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Manaita no Koi (まな板の鯉 – Someone Doomed to Their Fate)

  • Manaita no Koi


    The Japanese idiom manaita no koi (まな板の鯉) describes a situation where one cannot do anything and is completely at the mercy of others.

    Manaita (まな板) means “cutting board.”
    Koi (鯉) means “carp.”
    「まな板」・・・ “cutting board”
    「鯉」・・・ “carp”

    Therefore, the literal meaning of manaita no koi is “carp on a cutting board.”
    そのため「まな板の鯉」の文字どおりの意味は “carp on a cutting board” となります。

    If you put live carp placed on a cutting board, it will leap around.

    However, the carp can easily faint by stroking its lateral line with a knife or tapping between its eyes.

    The carp looks as if it has accepted its inevitable death, leading to the current meaning of this idiom.

    Original sentence