Kumo o Tsukamu Yoo

[Japanese Idioms by Flashcards]


like grasping a cloud

(wishful thinking, impossible dream)

Since nobody can actually grasp a cloud, the expression denotes impossibility. From afar, a cloud has shape and form. Close-up, its gossamer essence dissipates at the touch. So when a not-so-talented sixteen-year-old declares that she’s going to become a movie star, you can respond by saying it’s a kumo o tsukamu yoona dream – a mild warning that the ambition or goal is highly unlikely to be realized.

Sample text:
(Style: spoken/casual/A=son, B=mother)

A: Sakkyokuka ni naroo ka na.
B: Sonna kumo o tsukamu yoona koto bakari 
kangoeteiru kara itsu made tatte mo hitoridachi dekinai n desu yo.

A: 作曲家さっきょくかになろうかな。

A: You know, maybe I’ll become a composer.
B: (Scolding) All you ever think about is impossible 
dreams like that! No wonder you’ve never been able to become financially independent.

Japanese Idioms

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