CultureEssayIdiomJapanese traditionKanjiProverbUncorrected

Kajiba no Bakajikara (火事場の馬鹿力 – Fight-or-Flight Response)

  • Kajiba no Bakajikara


    Have you ever shown unexpected power when faced with a critical situation?

    Such power can be described with the Japanese idiom, kajiba no bakajikara (火事場の馬鹿力).

    Since kaji (火事) means “fire,” and ba (場) means “place,” kajiba (火事場) translates to “place of fire.”
    「火事」は “fire”、「場」は “place” を意味するので、「火事場」で “place of fire” という意味になります。

    In addition, while baka (馬鹿) typically means “stupid,” it can also imply “extraordinary,” and jikara/chikara (力) means “power,” so bakajikara (馬鹿力) translates to “extraordinary power.”
    また、「馬鹿」は通常 “stupid” と訳されますが、”extraordinary” を意味することもあり、「力」は “power” を意味するので、「馬鹿力」は “extraordinary power” という意味になります。

    Therefore, the literal meaning of kajiba no bakajikara is “extraordinary power at the place of fire.”
    したがって、「火事場の馬鹿力」の文字どおりの意味は “extraordinary power at the place of fire” となります。

    This idiom originates from a story where someone carried heavy furniture by themselves when their house was on fire.

    Original sentence