Iyaku – the seemingly ‘imperfect’ version

“There are two ways to translate a sentence between English and Japanese. One is chokuyaku – a direct translation of the actual words; the other is iyaku , a contextual translation of the meaning. The literal chokuyaku may be considered more ‘perfect’, in terms of translating every piece of the sentence, but it doesn’t take into account the context of its reception, just as an idea of a ‘perfect life’ doesn’t take into account the context of our own complex and challenging reality. It’s often the iyaku – the seemingly ‘imperfect’ version – that is infinitely more powerful, graceful and valuable, giving the more authentic translation, just as the ‘imperfect life’ is the authentic way of living.”

Excerpt From: Kempton, Beth. “Wabi Sabi: Japanese Wisdom for a Perfectly Imperfect Life.”