Japanese Proverbs

“Art is the illusion of spontaneity.”

“Wherever you live, you come to love it.”

“Even monkeys fall from trees.”

“Beginning is easy, continuing is hard.”

“Even a fool has at least one talent.”


“Ten different people bring ten different colors.”

“Spilled water does not return to the tray.”

“Don’t stay long when the husband is not at home.”

“A broken mirror can not be made to shine.”

“Fall down seven times, get up eight.”


“Never offer pearls to a pig.”

“Gossip about a person and his shadow will appear.”

“If you believe everything you read, better not read.”

“In a quarrel, the loudest person will win.”

“Never rely on the glory of the morning nor the smiles of your mother-in-law.”


“When the character of a man is not clear to you, look at his friends.”

“Nothing is more expensive than free.”

“Many skills is no skill.”

“Great men succeed in their later years.”

“We should never forget our beginner’s spirit.”


“With many little strokes a large tree is felled.”

“The prime of your life does not come twice.”

“A loud cat doesn’t catch mice.”

“After the rain, the earth hardens.”

“A doubtful mind creates devils in the dark.”


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

“Learn from others’ good and bad points.”

“To meet is the beginning of parting.”

“Even when you are busy, there will be time to take a rest.”

“Perseverance is power.”


“After victory tighten your helmet strap.”

“Don’t calculate the profits of uncaught fox skins.”

“Once a beggar, always a beggar.”

“A drowning person will grasp even at straws.”

“You forget the heat once it’s down your throat.”


“There is no need to bait the fish you’ve already caught.”

“Depend on your walking stick, not on other people.”

“A good cat does not need a collar of gold.”

“Boasting begins where wisdom stops.”

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

“Fear is only as deep as the mind allows.”

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.”

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

“Be not afraid of going slowly. Be afraid of standing still.”

“The smallest good deed is better than the grandest good intention.”

“Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.”

“We learn little from victory, much from defeat.”

“Even when months and days are long, life is short.”

“If you understand everything you must be misinformed.”

“We’re fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.”

“One kind word can warm three winter months.”

“The reputation of a thousand years may be determined by the conduct of one hour.”

“The bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak that resists.”

“The day you decide to do it is your lucky day.”

“Boasting begins where wisdom stops.”

“The face becomes a mirror of the soul.”

“He who runs after two hares will catch neither.”

“One who smiles rather than rages is always the stronger.”

“Beginning is easy, continuing is hard.”