The Japanese language is rich in words and expressions influenced by nature, history and culture. This episode looks at words related to horses. Since arriving from the Asian mainland around the 5th century, horses have played a major role in transportation and farming in Japan. The Japanese considered their horses as a part of their family. From his home in Kyoto Prefecture, poet and literary translator Peter MacMillan guides us through words involving horses and the culture behind them.
Rachi ga akanai (the fence does not open): Used widely in daily conversation to mean, "Things are going nowhere."
Michikusa o kuu (to eat grass): to dawdle
Ema: wooden tablets offered at shrines to pray for something or to express gratitude for an answered prayer
Jinba ittai: phrase used to describe a horse and its rider performing in unison