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).

That's not all! Log in to see the rest of this lesson.
Or if you aren't a member yet, please consider signing up.

Leave a Reply

Need a break? Have an adventure on