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Hi there,

I'm currently working on a translation for the the subtitles of a Karate instructional video and have to translate the following quotation.

「負ければ正義も死に申す。」

The context for this is that the instructor is telling his students about the shortcomings of fighting in a competition. His point is that it isn't always the person who lands the most blows that gets the most points but rather the one who lands the most blows that the judges can actually see. This explanation is followed by the quotation. Apparently he is quoting something from a daimyo of the Shimazu Clan dated to sometime during the warring states period.

Because of the apparent historical context of the quotation I want to do something more than a literal translation (something along the lines of "If we lose even justice will call for death"). Instead I am thinking of using a similar historical quote:

"Woe to the vanquished."

Those of you that like documentaries about ancient Rome will likely already know that this is what the Gauls who sacked Rome in the 3rd century BC said to the elite Romans who had complained about being treated unfairly by the Gauls. I think that matching two historical quotes that are centuries and continents apart is interesting if not exciting. That said, does anyone know if there is a commonly, accepted translation for 負ければ正義も死に申す? I could not find one but if it already exists I would love to know. Please let me know what you think. My deadline is Saturday, April 26 (2014)

M.R.

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