All come from Yodo, and to Yodo all return

No, not “Yoda”

(Osoushi mo yodo hayaushi mo yodo;
“Both the slow ox and the fast ox (arrive at) Yodo”)


Although there are definitely differences in being early versus late, or slow versus quick, when the end result is the same, there’s no need to stress over it.


We begin with the adjective 遅い (osoi), “late” or “slow,” turned into a noun by removing its adjectival ending, and conjoined with 牛 (ushi), “cow,” to make a compound noun. A bit later we get a parallel noun created using 早い (hayai), “early.” Each compound noun is marked with も (mo), “also,” and followed by 淀 (Yodo), a place name. We can imagine an elided particle and verb, such as に着く (ni tsuku), “to arrive at,” if we really want.


Yodo is a place in the Fushimi district of Kyoto that became a major collection point (place to deliver and pick up goods that had been bought and paid for). Even if the oxen pulling this cart or that walked at different speeds, in the end everything ended up at the same place.

The order of the “early” and “late” elements can be reversed if so desired.

Example sentence:


(“Awatenakute mo ii nda yo, shimekiri wa raishuu dakedo kyoujuu ni wa dekiru nda kara. Osoushi mo Yodo ja nai ka?”)

[“You don’t need to panic, the deadline’s next week but we can finish things some time today. On time is on time, right?”]

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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