Sunday, 6 May 2012

Random Japanese Lesson: 濃い Koi

Hey there everyone,

Due to the surprising success of the previous random lesson, I've decided to do another one.
This time it's the word "Koi" 濃い. This word is just plain annoying because of the many different meanings it can have....

The most basic and I suppose "original" meaning of this is like,

1.Strong (as in strong taste, or flavour. It's in a sensory way, not actual physical strength)
2.Thick/dense (As in consistency, like "thick" soup or thick makeup)
3. Deep/dark colour

They all mean different things, which is confusing but you can get kind of sense that they're all referring to the more "stronger" side of things. If that makes sense? Maybe it would be easier if I put it like this

Strong - weak
Thick - Thin
Deep - Light

Koi refers to the things that seem have more features (?). Well I don't really know how to explain it but yeah....That's the best I can do to describe the vague meaning of it.


It would be okay if it was still ended here. Because unfortunately, but interestingly, it continues.

Koi can be used to to describe other things that don't quite exactly reflect the meanings that I just explained.
For example, it can be used to describe people.

濃い人 Koi hito
This is pretty confusing and vague concept but essentially, in it's baddest sense it refers to a "weirdo". They're people that are eccentric, peculiar and talk enthusiastically about things "normal" people have no interest in.

Imagine the stereotypical situation of a group of Magic the Gathering fanatics talking really excitedly about magic knights and one eyed dragons and stuff, while you sit there kind of scared because their getting really pumped up together while you don't know what's going on. (This isn't necessarily what I think about Magic gathering fans lol It's just an example that is easy to make. Sorry if you like the game lol). But yeah, extreme geeks, nerds fall into this category unfortunately etc.

Check out my trap card.

It's quite likely a fair few people that check this blog like the game actually, so let's change it to people talking about...different types of animal poo or something. Basically it can be anything as long as it's talked about to a fanatical level. Even.........Japanese comedy videos...... Of course this is from the point of view of "ordinary humans".....

Well apart from fanatical stuff, "koi" people are generally people that are so strange that you feel uncomfortable. For example, Nodame or the perverted conductor from Nodame Cantabile.

 Not sure who can be an example in the Western world. Maybe Mr. Bean or someone lol
It's quite hard for me to figure this one out sometimes. Probably because I'm a weirdo myself ;p

濃い人 Koi hito 2

Yes, "koi hito" number two.
This can also be used to describe someones face, so it would more accurately be be "Koi kao". (kao =face)
This refers to people with heavy facial features. (not sure if that makes sense either). Typically, features like thick eyebrows, eyelashes, facial hair etc. They also tend to have well defined chiseled features. It's not typically Asian, and is mostly seen in Mediterranean European people like Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece etc.

There are some exceptions though, like Abe Hiroshi.

He even plays some Ancient Roman guy in a recent movie apparently. Makes sense. He has a "koi" face haha....

Anyway here are a few others.



And don't forget ladies!


 There aren't many Japanese women nowadays with koi faces because they pluck their eyebrows and do heavy makeup etc. Now they just have koi make up instead.......

You'll have to look a bit back in time for Japanese women (well at least people that are famous)
 ........Like Yoko Ono maybe? I'm not really sure. There aren't that many in the first place I think.

Well I think that's about it.
Thanks for reading this post!
See YA!


  1. doesn't Koi means Romance? because I've seen it in some jdramas using Koi for Romance.

    1. Yeah, that's a different koi 恋.
      There's loads of other koi's too lol.
      Such as "carp" 鯉 "come" 来い etc etc
      The koi in this post refers to this one 濃い.

      Welcome to the wonderfully confusing world of multi-meaning Japanese words......heh..

  2. interesting ^^
    maybe the origin/history of its Kanji can explain the meaning too?

  3. damn i didnt know there are so many meanings for Koi. yh i remember Koi for "come" too. looks like japanese is pretty difficult to learn.

  4. Ahhh I didn't know it can be used in such context too..interesting.

    Abe Hiroshi <3