Japanese proverbs

Meaningful, traditional japanese proverbs

Japan is a country that is extremely forward-thinking and innovative. That being said, it is also a culture that is rooted in historical traditionalism, and the simple values by which the Japanese live their lives are articulated within the many proverbs that have been documented throughout the years. They most commonly take the form of a short saying or an idiomatic phrase, and their intention is not to be confusing or misleading, rather a pithy way of effectively communicating an important cultural message. Japanese proverbs contain timeless wisdom and universal truths that can be uniformly applied to different situations throughout life.

Although originating in Asia, Japanese proverbs are applicable to life on any of the world’s vast continents. Many of them stem from agricultural customs and practices, but the rooted meaning within them can be understood in almost all of life’s situations. People refer to Japanese proverbs in order to be inspired to simplify their lives or to promote a particular message to their loved ones. Being short yet powerful, they’re the ideal way of understanding Japanese philosophy and have certainly stood the test of time. It’s evident from the proverbs that anyone, regardless of their heritage, can take inspiration from Japanese proverbs.

japanese proverbs
  • Fall seven times, stand up eight. - Japanese proverb
traditional japanese proverbs
  • What you don't sweat out when you are young will turn into tears when you're old. - Japanese proverb

  • It is the same life whether we spend it crying or laughing.

  • Due to the presence of fools wise people stand out.

  • One kind word can warm three winter months.

  • If a fish is kind to the water, the water will be kind to the fish

  • With the first glass, it is the man who sips the wine. With the second glass, it is the wine that sips the man. With the third glass, the wine drinks up the man.

  • The tongue is but three inches long, yet it can kill a man six feet high.

  • The weak are meat; the strong eat.

  • Cold tea and cold rice are bearable, but not cold looks and cold words.

  • You reap what you sow.

  • If you do not enter the tiger's cave, you will not catch its cub.

  • Knowing how to do a lot means not knowing how to do anything.

  • For the one who travels for love, 1,000 kilometers are not longer than one.

  • If you believe everything you read, it is best you don’t read.

  • Even monkeys fall from trees.

  • Overturned water doesn't return to the tray.

  • He who has his stomach full only 80% will not need a doctor.

  • Eat it raw before all else, then grill it, and boil it last of all.

  • A frog in a well does not know the great sea.

  • Child of a frog is a frog.

  • When you join another village, follow the rules.