Category Archives: Japanese

In truth, I’m feeling feint

虚虚実実 kyo.kyo.jitsu.jitsu Literally: empty – empty – truth – truth Alternately: Two sides in a fierce battle, using every strategy and wile they can think of. Striving to avoid your enemy’s strengths (実) and attack their weaknesses (虚). Alternately, using … Continue reading

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The evillest nom

飼い犬に手を噛まれる (Kaiinu ni te wo kamareru; “Bitten on the hand by your pet dog”) Definition: To be betrayed or harmed in some way by someone you had deeply cared for, or taken care of on a regular basis. (In other … Continue reading

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See also: obstruction of justice

証拠隠滅 shou.ko.in.metsu Literally: proof – foothold / based on – conceal – destroy Alternately: Destruction, suppression, or concealment of evidence. This phrase may be used metaphorically, but is most commonly encountered as actual criminal-justice jargon. Notes: Some legal contexts may … Continue reading

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Not even jackalopes, please

怪力乱神を語らず (Kairyoku ranshin wo katarazu; “Speaking not of spirits and demons”) Definition: A wise person does not indulge in talking about irrational or unreasonable things; a great person does not dabble in conspiracy or superstition. When you make an assertion, … Continue reading

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What you don’t know CAN kill you

夏虫疑氷 ka.chuu.gi.hyou Literally: summer – insect – doubt – ice Alternately: A person of extremely limited experience, knowledge, and discernment. Someone ignorant, doubtful, or distrustful of everything that falls outside of their own (meager) personal experience. Like an insect that … Continue reading

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Everyone knows they prefer accordions

牛に対して琴を弾ず (Ushi ni tai shite koto wo danzu; “Playing a koto for a cow”) Definition: No matter what you say to a fool, your words are wasted. Even the most moving stories or the most edifying sermon, or the most … Continue reading

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Power is small things in large numbers

一粒万倍 ichi.ryuu.man.bai Literally: one – particle – ten thousand – times (as in multiplication) Alternately: From something tiny, a huge profit. By extension, an admonition not to look down on small or simple things, because even the most humble appearance … Continue reading

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