故, 所以・由縁, 謂れ, & 由

第371課: 故, 所以・由縁, 謂れ, & 由

Reason, as we have learned, is expressed with various grammar points such as the particles から and ので, nouns such as 理由 and 訳, as well as several other phrases like ~ため. Each means of expressing reasons presents the learner even more ways to nuance one’s speech to better convey reason. In this lesson, we will learn about even more phrases whose basic understandings are tied to the notion of reason. These words are 故, 所以・由縁, 謂れ, and 由. 

At its most basic understanding, 故 means “reason.”

1. ゆえあって同行どうこうすることになった。
It has been decided for a certain reason that we accompany the other.

2. ゆえない侮辱ぶじょくはせん。
I shan’t make a senseless insult.

3. そう批判ひはんされるのも故無ゆえなしとしない。
Being criticized as such is also not without reason.  

Phrase Note: 故無しとしない can be paraphrased as それなりの理由がある.

4. なんゆえを以って東南とうなんかたむくや。
       Wherefore doth the Earth tilteth to the southeast?

However, this is not its only meaning. Depending on the expression, it may be synonymous to the word 由緒 meaning “history” as in having a connection to something.   

5. ゆえある遺品いひんてられまい。
I cannot possibly discard items full of history to me that were left to me.

It may also be translatable as “circumstance(s)” and “appearance.”

6. そのゆえありげなうつくしい姿すがた、こののものではないようにもおもえる。
That suggestive, beautiful appearance, it seems as if it’s not of this world.


The grammar pattern ~ゆえに, which is created with the noun 故 from above and the purpose-marking に, is used to express either a positive or negative cause which brings about a typically negative yet atypical result.

This pattern is quite old-fashioned, but it is occasionally still found. What is most complicated about it is how it connects with other parts of speech.

 Nouns N + ゆえ(に)
 N + がゆえに
 N + のゆえに
 N + である(が)ゆえに
 形容詞 Adj + (が)ゆえに
 形容動詞 Adj. N + である(が)ゆえに
 Adj. N + なゆえに
 Verbs V + (が)ゆえに

It is possible to see (が)ゆえに follow conjugatable parts of speech in both the non-past and the past tense. It may even be seen after the auxiliary verb ます. However, it is mostly seen after nouns where it exhibits the most variety in appearance.

It is often the case that the speaker relates to the situation somehow. Even if the sentence is in the third person, the speaker still relates to the subject of the sentence. This pattern is also used in academic papers as an objective marker of reason. In an academic setting, the effect that follows does not have to be limited to a negative circumstance, but outside academic settings, this is a requirement.

7. 未熟者みじゅくものゆえおゆるしください。
       Please forgive me for I am a novice.

Sentence Note: The result of forgiving the speaker for being a novice may not seem like a negative circumstance, but the possibility of not being forgiven is a negative outcome, and it is this direness being expressed by the speaker that consists an unfavorable situation.

8. おんなであるがゆえにける差別さべつ構造こうぞうれば、もっとらくになるとおもんでいる女性じょせいたちがいる。
There are women who are (incorrectly) convinced that things will get easier so long as they know about the framework of discrimination that they receive for being women.

9. おんなであるゆえに父親ちちおや財産ざいさん相続そうぞくできずまずしいらしをいられる。
She is compelled to live in poverty, unable to inherit her father’s fortune for being a woman.

10. その美貌びぼうわかさのゆえに、あやまったイメージをもたれているようにおもわれる。
Because of her youth and beauty, there is an incorrect image of her. 

11. わかいがゆえに悪性あくせい病気びょうきであるとはおもいもよらなかった。
Due to my being young, the thought of having a bad disease was inconceivable.

12. おとこゆえにてきおおい。
My enemies I do have for being a man.

13. あいゆえにひとくるしまねばならぬ。
For love people must suffer.

14. こういうしずかなイケメンは、しずかであるがゆえに、 おおくの女性じょせい見落みおとしている。
It is this kind of quiet good-looking guy that many women overlook due to his being quiet.

15. いそぐゆえに”“が接近せっきんしていることにづかない。
It is because we live fast that we do not notice “death” approaching.

16. アライグマは、野生動物やせいどうぶつであるがゆえに、捕獲ほかく事故じこまぬがれ、成獣せいじゅうになれる確率かくりつきわめてひくい。
Raccoons, because they are wild animals, have an extremely low probability of evading capture and accidents and becoming adults.

