Take a breather and call me in the morning



Literally: not – sick – stop – disaster

Alternately: To be healthy.

Notes: primarily refers to “breath,” but has been associated a variety of words (cf. 息子 – musuko – “son”), and in this case refers to stopping something. The term 息災 on its own is Buddhist in origin, and refers to the power of the Buddha keeping someone free of disease, but the “breath” connection seems to be related to terms like 休息 (kyuusoku – “rest/relaxation”) as in catching one’s breath.

An apparently-related compound replaces the with (ichi), arguing that someone with a (non-terminal) illness is likely to take better care of themselves than someone effortlessly healthy, and so in the end, people with imperfect health will actually live longer.


無病息災 is a common request in prayers, as in this article about an August 16th “Enma festival” at a small shrine in Fukuoka.

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 )

Connecting to %s