CultureEssayEtymologyIdiomJapanese traditionKanjiScienceUncorrected

Hara wo Waru (腹を割る – Heart to Heart)

  • Hara wo Waru


    Sometimes it is important to talk with someone heart to heart.

    To lay one’s heart bare like this is expressed as 腹を割る (hara wo waru) in Japanese.

    The 腹 (hara) means “stomach” and the 割る (waru) means “to split,” so the literal meaning of idiom is “to split one’s stomach.”
    「腹」は “stomach,” 「割る」は “to split” を意味するため、「腹を割る」の文字どおりの意味は “to split one’s stomach” となります。

    Before the age of science, people seemed to believe that one’s stomach thought things, and one’s heart (mind) was located in the stomach.

    Because of this, 腹を割る (hara wo waru – to split one’s stomach) has come to mean to talk heart to heart.

    Original sentence