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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.



"nan" = difficult, difficulty
"kou " = to attack
"fu" = (denial)
"raku" = to fall

nankou” is to be difficult to attack and “furaku” means impossible to fall, so this idiom has a meaning of “undefeatable-ness” or “invulnerability”. 

[happiness and wealth]


"fuku " = happiness
"toku" = virtue, benefits
"en" = round, circle
"man"= full, to be filled with

fukutoku” is happiness and wealth in both mental and material senses, and “enman” means to be full of, or have enough and not to have disputes or dissatisfactions. From the ancient times in Japan, the shape circle has often times been associated with calmness or peacefulness since it has not corners (=offense). Additionally, because it has no beginning or end it is also associated with eternity and infinity. All together, “fukutoku-enman” denotes much happiness and wealth.

[austere and flawless]


"ten " = sky, heaven (up high in the air)
"i" = clothing
"mu" = no / none
"hou" = stitches, to sew

ten’i” is the clothing of the beings in heaven, namely the god(s), angels as well as souls. The kanji for “muhou” literally say “no stitches” and this comes from the old legend and belief that the clothing for the sacred does not have any stitches. “No stitches” eventually derived to mean “to have nothing extra (like the stitches)” therefore containing the meaning of naturalness, austerity, flawlessness which at the same time is beautiful. All together the idiom is most times used to describe a character who is innocent and austere.

[overwhelming force / storm and stress]


"shi(tsu)" = swift
"puu" = wind
"do" = anger, rage, wrath
"toe" = big waves

”shippuu” is a very swift wind or a gale, and “dotou” expresses a wave so big that it looks like it is full of wrath. Together the idiom illustrates a stormy picture with strong wind and turbulent waves, that is to say, social and political turmoil and shift of powers. Though not exactly literal, it is the translation for the German term “Sturm und Drang”.

[Japanese-Western blending]


"wa" = Japan, Japanese, harmony, peaceful
"you(yoh) " = West, Western, ocean
"se(tsu) " = to fold, to bend
"chuu& quot; = center, the very depth

wa” is a kanji that represents Japan or Japanese style, and “you (pronounced: yoh)” originally meaning “ocean” is a kanji that represents the West or Western style deriving from the notion of “across the ocean”. “setchuu” is to mix and blend in different elements taking out only the good parts and excluding the downsides, so the idiom as a whole describes anything that has a marvelous blend and balance of Japanese and Western influences.


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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