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Sarushibai (猿芝居 – Stupid Trick)

  • Sarushibai


    Formerly, I introduced you to the Japanese term 猿真似 (sarumane), which means to imitate acts of others without thinking.

    Today I would like to talk about another Japanese term, 猿芝居 (sarushibai), which also contains the word 猿 (saru) as well as “sarumane” does.

    Since 猿 (saru) means “monkey” and 芝居 (shibai) means “show” or “play,” “sarushibai” originally meant a “monkey show” literally.
    猿は “monkey,” 芝居は “show” を意味するので、もともと猿芝居は文字通り “monkey show” を意味する言葉でした。

    Later, it has come to mean a “poor show/performance,” a “sucky play,” and an “inept trick.”

    Incidentally, “sarushibai” is a little similar to the Japanese term 茶番 (chaban), which was introduced in the following my entry.

    Original sentence