Fat head, skinny tail

竜頭蛇尾
ryuu.tou.da.bi

Literally: dragon – head – snake – tail

Alternately: A strong or exciting beginning and a weak or dull ending. In with a bang, out with a whimper. Anticlimax. Alternately, something that looks impressive but in reality is lacking.

Notes: The 竜 may alternately be pronounced ryou, or replaced with 虎 (here pronounced ko), “tiger.”

This compound can be traced back to The Transmission of the Lamp (景徳伝灯録), an 11th-century CE Chinese lineage of Zen Buddhists.

It can be considered something of an antonym to last weekend’s kotowaza.

RyuuTouJosukeBi

Zang, sick JoJo burn!

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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