Category Archives: Yojijukugo

Wrack, wrack, wrack your brains

And your body too! Merrily… ? 意匠惨憺 i.shou.san.tan Literally: mind – artisan – harsh – calm Alternately: Doing one’s utmost in an act of creation (especially artistic creation) or design; painstaking attention to detail and agonizing effort for the purpose … Continue reading

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

Touch and touch and touch and touch and touch and touch and touch and touch and touch and go

九死一生 kyuu.shi.i-.sshou Literally: nine – die – one – live Alternately: To somehow survive a very seriously dangerous situation. To be alive after escaping a 90% chance of dying. Notes: This comes to us from the Chu Ci, aka the … Continue reading

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

Wolves among the flowers

落花狼藉 ra-.kka.rou.zeki Literally: fall – flower – wolf – spread Alternately: Things are scattered or disorganized. Chaos and disorder. Violence, especially violence directed towards women and children. Notes: As with last week’s yojijukugo, this is a compound of compounds, with … Continue reading

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

Sedition

乱暴狼藉 ran.bou.rou.zeki Literally: disorder – violence – wolf – spread Alternately: To engage in violent and unlawful behavior; to ignore reason and act wildly and destructively. Rioting; committing outrages. Notes: It is an error to replace 藉 with homophone 籍, … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, Yojijukugo | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Kaitenzushi

I certainly prefer it to the pork 行雲流水 kou.un.ryuu.sui Literally: go – cloud – flow – water Alternately: Going where the wind and tides carry you, instead of sticking with one thing or staying in one place. Constantly changing rather … Continue reading

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

A life spent just hanging around?

一生懸命 i-.sshou.ken.mei Literally: one – life – hang / depend – life / destiny / decree Alternately: Putting maximum effort into something. Striving as hard as you can; putting your very life on the line. Notes: The original form of … Continue reading

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

If you meet the Buddha on the road, eff him

Is the word “ineffable” a paradox? 不立文字 fu.ryuu.mon.ji Literally: non – stand – sentence – letter Alternately: The Buddhist observation that satori (“understanding,” specifically insight into the true nature of reality) is not something that can be written down or … Continue reading

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

Just lions having fun!

And… gin? 獅子奮迅 shi.shi.fun.jin Literally: lion – child – vigorous – quick Alternately: Highly-energetic, even violent activity. Doing things in a furious, intense, or overwhelming way. Ferocious, or at least energetic, like a lion. Notes: This phrase apparently comes to … Continue reading

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

Ningen shikaku

(More or less) 四角四面 shi.kaku.shi.men Literally: four – corner – four – face Alternately: Square. Four (equal) angles and four (equal sides), just like it says. By extension, a “square” personality: extremely, perhaps even overly, serious. Meticulous; stiff; formal; lacking … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, Yojijukugo | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

I have seen tempests

櫛風沐雨 shi-.ppuu.moku.u Literally: comb – wind – wash – rain Alternately: Wind-blasted and rain-drenched. With one’s hair blown about by wind and one’s body washed by rain; by extension, someone who is out struggling in story weather because of work … Continue reading

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