Ashimoto o Miru

[Japanese Idioms by Flashcards]


to look at someone’s feet

(to exploit someone’s weakness in negotiation, to charge what the traffic will bear)

According to Japanese etymological sources, ashimoto o miru comes from the Feudal Age when the palanquin carriers would examine the legs and feet of prospective customers to judge their level of exhaustion, then raise the fare accordingly.

Sample text:
(Style: spoken/casual/male)

A: Kinoo wa taihen datta yo. Nakagawa to niji made nonjatte sa. Kaeri no takushii ne, ashimoto o mirarechatte, takushiidai, zuibun torareta n da.

A: きのうは大変だったよ。中川なかがわと二時まで飲んじゃってさ。帰りのタクシーね、足もとを見られちゃって、タクシ代、随分ずいぶんとられたんだ。

A: Last night was a disaster. I ended up drinking with Nakagawa until two in the morning. And of course, the taxi driver took advantage of my condition and overcharged me like crazy.

Japanese Idioms

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