うま の みみ に ねんぶつ
uma no mimi ni nenbutsu
More stuff that goes in ears! I saw this one on a bangumi trivia quiz last night, and it was one of the questions that they gave to the NOT-so-smart Talento who were hanging around in last place, so if they oughta know it, we should too.
1. Like talking to a wall
2. In one ear and out the other
It translates literally as: a buddhist prayer in a horse's ear, so unless you're talking about this horse, you can see how the phrase gains it's meaning of speaking/giving commands to an unreceptive audience.
You can use this phrase in any situation where the person or people you're talking to are not listening or understanding, and if you're a school teacher, I'd reccommend saying it ABOUT your students, rather than to your students as younger Japanese people won't necessarily know the expression you're referencing.
Everyday we tell the kids not to chat during class, but man, it's like talking to a wall.
Today's picture comes from The White Horse Temple in Luoyang, China: the first buddhist temple on Chinese soil, known as the cradle of Chinese Buddhism. It's so named because, according to legend, a white horse bore the first Buddhist scriptures to China from India. So maybe horses aren't as un-receptive to Buddhism as the Japanese suppose.