Category Archives: Yojijukugo

The playground of Tengu!

天上天下 ten.jou.ten.ge Literally: heavens – up – heavens – down Alternately: The world above the sky (the heavens) and the world below the sky (the earth). Also, the space between heaven and earth. The whole world. Notes: Reading 下 as … Continue reading

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Written on the 4th of July

(I searched for phrases using 独 because of the 独立記念日.) 唯我独尊 yui.ga.doku.son Literally: only – self – alone – precious Alternately: Thinking that oneself is the best in the world. Being so self-assured that you don’t listen to anyone else. … Continue reading

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Reverse the order for Biblical time

Something birds, something stones? 一朝一夕 i-.cchou.i-.sseki Literally: one – morning – one – evening Alternately: A single day. By extension, a brief and fleeting span of time. Often used in a negative structure to express that something can’t be done … Continue reading

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Cosmic triage

悪人正機 aku.nin.shou.ki Literally: evil – person – correct – loom / machine Alternately: No matter how evil a person is, the Buddha’s wish is for them to be saved. Or perhaps, the worse a person is, the more important it … Continue reading

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A day for lying in

虚誕妄説 kyo.tan.mou.setsu Literally: empty – birth / arbitrary – delusion – explanation Alternately: Groundless remarks. False statements. Talking nonsense; making irresponsible comments; shooting off at the mouth. Notes: This is another two-two-character-compound-compound: 虚誕 refers to not just falsehoods but exaggerated … Continue reading

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More likely when the person at the center is rotten

朝蠅暮蚊 chou.you.bo.bun Literally: morning – fly (the insect, not the verb) – evening – mosquito Alternately: A troublesome situation or gloomy atmosphere caused by an assemblage of narrow-minded, trivial people. Like being surrounded by clouds of flies in the morning … Continue reading

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A dangerous game when your name starts with “hundred”

I guess birds are illiterate? 百舌勘定 mo.zu.kan.jou Literally: hundred – tongue – compare – determine Alternately: Arranging things so that others end up paying your costs for you. Especially at a restaurant, manipulating the bill in a way that divides … Continue reading

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