Category Archives: Kotowaza

Even for a pear of eyes

目に入れても痛くない (Me ni irete mo itakunai; “Doesn’t hurt even if it gets in your eye”) Definition: For adore someone, especially a child or grandchild, beyond all reason. To dote on someone. Generally reserved for feelings toward “cute” things such as … Continue reading

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If this post is too long, I can’t say I wasn’t warned

雉も鳴かずば撃たれまい (Kiji mo nakazuba utaremai; “Even the pheasant, if it doesn’t cry out, won’t be shot”) Definition: Said in response to times when someone caused problems for themselves by speaking when it would have been prudent not to. An admonition … Continue reading

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This post sponsored by Santana

“Searchin’” 七度尋ねて人を疑え (Nanatabi tazunete hito wo utagae; “Search seven times, [then] doubt somebody”) Definition: When you’ve lost something, make sure to search for it as thoroughly as you can before you start accusing people of having taken it. Don’t start … Continue reading

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But it takes good theory to be “okonai alpha”!

(I was updating the kotowaza index when I discovered that I had doubled my use of the saying 目から鼻へ抜ける, so this “extra” post is intended to make up for the gap. Please enjoy!) 理屈上手の行い下手 (Rikutsu jouzu no okonai beta; “Good … Continue reading

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An irony for many residents of DC

Especially the transients. You know who you are. 住めば都 (Sumeba miyako; “If you live there, it’s the capital”) Definition: No matter how inconvenient, old, noisy, or just plain bad your residence is, it still feels like you belong there. Once … Continue reading

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Potholes are another story

盲蛇に怖じず (Mekura hebi ni ojizu; “The blind do not fear snakes”) Definition: The ignorant have no way to judge the true danger of a situation, and so take risks that more knowledgeable people would avoid. “Fools rush in where angels … Continue reading

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Make sure to rationalize your hands more often in the winter

(to prevent chapping) 理屈と膏薬はどこへでも付く (Rikutsu to kouyaku wa doko he demo tsuku; “Rationalizing and ointment will stick anywhere.”) Definition: People can come up with rationalizations for almost anything. The ideal of reason is a rigorous search for the truth no … Continue reading

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