EssayEtymologyJapanese traditionUncorrected

Ato no Matsuri (後の祭り – Too Late) Part 1

  • Ato no Matsuri Part 1

    後の祭り Part 1

    I often get into a situation called ato no matsuri (後の祭り).

    Since ato (後) means “latter” and matsuri (祭り) means “festival,” the literal meaning of ato no matsuriis “latter festival,” but it actually means a situation where something is too late.
    「後」は “latter”、「祭り」は “festival” を意味するので、「後の祭り」の文字どおりの意味は “festival” ですが、実際には「時機を逸して何かが手遅れになること」を意味します。

    There are two major theories about its etymology.

    One theory says that it comes from the Gion Festival in Kyoto.

    The Gion Festival takes place throughout a month, and it consists of two parts: Saki-matsuri (前祭 – “Pre-Festival”) and Ato-matsuri (後祭 – “Post-Festival”).

    Since the Ato-matsuri is relatively low-key, it came to mean “too late” or “let a chance go by.”

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