Wednesday, October 3, 2012

"goma wo suru" ゴマを擦る

(posted; Etymology page)

Friends, you have the right to get upset a bit with my husband;
The other day, I was showing my friends posts to him and was telling him how marvelous your posts were. You know what he said, "Oh, just praising each other and feeling good like Grating Sesami (maybe equivalent for this idiom in English is Apple Polishing or is this used only in America?)".  I got a bit cranky at him p;) 
Your dedication and love for your family, wonderful literal writing, photography and so on. I don't how how much I'm learning from you guys. And what is more, I am really happy and appreciate you all who reach me when I feel down and extend helping hand when in trouble. 

Then I started thinking where this Japanese phrase derived from. When we use earthenware mortar and pestle to grate sesami (hope grate is the right verb here; should be pestle?), sesami stick to the mortar. This is how it came to mean "suck up" or "butter up" to others. Funny that I knew about apple polish (student give teacher polished apple) not sesami version. Another theory is from the way merchant rub their hands before the customer.

I should say that this Japanese idiom has negative connotation. So I got a bit offended at hubby.  But I feel that nothing wrong with some degree of fluttery (not overly). I purely enjoying and learning through this blog land. Thank you very much for being my friend♡♡♡

PS> I appreciate Dear friend Mariette's comment, that she taught me the right verb. I should have said "pound" or "grind".  Haha, silly me. I always welcome for these corrections for my English♪


  1. Oh, my dear friend Miyako, there is so much to love in your wonderful blog and all the other lovely ones out there. I am so much richer and wiser for knowing you and our blogging friends!

  2. Dearest Miyako,

    Don't feel crushed by your husband's reply. Men are different than women; it's a fact.
    Guess that with the pestle and mortar you pound and grind. You are so well in comparing cultures and always finding common ground.
    Hugs to you dear friend,

  3. Lieben Gruß und sonnigen Tag!

  4. Dear Miyako, I always come in and read your posts, learn something new each time =) Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and for your comments, I really do appreciate them! Hope you're having a nice Wednesday, mine has just started am back in work and about to start up things. Big hugs from Ireland x

  5. Hello Miyako, I do love to visit your blog, I also learn new things and remember some old things. I think it is fun to visit each others blogs, I am glad I found yours. It is nice to know you now.

  6. One thing is for sure, I don't flatter I tell you the truth. You are an honest bloggy friend, wo takes time to read my posts, write great entries herself and simply enjoys life. What is not to like? And your hubby maybe had a bad day :)

  7. i like the 'grinding sesame'and 'polishing apples' phrases. interesting the different phrases in different cultures. :)

    flattery is good - especially when we have heart behind it. :)

  8. Men don't understand the connections we women form. I love learning about other cultures and am so glad we have connected!


  9. I didn't know the English version of this expression! Oops. But I learned today. Like you said, I enjoy learning through blog land too :-) I know your husband did not mean to offend you. As Mariette commented, men are different ;-)

  10. My sweet Miyako, when flattery comes from the heart it is only sent with love, devotion and appreciation. These are all things I have for you. I love blogging and my beautiful blogging friends (like you) and honestly have truer and better bonds than you all than with some people I see daily. Maybe hubby needs his own blog so he can feel the warmth of such encouragement. Brightest blessings, my lovely friend. Mina

  11. Hello my friend, I laughed when I read hubby's comment. Blogging is very much a "women's thing". And yes, I know there are lots of men who blog and couples, too, but most men of a certain age, really have no clue as to what blogging is all about. I know of some husbands who never read their wife's blog. Did you show him the posts where we compliment his soba noodles and bowls?? I bet he would like that! ((hugs)) xo

  12. I love reading your posts, Miyako. If I am grating sesame, then that's okay with me! Thanks for a fun new phrase.

  13. There is definitely nothing wrong with a wee bit of flattery.
    I am always learning something when I come to your blog too :)))

  14. Hi dear Miyako! Men!! They are so different from us, aren't they?! Bless! Like you, I have learned so much since I have been blogging, and met some lovely people (including my friend from the East!). As you say, they are always so supportive, they are happy for us when things go well, and they sympathize with us when things aren't so good. Take care.

  15. Some men just don't get it......I feel a real connection with my blog friends but it is not something hubby gets........I love coming here and learning things about your country and culture

  16. Miyako san!
    I think Japanese men are most of inly think with his self(not all them..)
    I still think for old age lady's are love men for
    as husband ways.
    I love your post all ways really for appreciate them all the time Japanese culture.
    Anata no kotoba wa kirai ni omoi masu.
    I getting a warm weather from three days before in here.
    You have enjoy with Otosan to happy day.
    Kio tukete kudasai mase Miyako sama.

  17. I have never heard of apple polishing - I love that! Anything that makes one feel as good as blogging cannot be all bad! I feel as though I am taking a little holiday around the world when I read blogs others have written. thank you for my chance to visit Japan!

  18. Hello Miyako,

    I agree that between man and women we are different. That was normal. Don't get angry with your hubby. by the way I learn many things from you too especially with my limited english;)
    have a good day

  19. Dear Miyako,
    I wouldn't feel too angry with your hubby. He just dosn't understand the connections we develope with our blogging. I feel like I have gained a much loved sister in you and love coming here to your blog and seeing and reading and learning about your culture. If we say nice things to one another it's not just flattery or trying to gain favor. I think we do it to show appreciation for the other persons efforts in putting together something of beauty and interest for others to see and read and learn from. Perhaps you should tell your hubby to read the comments to the posts about him and see how he feels about our sesame grating then.
    I hope you will continue posting such beautiful glimps into your life.
    Much love from your bs.

  20. Hi Orchid, You are such a doll. I have been working on my blog, so feel free to come over and follow. It should be available now. I need to get my navigation lined up.
    You were perfectly right about being a little irritated at your hubby. Sometimes, they don't think about how they come across and say things they actually hurt us.
    Have a beautiful day and come visit. You can also take my button. Hugs, Linda

  21. Mikyako-san,

    I meant to reply and say that is my boyfriend in the photographs in the last post! He says a similar thing to your husband, "a circle jerk", which is quite rude and he seemed to think I was talking to crazy people! Although now he sees how much fun it is he's less scathing! I like this expression, thank you for teaching me another phrase - I didn't know the American one either!

  22. Dear Mikyako.

    I love coming to visit your blog and see what wonderful things you have to share.
    Don't worry, as some of the others have said men are just different from us.
    Glad that we can blog with other like minded friends, to share ideas, and friendship.
    Thank you for teaching us about life in Japan, and your friendship.

    Wishing you a beautiful weekend

  23. Dear Miyako,
    Men just really don't understand blogging ~ ♥ ~ it helps us all to comment and praise each other! Don't be upset with him, though ~ he's just a guy~ :)

  24. I think that men from all cultures have a hard time understanding the way women enjoy their friendships. Men don't bond with their friends the way women do. Our friendships give us support - men need support too but they're too proud to admit it :)