In Japan, January 31, Aisai no Hi (愛妻の日/Beloved Wife’s Day) is a special day for many married couples. Initiated by the Japan Aisaika Organization (JAO) in 2005, it started as a project to encourage men to express their affection more openly to their wives. The group’s philosophy boils down to “happy wife, happy life” and (if a bit tongue-in-cheek) believes that good marital relations can, in the long run, lead to world peace and environmental improvements. Which segues neatly into this week’s idiom topic: fuufu-enman, a happy marriage.
Meaning: Matrimonial happiness, happy marriage, a blissful marriage, happily married
Literal translation and kanji breakdown: Fuufu (夫婦) pairs husband and wife together to represent a married couple, while enman (円満) combines the characters circle/complete (円) and full/satisfy (満) to mean completely harmonious, peaceful and amicable.
Fuufu-enman: The Alternatives
The characters for fuufu-enman aren’t exactly inclusive (even though the expression itself can be). Here are some non-heteronormative alternatives for marital bliss. While these aren’t as commonly used as fuufu-enman, the meaning is essentially the same.
偕老同穴 Kairodouketsu A happy life partnership, living faithfully together until death
琴瑟相和 Kinshitsu-souwa (also 琴瑟調和 Kinshitsu-chouwa) A pair of people in a harmonious relationship, being intimate and harmonious
形影一如 Keiei-ichinyo Being inseparable like a form and its shadow, romantic partners always being together
Fuufu-enman: Related Expressions
- 家庭円満 Katei-enman household harmony, family happiness
- 鴛鴦の契 Enou-no-giri having a happy and harmonious relationship
- おしどり夫婦 Oshidori-fuufu a pair of lovebirds, loving couple, happily married couple
- 夫婦仲 Fuufu-naka Conjugal relations, conjugal affection
- 婚姻関係 Konin-kankei Marital relationship, marital relations
Using “fuufu-enman” in a sentence
Fuufu-enman is a common expression and is almost exclusively used in a positive context.
夫婦円満の秘訣の一つは、お互いにリスペクトを持つことです。Fuufu-enman no hiketsu no hitotsu wa, otagai ni risupekto wo motsu koto desu. One of the secrets to a happy marriage is to respect each other.
あの二人はいつもラブラブだね！夫婦円満で何より！Ano futari wa itsumo raburabu dane! Fuufu-enman de naniyori! Those two are always so lovey-dovey! They seem so happy — that’s great!
結婚当時から、ずっと夫婦円満ですよ。Kekkon touji kara, zutto fuufu-enman desu yo. We’ve been happily married ever since we tied the knot.