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Uchi Benkei no Soto Jizō (内弁慶の外地蔵 – A Lion at Home and a Mouse Abroad)

  • Uchi Benkei no Soto Jizō


    In yesterday’s post, I introduced the term uchi Benkei (内弁慶), which means a person who is bossy inside the house but quiet outside.

    If you want to emphasize the change in attitude between inside and outside one’s home, you can say uchi Benkei no soto jizō (内弁慶の外地蔵) by adding soto Jizō (外地蔵).

    Soto (外) means “outside.”
    「外」は “outside” を意味します。

    In addition, Jizō (地蔵) is an abbreviation for Jizō Bosatsu (地蔵菩薩), one of the most popular Buddhist bodhisattvas, and you can find their stone statues all over Japan.

    Since Jizō has a vast and compassionate mind, it can also be used as a synonym for a quiet or generous person.

    In other words, soto Jizō means a person who becomes quiet like Jizō.

    Note that this phrase contains an insulting nuance.

    Original sentence