A long and winding… gut

羊腸小径
you.chou.shou*.kei

Literally: sheep – intestines – small – path / diameter

Alternately: A small and winding mountain road. A path that twists and turns like (sheep) intestines.

Notes: This is another compound of compounds. 小径 (“path,” “lane”) on its own may also be read as komichi, while 羊腸 on its own means not only “sheep intestines” but also “meandering,” “zigzag.”

Note that another bit of nature that can indicate a meandering or zigzag shape is tsudzura, the kudzu vine (葛) and that a winding road can also be described as tsudzuraori (葛折り) – which can be written, without any change in pronunciation, as the yojijukugo 九十九折 – literally “ninety-nine bends.” Another near-synonym is 紆余曲折.

* Keep in mind that all three of these rhyme with “dough,” not “shoe.”

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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