Expressions Related to “Baka (Fool)”


 1) “Baka-to Hasami-wa Tsukaiyoo(-de Kireru).” [“Praise a fool, and you may make him useful.”]

 2) “Baka-ni Tsukeru Kusuri-wa Nai.” [“There is no cure for a fool.”/ “No medicine can cure a fool.”/ “A born fool is never cured.”]

 3) “Baka-wa Shinanakya Naoranai.” [“He who is born a fool is never cured.”/ “Born wise, die unwise.”]

 4) “Baka-hodo Kowai Mono-wa Nai.” [“A fool may go to any extremes./ “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.”]

 5) “Bakana Ko-hodo Kawaii.” [“An idiot is all the dearer to his parents.”]

 6) “Baka-no Hitotsu Oboe.” [“A fool tries to judge eveything by one thing he knows.]

 7) “Baka-no Oogui.” [“A blockhead is always greedy.”]  

 Except 5) – See the translation of “Baka” is different from others!, I want you to notice that all the “Baka (Fool)” are used as “Hanmen Kyoshi (a person from whose bad example one can learn).” The lesson here is solely “Don’t be (such) a fool (to do something wrong, something unethical, or something going against common sense)!” That is the bottomline of the concept of “Baka” in Japanese (culture).

 By the way, Kanto people (Tokyo area) and Kansai people (Osaka area) have different sense of humor. That is, it is ok (of course, depending on occasions) to call someone from Kanto area “Baka.” They don’t take it personally. On the other hand, Kansai people does! Be careful! When you call them “Baka,” you are challenging them by saying, “You are hopeless!” You can make them furious. The counterpart of “Baka” for Kanto People is “Aho.” Even if you call Kansai people “Aho,” they are just smiling and even they admit they are! Should you say “Aho” to Kanto people, you are psychologically killing them. “Dr. YOU” diagnoses Kanto people (you are talking to) should go to psychiatric hospitals or even to the HELL. For this reason, you can replace all those “Baka” in the expressions above with “Aho” for Kansai people. 

 [Trivia!] In Spanish (my second foreign language),  “BACA (same sound as ‘Baka’ in Japanese)” means “COWS” while “AJO (same sound as ‘Aho’ in Japanese)” means “GARLIC.” When I started to learn Spanish, I found this very interesting! Don’t you? As a matter of fact, I memorized both words instantly as “Stupid Cow” and “Stupid Garlic.” Doesn’t make sense, but it worked for me!