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Advanced Japanese Lesson:肌触り


では、「目ざわり」は? 「目障りなビル」などと使いますよ。これも、何かを見るときに邪魔になるものや、見ていて不快に感じる様子を指すことばです。



Imagine that you’re touching a soft blanket. Some may say “oooh, this blanket has good hadazawari or “skin feeling”
Just as it is written, hadazawari means the feeling if something on the skin. Tezawari means the same thing.

Now, what does the word mimizawari, which sounds similar, mean? Would it mean music or words that are good to the ears?

Actually, mimizawari means the opposite. In other words, it means something that is unpleasant to hear.
Now, how about mezawari? You can use it to say a “building is mezawari“. This word also means when something is in your way when you look at something, or something that makes you feel unpleasant when you look at it.

Although it’s the same “○○zawari” it’s interesting that it has a completely different meaning.

This is because the word sawaru has two meanings. The first one is the sawaru meaning to “touch with the hand or something of that sort” (which is written as 触 in kanji.) The second sawaru is “to obstruct, be of a hindrance” (it is written as 障 in kanji.) The second one is used when you are leaving an ill person after a visit in a way such as “I don’t want to obstruct your health, therefore I’ll be going soon.”

Since they are similar, be careful not to say something like, “wow, your singing voice is such a hindrance to the ears” by accident.