As in リストラ, not squirrel-tigers.


Literally: new – old – replace – apologize

Alternately: Replacing the old with the new. Originally this yojijikugo referred to living organisms expelling waste and taking in new resources; but by extension it has also come to mean renewal and reform in a society or organization… something we desperately need right now.

Notes: Despite the literal meanings of the characters, 代謝 as a compound means renewal; changing one thing out for another; regeneration; or even metabolism, of all things. As in, “basal metabolic rate” is 基礎代謝率 (kiso taisha ritsu).

代 is sometimes read as dai, but in the context of this compound, that’s considered an error.


I see your “women laughing with salad” and raise you a “woman grinning too widely with an armful of fruit”!

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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