Category Archives: Yojijukugo

The impossible wisdom

…of, you know, not deliberately endangering people. 明哲保身yui.itsu.mu.ni Literally: bright – clear / philosophy – preserve – person Alternately: The wise and rational person avoids danger and thus remains safe. Alternately (through a common misinterpretation of 保身), this phrase may … Continue reading

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Riker, to Picard

He was always calling him “number one” even though the captain is the actual #1 officer in a ship. So…. 唯一無二yui.itsu.mu.ni Literally: only – one – not – two Alternately: Unique. “The one and only.” There’s nothing else like it … Continue reading

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For acting poetry

起承転結ki.shou.ten.ketsu Literally: wake up – receive – revolve – bind Alternately: The four phases of a text, according to traditional analysis: “introduction, development, turn, and conclusion.” In other words, the setup, development, climax (or major change, twist, etc.), and resolution … Continue reading

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Make like a tree and endure

Of course, the way things are going, extreme-heat resistance is probably going to be more valuable than cold resistance. 歳寒松柏sai.kan.shou.haku Literally: year-end – cold – pine tree – cypress tree Alternately: Seeing one’s convictions through even when times are bad. … Continue reading

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Wouldn’t it be nice

Imagine 安穏無事an.non.bu.ji Literally: peace – calm / quiet – no – thing Alternately: Peace and quiet; safety and calm. Uneventful, in a good way. This phrase evokes the pleasant side of mundane day-to-day life, on both the personal and the … Continue reading

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Iron heart, kidney stone

(Technically intestine, but, well.) 鉄心石腸te-.sshin.seki.chou Literally: iron – heart – stone – gut Alternately: Ironclad willpower; unshakeable determination; hardened resolve. Notes: This is a compound of compounds. Keep in mind that the guts are thought to contain one’s courage and … Continue reading

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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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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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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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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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