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

vol.7

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.

Tekizai-Tekisho [right man in the right place ]

Tekizai-Tekisho

"teki"=most appropriate, suitable "zai"=resource, human resource
"teki"=most appropriate, suitable "sho"=place

"Tekizai" means the right (human) resource and "tekisho" means the right place. By combining the two vocabularies, the phrase creates the meaning "to bring the right person in the right place". Usually describes situations in which a talented person in one field is placed in the right position (at work).

 
Tenka-Ippin [best, second to none]

Tenka-Ippin

"ten"=sky, heaven (thus indicates the world) "ka"=below, underneath, down
"ichi"=one, best "h(/p)in"=item, thing

Literal translation: the best thing under the sky.
"Tenka" means under the sky = this world, and "ippin" means the one and only thing or the best thing. Hence this four-character-idiom means "the one and only thing in this world which is incomparable to anything else", pointing to a thing or a person who has outstandingly high
quality/ talent/ ability.


 
Seikou-Udoku [to live a quiet, leisurely life]

Seikou-Udoku

"sei"=shine (fair weather) "kou"=to cultivate the land "u"=rain "doku"=to read

"Seikou" means to cultivate the land on sunny days and "udoku" means to read (books) on rainy days. However, neither "seiko" nor "udoku" are independent vocabularies. They only hold meanings in this idiom. The idiom as a whole describes a slow, retired kind of life.


 
Rinki-Ouhen [to flexibly correspond to changing situations]

Rinki-Ouhen

"rin"=to face, to head "ki"=chance, opportunity (situation) "ou"=to correspond "hen"=change

"Rinki" means to face situations, and "ouhen" means to correspond flexibly. Similarly to seikou-udoku neither these two phrases function as independent vocabularies but only make sense within this idiom. As a whole, it describes the ability to flexibly and approptiately correspond to changing situations.

 
Koshi-Tantan [to aim with a tiger's eye]

Koshi-Tantan

"ko"=tiger "shi"=eye, line of sight (gaze, glare) "tantan"=to aim with ambition

*There are many words in Japanese which repeats the same syllable (sound) twice to reinforce or pluralize the meaning. In such cases, we use the character "onaji " called odoriji for the second character. In this case, the single kanji "tan" means "to be engrossed in."
Other words include "hitobito" hitobito (= people) and "tamatama" tamatama (= coincidentally).


"Koshi" means the tiger's eye - that is to say the sharp glare of a tiger when he is aiming for a target - and "tantan" is to aim with ambition. All together the idiom means to patiently but ambitiously watch for an opportunity to achieve high hopes.

 
NEXT

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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  • Country Names in Kanji - vol.1 | vol.2 | vol.3 | vol.4
  • YOJIJUKUGO
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    vol.2
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