It's that time of year again - graduation! Whereas the school year finishes around May or June in America for most schools, Japan's school system marks March as the big month. Point in case, my third year junior high school kids will say farewell to our school this Friday(gasp!). My elementary schools are wrapping up next week, but since I'm only asked to come for normal classes (of which they have none due to graduation prep-work) I'm finishing up with them this week. It's always an awkward time because I never know if or when I'll see them again. Which schools I go to and when is up to my employer, so it's impossible for me to wholly disabuse the other teachers of the idea that I'll be gone come April when I honestly don't know if they'll see me again.
The bottom line: most of my elementary kids have been told I'm going back to America next month, even though my job (let alone my residency) ends in August. This will be the third time that they go out of their way to make heartfelt going-away presents, wish me luck back in America, tell me how sad they are that I'll be gone, and then wonder what the hell is going on when I drop in a month later. Always a good time, especially if I throw a blanket over my head and haunt them as the ghost of 英語 past!
The presents are nice, of course, and made doubly so by virtue of the 四字熟語 I found amidst the farewell cards. Yes, dear readers - it is the very yoji you see before you today!
3. A straightshooter (since Rikai-chan's definition is kind of klunky)
In a theme that I've accidentally continued since Monday (will the trend go on until Friday?! Stay tuned to find out!), here is another word that can be applied to someone who would not knowingly do any wrong. There are a few huge differences, however. First off, 純情可憐 seems to be exclusively reserved for young women. Or, as I'll slur at them after a few rounds at the bar,
"sweet young thangs". 清廉潔白 enjoys a much wider versatility, and does not discriminate based on age or gender. Who is the pure one NOW, four-character idiomatic expressions?!
Behind this is the idea that 清廉潔白な人々 are aware of greed and corruption, and likely have been directly tempted by it - but pointedly refuse such shady dealings again and again. 純情可憐な女性, however, are compassionate and pure...but perhaps only to a point, since the expression seems to have a cut-off at a certain age.
In honor of this yoji, a treat: the most 清廉潔白な人 I know.
President Obama is a pretty good guy. But I don't know if it's possible for him to become like the legendary "never tells a lie" Washington.