[Japanese Idioms by Flashcards]


preparing the roots for transplanting

(informally securing prior approval, checking with everyone who counts before formal presentation, covering all the bases)

Nemawashi now is used worldwide to characterize the consensus-building nature of Japanese business practices. Literally, nemawashi means cutting off excess roots and wrapping the remaining roots with a straw mat for protection when transplanting the tree. In business terms it means an informal solicitation of agreement before formal submission of approval at a meeting.

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

A: Kyoo no kaigi umaku iku ka naa.
B: Daijoobu daroo. Kanari nemawashi ni jikan o kakete kitashi, konkai no purojekuto wa buchoo mo noriki da kara.

A: 今日の会議かいぎうまくいくかなあ。
B: 大丈夫だろう。かなり根回ねまわに時間をかけてきたし、今回のプロジェクトは部長もだから。

A: I wonder if today’s meeting is going to go well.
B: I think it will be fine. I spent a lot of time covering all 
the bases, and I know the manager likes our proposal.

Japanese Idioms

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