CultureEssayEtymologyIdiomJapanese traditionProverbUncorrected

Onaji Ana no Mujina (同じ穴の狢 – Birds of a Feather)

  • Onaji Ana no Mujina


    Even if people seem unrelated, they can sometimes be kindred spirits with the same nature.

    In such situations, the Japanese proverb, onazi ana no mujina (同じ穴の狢), can be used.

    Onaji (同じ) means “same,” ana (穴) means “hole,” and mujina (狢) refers to either tanuki (タヌキ – “raccoon dog”) or anaguma (アナグマ – “badger”). Therefore, the literal meaning of this proverb is “badgers in the same hole.”
    「同じ」は “same”、「穴」は “hole”、「狢」はタヌキやアナグマの別称であるため、「同じ穴の狢」の文字どおりの意味は “badgers in the same hole” となります。

    While badgers dig holes to live in, other badgers or raccoon dogs sometimes begin to live in the same hole without permission.

    This is why onazi ana no mujina came to have its current meaning.

    Note that this proverb is usually used in a negative context related to bad behavior.

    Original sentence