Birds of any feather care for kids together

Don’t be the kind of sordid villain that drives parents to this level of protective sacrifice. Don’t allow that kind of villain to hold any power over others. Think of the children.

(Yakeno no kigisu yoru no tsuru;
The pheasant in a burning field, the crane at night”)


This phrase is used to express the deep affection of parents for their children. The pheasant is said to protect and guide its children to safety instead of simply fleeing for its own life even if the field they nest in is on fire, while the crane is said to spread its wings to shelter and warm its young on cold nights instead of conserving its body heat.


We begin with the noun 雉子 (kigisu), an archaic term for what is now more commonly known as the kiji – the Japanese pheasant. The associative particle の (no) connects it with the noun 野 (also no), “field,” which in turn is modified by the verb 焼く (yaku), “to burn,” in prenominal form. The next noun phrase in this simple pairing is 鶴 (tsuru), the Japanese crane, placed by another の in the 夜 (yoru), “night.”


It’s also perfectly acceptable to write yakeno as simply 焼野, or kigisu as 雉, without any change in meaning or pronunciation. Some variants separate the two noun phrases with a comma.

Example sentence:


(Yakeno no kigisu yoru no tsuru no you na oya ga risou na no ni, watashi wa shikari sugi nan ja nai ka to tokidoki fuan ni naru yo ne.”)

[“The ideal is to be a loving and protective parent like the pheasants in the field or the crane at night, but sometimes I worry that I nag my kids too much.”]

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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