CultureEssayHistoryIdiomJapanese traditionUncorrected

Itachi Gokko

  • Today I will talk about the Japanese idiom “itachi gokko”.


    The literal meaning of “itachi gokko” is “to pretend a weasel”, and it means that two people repeat a same thing to each other, and it will not make any progress.

    This idiom comes from a children’s play that was popular in the late Edo period.

    The play called “itachi gokko” is: two children pinch the back of the other’s hand alternately, while saying “itachi gokko” (to pretend a weasel) and “nezumi gokko” (to pretend a mouse).

    Since this play is just to do the same thing repeatedly, and has no end, it has come to express the above meaning.

    Original sentence