Category Archives: Yojijukugo

A kind of discrimination that’s totally okay

Encouraged, actually. 公私混同 kou.shi.kon.dou Literally: public – private – blend / confuse – equal Alternately: Failing to properly differentiate between public and private business. Getting one’s private interests and personal affairs entangled in public policy-making. Using a public institution for … Continue reading

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LA, LA, LA, LA LA LA, LA-LA-LA LA LA LA

(It’s a French song; very appropriate.) 傍若無人 bou.jaku.bu.jin Literally: bystander – possibly / (young) – nothing – person Alternately: Doing or saying whatever the hell you want without caring that you’re in public. Acting however you feel like without consideration … Continue reading

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Spread your tiny wings

And fire the FBI director if the investigation scares you? 小心翼翼 shou.shin.yoku.yoku Literally: small – heart – wing – wing Alternately: Timid; nervous; fearful. Notes: As always the doubled character can be replaced by the doubling mark 々. 小心 refers … Continue reading

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A danger of focusing solely on PR

有名無実 yuu.mei.mu.jitsu Literally: exist – name – no – fruit / substance / truth Alternately: Something’s substance doesn’t match its reputation. Well-known but unable to deliver. For example, when you have laws on the books designed to protect people from … Continue reading

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What distant deeps or skies

Don’t you ever look away. 虎視眈眈 ko.shi.tan.tan Literally: tiger – look – watch intently – watch intently Alternately: Vigilantly awaiting an opportunity. Watching intently for an opening. Like a tiger, lying still and staring down its intended prey as it … Continue reading

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I grind my bones to make my bread

粉骨砕身 fun.kotsu.sai.shin Literally: powder – bone – smash – body Alternately: To work as hard as you can. To give your all. In English we may work our fingers to the bone, but in Japanese you work until your bones … Continue reading

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Pretty words, pretty face, ugly heart

巧言令色 kou.gen.rei.shoku Literally: skill – word – command – color Alternately: Flattery. Blandishment. Pretty words and ingratiating facial expressions, usually backed by a desire to deceive or manipulate. Making nice with someone but hiding ill intent. Notes: This yojijukugo comes … Continue reading

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