Hi, How are you?
I’ve been busy working as usual… But I’m making my living doing what I love so I have no complaint! Life is great.
I teach Music and English every week, and I’m getting ready for new music project.
Oh, and me and my friend are planning to start a Youtube channel.
I will inform here when we are ready!
This time I listed some of the most popular Japanese proverbs.
I like learning proverbs because we can learn important teachings.
While I was doing some research, I found that there are a lot of similar sayings in English.
It is very interesting to know different words (often animals or objects) are used to express the same meaning, and see the different way of seeing the world.
Here is the list of them.
Have fun learning Japanese and expressions!
1.船頭多くして船山に上る/ Sendou ookushite funeyama ni noboru.
Too many cooks spoil the broth.
Sendou means “A leader on a ship”.
If there are too many leaders on a ship, it will sail to a wrong place.
2.ちりも積もれば山となる/Chiri mo tsumoreba yama to naru.
Many drops make a shower.
Chiri means “Dust” and Yama means “A mountain”.
Even a very small/little thing like dust, it will be like a mountain if it piles.
It is used to talk about either good or bad result that a habit/practice brings.
3.藪をつついて蛇を出す/Yabu wo tsutsuite hebi wo dasu.
Let sleeping dogs lie.
Yabu means “Bush”, and Hebi means “a snake”.
If you do unnecessary thing like poking at the bush, a snake (or a trouble) will come out, so just let well alone.
4.笑う門には福来たる/Warau kado niwa fuku kitaru.
Good fortune and happiness will come to the home of those who smile.
5.嘘つきは泥棒の始まり/Usotsuki wa dorobou no hazimari.
Lying leads to stealing (and it gets worse, so don’t form a bad habit).
6.二度あることは三度ある/Nido aru koto wa sando aru.
What happens “Nido” (twice) will happen “Sando” (three times).
7.明日は明日の風が吹く/Ashita wa ashita no kaze ga fuku.
Tomorrow is another day.
The direct translation is, “There will be different wind blowing tomorrow”.
This is often used to tell someone to take it easy and be optimistic.
8.終わり良ければすべて良し/Owari yokereba subete yoshi.
All is well that ends well or It will all come good in the end.
9.百聞は一見にしかず/Hyakubun wa iken ni shikazu.
A picture is worth a thousand words or Seeing is believing.
10.二兎を追う者は一とも得ず/Nito wo oumono wa itoumo ezu.
He who runs after two hares will catch neither.
11.残り物には福がある/Nokori mono niwa fuku ga aru.
There is fortune in leftovers.
It is often used to tell someone that there is unexpected good in what others have left behind, so don’t give up/let’s be positive even if you are (or something is) left behind.
12.七転び八起き/Nana korobi ya oki.
Ups and downs.
The direct translation is, “Fall seven times, stand up eight times”. Even if you fall seven times, you can be successful by standing up eight times and keep on going, so never give up.
13.石の上にも三年/Ishi no ue nimo sannen.
The direct translation is, “Three years on a stone (will make the stone warm)”. Be patient and you will achieve your goal.
14.猿も木から落ちる/Saru mo ki kara ochiru.
Even homer sometimes nods.
Saru means “A monkey”. The direct translation is, “Even monkeys fall from trees”.
15.芸は身を助ける/Gei wa mi wo tasukeru.
Art brings bread.
Gei means “Art”. Mi wo tasukeru means, “Help someone”.
16.将を射んと欲すれば、先ず馬を射よ/Shou wo inn to hosureba, mazu uma wo iyo.
Do not shoot straight for the top (instead, see things well first and start with something that will lead to success/goal).
The direct translation is, “If you want to shoot the general, first shoot his horse”.
17.初心忘れる可からず/Shoshin wasuru bekarazu.
Don’t forget your first resolution or Never lose your humility.
18.千里の道も一歩から/Senri no michi mo ippo kara.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Sen means “A thousand”, and Ri is an old unit of measure which is about 4 kilometers.
So, Senri is 4,000 kilometers. “Senri” is used to talk about a long journey.
19.泣きっ面に蜂/Nakittura ni hachi.
It never rains but it pours.
The direct translation is, “A bee comes to someone crying”.
One misfortune rides upon another’s back.
Well, that happens a lot, doesn’t it?
20.出る釘は打たれる/Deru kugi wa utareru.
A nail that stands will be hammered down.
This one explains Japanese society well I think.
If you don’t conform to the rest, you’ll get hammered down….Ouch
21.猫に小判/Neko ni koban.
Cast pearls before swine.
Neko is “A cat”, and Koban is “Gold”, so the Japanese version is “Cast gold before cat”.
Thank you for reading!
If there’s anything that you want me to write, let me know!
Have a great month,