彼は鼻が高い。

English Translation

He has a long nose.

This also has a figurative meaning of “He is proud”.

That’s interesting: in Italy (probably due to Pinocchio) when we say someone has a long nose it means they are liars.

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As a side not this is actually a compliment in Japan according to some YouTube videos I have seen. Also great to see another fellow Japanese learner.

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If you say “鼻が高い”, it could be “he has a long nose physically” (= handsome, attractive) or “he is proud of someone/something or himself”.

If you say “鼻を高くする”, it is more like “he is snobbish, stubborn, and too preachy (so people don’t like his behavior).”

Like Pinocchio in Italy, we have 天狗 (てんぐ) with a red face and a long nose. See the picture of 天狗. One of the etymological theories about 鼻を高くする would be derived from 天狗.

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