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Questions tagged [yoji-jukugo]

四字熟語. Four-character idiomatic compounds.

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80/20 rule expression (Pareto Principle)

Is there a saying (ことわざ)or 4 character phrase (四字熟語) in Japanese for the 80-20 rule (i.e. the Pareto Principle)? i.e. it takes 20% of the effort to get 80% of the results but to get the last 20% of ...
paullb's user avatar
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What is the etymology of the phrase 隴を得て蜀を望む?

I just came across this phrase, which is listed in the dictionary as: never being satisfied with what one gets, and always wanting more; giving someone an inch and having them take a mile; taking ...
Lou's user avatar
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5 votes
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What phrase or yojijukugo can I use for Pyrrhic Victory?

Is there any word or phrase I can use for Pyrrhic Victory, or perhaps empty victory, or both? The first being a case where one wins but suffers such huge damage in some other way that it's victory in ...
eruciform's user avatar
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Difference between 七転び八起き and 七転八起

I really need someones help and PRONTO!! So I have finally decided my next Japanese Kanji tattoo! :) BUT I got one problem when I was doing some research on "Fall down seven times, stand up eight." I ...
Natalia Bobek's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
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Question about [一騎当千]{いっ・き・とう・せん}

One of my dictionaries defines this (actually, 一騎当千のつわもの) as a matchless [an extremely mighty] warrior / a warrior who is strong enough to fight against as many as one thousand men. My question is ...
istrasci's user avatar
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10 votes
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恥知らず【はじしらず】 versus 厚顔無恥【こうがんむち】

The lack of examples makes me difficult to understand well the difference between 恥知らず and 厚顔無恥. Both seem to mean "shameless". For example, can I use both as follows? Are there any differences? ...
Display Name's user avatar
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About japanese special expressions

暖簾に腕押し noren ni udeoshi not worth doing waste of effort 才色兼備 saishokukenbi being gifted with both intelligence and beauty 白昼堂々 hakuchūdōdō openly (unashamedly) in broad daylight 虎視眈々 koshitantan ...
gz6p's user avatar
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1 answer
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What is the max number of kanji a jukugo can be made of?

So far I haven't seen any jukugo with more than 4 kanji. Is this a limit? Or some of them are made of more than 4 kanji? Also, I've seen jukugo made of other jukugo. Like 高速道路 is composed with two ...
Felipe Müller's user avatar
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What is the etymology of 森羅万象 and what does it mean?

I have come across this word a few times: 森羅万象{しんらばんしょう} If you look it up, you usually get something along the lines of: the creation the universe all nature I would like to know if there's ...
j--'s user avatar
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the omission of an implied "の" creates the appearance of a 四字熟語{よじじゅくご}?

I believe that www.yojijukugo.com has a pretty thorough list of 四字熟語? Is there a better site? However, I know that I've seen a lot of 4, or more, adjacent kanji that are not listed as 熟語。An example ...
user312440's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
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Significance of 「温」 in 「温故知新」

This question came to my mind while playing 漢字読めるカナ for Android to pass time. 温故知新 is a 4-character idiom from the 論語, Confucian Analects, meaning to learn from the past. It is a Chinese phrase* and ...
blutorange's user avatar
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4 votes
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Proper usage of 四字熟語 in Japanese

In Chinese, usage of 四字熟語 a lot usually demonstrates sophistication and things like political announcements etc that want to sounds powerful and sophisticated use a big load of them. What does using ...
ithisa's user avatar
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1 answer
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What does "一味一禪" mean?

I have found a small Shodo fragment stating "一味一禪" - which is not the classical "Zen and Tea are of one taste" (禅茶一味). What is this supposed to mean? Is it correct Japanese (I suppose it is, coming ...
p.marino's user avatar
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What is the origin of the phrase 一石二鳥?

This particular 四字熟語 is exactly the same as the proverb in English, "kill two birds with one stone." I find it to be a strange coincidence that both would have this phrase independently of each other, ...
ssb's user avatar
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1 vote
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Is there any difference between 意志薄弱【いしはくじゃく】, 薄志弱行【はくしじゃっこう】, and 優柔不断【ゆうじゅうふだん】?

...Because they all seem very similar to me.
istrasci's user avatar
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At what level should we be able to understand Yojijukugo?

In my experience, Chinese language learners are introduced to these 4-character phrases at an early stage (around Chinese 3 in my high school); what I want to know is there a certain aptitude level ...
DivineRho's user avatar
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1 answer
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Does 換骨奪胎 have negative connotation?

In the book ロボット学論集 by 瀬名 秀明, I saw this sentence (not exact since I'm solely depending on my memory) 2004 年公開の映画 "I, Robot" は,Isaac Asimov の同名の小説を換骨奪胎した別物である. I looked at several online ...
IsaacS's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
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Meaning/origin of 三寒四温【さんかんしおん】

Recently I was introduced to the 四字熟語【よじじゅくご】: 三寒四温【さんかんしおん】 ... to describe the type of changing weather one often experiences around late Winter/early Spring. As to the literal meaning of this ...
Dave's user avatar
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12 votes
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439 views

What's the difference between [電光石火]{でんこうせっか} and [疾風迅雷]{しっぷうじんらい}

They both seem to mean "quick as lightning". What are the nuances between them? In what sort of context would they be used? Are they interchangeable? etc.
istrasci's user avatar
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