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


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.

Gouka-Kenran [absolute gorgeousness]


"gou"=strong "ka"=flamboyance, brilliance "ken"=beautiful [aya] pattern "ran"=dazzling

"Gouka" denotes gorgeousness and flamboyance, and "kenran" describes something that has many colors and is dazzling beautiful. Both phrases mean gorgeousness and by combining the two the idiom obtains the meaning of incomparable glitz and dazzle.
Seiren-Keppaku [as clean as the driven snow]


"sei"=clean "ren"=cheap "ketsu"=gracious, manly, incorrupt "h(p)aku"=white, clean

"Seiren"describes someone whose heart is clean and pure and shows no personal greed. "Keppaku" also has a similar meaning of clean and white heart, or someone whose mind and behaviors are always right. Basically the two phrases have the same meaning, so this one two is an idiom that reinforces its meaning by bringing two similar words together.
Nisshin-Geppo [fast-moving, always moving forward]


"nichi"=sun, day "shin"=to move forward, to proceed
"getsu"=moon, month "ho"=to walk

This four-character-idiom is carefully structured observing the meaning and the sound. Firstly, the combination of sun (day) and moon (month) which reads "tsukihi" expresses years. Secondly, the combination of "shin" and "ho" – "shinpo" – means progress. These four kanji are separated and recombined in the order nichi – shin – getsu – ho so that it has a better rhythm yet retains its meaning, and became an idiom that means "to proceed each day each month and make progress/ development". The word "nisshin" derives from this idiom.
Funkotsu-Saishin [to put in all your energy]


"fun"=powder "kotsu"=bone "sai"=to fracture, to crush "shin"=body

As you can see from the meanings of each kanji, this idiom as a whole means to give all your energy into something to the point your bones are all fractured and body crushed to pieces. “Funkotsu” means to work on a tough task that even breaks your bones down to powder, and “saishin” similarly means to crush your body doing something. Apparently, it does not literally mean to damage your body, but merely denotes hard work.
Yoyuu-Shakushaku [relaxed and composed]


"yo"=abundant, to have extras "yuu"=affluent, composed "shakushaku"=to be composed

*the last kanji used in this idiom does not have an independent meaning but functions as a symbol that pluralizes or reinforces the meaning of the previous kanji. see “koshi-tantan”.

This is another composition of kanji that have similar meanings. “Yoyu” can be used in various scenes of daily lives, but it basically has a meaning of abundance and composure and to not be in haste. “Shakushaku” too has the meaning of relaxed status. All together the idiom emphasizes composure.

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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