Oshinobi (お忍び – Incognito)

  • Oshinobi


    When a high-ranking or famous person goes out secretly, being careful not to be seen, it can be descried as ishinobi (お忍び) in Japanese.

    Since o (お) is a polite prefix and shinobi (忍び) means “to hide” or “to do something secretly,” Oshinobi literally means “to do something (go out) secretly.”
    「お」は丁寧の接頭辞、「忍び」は「隠れること」や「ひそかに物事を進めること」を意味するので、「お忍び」は文字どおり “to do something (go out) secretly” という意味を持ちます。

    Here, the Chinese character 忍 used in shinobi is the same as the character 忍 use in ninja (忍者).

    Oshinobu is originally used for a high-ranking or famous person, but it can also be used for various people.

    For example, you can say oshinobi de ryokō ni iku (お忍びで旅行に行く) to mean “I travel incognito.”

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