On Makoto and other Child Prodigies

We all know Makoto to be a child prodigy. There is a Japanese saying to help back up the obvious.

At ten, a child prodigy; at fifteen, quick witted; at twenty, just a plain ole everyday person.

Let’s break it down:
too ten (the more common pronunciation is じゅう, but とお is used in this saying)
十で too de at ten
神童 shindou child prodigy (i.e. (and e.g.) Makoto)

十五で juugo de at fifteen
才子 saishi a talented and clever man

二十歳 hatachi twenty (age 20 has a special reading–はたち)
二十歳過ぎて hatachi sugite beyond twenty

tada just
只の人 tada no hito common, ordinary person

Of course, this saying is only good for our purposes until Makoto turns 14. Then, we will have to think of something else. Will update in 2020.


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