Ashi o Arau

[Japanese Idioms by Flashcards]


to wash one’s feet

(to start over (after discarding a bad situation), to go straight)

Menial, less prestigious jobs often require working outdoors and sometimes even working barefooted. So to wash one’s feet figuratively means to give up a lowly job or to rise up from a morally wrong way of life (crime).

Sample text:
(Style: written/informal)

Ichido furyoo nakama ni haittara, nakanaka nuke dasenai mono da. Yakuza no sekai to onaji de, aru shuudan ni nakamairi shite shimau to ningen wa kantanni wa ashi o araenai mono dearu.

一度不良ふりょう仲間に入ったら、なかなかけ出せないものだ。や くざの世界と同じで、ある集団に仲間入りしてしまうと人間 は簡単には足を洗えないものである。

When a man becomes a member of a gang, it’s very difficult to break away from it. As in the case of the world of yakuza (Japanese organized crime), once you’re a part of it, it is not an easy thing to go straight.

Japanese Idioms

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