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the Japanese marbles

English translation: prizes

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:the Japanese marbles
English translation:prizes
Entered by: Bianca Fogarasi
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18:16 Sep 4, 2006
English to English translations [PRO]
Social Sciences - History / WW 2
English term or phrase: the Japanese marbles
"We now know that the Soviet Union, whose armies had raced across Manchuria and down Sakhalin Island in August 1945, intended to invade Hokkaido, the northernmost of the Japanese home islands. That invasion would have taken place I two months before Operation Olympic, our invasion of the south island, Kyushu. While Emperor Hirohito's surrender declaration awaited the official signing in Tokyo Bay on September 2, the Soviets continued to gobble up territory and were poised to make a leap to Hokkaido. That amphibious landing would have been an improvised affair, but no matter: Of Cold War confrontations that almost happened but didn't none is more frightening in its potential for fatal mischief.

It's not just that the Soviets would, in just over two weeks and at minimal cost, have picked up a large share of **the Japanese marbles** that had taken the Allies almost four years and thousands of lives to gather. If their landing force had established so much as a beach hold on Hokkaido - and American raiders had apparently gone ashore there with little resistance that summer - the Soviets would have had a legitimate claim to the island, a significant (and no doubt troublemaking) role in the formal surrender preparations, and a zone of a partitioned Tokyo. Just think of the Cold War implications of a Berlin in the Pacific. (Looking on the positive side, we could have blockaded the Soviet zone of Tokyo in response to Stalin's blockade of Berlin in 1948, which might have ended that crisis - or created a more general one.) Consider, too, the deadening effect of a Soviet Hokkaido on Japan's reconstruction - or the inhibiting effect that a hostile occupying force on a home island would have had on our decision to intervene in Korea, using Japan as a base. The chances for future regional and international conflict seem infinite."

I don't understand what "marbles" means in this sentence. If someone could explain or rephrase...

http://www.answers.com/marbles
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/marbles

Many thanks
Bianca Fogarasi
prizes
Explanation:
I'd say your term is based on the phrase "all the marbles", meaning everything to be had. The US had been attempting to defeat Japan completely, i.e. to take all the marbles, every territory under Japanese control. The marbles are the prizes to be had.

all the marbles
1. (idiomatic) everything; all that is to be had
after a day's worth of events, it came down to one last match; this one was for all the marbles

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/All_the_marbles
Selected response from:

Kim Metzger
Mexico
Local time: 21:13
Grading comment
many thanks, your explanation was very useful!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +9prizes
Kim Metzger
3 +1Japanese territory/islandsAnna Maria Augustine at proZ.com


  

Answers


4 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
the japanese marbles
Japanese territory/islands


Explanation:
Seems to be this.

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Note added at 6 mins (2006-09-04 18:23:27 GMT)
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Strategically important cities...

Anna Maria Augustine at proZ.com
France
Local time: 04:13
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Jack Doughty
11 mins

neutral  humbird: That may be the case, but it is less "physical" than that. The "marble" here is more figurative expression.
45 mins
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

13 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +9
the japanese marbles
prizes


Explanation:
I'd say your term is based on the phrase "all the marbles", meaning everything to be had. The US had been attempting to defeat Japan completely, i.e. to take all the marbles, every territory under Japanese control. The marbles are the prizes to be had.

all the marbles
1. (idiomatic) everything; all that is to be had
after a day's worth of events, it came down to one last match; this one was for all the marbles

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/All_the_marbles


Kim Metzger
Mexico
Local time: 21:13
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 21
Grading comment
many thanks, your explanation was very useful!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  humbird: I believe the word "marbles" is abstract way to say "prizes", something desirable, as your example explains.
34 mins

agree  Michael Barnett: Yes. It uses the children's game of marbles as a metaphor.
57 mins

agree  Robert Fox
2 hrs

agree  NancyLynn
3 hrs

agree  Richard Benham: I see you haven't lost yours yet, Kim!
3 hrs

agree  KathyT
4 hrs

agree  Anton Baer
7 hrs

agree  Alison Jenner
13 hrs

agree  xxxAlfa Trans
21 hrs
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