October 29, 2020

Dogs and Monkeys 犬猿の仲 Japanese Idiom Lesson

Cats and Dogs in Japanese?

How to say "cats and dogs" in Japanese...

When you just don't get along with someone, you say you "fight like cats and dogs." There is a similar expression in Japanese. This idiom doesn't use a cat, though. This time, the dog doesn't get along with a monkey.

Let's breakdown this useful Japanese idiom:


kenen no naka
Relationship between dogs and monkeys

About 犬猿の仲

Literally, relations between dogs and monkeys. (They don’t get along) Monkeys are common in Japan. This has the same meaning as the English expression involving cats and dogs.

  • ken dog [the kun reading of this kanji and most used pronunciation is いぬ inu]
  • en monkey [the kun reading and most used is さる saru]
  • naka relations; relationship [don’t confuse this with 中 naka, meaning “middle.”]

Example Sentence:

A and B are always at each other’s throat just like cats and dogs.


  • Aさん A san—Mr. A
  • と to—and
  • Bさん B san—Mr. B
  • いつも itsumo—always
  • 仲 naka relations; relationship [don’t confuse this with 中 naka, meaning “middle.”]
  • 仲が悪い naka ga warui - bad relationship; don't get along
  • ken dog [the kun reading of this kanji and most used pronunciation is いぬ inu]
  • en monkey [the kun reading and most used is さる saru]

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