Category Archives: Japanese

Press “ko” for “konquer”

Apply to current events as you feel appropriate 遠交近攻en.kou.kin.kou Literally: far – mix / associate – near – attack Alternately: A policy of cultivating good relations with more distant nations while attacking (and attempting to conquer) those nearby. A more … Continue reading

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Party rockers at the gate tonight

Everybody just have a good time? 門前市を成す(Monzen ichi wo nasu;“A market forms before the gates”) Definition: For a place, especially a home, to be so frequented by visitors that the press of people and vehicles at the entrance to the … Continue reading

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Good, evil, and dogfights

Apply to current events as you feel appropriate 黒白分明koku.byaku.bun.mei Literally: black – white – divide / understand – bright Alternately: A situation where it is easy to tell pros from cons, right from wrong, good fromd evil. As easy to … Continue reading

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No rest for the nebbish

The wicked all too often have a surfeit of leisure 貧乏暇なし(Binbou hima nashi;“Poor, no rest”) Definition: The poor have no free time; when you’re poor, you have to work constantly just to meet your needs and stay alive. When you’re … Continue reading

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Archery’s swan song

不失正鵠fu.shitsu.sei.koku Literally: not – lose / error – correct – swan Alternately: To correctly grasp the main point, meaning, or implication of something. To hit the nail on the head; to get a metaphorical bullseye. Notes: This is a compound … Continue reading

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Waiting to En-gage

縁と月日は末を待て(En to tsukihi wa sue wo mate;“In relationships and in life, wait for the time to come”) Definition: All things come in their own time; the best strategy is not to rush around in a fluster, but to calmly and … Continue reading

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Everything is more powerful when it rhymes

元気溌剌gen.ki.hatsu.ratsu Literally: beginning – spirit – vigorous – opposed Alternately: Full of energy. Bursting with pep, vim, vigor. Lively. Notes: This is a compound of compounds. 元気 is a very common term in Japanese, and denotes a broad theme that … Continue reading

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The Scrooge of the Orchard

The Marley of the barley? 吝ん坊の柿の種(Shiwanbou no kaki no tane;“The miser’s persimmon seed”) Definition: This phrase is used to criticize people who penny-pinch to an unhealthy extreme. The image is of someone so obsessed with never letting anything go that … Continue reading

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8^| 真一文字ma.ichi.mon.ji Literally: true – one – sentence – character Alternately: Straight as an arrow; as the crow flies; as straight as the written character for the number one, which is just a straight line. By extension; when a person’s … Continue reading

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Every body has some body

So rock your body right 身は身で通る裸ん坊(Mi wa mi de tooru hadakanbou;“The body, as the body, passes through (life) naked””) Definition: Everybody has their own strengths and weaknesses, quirks and skills, station in life, and so on – but we all … Continue reading

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