Category Archives: Yojijukugo
起死回生 ki.shi.kai.sei Literally: wake up – death – revolve – life Alternately: Coming back from the brink. Recovering from a seemingly-hopeless situation. A sudden turnaround. A Blue Team win deep in Red Team territory. Notes: Apparently this phrase comes to … Continue reading
熟慮断行 juku.ryo.dan.kou Literally: ripen – thought – sever – go Alternately: Thinking over a matter fully and carefully, and then taking decisive action. Instead of jumping the gun with rash action or dithering in eternal indecision, taking the best of … Continue reading
珍紛漢紛 chin.pun.kan.pun Literally: rare – astray – Han China – astray Alternately: Dense jargon. Gibberish. Nonsense. Incomprehensible, unintelligible, incoherent. Notes: This phrase will usually be written in phonetic kana characters rather than kanji. Even when they are used, the kanji … Continue reading
生殺与奪 sei.satsu.yo.datsu Literally: life – kill – give – rob Alternately: Controlling people according to one’s whim. Having absolute power over others – to keep alive or kill; to give them things or take things away. Notes: The order of … Continue reading
器用貧乏 ki.you.bin.bou Literally: vessel – use – poverty – scarcity Alternately: Someone gifted with relatively good across-the-board skills… who, because of this, fails to develop any one skill to its full extend and ends up doing things only halfway. A … Continue reading
合従連衡 ga-.sshou.ren.kou Literally: join – vertical – lead – horizontal Alternately: This compound commonly refers to diplomacy based on calculations of profit and loss; of making and breaking alliances based on the convenience of the moment. Originally, it referred to … Continue reading
(Or this one.) 権謀術数 ken.bou.ju-.ssuu Literally: authority – scheme – technique – number Alternately: A plan or strategy to fool people. Wiles; trickery; Machiavellianism. Notes: Apparently this compound comes to us from Zhu Xi’s (朱熹) The Great Learning (大学).