Sode no Shita

[Japanese Idioms by Flashcards]


under one’s sleeve

(under the table, off the books, bribery)

The large sleeve of the Japanese kimono makes for an ideal place to hide or to hand-off money. Today kimonos are seldom worn by Japanese men (and almost never when transacting business), but the phrase sode no shita is still very much in use. Is has come to mean primarily some form of bribe.

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

A: Naze anna an ga tootta n daroo.
B: Iinchoo ga sode no shita demo moratteru n daroo. Soo demo nakya tooru hazu nai yo.

A: なぜあんな案が通ったんだろう。
B: 委員長が袖の下でももらってるんだろう。そうでもなきゃ通るはずないよ。

A: I wonder why that proposal passed.
B: Maybe the committee chairman was given some sort of bribe. Otherwise, it should never have passed.

Japanese Idioms


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