Gyūjiru (牛耳る – Dominating)

  • Gyūjiru


    When someone controls an organization or a community as he/her want, we refer to the action as ‘gyūjiru’ (牛耳る).

    ‘Gyū’ (牛) means ‘cow’ or ‘bull,’ ‘ji’ (耳) means ‘ear,’ and ‘ru’ (る) is the suffix which can verbalize a noun.
    「牛」は ‘cow’ や ‘bull,’ 「耳」は ‘ear,’ そして「る」は名詞を動詞化するはたらきを持つ言葉です。

    In the past in China, when lords joined in an alliance, the leader took/cut cow’s ear, and the lords licked the blood to swear loyalty.

    Because of this, to be a leader of an alliance came to be called “gyūji wo toru” (牛耳を執る – taking a cor’s ear), and it later also came to mean to control/dominate an organization or a community.

    These days, it is usually used as ‘gyūjiru’ for short.

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