Katami ga Semai

[Japanese Idioms by Flashcards]


narrow shoulders

(a feeling of inferiority or inadequacy)

When in the presence of others who are superior in some respect, one’s feelings of inferiority may be intensified. The physical manifestation of this feeling is a shrinking into oneself. The Japanese picture this reaction as a drawing in of the shoulders.

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

A: Ano paatii wa gakusha to chishikijin no atsumari de ne. Watashi no yooni gakureki no nai mono ni wa chotto katami ga semai yo.

A: あのパーティーは学者と知識人ちしきじんの集まりでね。私のように学歴のない者にはちょっと肩身かたみがせまいよ。

A: The people at that party were mostly scholars and intellectuals. A person like me, who doesn’t have an educational background, feels kind of inadequate.

Japanese Idioms

Write a Comment