Category Archives: Japanese

Just don’t be a Zax about it

金科玉条 kin.ka.gyoku.jou Literally: gold – section – jewel – clause/article (of a document) Alternately: A golden rule. (Not necessarily The Golden Rule, though.) An important, even foundational principle, for someone’s behavior and life. Notes: This yojijukugo uses repetition for emphasis: … Continue reading

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When Awwww becomes Eugggh

可愛さ余って憎さ百倍 (Kawaisa amatte nikusa hyakubai; “Excessive fondness, hundredfold hatred”) Definition: If you had an overabundance of positive feelings toward someone and then something happens that arouses negative feelings, then the resulting hatred is proportionally overwhelming. “The greatest hate springs from … Continue reading

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Just the Worst

(Somehow I lined this up yesterday but utterly forgot to actually post it on schedule. My deepest apologies for any inconvenience!) 婬虐暴戻 in.gyaku.bou.rei Literally: uncontrolled / licentious – oppress – violence – revert Alternately: Crude, lecherous, boorish, cruel, violent, and … Continue reading

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Fair of skin, unfair of… other things

色の白いは七難隠す (Iro no shiroi wa shichinan kakusu; “White skin hides many flaws.”) Definition: There’s all sorts of baggage here! This kotowaza is literally saying that if a woman’s skin is sufficiently pale, then that alone makes her so beautiful that … Continue reading

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Inception, but with normal gravity

自己暗示 ji.ko.an.ji Literally: self – self – dark – show Alternately: Self-suggestion. Working to convince yourself that something is true, or implant an idea, perception, or similar mental construct in one’s own head. This can range from self-hypnosis, to daily … Continue reading

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At the foot of a difficult wave

難波の葦は伊勢の浜荻 (Naniwa no ashi wa Ise no hamaogi; “What they call ashi in Naniwa is hamaogi in Ise”) Definition: Different places are different – they have different manners, different customs, and even different words for the same things, so be … Continue reading

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Crane your neck to look at the clouds

閑雲野鶴 kan.un.ya.kaku Literally: leisure – cloud – field – crane (bird) Alternately: A relaxed, hermit-like lifestyle in a natural setting, far from worldly cares and social intrigues. The pleasant side of isolation. Notes: This is another compound of compounds. 閑雲 … Continue reading

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