Category Archives: WOTD – Japanese

All of the writers on are fluent in Japanese, reading and writing included. Sometimes we come across great phrases that make us think, “now why haven’t I ever heard/read/used that before”. When we find a ripper of a Japanese word that we come across in everyday life in Japan (one that is generally colloquial, or not usually in standard dictionaries), we will introduce it to you in our “Japanese: Word of the day” section.

J-WOTD: 本末転倒

ほんまつてんとう (honmatsutentou)

* “J-WOTD” = “Japanese Word of the Day”

“tail wagging the dog”
Basically when things are out of their natural order. This is a good one just to use when things seem out of order.. Or, not how they should be.
I had heard this phrase over the past few years often, but never bothered to look up what it really means.