Category Archives: Yojijukugo

The benefits of bold-face fine print

(I thought this was scheduled to pop automatically yesterday, but… it wasn’t, and I was remiss in failing to check. My apologies for the delay.) 胆大心小 tan.dai.shin.shou Literally: gall bladder / courage – big – heart / mind – small … Continue reading

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Melting pot, ethnic stew

Either way, we’re all in this vessel together 渾然一体 kon.zen.i-.ttai Literally: all – “sort of thing” – one – body Alternately: Disparate things mixing together to form a harmonious or unified whole. A workable sum of parts. The ideal of … Continue reading

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But what do you do with half a hemp-tangle?

Throw water on it, maybe 快刀乱麻 kai.tou.ran.ma Literally: pleasant – sword – disorder – hemp Alternately: Skillfully (and quickly) resolving a complicated situation or solving a complicated problem. Notes: 快刀 is a sword with a good cutting edge; 乱麻 is … Continue reading

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None are so lost as those who will not stop being lost

, Darryl 迷者不問 mei.sha.fu.mon Literally: lost – person – non – ask Alternately: “The (truly) lost are those who do not ask (the way).” An admonition to ask questions when there’s something you don’t understand. If you get lost – … Continue reading

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An osmotic balance of worries?

内憂外患 nai.yuu.gai.kan Literally: inside – grieve – outside – affliction Alternately: Troubles both within and from without (a country). Internal and external problems. For example, alienating both your populace and your neighbors. By extension, can refer to the combination of … Continue reading

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Please do not bend, fold, spindle or mutilate

曲学阿世 kyoku.gaku.a.sei Literally: bend – study – flatter – society Alternately: Twisting knowledge or reason in order to fit in with a trend or pander to some powerful element of society. Perverting truth in favor of social or political expediency. … Continue reading

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How many grets before they start repeating?

千恨万悔 sen.kon.ban.kai Literally: thousand – regret / resentment – ten thousand – regret / repentance Alternately: Overwhelming feelings of regret about the past. Notes: Some versions may not use 万, but rather the archaic form of the same character, 萬. … Continue reading

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