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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.

Kokushi-Muso(u) [an outstandingly prominent figure/ ]

Kokushi-Muso [an outstandingly prominent figure/ ]

A person of great caliber whom you will not find another in the land.
The best and top figure of the country with bravery and wisdom.
koku” = “land/ country”, “shi” = “warrior i.e. samurai”, “mu” = “none”, “so(u)” = “two”: There are no two great warriors on the same land.

Inga-Ouhou [‘You reap what you sow’/
‘What goes around comes around’]

Inga-Ouhou [‘You reap what you sow’/
‘What goes around comes around’]

You get what you give.
Those who have done good will receive well, and those who misbehaved will be punished.
In other words, what you reap in this life is what you have sown in your previous life.
What you do will go around and eventually come back to you.

Gaiju-Naigo [looks gentle but is tough inside]

Gaiju-Naigo [looks gentle but is tough inside]

A person who looks frail, gentle and quiet but has strong mentality/ commitment/ will inside.
gai” = “outside”, “ju” = “soft”, “nai” = “inside”, “go” = “strong/ hard”: soft outside and hard inside.

Kiso-Tengai [something very bizarre; totally unexpected]

Kiso-Tengai [something very bizarre; totally unexpected]

Something/ happening so bizarre that you can hardly imagine it is real.
ki” = “odd”, “so” = “idea, imagination”, “ten” = “heaven”, “gai” = “outside”: the idea is so odd that it must have come outside of the heaven (=world)

Kimen-Busshin [having the face of a devil and the heart of Buddha]

Kimen-Busshin [having the face of a devil and the heart of Buddha]

To have a warm and merciful heart despite the scary appearance.
ki” = “devil”, “men” = “face”, “butsu” = “Buddha”, “shin” = “heart”: with the devil’s face and Buddha’s heart


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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