Kuchibi wo Kiru (口火を切る – Breaking the Ice)

  • Kuchibi wo Kiru


    Initiating a conversation or creating an opportunity to start something is expressed as kuchibi wo kiru (口火を切る) in Japanese.

    Kuchi (口) means “mouth/edge,” hi (火) means “fire,” and kuchibi (口火) means “the fire used to shoot bullets with a matchlock.”
    「口」は “mouth/edge”、「火」は “fire” を意味し、「口火」は「火縄銃で弾を打つときに使う火」のことを表します。

    Kitu (切る) usually means “to cut,” but here it means “to ignite.”
    「切る」は “to cut” を意味することが多いですが、ここでは「発火させる」という意味になります。

    In other words, the literal meaning of kuchibi wo kiru is “to ignite the match of a matchlock.” Since this action could be a signal or a trigger for battle, the phrase kuchibi wo kiru came to have the above meaning.

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