CultureEssayEtymologyIdiomJapanese traditionKanjiProverbSlangUncorrected

Kaya no Soto (蚊帳の外 – Leaving out)

  • Kaya no Soto


    Have you ever been ignored or treated unfairly, and found yourself unable to get involved in something?

    A person in such a situation is described as kaya no soto (蚊帳の外) in Japanese.

    Since kaya (蚊帳) is a net used to protect people from harmful insects such as mosquitoes, which is equivalent to “mosquito (bed) net” in English, and soto (外) means “outside,” the literal meaning of kaya no soto is “outside a mosquito net.”
    「蚊帳」は蚊などの害虫から人を守るための網、「外」は “outside” を意味するので、「蚊帳の外」の文字どおり意味は “outside a mosquito net” となります。

    Inside a mosquito net is safe, but if you are outside the mosquito net, you will be attacked by mosquitoes or harmful insects.

    Because of this, kaya no soto came to have its current meaning.

    In addition, it is often used to mean just “leaving someone out.”

    Original sentence