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右往左往 Run about in Confusion

Japanese proverbs



Running around like a chicken with its head cut off


うおうさおう u ou sa ou
go right and left
English Equivalent
Running around like a chicken with its head cut off; go in all directions

Learning this 四字熟語 is a great way to remember the on readings of right and left. I don't know about you, but learning みぎ and ひだり seemed easy compared to remembering which was う and which was さ.

If you can remember 'right' goes first, saying this fun word will help clear up the confusion. u (right) ou sa (left) ou

右折 u setsu--a right turn (often heard by car navigation systems)
左折 sa setsu--a left turn


Example Sentence

totsuzen no jishin de hitobito wa uousaou shita.
A sudden earthquake caused the people to go in all directions.


Vocabulary image

突然の totsuzen no—sudden; unexpected
地震 jishin—earthquake
人々hito bito—people [The 々shows repetition of the previous kanji: 人人; Note the sound change on the second 'hito']
した shita—Use する with 右往左往