Category Archives: Yojijukugo

Four steps or you stumble

It all boils down to the need for as many people as possible to agree to be good dancing partners for everyone else 礼楽刑政rei.gaku.kei.sei Literally: ceremony – leisure – punishment – government **but see below! Alternately: The four pillars necessary … Continue reading

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Now with more star power

As in literally not just the north star, but six other stars 泰山北斗tai.zan.hoku.to Literally: Tai – mountain – north – dipper Alternately: A leading and respected figure in a given field; someone of immense personal authority by whose standard others … Continue reading

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You and I, wacky together

Armpit noises??? 用和為貴you.wa.i.ki Literally: (to) use – harmony – do – valued Alternately: A statement that the most important thing is good relations between people. One should cherish positive interpersonal relations in all of society. Notes: This one is in … Continue reading

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From sea to shining sea to another sea to yet another sea

Earning an A+, though, not a C 海内無双kai.dai.mu.sou Literally: ocean – inside – not – pair Alternately: Top-ranked in the nation, or in the world. Without peer. Notes: This compound comes from our friend, the ancient poetic anthology Wen Xuan … Continue reading

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Under the bushel you go, light!

Reading doujinshi for the Buddha’s sake. 和光同塵wa.kou.dou.jin Literally: harmony – light – same – dust Alternately: An especially wise or talented person hiding their abilities (often through self-effacement) and living a common life among the common people. In a Buddhist … Continue reading

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Thoughtful social distancing

遠慮会釈en.ryo.e.shaku Literally: far – thought – meet – explain Alternately: Holding back and thinking of others; reserve and consideration. Notes: This is a compound of compounds; 遠慮 is “discretion,” “restraint,” and 会釈 is “thoughtfulness (for the sake of others.” These … Continue reading

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For the very rich and the very poor?

(Either you have a big enough house for it, or you don’t have the money for multiple residences, regardless.) 累世同居rui.sei.dou.kyo Literally: accumulate – generation – same – reside Alternately: Multiple generations of a family living in the same house. In … Continue reading

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A root of the problem

盗人根性nusu.bito.kon.jou Literally: steal – person – root – nature (as in the innate essence of a thing, not “Mother Nature”) Alternately: A thief’s personality. Someone’s character being cruel, devious, greedy, and generally underhanded. Notes: 盗人 may also be read as … Continue reading

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They do toil, and they do spin

Humans aren’t plants, it turns out; we just raise ‘em. 粒粒辛苦ryuu.ryuu.shin.ku Literally: grain* / drop – grain* / drop – spicy / unpleasant – bitter / suffer Alternately: Hard, steady work. To carry on with plain, painstaking, long-term labor. Elbows … Continue reading

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Leaving the ivory tower

What is the tower of practical applications made out of? Tungsten? 知行合一chi.kou.gou.itsu Literally: know – act – join – one Alternately: One’s knowledge and deeds are in accordance. One’s actions must be guided by one’s knowledge, and knowledge only has … Continue reading

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