In a position where a player tries to enclose too much of his moyo and ends up losing much of it, and then as a variation makes little effort to enclose, the commentator (O Meien) quotes
and then explains
I'm having trouble making these intelligible. The first seems to mean that "too much is no better than (something?)"
and the explanation seems to be saying that the right thing to do is to take the middle way.
This makes sense in context, and the "something" could plausibly mean "too little" given the explanation, but I'm having trouble extracting this honestly from the text alone . (For instance, in the longer explanation, I don't see what role the final negation is playing.) Help? Thanks.
John F. Fred, you've grasped the intended meaning. The problem you are having is possibly because you did not realise you are dealing with Chinese and not Japanese. You are meant to recognise that sugitara wa naho, oyobazaru ga gotoshi is a quotation from the Analects of Confucius and represents the Chinese 過 猶 不 及. When reading ancient Chinese, the Japanese use a set of special rules called kanbun where common Chinese locutions are rendered by grammatical forms taken from old Japanese (bungo). It's artificial in that you just have to know that naho .. ga gotoshi is the kanbun way to represent the one Chinese character 猶 (= to be like). Japanese children learn this at school, but this particular phrase has acquired proverb status (the Chinese literally means going too far is just like not reaching, i.e. excess is just as bad as falling short). There is also a reference here to another Confucian classic, the Golden Mean. O Meien's comment is that having gone too far is the same as not reaching the proper linit and neither of these things is the correct way of the Golden Mean.
FredK Wow. Thank you, John.