Ushirogami wo Hikareru (後ろ髪を引かれる – With Painful Reluctance)

  • Ushirogami wo Hikareru


    When you are unable to move on due to regret, it can be described as ushirogami wo hikareru (後ろ髪を引かれる) in Japanese.

    Since ushiro (後ろ) means “back/behind,” kami/gami (髪) means “hair,” and hikareru (引かれる) means “pulled (by someone),” the literal meaning of ushirogami wo hikareru is “the hair on the back of one’s head is pulled by someone.”
    「後ろ」は “back/behind”、「髪」は “hair”、「引かれる」は “pulled (by someone)” を意味するので、「後ろ髪を引かれる」の文字どおりの意味は “the hair on the back of one’s head is pulled by someone” となります。

    This expression was coined as the feeling of regret is similar to the sense of having the hair on the back of one’s head pulled from behind.

    In the past, many Japanese men wore their hair long (especially on the back of the head) to tie a topknot, which may have led to the creation of this expression.

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