Hokusoemu (ほくそ笑む – Smiling Inwardly)

  • Hokusoemu


    Have you ever smiled inwardly as a result of something going well as expected?

    Such an act is called ‘hokusoemu‘ (ほくそ笑む) in Japanese.

    Emu‘ (笑む) means “to smile.”
    「笑む」は、”to smile” を意味します。

    Hokuso‘ (ほくそ) comes from the Chinese 北叟 (hokusō – meaning “an old man live in the North”), which especially refers to an old man 塞翁 (Saiou) in ancient Chinese stories.

    Since Saiou (hokusō) always smiled inwardly even if good or bad things happened, the term ‘hokusoemu’ came to have its current meaning.

    Incidentally, ‘hokusoemu’ is the only Japanese term that uses ‘hokuso’.

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