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
In fact these four characters are sometimes meant to
represent an entire story.
Some of the common Yojijukugo are as follows:
in a lifetime encounter
as one sown.
A beautiful woman is destined to die young.; Beauty and
fortune seldom go together.
An evil cause produces an evil effect; Sow evil and reap
The list of Yojijukugo is quite long. It also includes
a non-idiomatic meaning of
this word also two different words join together and gives a
very common meaning
Environmental deterioration. The two words used in this
It is interesting to note that
(Yojijukugo) is itself a non-idiomatic four-character
Yojijukugo has Chinese roots but many yojijukugo are
Japanese in origin.