IJWCA's   Web Bulletin Vol. 11  (1st Issue 26th October, 2005)   Uploaded in November 2017





By- Miss Khushboo Agarwal,

Japanese Language Teacher,

Indo-Japan Language Studies Society, Kolkata



        Yojijukugo is a unique feature of Japanese language although it has its roots and origin in China.

       As the name suggests yojijukugo [Yoji=Four Characters &  Jukugo=Compound word]are

       made up of four characters and are generally idiomatic compounds but not necessarily so all the time and

      an individual Kanji does not have much to do with the idiom as a whole.

     The interesting thing about Yojijukugo is that merely four kanji characters are used to convey what one has to say.

     In fact these four characters are sometimes meant to represent an entire story.

    Some of the common Yojijukugo are as follows:

  一期一会(いちごいちえ)    Once in a lifetime encounter

  自業自得(じごうじとく)Reap as one sown.

  危機一髪(ききいっぱつ)Hair breadth escape

  不眠不休(ふみんふきゅう)Night and day

  美人薄命(びじんはくめい)    - A beautiful woman is destined to die young.; Beauty and fortune  seldom go together.

  悪因悪果(あくいんあっか)    - An evil cause produces an evil effect; Sow evil and reap evil.

    The list of Yojijukugo is quite long. It also includes non-idiomatic Yojijukugo.  As for example-

    大学教育(だいがくきょういく)― two different words 「大学-daigaku] &「教育Kyooikuindicates a non-idiomatic meaning of

    University Education

    環境悪化(かんきょうあっか)― in this word also two different words join together and gives a very common meaning  

    Environmental deterioration. The two words used in this expression are 「環境-kankyoo, means environment

    &「悪化-akka, means deterioration

    It is interesting to note that 四字熟語 (Yojijukugo) is itself a non-idiomatic four-character phrase. Although  

     Yojijukugo has Chinese roots but many yojijukugo are Japanese in origin.


Reference- 1)www.google.com

    2) www.wikipedia.com





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