Today we continue our expose on the amazing similarities between Igbo and anglicized Japanese words and phrases. We will be focusing on the phrase ‘I chigo ichie.’
In Igbo ‘I chigo ichie’ literarily means you are now an ichie title holder. For those who may not know the ichie are members of the Igwe’s (Igbo king’s) traditional cabinet. It is seen a prestigious achievement to be selected as an ichie in the Igwe’s cabinet. Another word for ichie is nze. The phrase can also be used as an idiom to denote that one has had a major advancement in life. For instance Dr A becomes Professor A. When we meet them we can say. ‘Congrats on your new professorship. I chigo ichie.’
in Japanese, ‘Ichi-go ichi-e (一期一会 “one time, one meeting”)’ is a four-character idiom (yojijukugo) about a cultural concept of appreciating meetings with people. The term is often translated in English as “for this time only,” “never again,” or “one chance in a lifetime.” The term in Japanese reminds people to cherish any gathering that they may take part in, noting the fact that many meetings in life are not repeated.
This is yet another similarity between Igbo and Japanese words and phrases that suggests that these two languages have some form of ancient linkage.