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Blame in Chinese / Japanese...

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The incompetent boat pilot blames the river for his shortcomings

China bù huì chēng chuán lài hé wān
The incompetent boat pilot blames the river for his shortcomings Vertical Wall Scroll

This literally translates as: [One who] cannot steer the boat blames the bends in the river.

Figuratively, this means: One who is incompetent always tries to shift the blame elsewhere.
This is similar to the English idiom, "a poor workman/craftsman blames his tools."


China zé rèn
Japan sekinin
Responsibility Vertical Wall Scroll

責任 is the Chinese, Japanese, and Korean word for "responsibility."

責任 can also refer to someone who is willing to take the blame when things go wrong (instead of making excuses or passing the blame to someone else). While this is a noble idea, I think it is getting more rare these days in both eastern and western cultures.

Also associated with the idea of "duty."

Not the results for blame that you were looking for?

Below are some entries from our dictionary that may match your blame search...


If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese

Simple Dictionary Definition



see styles
Mandarin zé rèn / ze2 ren4
Taiwan tse jen
Japanese sekinin / せきにん
Responsibility Vertical Wall Scroll
Chinese responsibility; blame; duty; CL:個|个[ge4]
Japanese (1) duty; responsibility (incl. supervision of staff); (2) liability; onus

see styles
Mandarin/ zi3
Taiwan tzu
Japanese aza / あざ
Chinese to slander; to blame; to revile
Japanese (surname) Aza

see styles
Mandarin jiù / jiu4
Taiwan chiu
Japanese toga / とが
Chinese fault; to blame; to punish; calamity; misfortune
Japanese (1) (kana only) error; mistake; fault; (2) (kana only) sin; wrongdoing; offense

see styles
Mandarin/ qi4
Taiwan ch`i / chi
Chinese to whisper; to blame, to slander

see styles
Mandarin mán // mái / man2 // mai2
Taiwan man // mai
Japanese uzumi / うずみ
Chinese to blame; to bury
Japanese (surname) Uzumi

see styles
Mandarin wēi // wěi / wei1 // wei3
Taiwan wei
Japanese tomo / とも    tsubusa / つぶさ    kuwashi / くわし    inazuka / いなずか
Chinese to entrust; to cast aside; to shift (blame etc); to accumulate; roundabout; winding; dejected; listless; committee member; council; end; actually; certainly; same as 逶 in 逶迤 winding, curved; surname Wei
Japanese (female given name) Tomo; (given name) Tsubusa; (personal name) Kuwashi; (surname) Inazuka
To throw down, depute; really; crooked; the end; to entrust to

see styles
Mandarin jià / jia4
Taiwan chia
Japanese yome / よめ
Chinese (of a woman) to marry; to marry off a daughter; to shift (blame etc)
Japanese (1) wife; bride; (2) (one's) daughter-in-law

see styles
Mandarin yuàn / yuan4
Taiwan yüan
Japanese on
Chinese to blame; to complain
Resentment, grievance, hatred; bitterness

see styles
Mandarin guài / guai4
Taiwan kuai
Japanese kai / かい
Chinese bewildering; odd; strange; uncanny; devil; monster; to wonder at; to blame; quite; rather
Japanese mystery; wonder

see styles
Mandarin chì / chi4
Taiwan ch`ih / chih
Japanese sumihiro / すみひろ    sumitomo / すみとも    sumitoshi / すみとし    sumio / すみお    sumiaki / すみあき
Chinese to blame; to reprove; to reprimand; to expel; to oust; to reconnoiter; (of territory) to expand; saline marsh
Japanese (personal name) Sumihiro; (personal name) Sumitomo; (personal name) Sumitoshi; (personal name) Sumio; (personal name) Sumiaki

see styles
Mandarin zuì / zui4
Taiwan tsui
Japanese tsumi / つみ    zai / ざい
Chinese guilt; crime; fault; blame; sin
Japanese (n,adj-na,adj-no) (1) crime; sin; wrongdoing; indiscretion; (2) penalty; sentence; punishment; (3) fault; responsibility; culpability; (noun or adjectival noun) (4) thoughtlessness; lack of consideration; (suffix) (See 誘拐罪・ゆうかいざい) crime
That which is blameworthy and brings about bad karma; entangled in the net of wrong-doing; sin, crime.

see styles
Mandarin/ he1
Taiwan ho
Japanese ka
Chinese to scold
To blame, reprove, scold; ridicule; translit. ha, ka, kha, ga, and similar sounds; to scold

see styles
Mandarin qiào / qiao4
Taiwan ch`iao / chiao
Chinese ridicule; to blame

see styles
Mandarin zhé / zhe2
Taiwan che
Japanese taku
Chinese to relegate a high official to a minor post in an outlying region (punishment in imperial China); to banish or exile; (of immortals) to banish from Heaven; to censure; to blame
to condemn

see styles
Mandarin qiào // qiáo / qiao4 // qiao2
Taiwan ch`iao / chiao
Chinese ridicule; to blame; drum tower; surname Qiao

see styles
Mandarin/ ze2
Taiwan tse
Japanese seki / せき
Chinese duty; responsibility; to reproach; to blame
Japanese (See 責任・1) responsibility; duty; obligation; (given name) Seki
to upbraid

see styles
Mandarin lài / lai4
Taiwan lai
Japanese rai
Chinese to depend on; to hang on in a place; bad; to renege (on promise); to disclaim; to rat (on debts); rascally; to blame; to put the blame on; surname Lai
To rely upon, depend on; throw the burden on, repudiate.

