February 18, 2024

Wide Face! Fun Japanese Idioms 顔が広い


What does this idiom mean? 

First, let's break it down literally:



(pitch accent stays high after the お)

(subject marker particle, indicating that "face" is the subject of the phrase)


wide; broad

I have a wide face

But it doesn't really mean "wide face."

While we don't have this expression in English, I think you can imagine someone with a "wide face" would be recognized and known widely. 

And that's what it means.


someone has a lot of connections or is well-known among many people

Use this idiom to describe someone who has many acquaintances or connections. A person who is known by many people. Unlike (おお)きな(かお)をする (to look important), this idiom is largely positive.

Want this as a printable lesson? Makoto+ Members, click here to download all the sound files and a PDF just for this lesson. 

Let's use a Shinchan manga to illustrate its usage (and misusage). First, here are the characters:

 あいちゃん – She’s a wealthy kindergartener who is in love with Shinchan (for some unknown reason)

四郎(しろう)くん – a “浪人(ろうにん) ronin” (a student who failed the entrance exam for a university and is waiting to take it again)

しんちゃん – a 5-year old kindergartener who is always messing up Japanese! He’s oblivious to あいちゃん’s affection.









Before we continue today's lesson, please consider grabbing our Learn Japanese with Vocabulary digital bundle which includes our new book on Japanese idioms. With close to half off savings, free lifetime updates, and instant download gratification, the bundle is great for beginners to intermediates. Click here to learn more.

The bundle includes PDFs, ePubs, MP3 sound files, and Anki flashcard decks to help you improve your vocabulary. (かお)(ひろ) is just one of the hundreds of idioms covered in the bundle.

Now, let's look at an example sentence for today's idiom.


For you to know such a famous person, you must be well connected.


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