Tag Archives: kotowaza

Counterintuitive Countermeasures

This week’s kotowaza was chosen, in part, to further demonstrate the use of the character 以 from Wednesday’s yojijukugo 以心伝心. 毒を以て毒を制する (Doku wo motte doku wo sei suru; “Use poison to control poison.”) Definition: “One poison drives out another.” Sometimes … Continue reading

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Breathing Om, like Dogs

阿吽の呼吸 (Aun no kokyuu; “Breathing Ah–Un.”) Definition: Two parties, in a mutual activity, achieving a state of perfect mental, physical, and spiritual harmony. It’s common knowledge that there is a state one can enter when wholly concentrating on some activity, … Continue reading

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Not All Bad

Continuing last week’s oni theme: 渡る世間に鬼は無し (Wataru seken ni oni wa nashi; “Across the world, there are no demons.”) Definition: Nobody in the whole world is an oni – i.e. a purely malicious being. “There is kindness to be found … Continue reading

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Strength to the Strong with a Stick

Another selection from the Iroha Karuta: I’ve found a site that has not just the Edo set, but the Kyoto and Osaka sets as well, so expect to see more of these as they catch my fancy. 鬼に金棒 (Oni ni … Continue reading

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Half- …hiding it

Continuing the theme of hiding from last week: 頭隠して尻隠さず (Atama kakushite shiri kakusazu; “Hiding the head, not hiding the butt.”) Definition: This saying refers to a situation where somebody has done something wrong, or has a flaw or failing of … Continue reading

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Talons and Talents

This week’s kotowaza was recommended by a friend. If any of my readers have further suggestions or requests for specific sayings, please feel free to contact me! 能ある鷹は爪を隠す (Nou aru taka wa tsume wo kakusu; “The skilled hawk hides its … Continue reading

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The Post that Sticks Out

  出る杭は打たれる (Deru kui wa utareru; “The post that sticks out gets hammered down.”) Definition: It is best to keep one’s head down and not attract too much attention. Someone whose ability stands out will become the target of others’ … Continue reading

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