Category Archives: Yojijukugo

Great at everything but dancing

八面六臂 hachi.men.ro-.ppi Literally: eight – face – six – elbow Alternately: Active in a variety of areas, usually with incredible energy and results. One person doing the work of several. As productive as if having eight heads and six arms. … Continue reading

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Zen and the art of shining a footlight

脚下照顧 kya-.kka.shou.ko Literally: leg – below – illuminate – look back Alternately: Make time to look within. More literally, “make sure to look carefully under your own feet.” 照顧 is a Zen Buddhist term for consideration, reflection, introspection. This is … Continue reading

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Not a photographic memory, but a typeset one

博覧強記 haku.ran.kyou.ki Literally: acclaimed – see – strong – scribe Alternately: Widely-read and remembering much. Having a vast supply of knowledge, thanks to extensive study and good recall. Notes: This compound comes to us from the Han shi waizhuan (韓詩外伝, … Continue reading

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The last refuge of the incompetent

“Violence appears where power is in jeopardy, but left to its own course it ends in power’s disappearance.” – Hannah Arendt 暴虐非道 bou.gyaku.hi.dou Literally: violence – oppress – not – road Alternately: Inhumane cruelty and violence; atrocity and tyranny. By … Continue reading

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Pleasant at a distance

But you don’t want them hitting you in the face 花鳥風月 ka.chou.fuu.getsu Literally: flower – bird – wind – moon Alternately: The beautiful scenery of nature. By extension, the hyper-indolent aristocratic pastime of gazing out at gardens full of carefully-arranged … Continue reading

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Busy lake

(Yes, I know that that would actually be ビジー) 美辞麗句 bi.ji.rei.ku Literally: beautiful – word – lovely – phrase Alternately: Pretty turns of speech. Flowery phrasing. Artful rhetoric. As with previous post-fodder 外交辞令, there’s an implication of speech that is … Continue reading

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Not a vital value: 味

(I kid, I kid.) 和敬清寂 wa.kei.sei.jaku Literally: harmony – respect – purity – silence / loneliness Alternately: A term from tea ceremony (茶道, sadou). The host and guests (are supposed to) create a pure (清) and tranquil (寂) atmosphere within … Continue reading

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