17. 離婚りこんえたがゆえに再婚さいこんえているという現実げんじつはあるが、だからといってだれもが簡単かんたんつぎ結婚けっこんめられるわけではない。
Although there is the reality that remarrying is on the rise due to divorce having risen, it is not the case nonetheless that anyone can easily decide one’s next marriage. 

18. それだけに、聡明そうめいなゆえになにかしらの違和感いわかんちつつ毎日まいにちごされているのでしょう。
For that reason alone, because you are wise, I’m sure you spend each feeling out of place somehow.

19. 日本にほんは、島国しまぐに(の)ゆえにほかからおおきな侵略しんりゃくけず、したがってほろびるかどうかという深刻しんこく試練しれんにもわずにきてこられたこくである。
Japan, as a result of being an island nation, is a country that hasn’t ever sustained a large invasion from the outside, and as a result has lived without facing the serious tribulation of perishing.

20. いだつみのゆえにひとこころよわ信仰しんこうけてしまう。
It is because of the sin man has inherited that the heart is weak and also why one’s faith is lacking.

21. 伝説でんせつ魔獣まじゅう(である)がゆえに、制御せいぎょできぬのである。
One cannot control it for it is a legendary beast.

22. 正義せいぎあいがゆえにたたかう。
To fight for justice and love.

23. いとうつくしいゆえに、その刺繍ししゅううつくしい。
The embroidery is beautiful by virtue of the thread being beauty.

24. 美少女びしょうじょは、うつくしいがゆえに、悲惨ひさんおもいをすることがある。
Beautiful girls often experience tragedy owing to their beauty.

25. うつくしさゆえにあいするのなら、わたしあいさないでおくれよ。
If you are to love me by reason of my beauty, please do not live me.


It is interesting to know that 事故 at one time had a native equivalent, which was literally ことゆえ. ことゆえ is a combination of 事 and 故, and the resultant combination brings about a nuance of “accident” or potential difficulties in the circumstances at hand.

26. れぬことゆえ、お稽古頑張けいこがんばってください。
As you are yet accustomed, please do your best in training.

27. 何分子供なにぶんこどものことゆえ、おゆるしください。
Please forgive him as he is but a child.

28. 前世ぜんせった悪しきことゆえに、そうした苦難くなん経験けいけんするにあたいすることになるのである。
One becomes deserving of experiencing such hardship due to bad deeds one committed in previous lives.


It is often the case that 故に is used as a sentence-initial conjunction when the previous clause ends in a verb or adjective. When this is done, 故に is translatable as “therefore.” A more emphatic version of this is それゆえ, which also translates as “therefore.”

29. 我思われおもう。ゆえに、わがあり。
I think. Therefore, I am.

30. 日本にっぽん風景ふうけいうつくしい。ゆえに、日本にっぽんうたうつくしい。
Japanese landscape is beautiful. Therefore, Japanese songs are beautiful.

31. それゆえ、履歴書上りれきしょうえに、これまでの仕事しごと関係かんけいするとはおもえない脈絡みゃくらくのない資格しかく免許めんきょ列挙れっきょされていたら、プラスになるどころか、マイナスにすらなりかねないのです。
Therefore, having a list of qualifications and licenses with seemingly no logical connection to the jobs you’ve had up to that point on your resume is likely to be a negative rather than a positive.

32. それゆえおとこはその父母ふぼはなれ、つまむすい、二人ふたり一体いったいとなるのである。
Therefore, shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.


Although no longer used in the spoken language, 何ゆえ is in fact a way to say “why.” It is akin to the somewhat old-fashioned English expression “wherefore.”

33. 世界せかいなにゆえかくほのおつつまれたのか
Why was it that the world was enveloped in the flames of nuclear weaponry?

34. なにゆえ小説しょうせつくのか。
Wherefore does one write novels?

35. 以後充分いごじゅうぶんをつけますゆえ、おゆるくださいまし。
As I will pay attention moving forward, I ask that you please forgive me.

Sentence Note: This sentence would have been heard in the late 1800s and early 1900s but would be viewed as extremely old-fashioned.

