Updated: December 16, 2016
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3 Japanese Interesting Idioms Which Reflect Japanese Mind

There are many idioms in Japanese just as there are in other languages. Yoji-jukugo is Japanese unique idioms which consist of four letters of kanji. I'll introduce three of them which reflect the fundamental thought of Japanese.

#1 一期一会 / Ichigoichie

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The literal meaning of ichigoichie is "once-in-a-lifetime meeting". This word came from Japanese tea ceremony in 16th century. Every ceremony you have is never going to be repeated, so you have to be at the ceremony as if it was once and for all; is the origin. Since the time, the word has been reminded people of the value of chance to meet new people, things, and life.

You can take this word as you want. To some people, ichigoichie means "carpediem", or "memento mori" to some other.

#2 文武両道 / Bunburyodo

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Bunburyodo literally means "both scholarship and martial arts". As you can guess, it's used to tell "be good at both and studying and sports" in the present.
In Japan, that type of people are well-evaluated in school.
Being good at studying is different from being smart. Many companies highly evaluate the students who achieved in both fields, so that many parents want their kids to go to a good collage and play sports.

#3 温故知新 / Onkochishin

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This word actually comes from China, but the word is know more in Japan now. It means "discovering new things by studying the past". To know something new, you need to know the past first. This saying was originally given to teachers, but it can be applied to all people.

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