Hakoiri Musume

[Japanese Idioms by Flashcards]


a girl that ‘s kept in a box

(an innocent girl of good family, an over-protected daughter)

A pre-war parlor game featured little wooden figures that were moved around (as in a board game). The figures represented members of a typical family and were kept stored in a box. The idealized musume (daughter) came to symbolize the shy, sheltered character of a girl who has never left home (the box). Hakoiri musume refers to an unworldly daughter from a good family.

Sample text:
(Style: spoken/formal/female)

A: Kyooko-san, Amerika ni ryuugaku suru n desu tte.
B: Ara, sore, otoosan mo okaasan mo OK shita no? Anna hakoiri musume o Amerika ni dasu nante sazokashi shinpai deshoo nee.

A: 京子さん、アメリカに留学するですって。
B: あら、それ、お父さんもお母さんもOKしたの?あんな箱入り娘をアメリカに出すなんてさぞかし心配でしょうねえ。

A: I hear Kyoko is going to the States to study.
B: Oh? Did her parents approve? They must be very concerned about sending such an over-protected daughter off all the way to the States.

Japanese Idioms


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