Words of wisdom – Proverbs

I often see proverbs and wonder where they come form. Sometimes if a see a new proverb I really have to think about what the underlying meaning is.

I was recently looking at some Japanese proverbs. Their meaning was not immediately clear to me but on reading the explanations I realised we have an equivalent sayings in English that have the same meaning but use different words to express it.

I found that kind of intriguing.

Many of the Japanese proverbs use, animal, nature and seasonal references. This could be seen in some of the equivalent English versions too.

Check out this Japanese proverbs and see if you can guess the meanings and come up with the English equivalent.

Proverb 1


Koketsu ni irazunba koji wo ezu

Literal Translation:  If you do not enter the tiger’s cave, you will not catch its cub.


English Equivalent

Proverb 2


Jigou Jitoku

Literal Translation: One’s Act, One’s profit/Advantage.


English Equivalent

01 proverbs (1).JPG


Proverb 3


Seiten no heki-reki

Literal Translation: Thunderclap from a clear sky.


English Equivalent

Proverb 4


Saru mo ki kara ochiru

Literal Translation: Even monkeys fall from trees


English Equivalent


Proverb 5


Tade kuu mushi mo sukizuki

Literal Translation: There are even bugs that eat knotweed.


English Equivalent

Proverb 6


gaden insui

Literal Translation: pulling water to my own rice paddy


English Equivalent


 01 proverbs (2)

Proverb 7


jūnin toiro

Literal Translation: Ten men, ten colours


English Equivalent


Proverb 8


neko ni koban

Literal Translation: gold coins to a cat


English Equivalent

I found these proverbs online and the credit for the literal translations and meanings has to go to http://www.linguanaut.com/japanese_sayings.htm

I hope you enjoyed them. Please feel free to let me know any equivalent proverbs in your country. shinepositivepower.wordpress.com of the the Philippines  shared this one as the equivalent of Proverb 6!– “Buhatin ang sariling bangko” – literal translation “Pulling up your own chair.”

So while I don’t want to “pull water to my own rice paddy” ” blow my own horn” or “pull up my own chair” I must say I had fun with this post!

Yoroshiku Onegai shimasuimages (1)


17 responses to “Words of wisdom – Proverbs

  1. Awesome Post! I love reading Proverbs 🙂 These proverbs have this meaning for me. It shows, be courageous and strong, don’t think that you are just small and can’t do anything since you are important and you can do everything if you set your heart and mind to achieving your passion, desire or dreams. We are unique and each of us have his/her own gift and capabilities. 🙂 I didn’t check the meaning first before I post this comment so I hope I am at least right on the meaning lol 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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