Kiki Semaru (鬼気迫る – Serious/Ghastly)

  • Kiki Semaru


    I sometimes see actors/actresses who have a face described as kiki semaru (鬼気迫る) in movies and dramas.

    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”).

    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.

    This expression represents such seriousness.

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