10 Beautiful Japanese Proverbs That Are Invaluable Life Lessons

Japanese language is complex and beautiful at the same time. Japanese expressions are full of meaning because of kanji (=Chinese characters), since each of them is associated with a concept or idea. A Japanese proverb (諺, ことわざ kotowaza) can be categorized as a short saying (言い習わし, いいならわし iinarawashi),an idiomatic phrase(慣用句, かんようく kan'nyōku) and a four-character idiom (四字熟語, よじじゅくご yojijukugo).

Japanese is an ancient language from ancient times; in ancient Japan, the traditional culture was tied to agriculture, and because of that many proverbs come from agricultural customs and practices. Philosophy, religion (Buddhism), agriculture and superstition merged to create religion, agriculture and philosophy-based idioms and sayings.

Here are 10 idioms and sayings that will make you think, ponder and probably laugh.

1) 猿も木から落ちる(Saru mo ki kara ochiru)

Literally: Even monkeys fall from trees.
Meaning: Everyone makes mistakes.

2) 蛙の子は蛙(Kaeru no ko wa kaeru)

Literally: Child of a frog is a frog.
Meaning: Like father, like son.

3) 水に流す(Mizu ni nagasu)

Literally: Pour it in the water
Meaning: Always forgive.

4) 覆水盆に返らず(Fukusuibon ni kaerazu)

#覆水盆に返らず #全ての事なりけり #偉人は凄い

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Literally: Spilt water will not return to the tray.
Meaning: What is done is done.

5) 晴天の霹靂(Seiten no hekireki)


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Literally: Thunder from a clear sky.
Meaning: A bolt out of the blue.

6) 残り物には福がある(Nokorimono ni wa fuku ga aru)

Literally: There is luck in the leftovers.
Meaning: There is unexpected good in what others have left behind.

7) 虎穴に入らずんば虎子を得ず(Koketsu ni irazunba koshi wo ezu)

Literally: Without entering the tiger’s cave you won’t earn the tiger baby.
Meaning: Nothing ventured, nothing gained.


8) 鳶が鷹を産む(Tobi ga taka wo umu)

Literally: A kite breeds a hawk.
Meaning: Even ordinary parents can produce a genius child.

9) 二兎を追う者は一兎をも得ず(Nito wo ou mono wa itto wo mo ezu)

Literally: The person that chases two rabbits won’t be able to catch even one of them.
Meaning: Doing two things at the same time will make you fail in both of them.

10) 知らぬが仏(Shiranu ga hotoke)

#離婚しない秘訣 #知らぬが仏

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Literally: Not knowing is Buddha.
Meaning: What you don’t know can’t hurt you.

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