Table of Contents
Definition of 二刀流 (Nitouryu)
二刀流 (にとうりゅう, Nitouryu/Nitōryū) is a Japanese idiomatic expression that literally means “two-sword style”, and figuratively means “excel at two very different things”. For instance, you are definitely 二刀流 if you make a living both as a fashion icon and football player. There is another idiomatic expression similar to it: 二足(にそく)の草鞋(わらじ)を履(は)く, which literally means “wear two pairs of straw shoes” and figuratively “have two completely different jobs/roles; wear two hats”.
二刀流 and Shohei Ohtani (大谷翔平)
Nowadays, 二刀流 is predominantly used to describe the Japanese baseball player Shohei Ohtani (大谷翔平), who plays both as a pitcher and hitter in Major League Baseball in the U.S. This is something that most people deemed impossible in modern baseball since the professional players nowadays focus on either hitting or pitching, and do specific training for each position. Therefore, a myriad of baseball fans in Japan and the U.S were excited yesterday (4th April 2021 in the U.S.) to see Ohtani become the first MLB player since 1903 who pitched as a starter and hit 2nd in the lineup in the same game. In this game, he threw a 101 mile-per-hour fastball (≒ 162.7 km/h) and hit a home run with an exit velocity of 115.2 mile-per-hour (≒ 185.4 km/h), which are the fastest-thrown ball by a starting pitcher and the hardest-hit ball by any player this season in 2021 so far, demonstrating his once-in-a-century talents both as a pitcher and batter.
Related Word: 三刀流 (Santouryu)
Similarly, 三刀流 (さんとうりゅう, santouryu/Santōryū) means “three-sword style” and this is a household name for ロロノア・ゾロ (Roronoa Zoro), a manga character in “One Piece”. He is called 三刀流 simply because he literally uses three swords during a battle. For instance, 三・千・世・界 （さんぜんせかい）, which literally means “Three Thousand Worlds”, is one of his 三刀流奥義 (さんとうりゅう おうぎ), i.e. “Three-Sword-Style” Secret Moves.
* 猫も杓子も is the guesstimated origin of ‘杓死 (しゃくし, shakushi)’, the name of the special attack performed by Captain Kuro in ‘One Piece’.
Ohtani is a two-way player who can both hit and pitch.
Naoki Matayoshi has been successful as a “two-sword-style” man who works as both a comedian and writer.
She works both as a researcher and model, wearing two pairs of straw shoes.