This paper investigated the frequencies and semantic category distribution of Japanese
idioms based on The Balanced Corpus of Contemporary Written Japanese(BCCWJ) and Word
List by Semantic Principles, Revised and Enlarged Edition. The following three main conclusions
First, from the perspective of“class”distribution, idioms of each group are concentrated in
the verb class,while those in adjective and adverb,noun,and other classes are less. Second,from
the perspective of“division”distribution, idioms of each group are concentrated in Division 1:
Abstract Relations and Division 3: Human Behavior―Spirit and Action, while those in
Division 2:Human Beings―Subjects of Human Behavior,Division 4:Products and Equipment,
and Division 5:Natural Beings and Natural Phenomena are less. Third,from the perspective of
“section”distribution,idioms of each group are concentrated in sections“Kokoro 心,”“Gengo 言語,”and“Taigu 待遇,”while those in sections“Kukan 空間,”“Busshitsu 物質,”and“Tenchi 天地”are less.
In Japanese language teaching, many learners have shown interest in idioms, but they have
also encountered some difficulties in learning. So,how should we guide students in learning and
mastering idioms? This paper made a preliminary attempt to answer this question. It was
found that understanding and memorizing high frequency idioms occurring in each semantic
category could greatly improve learning efficiency.