• SHARE

I don’t remember which 四字熟語 (yojijukugo, four-kanji idiom) I first encountered when embarking on my study of Japanese, but I certainly remember the feeling of panic — how the heck was I supposed to read this?

For new Japanese learners (and, depending on the complexity of the character, even some old hats), trying to parse four kanji grouped together, when there’s nary a hiragana or katakana to provide context in sight, can be daunting.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

PHOTO GALLERY (CLICK TO ENLARGE)