Who Wears the Pants? 亭主関白 & 嬶天下

Ever heard the phrase ‘She wears the trousers in the relationship’? (Or, for our American readers – who wears the pants!?) Most native English speakers will probably be familiar with the expression, or at least have a vague understanding of the meaning. Something about authority, right? Right. Well, there exists a couple of words that express very similar feelings in Japanese that we’re going to look at today.

The first:



Chauvinistic husband

Its counterpart?



Overbearing wife

Of course, as we’ve come to expect, we will rarely use these terms with such fixed translations, Instead, they are far better used woven into the sentence. First up though, let’s explore the meaning behind the terms a little more. It often helps to look up such terms in Japanese-Japanese dictionaries to really get a feel for the meanings, and also to learn how to explain them yourself if asked!

For 亭主関白 then:


かていないで、おっとが しはいけんを もっている こと。

‘Teishukanpaku’ is a term stating that the husband has authority in the home.

And かかあ天下. The term is often written without the first kanji, because there are two variations: 嬶天下 and 嚊天下. Also of note is that the term can be read ‘かかあてんか’ (tenka instead of denka).

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8 Responses to Gakuu. Studying with Real Japanese

  1. Sabrina September 29, 2010 at 5:48 pm #

    This is pretty cool! Right now I’m studying on Textfugu which is great! I belive Gakuu can be really helpul too. What I like most is that its for pre-intermediate to advanced level students. So you can’t say its the same thing over and over again… students can actually improve their knowledge here. Thank you very much for creating this site. Have a nice day :)

    • Gakuranman September 30, 2010 at 1:09 am #

      Hi Sabrina! Thank you for your comment :).

      That’s definitely our aim. I love Textfugu for beginners and really getting students a solid grounding in the language, but afterwards (and even while) studying the basics, it can really help to encounter raw Japanese material. You don’t have to understand everything at first, but feeling challenged and picking up little bits here and there that are extra to your learning the basics helps expand your mind. Let me know if you have any more questions! More demonstration material will be up soon! We are currently having a special launch sale price for early adopters, so check out the pricing page if interested :).

      • Sabrina September 30, 2010 at 5:14 pm #

        Thanks for your reply. :) Unfortunately I’m even still miles away from the intermediate level. But I’ll definetly return to Gakuu when I get to this point. Anyway, I’m looking forward to the extra demonstration material. :) Keep up the good work.

        • Gakuranman October 1, 2010 at 12:21 am #

          Sure thing :). Let me know if you have any other questions or suggestions for things you’d like to see on Gakuu!

  2. missingno15 October 1, 2010 at 7:31 pm #

    When I looked at this, I first thought to myself, “aw hell no, gakuranman is doing the same thing as koichi…even the website layout is similar”. But then I realized “it’s aimed at pre-intermediate to advanced level students” which is perfect for my situation right now because I now really want to excel way past beginner. So basically, Gakuu really complements Textfugu. Can’t wait for more lessons to see how this is gonna be like so I can decide if its worth getting.

    • Gakuranman October 1, 2010 at 7:37 pm #

      Hey there! Thanks for dropping by :). No way – Koichi and I are buds. I’ve always loved teaching the more advanced stuff so it worked out perfectly. I’ll be adding more stuff in the coming days, so please stay tuned!

  3. DumbOtaku (percent20) October 3, 2010 at 12:58 am #

    This is really cool. I am glad to see more online content going beyond just teaching hirigana and katakana. That is what I try to do on my blog, but with to little consistency. Glad to see an expert do it, btw already a signed-up paid member now. :)

    • Gakuranman October 3, 2010 at 2:24 pm #

      Glad to have you man! Look forward to hearing any suggestions you have for the site and future lessons :)

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