Koshi ga Hikui

[Japanese Idioms by Flashcards]



(very polite, modest or humble)

It’s probably fair to say that Japanese are preoccupied with hierarchies. Status is indicated physically by one’s posture in relation to others. To bend a little, to lower one’s head, or to bow a deep bow is to position oneself vis-à-vis a person of higher rank. Thus, koshi ga hikui is a compliment-especially to one who, by virtue of wealth or fame, has attained high status.

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

A: Tanaka shachoo, daigaisha no shachoo da kedo chittomo ibaru koto ga nai n da na. Koshi ga hikukute sa. Dakara minna ni sukareru n daroo na.

A: 田中社長、大会社の社長だけどちっともいばることがないんだな。こしが低くてさ。だからみんなに好かれるんだろうな。

A: President Tanaka. You know, even though he’s the president of a big company, he never puts on airs. He’s always modest. That’s why he is liked by everyone.

Japanese Idioms

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