CultureEssayEtymologyIdiomJapanese traditionProverbUncorrected

Jibara wo Kiru

  • Today I would like to talk about the Japanese idiom “jibara wo kiru (自腹を切る).”


    “Ji (自)” means yourself, “bara (腹)” means abdomen, and “kiru (切る)” means to cut something.

    Therefore the literal meaning is “to cut your own abdomen,” corresponding to “seppuku/harakiri,” but it actually refers to spend your own money on something that you don’t necessarily need to pay.

    Here, “jibara (your abdomen)” and “kiru (to cut)” are metaphors for “your own money” and “to use,” respectively.

    In the past, Japanese samurai committed seppuku (cut their own abdomens) with firm resolve to accept the blame.

    It might need firm resolve to spend your extra money.

    Original sentence