CultureEssayEtymologyIdiomJapanese traditionProverbUncorrected

Ume ni Uguisu (梅に鶯 – Match Made in Heaven)

  • Ume ni Uguisu


    The Japanese phrase, ume ni uguisu (梅に鶯), can describe something harmonious or well-combined, like a picturesque scene.

    Since ume (梅) means “Japanese plum,” and uguisu (鶯) means “Japanese bush warbler,” the literal meaning of ume ni uguisu is “a Japanese bush warbler with/on a Japanese plum.”
    「梅」は “Japanese plum”、「鶯」は “Japanese bush warbler” を意味するので、「梅に鶯」の文字どおりの意味は “Japanese bush warbler with/on a Japanese plum” となります。

    Have you ever seen a bush warbler perched on a branch of a plum tree?

    I have only seen that in pictures or illustrations, but I think it is indeed a harmonious and beautiful combination.

    Incidentally, there is a theory that this phrase was created by confusing “bush warbler” with mejiro (メジロ – meaning “Japanese white-eye”), which is similar to a bush warbler and is easier to find.

    Original sentence