Category Archives: Japanese

We meet again, Mr. Bond

怨憎会苦 on.zou.e.ku Literally: resentment – hate – meet – suffering Alternately: The pain of coming face-to-face with someone you detest, or at least dislike. This is another one of the “eight sufferings” of 四苦八苦. Notes: While I’d have thought that … Continue reading

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Be prepared!

And be clean in word and deed. 備えあれば憂いなし (Sonae areba urei nashi; “If yes prep, no worries”) Definition: If you habitually take the time and effort to make sure you’re prepared for a worst-case scenario, then you’ll be a lot … Continue reading

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Leaves from the vine

愛別離苦 ai.betsu.ri.ku Literally: love – separate – detach – suffering Alternately: The pain of being separated from your loved ones. This is one of the “eight sufferings” of 四苦八苦. Notes: The separation in question is most often due to the … Continue reading

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Barrelsplaining!

空き樽は音が高い (Akidaru wa oto ga takai; “An empty barrel makes a loud noise”) Definition: If you strike an empty barrel, the sound it produces is high-pitched, sharp, and loud instead of the muted thump you’d get from a full one. Similarly, … Continue reading

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Fishing for tsuris

四苦八苦 shi.ku.ha-.kku Literally: four – suffering – eight – suffering Alternately: Deep distress, terrible hardship, anguish, malaise. The very bad feels. Notes: You might think, as I did, that this phrase is nothing more than a doubling for effect, but … Continue reading

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A looming opportunity

好機到来kou.ki.tou.rai Literally: pleasing – loom / opportunity – arrive – come Alternately: A golden opportunity arrives. The time is ripe for something good, with perhaps the implication that it’s an unparalleled and therefore unique opportunity. Notes: Compare and contrast 千載一遇, … Continue reading

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For a boring time, put your awl into it

全身全霊 zen.shin.zen.rei Literally: whole – body – whole – spirit Alternately: Putting all of your physical and mental strength into something. “With all your soul and with all your might,” as they say. Doing one’s best; being utterly devoted to … Continue reading

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