Do what I say, not what I say


Literally: morning – command – evening – reform / change

Alternately: An unstable situation where it’s never clear what the rules are or what they’re going to be, because they’re being changed so frequently. Laws or decrees being issued in the morning and changed in the evening of the same day. Harmful waffling.

Notes: Some people write homophonic character , “ceremony,” “thanks,” in place of , but this is considered an error.

This compound is derived from a passage in the Book of Han; accordingly, the compound can also be read kanbun-style as 朝に令して暮れに改む (ashita ni rei shite kure ni aratamu), “command in the morning, change in the evening.”


Tanaka Makiko. The red text says “Am I really that strange?” Her association with this yojijukugo seems to be due to a 2012 incident in which she refused applications for new universities, contradicting a report the previous day that she would support them. The maneuver worked: public outcry at her apparent about-face forced her to change her position to match what the report had predetermined.

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.
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