTC).

Literary references[edit]

I was very happy to see KSR's Mars trilogy included in this section, as "shikata ga nai" is not just causally mentioned but forms a strong theme of the books. -- 203.82.91.156 (talk) 03:39, 15 February 2012 (UTC)