Shaka ni Seppō (釈迦に説法 - Preaching to the Choir)

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Jul 28, 2019 15:54 English essay
Shaka ni Seppō

I noticed that some presenters used the Japanese phrase 'shaka ni seppō' (釈迦に説法) in an academic conference I participated in.

Since 'shaka' (釈迦) means "Buddha" and 'seppō' (説法) means "preach (of Buddha)," the literal meaning of 'shaka ni seppō' is "preach of Buddha to Buddha."

Imagine a situation that someone teaches a Buddha's sermon to Buddha himself.

You know it is an embarrassing and stupid act.

Like this, to teach or explain something to an expert/specialist in the field is described as 'shaka ni seppō'.


「釈迦」は "Buddha"、「説法」は "preach (of Buddha)" を意味するので、「釈迦に説法」の文字どおりの意味は "preach of Buddha to Buddha" となります。