Hitori Zumoo o Toru

[Japanese Idioms by Flashcards]


to wrestle a one-man sumo

(to try hard at something without the support of others)

Obviously it takes two wrestlers to participate in a sumo match. However enthusiastically one way wrestle with oneself, the action itself will be incomplete. Therein lies the off-on-one’s-own (on a tangent) meaning of hitori zumoo.

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

A: Rei no an, iinkai de teian shita n daroo?
B: Iya, sore ga ne, teian shita koto wa shita kedo hitori zumoo o totta kanji de dare mo shiji shite kurenakatta n da.

A: 例の案、委員会で提案したんだろう?
B: いや、それがね、提案したことはしたけどひとり相撲を取った感じで誰も支持してくれなかったんだ。

A: You proposed that plan at the committee meeting, didn’t you?
B: Yeah, I did. I proposed it, but it was like wrestling a one-man sumo. No one supported it.

Japanese Idioms


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