[Komi's useless Japanese lessons Vol3] Bribery (賄賂)

(These pictures are from 1 and 2.)

I saw a question that a foreign guy said “Why are there so many words in Japanese to describe bribery?”, so today I’m gonna write about an interesting word and a famous example.

The word is sode-no-shita (under the sleeves). It means bribery. I think the origin is that old people hid their bribery in their sleeves of kimono (clothes that were popular in old Japan) like the pictures above since the sleeves are wide.

What comes to mind for many Japanese people when they hear this word is “odaikan-sama and Echigoya”. They are fictional characters: Daiken is an old title like a boss of government officials, and Echigoya is a bad merchant in jidaigeki (plays set in Edo era). Echigoya always gives bribery to the bad daikan, and they always have awful conspiracies. The famous quotes of them are this ones:

“Echigoya, onushi mo waru yo nou” (You are really a bad guy, Echigoya)
“Ieie, odaikan sama hodo deha...” (No, no. I’m not a match for you)

If you say it (especially the first one) out loud in front of Japanese people, they would say “Wow, you know a lot about Japanese culture!”. When you try it, I recommend making your face like a bad guy and saying it in dirty voice like the below picture and the record.

(This pictures is from here.)

* I can’t take responsibility for what people think about you after you doing this.

Enjoy your Japanese life!