Ningen shikaku

(More or less)


Literally: four – corner – four – face

Alternately: Square. Four (equal) angles and four (equal) sides, just like it says. By extension, a “square” personality: extremely, perhaps even overly, serious. Meticulous; stiff; formal; lacking a proper amount of flexibility and vagueness.

Notes: This really does seem to be setting up a certain “vagueness” as a virtue; several of my sources cite a surfeit of はっきり (“clearly,” “distinctly,” definitively”) as one of the problems of squareness.


What could be more serious and formal than a squared square?

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.
This entry was posted in Japanese, Yojijukugo and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Ningen shikaku

  1. Pingback: For I am the ruler of all that I spoon | landofnudotcom

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s