Category Archives: Japanese

The other big one is wearing socks on hardwood floors

生兵法は大怪我の基 (Namabyouhou wa ookega no moto; “Green soldiering leads to great harm”) Definition: To do things with an incomplete or half-baked set of knowledge or skills is to invite failure. “A little learning is a dangerous thing; drink deep.” Going … Continue reading

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Got sunshine, in a bag

大安吉日 tai.an.kichi.jitsu Literally: big – peace – joy – day Alternately: A good day for doing things. Specifically, 大安 was a very auspicious day under the old 陰陽 (Onmyou, Japanese style yin-yang) divination system, and this compound emphasizes this positivity … Continue reading

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Yoko ni nattara?

蟷螂の斧 (Tourou no ono; “The mantis’ axe”) Definition: The weak standing up to the strong, often with the implication that they didn’t really think through how great the difference in strength would be. A praying mantis that senses threat will … Continue reading

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Turns out it doesn’t matter, though

All you need to do is get mad at the people who caught you doing the crimes!? 白昼堂々 haku.chuu.dou.dou Literally: white – noon – public hall – [kanji doubling mark] Alternately: (Doing something bad) in broad daylight. Notes: This relatively … Continue reading

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But what if your horse leaks intel to the Russians?

What do you do when the work environment at the stable drives away all the competent grooms? 蹴る馬も乗り手次第 (Keru uma mo norite shidai; “A kicking horse depends on the rider”) Definition: Even a violent, difficult-to-handle person can be talked to … Continue reading

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Miss Clavel ran fast, and faster

When you’re afraid of a disaster, don’t just sit still, that’s all I’m saying. 疾風迅雷 shi-.ppuu.jin.rai Literally: rapid – wind – swift – thunder Alternately: High winds and a violent thunderstorm. By extension, any situation that develops rapidly or changes … Continue reading

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Thus was slapstick monetized

転んでもただでは起きない (Koronde mo tada de wa okinai; “Even falling down, they won’t get up as they were”) Definition: Cunning and greedy; angling to get some sort of profit even from a mistake or setback; like someone who slips and falls, … Continue reading

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