Tukiyo no Kani (月夜の蟹 – A Superficial/Empty-Headed Person)

  • Tukiyo no Kani


    Superficial or empty-headed people are sometimes referred to as tukiyo no kani (月夜の蟹) in Japanese.

    Since tuki (月) means “moon,” yo (夜) means “night,” and kani (蟹) means “crab,” the literal meaning of tukiyo no kani is “a crab on a moonlit night.”
    「月」は “moon”、「夜」は “night”、「蟹」は “crab” を意味するので、「月夜の蟹」の文字通りの意味は “a crab on a moonlit night” となります。

    It is believed that crabs caught on moonlit nights have less flesh and are skinnier; hence this phrase has the above meaning.

    It is also said that crabs are scared of moonlight and do not feed on moonlit nights, although I am unsure whether this is biologically true.

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