Here is an update about the indiegogo campaign.
First of all, with 5 days of delay after the beginning of the campaign I finally managed to put together the video!
During the interviews many people mentioned the yo-ji-juku-go (four character idionatic expressions).
I think this actually matches perfectly the concept of the product.
I was considering using some haiku poems (for the “extreme” japan-lovers) and some motivational quotes (for the more pragmatic ones) but the idea of using the yo-ji-juku-go puts the two concepts together!
Idiomatic expressions are like proverbs but have the peculiarity of consisting on 4 ideograms.
No verbs, no conjunctive particles or hiragana characters.
Just 4 concepts or qualities that also create a peculiar sound combination.
Some are more straight forward like:
translation: one stone two birds
meaning: “Killing two birds with one stone”
others definitely require an explanation like:
translation: warm circumstance know new
meaning: “Learning from the past”
At first the meaning may not be immediate, but once you know the meaning, the idiomatic expressions have a particularly dense meaning and convey the concept powerfully, in full color.
Everybody has their own “favorite yo-ji-juku-go”, like a personal mantra or policy that you can say in your mind to receive that relaxing caress or courage boost you need in your everyday life.
There are many yo-ji-juku-go. I’ve found counts ranging from 5,000 to over 20,000. Wikipedia page about yu-ji-juku-go links to a database of 3,400 of them while Japanese students learn at school some 400-500 fundamental idiomatic expressions.
I will pick up some I like. Feel free to comment if you have more to share!
translation: flowers birds wind moon
meaning: “The beauties of nature”
translation: 10 people 10 colors
meaning: “To each his own”
translation: sunny cultivate rain read
meaning: “Living in quiet retirement dividing time between work and intellectual pursuits”
translation: extraordinary happening listen different
meaning: “Playing it by ear”
So, which is the one you like?