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Japanese Proverb List 日本のことわざ・格言 2 of 2

Let 's learn Japanese proverbs that frequently come up in conversation or presentations. An English equivalent proverb is listed when identified, otherwise a translation.


Japanese proverbsTranslation/EquivalentLiteral translation/remarks
暖簾(のれん)に腕押(うでお)しHe catches the wind with a net. It is like beating the airArm to push off a shop curtain.
七転(ななころ)び八起(やお)きHe that falls today may rise tomorrow. Seven falls eight rises.
嘘(うそ)つきは泥棒(どろぼう)の始(はじ)まりHe that will lie will steal.
下手(へた)な鉄砲(てっぽう)も数撃(かずう)ちゃ当(あ)たるHe who shoots often, hits at last.
歴史(れきし)は繰(く)り返(かえ)す。History repeats itself.
サルも木(き)から落(お)ちるHomer sometimes nods.Monkeys fall off trees too.
正直(しょうじき)は最良(さいよう)の策(さく)。Honesty is the best policy.
二兎(にと)を追(お)う者(もの)は一兎(いっと)も得(え)ず。If you run after two hares, you will catch neither.
灯台(とうだい)もと暗(くら)し It is dark at the foot of a candle.
下種(げす)のあと知恵(ぢえ)。It is easy to be wise afterthe event.
釈迦(しゃか)に説法(せっぽう)It is not necessary to teach a fish to swim. Teaching to Buddha.
覆水(ふくすい)盆(ぼん)に返(かえ)らず。It is no use crying over spilt milk. What is done cannot be undone.Spilt water never returns to the tray.
笑(わら)いは百薬(ひゃくやく)の長(ちょう) Laughter is the best medicine.
過(す)ぎたるは及(およ)ばざるがごとしLess is more.
さわらぬ神(かみ)にたたりなし。Let sleeping dogs lie.Stay off God, no divine punishment.
蛙(かえる)の子(こ)は蛙Like father, like son.The offspring of frog is a frog.
転(ころ)ばぬ先(さき)の杖(つえ)。Look before you leap.A cane before tumbling.
恋(こい)は盲目(もうもく)。Love is blind.
善(ぜん)は急(いそ)げMake hay while the sun shines.Rush a goodness.
塵(ちり)も積(つ)もれば山(やま)となる Many a little makes a mickle.
金(かね)は天下(てんか)の回(まわ)りものMoney comes and goes.
必要(ひつよう)は発明(はつめい)の母(はは)。Necessity is the mother of invention.
絵(え)に書(か)いた餅(もち)Never confuse art with life. Painted rice cakes
便(たよ)りがないのは良(よ)い便り。No news is good news.
虎穴(こけつ)に入(い)らずんば、虎児(こじ)を獲(え)ずNothing venture, nothing gain.Until you enter a tiger den, you wont catch a tiger cub.
口(くち)は災(わざわ)いの元(もと)Out of the mouth comes evil.
石(いし)の上(うえ)にも三年(さんねん)Perseverance will win in the end.Hitting at a stone for three years.
習(なら)うより慣(な)れろPractice makes perfect.
後悔先(こうかいさき)に立(た)たずRegret will not mend matters.
備(そな)えあれば憂(うれ)いなし Save up for a rainy day.
百聞(ひゃくぶん)は一見(いっけん)にしかず。Seeing is believing.
所変(ところか)われば品変(しなか)わる。So many countries, so many customs.
十人十色(じゅうにんといろ)So many men, so many minds.
木(き)を見(み)て森(もり)を見(み)ずSome people cannot see the wood for the trees.
損(そん)して得(とく)を取(と)れ Sometimes the best gain is to lose.
健全(けんぜん)な精神(せいしん)は健全な身体(しんたい)に宿(やど)るSound mind in a sound body.
かわいい子(こ)には旅(たび)させよSpare the rod and spoil the child.Make one's loved child travel
うわさをすれば影(かげ)Speak of the devil and he's sure to appear.
沈黙(ちんもく)は金(かね)なりSpeech is silver, silence is golden.Silence is gold.
言(い)わぬが花(はな)Speech is silver, silence is golden. Not saying is flower.
鉄(てつ)は熱(あつ)いうちに打(う)てStrike the iron while it is hot.
能(のう)ある鷹(たか)はつめを隠(かく)すTalented hawks hide their talons.
金(かね)の切(き)れ目(め)が縁(えん)の切れ目The end of money is the end of love.
大(だい)は小(しょう)を兼(か)ねる The greater embraces the less.
火(ひ)のない所(ところ)に煙(けむり)は立(た)たぬ。There is no somke without fire.
人(ひと)は見(み)かけによらぬもの There is no trusting in appearances.
歳月(さいげつ)は人(ひと)を待(ま)たず。Time and tide wait for no man.
時(とき)は金(かね)なりTime is money.
貧乏暇(びんぼうひま)なし The poor have no leisure.
焼(や)け石(いし)に水(みず) To cast water into the Thames.A drop of water on a fired stone.
過(あやま)つは人(ひと)の常(つね)To err is human.
一石二鳥(いっせきにちょう)To kill two birds with one stone.
明日(あす)は明日(あす)の風(かぜ)が吹(ふ)く。Tomorrow is another day.Another wind blows tomorrow.
帯(おび)に短(みじか)し、襷(たすき)に長(なが)しToo much spoils, too little is nothing.Too short for a belt too long for tasuki.
仏(ほとけ)の顔(かお)も三度(さんど) To try the patience of a saint.
真実(しんじつ)は小説(しょうせつ)よりも奇(き)なりTruth is stranger than fiction.
三人寄(さんにんよ)れば文殊(もんじゅ)の知恵(ちえ)Two heads are better than one. Three persons gathered is the bodhisattva of wisdom and intellect.
壁(かべ)に耳(みみ)ありWalls have ears.
逢(あ)うは別(わか)れの始(はじ)めWe never meet without a parting.A meeting is the start of the parting.
二度(にど)あることは三度(さんど)あるWhat happens twice will happen three times.
郷(ごう)に入(い)っては郷(ごう)に従(したが)えWhen in Rome, do as the Romans do.
捨(す)てる神(かみ)あれば拾(ひろ)う神ありWhen one god deserts you, another will pick you up.
寄(よ)らば大樹(たいじゅ)の陰(かげ) When you take shelter, make sure you go under a big tree.
身(み)から出(で)た錆(さび) You have to reap what you have sown.The rust come out of body.
物(もの)は試(ため)し You'll never know unless you try.

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