Do you know the meaning of the Japanese proverb: 馬が合う?


In daily life, Japanese people often use idioms and proverbs in conversation.

Each of them has a meaning that stems from Japanese culture, history and various customes in Japan.

Do you know some of them?


Today, I’m introducing the Japanese proverb “馬が合う (uma-ga-au).”

Do you know what it means?


Because it’s a widely-known Japanese proverb, and many people may already know.

I’m explaining the origin and the meaning of the proverb, and giving you some examples of the ways the Japanese proverb is used.

I’m sure you will be able to use the proverb in daily conversation just after!




1. The meaning and the origin of the Japanese proverb “馬が合う(uma-ga-au)”



The Japanese proverb 馬が合う(uma-ga-au) means that you and one of your friends go together like bacon and eggs.

When you would like to describe that he/she and you get along extremely well, or both of you agree with each other so often, the Japanese proverb “馬が合う(uma-ga-au)” can be used.


The proverb originated from the scene that a person rode a horse very well.

馬(uma) means a horse in Japanese.

If a rider doesn’t get on well with a horse, he may fall from the back of the horse.

A person always rides a horse well, when he gets along well with a horse.


This description was introduced into conversation, and now the proverb has the meaning that two people get along pretty well each other.




2. The ways the Japanese proverb “馬が合う(uma-ga-au)”is used



Here, I’ll tell you how to used the Japanese proverb!


You can use the Japanese proverb, when you want to tell someone that


① someone and you get along well each other or not,

② in general, people not always get along with each other, and

③ you have a person with whom you have fun, you get more work done, or indulge in chatting.



For example,


* 彼ほど馬の合う人に出会ったのは始めてだ!
( It’s the first time to meet a person like him, who gets along extremely well with me!)


* 彼と僕は趣味も性格も正反対だけど、なぜか馬が合う。
( His personality and hobby are totally opposite to mine, but we get along well for no reason)



Also, you can use the Japanese proverb for saying you get something that 100% fits you.


* 馬の合う筆を見つけてから、書道の練習が楽しくなった。
( Since I found a fine ink brush for calligraphy, I have fun to practice it)




3. Synonyms and antonyms of the Japanese proverb “馬が合う(uma-ga-au)”




The Japanese proverb has some synonyms and antonyms.


Some of synonyms are;

* 気が合う (ki-ga-au)

* 反りが合う (sori-ga-au)

* 肌が合う (hada-ga-au)



The antonyms are;

* 反りが合わない (sori-ga-awanai)

* 犬猿の仲 (ken-en-no-naka)






How was it?


Though you already know some idioms and proverbs and frequently use in daily conversation, you may find something interesting in them, when you understand the process and origin they were formed.

Also, you may be able to tell people what you exactly mean, when you insert Japanese idioms and proverbs in conversation.


I hope you have fun learning and using them!