Meaning of Kuuki Yome(空気読め)

“Kuuki yome” means “read the air”. It’s close the meaning of “read between the line”. It means “To understand situation and behave naturally, and you should fit this situation.”

We should always read the air because of Japanese collectivism. If you can’t read the air it’s difficult to live in Japan, maybe.

Example Conversation

A: What do you think about Yamada?
B: I find he is smart but he can’t read the air.
A: I agree, sometimes I want to say “Read the air!”.

A:山田ってどう?
B:頭いいけど空気読めないよね。
A:わかる、時々「空気読め」って言いたくなる。