CultureEssayEtymologyFoodHistoryIdiomJapanese traditionProverbUncorrected

Miso wo Tsukeru (Put Miso)

  • Today, I will talk about the Japanese idiom “miso wo tsukeru.”


    “Miso” is fermented soybean paste, and “miso wo tsukeru” literally means “put miso (on surface of something).”

    In addition to the literal meaning, “miso wo tsukeru” can express “to fail in something” or “to lose face.”

    In the past in Japan, people put miso on burn areas as a private treatment method.

    Since burn wounds imply some sort of failure, the phrase “miso wo tsukeru” (put miso on burn areas) came to imply failure too.

    Note that this phrase can express the literal meaning like “kyuri ni miso wo tsukeru” (put miso on the cucumber).

    Original sentence