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Meaning of 左遷

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Hey there,

I'd like to ask some clarification on the word 左遷 in this 左遷された上官.

Now, from what I could gather on a couple of dictionaries, this one's used primarily when indicating demotion or decrease of status but, in this context, the 上官 wasn't demoted - he was summarily removed from his position and arrested following a major incident for which he took the blame.
Mind, he was later reinstated and even received a promotion at his return, which makes that definition seem even more out of place.

Does this definition of "demotion" have a wider spectrum that also includes being, essentially, fired or is there another meaning I'm not aware of?

Thanks.
 
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Does this definition of "demotion" have a wider spectrum that also includes being, essentially, fired or is there another meaning I'm not aware of?
The dictionary offers "relegation" as an alternative. I think we'd need to know a bit more about the guy in order to give an accurate explanation, but from what you've described it sounds like he was kept on the books of the organization, but was maybe shuffled off to a corner desk, or sent out to the provinces, or otherwise put on administrative notice (without actually being fired) while the case was pending. Too tough to say precisely what the meaning is from the brief blurb given.

左遷の英語・英訳 - 英和辞典・和英辞典 Weblio辞書
 
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The dictionary offers "relegation" as an alternative. I think we'd need to know a bit more about the guy in order to give an accurate explanation, but from what you've described it sounds like he was kept on the books of the organization, but was maybe shuffled off to a corner desk, or sent out to the provinces, or otherwise put on administrative notice (without actually being fired) while the case was pending. Too tough to say precisely what the meaning is from the brief blurb given.

左遷の英語・英訳 - 英和辞典・和英辞典 Weblio辞書
As I said, the guy was a military officer who, upon his subordinates all fleeing the army following an accident, got pinned with the blame for the whole thing (in a process that screamed cover-up).

He did lose his post and was sent to jail for three years before someone suggested reinstating him.
 

Mike Cash

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As I said, the guy was a military officer who, upon his subordinates all fleeing the army following an accident, got pinned with the blame for the whole thing (in a process that screamed cover-up).

He did lose his post and was sent to jail for three years before someone suggested reinstating him.
It might make things easier for us to understand and to offer an informed opinion about if you would share more of the surrounding Japanese text.
 
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It might make things easier for us to understand and to offer an informed opinion about if you would share more of the surrounding Japanese text.
Sure but there isn't much. The two characters meet amidst a battle and these are the very first words they exchange:

A「久しぶりね…!やっぱり、あたし達の再会はこんなものになったわね!」
B「情報部のAか!左遷された上官の女だったOLスパイ!

The officer in question was A's ex-boyfriend from before she quit the army with the other members of her platoon (leading to the officer's incarceration, etc.)
 

Mike Cash

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Sure but there isn't much. The two characters meet amidst a battle and these are the very first words they exchange:

A「久しぶりね…!やっぱり、あたし達の再会はこんなものになったわね!」
B「情報部のAか!左遷された上官の女だったOLスパイ!

The officer in question was A's ex-boyfriend from before she quit the army with the other members of her platoon (leading to the officer's incarceration, etc.)
Is it not possible that B was not aware of any of the developments subsequent to the demotion?
 
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Is it not possible that B was not aware of any of the developments subsequent to the demotion?
Hm...I'd find that unlikely since they were all part of the same group and B's now a merc working under said reinstated officer. It's never clarified one way or another, though.

I guess, by your question, that 左遷 is really only demotion/realocation and not outright removal from the organization? 
 
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左遷 is really only demotion/realocation and not outright removal
I think outright removal would require a different kanji: 解雇 or maybe 除隊. It doesn't seem overly strange to me that 左遷 was used, especially since he was re-instated. Maybe had he not been re-instated they would have described his punishment as 解雇, so in this case 左遷 is ex-post facto status.
 

Mike Cash

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I think outright removal would require a different kanji: 解雇 or maybe 除隊. It doesn't seem overly strange to me that 左遷 was used, especially since he was re-instated. Maybe had he not been re-instated they would have described his punishment as 解雇, so in this case 左遷 is ex-post facto status.
I get the impression he chose that bit just to needle her..
 
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I think outright removal would require a different kanji: 解雇 or maybe 除隊. It doesn't seem overly strange to me that 左遷 was used, especially since he was re-instated. Maybe had he not been re-instated they would have described his punishment as 解雇, so in this case 左遷 is ex-post facto status.
Hmm, you might be right there. That's probably the best explanation for it, outside of gaining insight into the writer's mind.

Thanks - both you and Mike Cash.
 

Mike Cash

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I don't think you should overlook the significance of his choice of the phrase xxxの女 in this. I think it sort of reinforces the point that he was indicating his disdain for her and trying to get her goat.
 
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