Awaseru Kao ga Nai

[Japanese Idioms by Flashcards]


having no face to face someone

(to be ashamed, not knowing how to face someone)

This idiom captures the deep concern Japanese have for maintaining face. “Face,” of course, means one’s positive image, one’s public identity and correct behavior within the community. The “having no face part of the expression can be interpreted as “not knowing what expression to wear,” or “not knowing even how to compose one’s expression” when having to face someone at a time when one feels deeply ashamed.

Sample text:
(Style: spoken/formal)

A: Sumimasen. Konkai no purojekuto ga umaku ikanakatta no wa zenbu watashi no fuchuui ni yoru mono desu. Mattaku awaseru kao ga arimasen.

A: すみません。今回のプロジェクトがうまくいかなかったの は全部私の不注意ふちゅういによるものです。全く合わせる顔がありません

A: I’m sorry. It was due to my carelessness that the project didn’t go well. I have no idea how to face you….

Japanese Idioms

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