CultureEssayHistoryIdiomJapanese traditionProverbUncorrected

Mizu wo Mukeru (水を向ける – Providing an Opening)

  • Mizu wo Mukeru


    The act of prompting someone to speak comfortably is sometimes expressed as mizu wo mukeru (水を向ける).

    Since mizu (水) means “water,” and mukeru (向ける) means “to direct,” the literal meaning of mizu wo mukeru is “to direct water.”
    「水」は “water”、「向ける」は “to direct” を意味するので、「水を向ける」の文字どおりの意味は “to direct water” となります。

    This expression is believed to have originated from the ancient practice where a miko (巫女 – meaning “priestess”) used to pour water into a bowl and present it as a way to call up the spirits of the dead.

    This act was equivalent to calling the spirits and making them speak, so mizu wo mukeru came to acquire its current metaphorical meaning.

    Original sentence