Category Archives: Yojijukugo

Keeping the mood, and the pocket, light

軽薄短小 kei.haku.tan.shou Literally: light – dilute – short – small Alternately: Of a thing: small and light. By metaphorical extension, a person whose character is shallow; a hollow person with no substance to them. Notes: The physical meaning has apparently … Continue reading

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Gettin’ biblical before the match

緊褌一番 kin.kon.ichi.ban Literally: tense – loincloth – one – [ordinal counter] Alternately: To brace yourself mentally for something. To prepare to face difficulty or hardship, or at least a high-level competition of some sort. Literally, to gird one’s loins. Notes: … Continue reading

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On the up and up and away

立身出世 ri-.sshin.shu-.sse Literally: stand up – person – go out – society Alternately: Success in society; specifically, establishing oneself in a high (and well-paid) position. Achieving fame and fortune. Notes: This is a repetition-type compound; both risshin and shusse refer … Continue reading

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Feet of clay, tongue of wood

Mouth of gold; break the mold 金口木舌 kin.kou.boku.zetsu Literally: gold / metal – mouth – tree / wood – tongue Alternately: Someone who leads the people through skillful (spoken) expression. A guide or leader of public opinion. The image is … Continue reading

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Yeets, and shoots leaves

百発百中 hya-.ppatsu.hyaku.chuu Literally: hundred – emit – hundred – middle Alternately: Hitting the center of the target with every arrow or bullet fired. A 100% hit rate. Metaphorically, a person with plans or, especially, predictions that never fail. Notes: This … Continue reading

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Get out of the blazing heat

円転滑脱 en.ten.katsu.datsu Literally: round – revolve – slide – remove Alternately: Able to change one’s words and actions in response to other people’s mood or situation, and thus get stuff done without ruffling feathers unnecessarily. Dealing with things skillfully. Adaptable; … Continue reading

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The opposite of Genji

天真爛漫 ten.shin.ran.man Literally: heavens – true – inflamed – involuntary Alternately: When a person’s thoughts and feelings show on the surface of their words and behavior.Simplicity; naivete; unaffectedness. Wearing one’s heart on one’s sleeve. Keep in mind that in contemporary … Continue reading

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