Category Archives: Yojijukugo

In one ear and then who cares?

[Insert tofu joke here] 馬耳東風 ba.ji.tou.fuu Literally: horse – ear – east – wind Alternately: When a person utterly fails to heed what others have to say. Opinions, criticism, and so on just go in one ear and out the … Continue reading

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We need to make our own light

Contact your representatives! 広宵大暮 kou.shou.tai.bo Literally: wide – evening – big – sunset Alternately: This is a phrase used to express great sadness and lamentation after someone’s death. Notes: Both 広宵 and 大暮 express the idea of night that stretches … Continue reading

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Risutora?

As in リストラ, not squirrel-tigers. 新陳代謝 shin.chin.tai.sha Literally: new – old – replace – apologize Alternately: Replacing the old with the new. Originally this yojijikugo referred to living organisms expelling waste and taking in new resources; but by extension it … Continue reading

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As the Beatles said!

Yeah, yeah yeah, yeah 唯唯諾諾 i.i.daku.daku Literally: only – only – agreement – agreement Alternately: Going along with what someone says without considering the merits or the rights-and-wrongs of it. Yes-manning. Notes: Despite the literal meanings listed above, my sources … Continue reading

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Whee!

I only used to have nine pen! 有為転変 u.i.ten.pen Literally: exist – do / change – turn – strange Alternately: Everything in the world is in a constant state of flux. Everything changes; nothing stays the same. A Buddhist comment … Continue reading

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The flame and the flood

天変地異 ten.pen.chi.i Literally: heaven – change – earth – different Alternately: Natural disasters or bizarre natural phenomena. Bad or weird stuff that’s not man-made. You know, like eclipses, record-breaking storms, and floods. Notes: 天変 refers to unusual celestial events like … Continue reading

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Laugh ten million laughs

And then stop? 笑止千万 shou.shi.sen.ban Literally: smile – stop – thousand – ten thousand Alternately: Extremely absurd, ridiculous, stupid; pitiful, unfortunate. Notes: 笑止 refers to something funny – or stupid – or pitiable – or worrisome – or embarrassing, while … Continue reading

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