Male and female, he folded them

In order to pour drinks prettily!


Literally: male – butterfly – female – butterfly

Alternately: This noun phrase describes a pair of origami “butterfly” shapes sometimes attached to the decanters used for pouring sake during traditional Japanese wedding ceremony. By extension, the child whose job it apparently was to pour the drinks. Alternately, the prosaic reading of “male and female butterflies.”

Notes: It was harder than I had thought to find a four-character compound starting with . Most Japanese words that classically began with use the Japanese reading, while compounds tend to use Chinese readings – for example, used to be をに, but in yojijukugo it tends to be read as (ki). Fortunately both (“male”) and (“man”) can be read as , so here we are.


You can see a pair on sale here for 2200 yen (about US$19.36 as of this writing).

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: Logo

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s