Category Archives: Japanese

Helioseismology burp?

日進月歩 ni-.sshin.ge-.ppo Literally: day – advance – month – walk Alternately: Steady progress. A relatively smooth and rapid advance, especially of improvement or development in a positive direction. Notes: This compound has a surprising construction. In general, 日X月Y means something … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, Yojijukugo | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Birds, bugs and beasts; weeds, trees, and flowers

鳥 虫 けもの、臭き花? 草木も眠る丑三つ時 (Kusaki mo nemuru ushi mitsu doki; “In the dead night, when even the grass and trees sleep”) Definition: A phrase describing the hushed, eerie early-morning hours. The dead of night. A time so late that not only people … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, Kotowaza | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Put some feelings into it!

Also chutzpah. And coriander. 感情移入 kan.jou.i.nyuu Literally: emotion – feelings – shift – enter Alternately: Empathy. The ability to sense and share in the feelings of others. Alternatively, the tendency to project one’s own perception of emotions onto a work … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, Yojijukugo | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Men, said the Devil

…They don’t want to mend their own ways, but each other’s* 六国を滅ぼす者は六国なり (Rikkoku wo horobosu mono wa rikkoku nari; “The one who destroys the six countries, is the six countries”) Definition: When a nation falls, it usually isn’t ultimately due … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, Kotowaza | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

No relation to Indian spices

Or to gum! 我武者羅 ga.mu.sha.ra Literally: oneself – warrior – person – gauze Alternately: Fixated on a goal to the point of blinding oneself to everything else. Charging ahead without looking to see what else is coming or what lies … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, Yojijukugo | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When you hand-ear a neck

(Yes, 取 supposedly means “take” because it refers to taking a defeated enemy’s ear as a trophy in battle. So… appropriate?) 鬼の首を取ったよう (Oni no kubi wo totta you; “As if having taken an oni’s head”) Definition: Triumphant or boastful, especially … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, Kotowaza | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Empty Ron, Full Harry

空理空論 kuu.ri.kuu.ron Literally: empty – logic – empty – discourse Alternately: A theory with little relation to reality and thus of no use. Flights of fancy far from facts.

Posted in Japanese, Yojijukugo | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment