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Monday, March 30, 2009

危機一髪

きき いっぱつ
kiki ippatsu

Though I can't keep up the 1-a-day schedule we normally have when three people are posting, I do think that I'd like to take advantage of the fact that I have total control over TDY for the next few days to do a few more simple yoji's that are in fairly common use and would be good for you to know. Do remember, though, that I'm really just doing these as they come to mind and not really in any particular order, so you shouldn't consider any one necessarily more important that the other.

Let's start off with the characters themselves:
危 is one you may know, meaning dangerous (あぶない is the most common reading, though there is also my personal favorite, あやうい). 機, which you might remember from 機会, or the ever-forthcoming 機嫌, is a little harder to translate, but you might think of it as a chance or a situation. A dangerous situation, therefore, is a 危機, or a crisis. In fact, you can link this word to the last yoji to form 絶体絶命の危機! 一髪 combines 一, which is "one," and 髪, which you might recognize from 髪の毛, or hair (from the top of your head). "One hair" here is used to emphasize the tightness of the situation - the width of a single hair. Which brings us to our:

Definition:
ひとつまちがえば重大な危険におちいるという、きわどい場合・状態・時期

Translation:
1. Between a rock and a hard place
2. A critical, delicate situation
3. Close call

例文:締切まであと5分!日刊四字が今日ちゃんと更新されなければ閉鎖してしまうという危機一髪のところを、このNiravさまが救ってあげよう!
It's five minutes to deadline! If TDY isn't updated, it's finished! I, the great Nirav, shall save it in its moment of peril!

All joking aside, the Bruce Lee film known alternatively as "Fists of Fury" and "The Big Boss" in the US was titled in Japan as, ドラゴン、危機一髪! Quite possibly my favorite yo-ji in a movie title EVAR!

8 comments:

David said...

It would be interesting to see a list of the most common yoji's.... then one would know which ones to learn.

Nirav said...

Great idea, David. I'll try getting a list up later this week.

Kiwi Al said...

http://www.nafai.org/japanese/yojijukugo.php

Here is a list of 400 odd yoji's sorted by frequency done in a google search.

AzzidisRidden said...

We also rated all of our yo-jis in terms of usage in the Anki Deck that we built for our 104th anniversary. Check that out.

the_greatest_pip said...

You get 300 cool points for including Bruce Lee.

Benjamin L. Belcher said...

Excellent blog, just discovered it due to that anki deck! Keep it up man, this is great stuff for us aspiring learners!

Claytonian said...

bam
http://smart.fm/lists/54628-most-common-yojijukugo

AzzidisRidden said...

You know, Clay, I considered deleting your post, cause I felt threatened by it... After all, it's basically our site in a condensed form...

But then I actually looked at his list. It's pretty bare bones, and I'm really curious about his "as ranked by google" assertion. Especially due to the conspicuous absence of 一生懸命, or 一石二鳥 in favor of the much less common 一挙両得. I get the feeling that he might have just listed the yoji he knew.