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

vol. 23

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.

kyokujitsu shouten [ to boost high and forward ]


"kyoku " = the rising sun, sunrise
"jitsu" = day, daytime, morning, sun
"shou " = to rise, to go up
"ten " = sky, heaven

The literal meaning of this phrase is the sun rising high in the sky, but is also an analogy of something energetic and has much momentum that’s boosting high and forward. “Shooting down a flying bird” as said in Japanese. “Kyokujitsu” a word combining two similar kanji means “the rising sun” and “shouten” means to rise high up in the sky.

iki kenkou [ energetic and enthusiastic ]


"i " = thoughts or feelings in one’s mind
"ki " = feelings, spirit
"ken " = to rise high
"kou "= to rise high, elation

Like the above “kyokujitsu-shouten” this idiom also describes a person who has great energy and enthusiasm to move forward and aim for more. “Iki” means feelings or spirit, and both “ken” and “kou” means to rise high. All together, “to be in high spirit”.

kouzen no tsubasa [ quick rise to fame ]


"kou " = Ohtori, a big bird
"zen " = gradually
"no " = of
"tsubasa " = wings

Kouzen-no-tsubasa literally means “the wings of ohtori”. Ohtori is a kind of a huge bird which is said to fly a thousand miles once in one flight. The idiom is an analogy of an excellent person who rapidly climbs up to higher position, or someone who makes a great success in a big business. Also called “speed-shusse” (speed promotion) in Japanese.

gaikan naimei [generous to others, fair to self]


"gai " = out, outside, outwards, external
"kan " = generous
"nai " = in, inside, inwards, internal
"mei " = bright, clear, wise, light

To treat others (=“out”) with generosity and to observe oneself (=“in”) well with a fair mind and behave modest. To know oneself.

kaisei sanmei [ undying love ]


"kai " = sea, ocean
"sei " = to swear
"san " = mountains
" mei " = alliance

An undying love that is unchanging forever like the ocean and the mountains. To vow eternal love.


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
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            vol.11 vol.12 vol.13 vol.14 vol.15 vol.16 vol.17 vol.18 vol.19 vol.20
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