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Learning Japanese

Japanese Proverbs & Sayings

Oni no Inu-ma ni Sentaku

Last update January 5, 2020


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Do laundry while the devil is away.

Oni no Inu-ma ni Sentaku


Words: Oni = a devil / no = genitive joshi particle / 居ぬ Inu = absent; an archaic form of Inai: not be present / ma = during a certain period / ni = ablative joshi particle / 洗濯 Sentaku = laundry; washing clothese /

Pronunciation: [oh-knee-noh-ee-noo-mah-knee seh-n-tah-coo] 

English Equivalent: When the cat's away, the mice will play.

Notes: The "devil" here is about someone you fear or feel uncomfortable in their presence (e.g., boss or supervisor), and "laundry" suggests having a relaxed time or fun. Finally, the boss is going out. Let's do Oni no Inu-ma ni Sentaku!