Benkei ni Naginata (弁慶に薙刀 – Adding Wings to a Tiger)

  • Benkei ni Naginata


    In yesterday’s post, I introduced the idiom oni ni kanabō (鬼に金棒), which means “making an already strong person even stronger by adding something.”

    There is another idiom that has the same meaning: Benkei ni naginata (弁慶に薙刀).

    Benkei (弁慶) refers to Musashibo Benkei (武蔵坊弁慶), a monk in the late Heian period (around the 12th century). He had a large body and monstrous strength, and had defeated many samurai.

    Benkei was skilled in the use of naginata (薙刀), a long-handled sword, and it is said that the combination of Benkei and the naginata was terrifying.

    You can also say oni ni kanabō, benkei ni naginata (鬼に金棒、弁慶に薙刀), by combining the two idioms.

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