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Yojijukugo ---  Four-Character-Idiom
 
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Yojijukugo ---  Four-Character-Idiom

vol.14

Yojijukugo is a Japanese idiom consisted of four kanji. Many are based on the ideas of Chinese traditions or classical texts.

In other words, you can also say that yojijukugo is a piece of art, of building up four kanji with individual meanings into one phrase with one meaning. As compared to the number of characters the information they carry is so much bigger, and because it can help smoothening communication between people who know the word yojijukugo is often used for promo words. There are even some new yojijukugo invented by copywriters.

I sometimes see non-Japanese people with yojijukugo tatoos, but there are some that makes me wonder if they really know the meaning.
So here, I will introduce you some yojijukugo that have good meanings and good appearance.

Mubyou-Sokusai [Good Health]

Mubyou-Sokusai

"mu"=none "byou"=illness, disease "soku"=breath, health "sai"=disaster, bad luck

The first two “mubyou” means as the kanji mean, to have no illness, and the latter two “sokusai” means to be in exceptionally good health. Bringing these two words together the idiom means not only to have no illness but to be in healthy condition.

 
Rikisen-Funtou [To One’s Utmost]

Rikisen-Funtou

"riki"=power, energy "sen"=battle (as in warfare; physical battle)
"fun"=to pluck up (courage, power, might, etc.)
"tou"=battle (as in overcoming hardship; mental/ spiritual battle)

”Rikisen” is to fight with all your power, and “funtou” is to face/fight things with all your energy. The two are very similar but slightly different, so by combining all of them the phrase obtains the meaning of fighting all kinds of battle with all your strength.
 
Zenchi-Zennou [Almighty / Ablsoluteness]

Zenchi-Zennou

"zen"=all, everything "chi"=to know, knowledge "zen"=all, everything "nou"=ability

”Zenchi” denotes perfect knowledge which covers everything about this world, and “zennou” is the perfect ability to do everything. As a whole, zenchi-zennou means to have both these qualities and means perfection or absoluteness.
 
Bimoku-Shuurei [Perfect Handsomeness]

Bimoku-Shuurei

"bi"=eyebrows "moku"=eyes "shuu"=to excel, excellent "rei"=beauteous, gorgeous

Literally, “bimoku” only points to eyes and eyebrows but can mean the figure or appearance as a whole. The kanji for “shuurei” both have great meanings, illustrating excellent beauty or perfection in beauty. Together the idiom is used to describe anyone who has impeccably beautiful appearance or a handsome figure. Today, the idiom can be used for both genders, however, historically it has been used more for men.
 
Bijin-Hakumei [Beauty and Luck Seldom Go Together]

Bijin-Hakumei

"bi"=beautiful "jin"=person, human "haku"=thin, few, brittle "mei"=life

”Bijin” literally means a beautiful person or a person with beautiful appearance/ figure, and is used mostly for women. “Hakumei” denotes “thin life” which translates into short life, but can also mean less luck or unlucky, unhappy. All together, “bijin-hakumei” means beautiful people can be physically weak by nature or can be a fool of fate, making them short-living people or unhappy people. This idiom as well as many other words and phrases in Japanese such as gekkabijin (Queen of the Night) and sakura (Cherry Blossoms) illustrates the Japanese worldview of beautiful things are frail and grieving such frailness.

 
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I'd like to continue introducing you yojijukugo with good meanings and cool appearance.
Or if you have any questions, like, "what does my tatoo really mean?", don't hesitate to give us an e-mail :-)

Of course, we still welcome those who want to have their names converted in kanji. Just e-mail to samurai@jmode.co.jp

 




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  • YOJIJUKUGO
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