What is Yoji Jukugo (四字熟語)?

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What is Yoji Jukugo?

Yojijukugo (四字熟語) can be translated as four-character compound or four-character idiom. It is a type of Japanese phrase made up of four kanji characters. Yojijukugo can be divided in two categories: idiomatic yojijukugo and non-idiomatic yojijukugo.

What is Idiomatic Yoji Jukugo?

Idiomatic yojijukugo are those phrases that have a particular meaning that cannot be directly deducted from the meaning of its components. They are meant to cover an entire story that is supposed to teach you a lesson.


Common idiomatic Yoji Jukugo Examples and Meanings

Here are some common idiomatic yojijukugo and their meanings:

一期一会 ichigoiche – once in a lifetime experience

十人十色 juunintoiro – to each its own

七転八起 shitenhakki – the vicissitudes of life


Non-idiomatic Yoji Jukugo

Non-idiomatic yojijukugo are those phrases whose meaning can be easily deducted from the meaning of its components. Their meaning is clear and easily understood.


Common Non-idiomatic Yoji Jukugo Examples and Meanings

春夏秋冬 shunkanshuutoo – spring, summer, fall, winter (the four seasons)

教育大学 kyouiku daigaku – educational university

四字熟語 yojijukugo – four-character compound


There are so many Yoji Jukugo in Japanese

There are thousands of yojijukugo in Japanese language. Idiomatic yojijukugo are especially difficult to be translated because they are strongly related to Japanese culture.


Japonia.club Blog Yoji Jukugo Project

We will start a new project in which we will teach you various yojijukugo. The pictures will be painted in shodo style.


For Yoji Jukugo Overview, please see the page below.

Yojijukugo overview


We hope they are useful!

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