Now introducing Yojijukugo

When I’m looking for kotowaza to introduce, I often come across yojijukugo – four-character compounds that often serve similar functions. (In fact, there are a number of longer sayings that have been condensed to four-character phrases.) The tradition of using these goes all the way back to Chinese poetry and its deep influence on Japanese learning and literature. Having a good supply of yojijukugo (and knowing when to use them) can add a lot of wallop to your speech and writing.

In contrast to my more in-depth posts on kotowaza, I thought it would be fitting to present these in a pithier format. Here, then, is the one four-character compound that I have most often had cause to use in actual conversation. It’s simple but effective.

 * * *

十人十色
juu.nin.to.iro

Literally: “Ten people, ten colors”

Alternately: “Everybody is different.” “Different strokes for different folks.” “Many men, many minds.” Every person is unique and has their own unique set of strengths, weaknesses, preferences, issues to deal with, etc.

Yes, technically black, in the chromatic sense, isn't a color. Well, neither is pink! Were you going to object to pink?

Yup.

About Confanity

I love the written word more than anything else I've had the chance to work with. I'm back in the States from Japan for grad school, but still studying Japanese with the hope of becoming a translator -- or writer, or even teacher -- as long as it's something language-related.
This entry was posted in Japanese, Yojijukugo and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s