Category Archives: Yojijukugo

In loco?

心神耗弱 shin.shin.kou.jaku Literally: heart – soul – decrease – weak Alternately: Decreased mental capacity. Having lost the ability to judge right and wrong and act accordingly. This is actually a legal and medical term indicating diminished responsibility: that someone cannot … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, Yojijukugo | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hot air rises

意気揚揚i.ki.you.you Literally: mind/heart – spirit – raise – raise Alternately: In high spirits; triumphant, elated… by extension, boastful; proud unto arrogance; full of oneself. Often used with the ironic or critical nuance that someone’s inflated self-esteem is not actually in … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, Yojijukugo | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Exceeding fines

信賞必罰 shin.shou.hitsu.batsu Literally: fidelity – prize/reward – inevitable – punishment Alternately: Sure reward and certain punishment. Strict, unfailing, and proper apportionment of just deserts, both boons and banes. Notes: This phrase comes to us from the Han Feizi (the『韓非子』= Japanese … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, Yojijukugo | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The cruellest cheat

Yes, lying to the people is bad, and cheats them out of good things. But lying to yourself, and cheating yourself out of what you could have been, is far more cruel and far more permanent. 自己欺瞞 ji.ko.gi.man Literally: self … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, Yojijukugo | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

All times as one, and now

夷険一節 i.ken.i-.ssetsu Literally: barbarian/flatten* – steep/dangerous – one – joint/section/occasion Alternately: You should stand firm to your principles regardless of whether things are calm and easy, or dangerous and hard. Don’t sell out your values, no matter the circumstances. Notes: … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, Yojijukugo | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The scarecrow’s final blade

紫電一閃 shi.den.i-.ssen Literally: purple – electricity – one – flash Alternately: The light that glints from a sword being brandished. By extension, an extremely short moment of time; a single instant. By extension, a dramatic change that happens in very … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, Yojijukugo | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

And the leaves that are green

…seem to be green again the next year… but we are not leaves. 年年歳歳 nen.nen.sai.sai Literally: year – year – year/age – year/age Alternately: Every single year. Year in and year out. Notes: As always, the second instance of each … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, Yojijukugo | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment