January, 2022: The year of the (water) tiger
Japanese have a number of sayings based around tigers…
虎の威を借る狐 — Tora no i o karu kitsune. “A fox that borrows the dignity of a tiger” describes someone relatively powerless who swaggers with assumed authority.
虎の尾を踏む — Tora no o o fumu. “To tread on a tiger’s tail” means to do something very risky.
虎穴に入らずんば虎児を得ず — Koketsu ni irazunba koji o ezu. “You cannot get a tiger cub without entering the tiger’s den” is a phrase used to say that it is necessary to take risks for great reward.
大虎 — Ōtora. This word, literally meaning “a big tiger,” can be used to describe someone who is falling-down drunk. Tigers were traditionally associated with bamboo grass, where they were said to hide. The word for bamboo grass (sasa) can also mean alcohol, leading to a connection between the animals and booze.
虎の巻 — Tora no maki. “The tiger’s volume” means a book of secrets or strategy. This is based on the Chinese classic Liu tao (Six Strategies) in which the fourth part—the Tiger Strategy—gives tips on military tactics. By extension, it can also refer to a crib or study guide.
- Japanese Crafternoon
- Japanese Movie Night
Coming in February
February 19th 2022 marks the 80th anniversary of Executive Order 9066. Please join us for a special commemoration – with the authors of a graphic novel, “We Hereby Refuse,” by Frank Abe & Tamiko Nimura.