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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.

Ninin-Sankyaku [two people, three legs]


"ni"= two "nin"= people "san"= three "kyaku"= leg(s)

"Ninin-Sankyaku" literally means two people three legs. Usually when you have two people you have four legs, not three. There is a race called "ninin-sankyaku" in which the two bind one leg from each of them together (for example, right leg of person A and left leg of person B) and run. The idiom is used in various situations describing two people cooperating and sharing responsibility to achive a common goal.

*by-talk*...this idiom has been used in Chapter 1 of ChamaTama (it appears as an image on page 7). The characters used in the manga are slightly different for it uses classic text instead of simple text used today.The kanji for "nin" is also different: in the manga the character is substituted by one which means "ninja" since it has the same sound and is more suitable for the manga theme.

Seishin-Seii [with heartfelt sincerity]


"sei"= sincere, serious, true "shin"=mind (kokoro) "sei"= sincere, serious, true "i"= feeling/ thought

"Seishin" means true heart or true feeling, and "seii" also means unfalse heart or heart of no personal greed. By bringing together two similar words, the idiom reinforces its meaning of heartfelt sincerity.

Nisha-takuitsu [to choose one from two]


"ni"= two "sha"= things, people "taku"= to choose, choice "itsu"= one

"Nisha" means two things or people and "takuitsu" means to choose one. It means that you have to choose one and not both when you have a choice.

Buun-Chokyu [to have longlasting luck]


"bu"= battle, warrior "un"= luck, fate "cho"= long "kyu"= long

"Buun" is good luck in battles, and "cho(u)kyu(u)" is to last long (=always, eternity). By binding together these two words, the idiom means to have longlasting luck in battles, fights or competition.

Ganko-ittetsu [bulldog tenacity]


"gan"= stubborn "ko"= stiff, adamant "i(chi)"= one "tetsu"= to be given to

"Ganko" means stubborness or a fixed value of somebody that cannot be changed easily, and "ittestu" means to stick to one thing and devote oneself into it to the end. It means to never change your thoughts and attitude regarding a certain fact and to press it forward. Can be used both in positive and negative terms.


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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