Category Archives: Yojijukugo

All sincerity

(No tricks) 志操堅固 shi.sou.ken.go Literally: intention – operate / fidelity – solid – harden Alternately: Strict adherence to one’s principles and beliefs, or even to one’s chosen style in an art. Unwavering, uncompromising loyalty to an ideal. Notes: Even though … Continue reading

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

This will be the year of the boar, though

Not that the last couple of years haven’t seen their shares of poorly-educated and tasteless behavior…. 一竜一猪 ichi.ryou.i-.ccho Literally: one – dragon – one – boar/pig Alternately: A saying that expresses the value of education. The difference between someone who … Continue reading

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

Don’t be backhanded!

先手必勝 sen.te.hi-.sshou Literally: before – hand – certain – win Alternately: Who strikes first, wins. The early bird gets the worm. This phrase may be used to espouse a “first strike” mentality as a general philosophy, or to describe the … Continue reading

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

Rubbing elbows ‘cross the pond

一衣帯水 ichi.i.tai.sui Literally: one – garment – belt – water Alternately: A relatively thin strip of water, such as a river or narrow stretch of sea. By extension, two things that are very close together. Notes: Unusually among four-character compounds, … Continue reading

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

No rank, no file

It gets you off the grid! 無位無冠 mu.i.mu.kan Literally: nothing – rank – nothing – crown Alternately: An ordinary citizen. Having no special prestige from rank, title, official position, or status. Notes: A variant phrase replaces 冠 with 官 (also … Continue reading

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

Some cows give milk; this one says “Mu”

無為無能 mu.i.mu.nou Literally: nothing – do/benefit – nothing – ability Alternately: Not doing anything, and not able to do anything. A complete lack of action, and of ability to achieve anything significant. Idle and incompetent. Notes: Keep in mind that … Continue reading

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

Glance after equally-loving glance

No piquing, though 一視同仁 i-.sshi.dou.jin Literally: one – look – same – benevolence Alternately: Feeling equal affection for all, without prejudice or discrimination. Universal love, without consideration for rank, caste, or any of the other distinctions that normally divide us. … Continue reading

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