Kiki Semaru (鬼気迫る – Serious/Ghastly)

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    Kiki Semaru

    鬼気迫る


    I sometimes see actors/actresses who have a face described as kiki semaru (鬼気迫る) in movies and dramas.
    映画やドラマの中で、役者はしばしば「鬼気迫る」表情をしています。

    Kiki semaru means that something is extremely serious or ghastly, and it is often attached to kao (顔 – “face”), hyōjō (表情 – “facial expression”), engi (演技 – “performance”), or fun-iki (雰囲気 – “atmosphere”).
    「鬼気迫る」は「恐ろしいほど真剣なさま」を意味する表現で、「顔」や「表情」、「演技」、「雰囲気」など修飾します。

    Ki (鬼) means “ogre,” ki (気) means “feeling” or “whiff,” and semaru (迫る) means “to approach,” so the literal meaning of kiki semaru is “a whiff of an ogre is approaching.”
    「鬼」は “ogre”、「気」は “feeling/whiff “、「迫る」は “to approach” を意味するので、「鬼気迫る」の文字どおりの意味は “a whiff of an ogre is approaching” となります。

    If you feel a creepy whiff of an ogre, your face and behavior will be very serious and ghastly.
    鬼の不気味な気配が近づくとき、あなたの顔や行為はきっと恐ろしく真剣なものになります。

    This expression represents such seriousness.
    「鬼気迫る」はそのような真剣さを表す言葉というわけです。

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