36. これを機会きかいに、役社員一同新やくしゃいんいちどうあらたな気持きもちで社業発展しゃぎょうはってん全力ぜんりょくくす所存しょぞんでございますゆえ、何卒なにとぞ高承こうしょううえ、より一層いっそうのご厚誼こうぎたまわりますようおねがい申し上げます。
With this opportunity, we intend to do our utmost in the company’s development with a new sense of unity with all executive staff and works. As such, upon your kind affirmation, we ask that you bestow us with more of your kindness and support.

Sentence Note: Ex. 36, as well as Ex. 37, are examples of honorific speech utilizing ゆえ in a way that is still used. Indicative of the written language, the particle に is omitted.  

37. 年々様々ねんねんさまざま食材しょくざい値段ねだん高騰こうとうする状況じょうきょうつづいておりますゆえ、全体的ぜんたいてき価格かかく見直みなおしをせざるをえない状況じょうきょうとなっております。
Due to the continued state of the prices of various foodstuffs steeply rising year by year, we are compelled to do an overall price revision.  


~がために is very similar to ~(が)ゆえに. As we learned in the previous lesson, it too is old-fashioned and limited almost entirely to the written language, and it similarly expresses an atypical reason/cause that brings about an atypical result, but neither the cause nor the result have to be negative in connotation in any way. Although this ought to make it more objective, because ~ために is already objective, the use of the particle が makes the grammar pattern emphatic and consequently subjective. With ~がために, it is never the case that the speaker is speaking from experience or sense of sympathy, nor is it used with the first person. Due to its subjectivity, it is also not seen in academic settings.

38. 当選とうせんしたいがために看板かんばんえるひと信用しんようできない。
I cannot credit people who change their policies to get elected.

39. わかいがために、社会人しゃかいじんとしての経験けいけんあさくなりがちです。
Because they are young, there is a tendency that their experiences as working adults is shallow.  


Both 所以 and 由縁 are read as ゆえん, which is a contraction of ゆえなり, which is Classical Japanese for “is the reason.” Each respective spelling conjures up different nuances of the noun 故 as an effect. 所以 is used to mean “reason/cause” whereas 由縁 is used to mean “origin/connection/history” and is synonymous with other words like 由緒 and 由来. Neither words are particularly used in the spoken language.

40. 所以ゆえんなど行方知ゆくえしらず。
Cause is nowhere to be found.

41. 職人しょくにんが「技術ぎじゅつぬすめ」と所以ゆえんだろう。
The worker would say to look at a technique and steal it.

42. する所以ゆえんすなわしょうずる所以ゆえんなり。
The reason for dying, in other words, is the reason for living.

Grammar Note: なり is the basic copula verb of Classical Japanese.

43. ひとひとたる所以ゆえんまなぶ。
To study the reason for people being people.

Grammar Note: The particle の here is equivalent to the particle が,  being used to mark the subject of a subordinate clause. Also, the auxiliary verb たる is a classical copula verb that is still seen in old-fashioned expressions such as Ex. 43.

44. 地名ちめい由縁ゆえんたずねる。
To ask about what’s related to the place name.

45. 地名ちめい由縁ゆえんることで、まも第一歩だいいっぽになるかもしれない。
By knowing the affinity of place names, we might make the first step to protecting ourselves.


謂れ comes from the 未然形 of 言われる, the passive form of the verb 言う. It is used to mean either “reason/cause” or “history/origin.” It is seen frequently in the expression ~いわれはない meaning “there is no reason for.”

46. だれもこんなう謂れはない。
There is no reason for anyone to go through such suffering.

47. わたくしには、こんな運命うんめいじゅけなければならないいわれはない。
There is no reason for why I must accept such a fate as this.

48. いわれのないうわさ悪質あくしつみによって誹謗中傷ひぼうちゅうしょうされる。
To be slandered by baseless rumors and malicious posts.

49. 周辺しゅうへん点在てんざいしている史跡しせきや謂れのある土地とちめぐりました。
I went around to see historical landmarks and places with history that dot the area.  

由 is a multifaceted word whose basic meaning is also “reason/cause.” However, it may also mean “method” such as in the set phrase in Ex. 53 and “piece of information,” which is seen in Ex. 51 and Ex. 52, which are examples of how it is still used in respectful speech. Otherwise, the word is truly relegated to set expressions.

50. よしありげな問答もんどうげかける。
To throw meaningful dialogue.

51. このよし、おつたえください。
Please convey this (to the individual).

52. お元気げんきとのよしなによりです。
I am glad to hear that you are doing well.

53. よしもない。
There is no way of knowing.