see styles
Mandarin fēi / fei1
Taiwan fei
Japanese hi / ひ
Chinese to not be; not; wrong; incorrect; non-; un-; in-; to reproach or blame; (colloquial) to insist on; simply must; abbr. for 非洲[Fei1 zhou1], Africa
Japanese (1) fault; error; mistake; (2) going poorly; being disadvantageous; being unfavorable; (prefix) (3) un-; non-; an-
Not: un-: without, apart from; wrong.


see styles
Mandarin bù shì // bú shi / bu4 shi4 // bu2 shi5
Taiwan pu shih // pu
Japanese fuze
Chinese no; is not; not; fault; blame
not, is not


see styles
Mandarin rèn jiù / ren4 jiu4
Taiwan jen chiu
Chinese to take the blame


see styles
Mandarin xiū guài / xiu1 guai4
Taiwan hsiu kuai
Chinese don't blame (sb)


see styles
Japanese kamuru / かむる    kaburu / かぶる Japanese (transitive verb) (1) (kana only) to put on (one's head); to wear; to have on; to pull over (one's head); to crown (oneself); (2) (kana only) to be covered with (dust, snow, etc.); to pour (water, etc.) on oneself; to dash on oneself; to ship water; (3) (kana only) to bear (e.g. someone's debts, faults, etc.); to take (blame); to assume (responsibility); to shoulder (burden); (4) to overlap (e.g. sound or color); (5) to be similar; to be redundant; (v5r,vi) (6) to be fogged (due to overexposure, etc.); (7) to close; to come to an end; (8) to get a full house; to sell out; (9) (archaism) to blunder; to bungle; to fail; (10) (archaism) to be deceived



see styles
Mandarin qiè zé / qie4 ze2
Taiwan ch`ieh tse / chieh tse
Chinese to blame; to reprimand



see styles
Mandarin hē zé / he1 ze2
Taiwan ho tse
Japanese kashaku / かしゃく
Chinese to abuse; to berate
Japanese blame; accusation; torture; maltreatment; pangs (of conscience)


see styles
Japanese togame / とがめ Japanese blame; censure; rebuke; reproof



see styles
Mandarin wèn zé / wen4 ze2
Taiwan wen tse
Japanese monseki / もんせき
Chinese to hold accountable; to blame; to censure; to apportion blame
Japanese (noun/participle) blame; censure; reproof; reprimand; rebuke


see styles
Mandarin chēn guài / chen1 guai4
Taiwan ch`en kuai / chen kuai
Chinese to blame; to rebuke



see styles
Mandarin chēn zhe / chen1 zhe5
Taiwan ch`en che / chen che
Chinese (coll.) to blame sb for something


see styles
Mandarin mán yuàn / man2 yuan4
Taiwan man yüan
Chinese to complain; to grumble (about); to reproach; to blame


see styles
Japanese kasu / かす Japanese (Godan verb with "su" ending) (1) (See 嫁する) to wed; to be married; (2) to shift blame to someone else

Many custom options...

Responsibility Vertical Wall Scroll
Responsibility Vertical Wall Scroll
Responsibility Vertical Wall Scroll
Responsibility Vertical Wall Scroll

And formats...

Responsibility Vertical Portrait
Responsibility Horizontal Wall Scroll
Responsibility Vertical Portrait

Lookup Blame in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary

The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...

Title CharactersRomaji(Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
The incompetent boat pilot blames the river for his shortcomings不會撐船賴河灣
bù huì chēng chuán lài hé wān
bu4 hui4 cheng1 chuan2 lai4 he2 wan1
bu hui cheng chuan lai he wan
pu hui ch`eng ch`uan lai ho wan
pu hui cheng chuan lai ho wan
sekininzé rèn / ze2 ren4 / ze ren / zerentse jen / tsejen
In some entries above you will see that characters have different versions above and below a line.
In these cases, the characters above the line are Traditional Chinese, while the ones below are Simplified Chinese.

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A nice Chinese calligraphy wall scroll

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A professional Chinese Calligrapher

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Instead of drawing characters by hand, the new generation in China merely type roman letters into their computer keyboards and pick the character that they want from a list that pops up.

There is some fear that true Chinese calligraphy may become a lost art in the coming years. Many art institutes in China are now promoting calligraphy programs in hopes of keeping this unique form of art alive.

Trying to learn Chinese calligrapher - a futile effort

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A high-ranked Chinese master calligrapher that I met in Zhongwei

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