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Ton Chin Kan

  • Today, I’d like to talk about the Japanese phrase “ton chin kan.”


    “Ton chin kan” expresses that things are not consistent, something is irrelevance, or someone is stupid.

    For example, you can say something like “don’t say ton-chin-kan na koto (irrelevant comments),” or “he is ton-chin-kan (stupid).”

    Originally, this word was an onomatopoeic word that represents hammer sounds by blacksmiths.

    In a blacksmith shop in the Edo period, a master and a disciple strike with a hammer alternately to make a Japanese sword.

    Since different sounds resonate at irregular intervals, the onomatopoeia “ton chin kan” has come to express the above meanings.

    Original sentence