Japanese proverbs: sayings and idioms

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Collection of Japanese proverbs, sayings and popular sayings in Japan translated into Italian, as testimony to the wisdom of this people characterized by a high level of civilization.


Japanese idioms

- We don't smile because something good has happened, but something good will happen because we smile.

- Calculate the tanuki skin value before you have even captured it.


- The folds of a Kimono are like the shades of a heart.

- Never underestimate the great river that flows slowly and silently beside the rice fields.

- The mouth is a source of misfortune.


- Beat the iron until it's hot.

- Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.

- If you run away today, tomorrow you will need even more courage.


- Your smile determines how you see and how you think the world around you.

- Knowledge without wisdom is a load of books on the back of a donkey.

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- A confident person has a bright smile.

- Failures do not count, but the ability to recover.

- Necessity is the mother of the invention.

- Willpower also crosses the rocks.

- Look at other people's mistakes and correct yours.

- If you don't enter the tiger's den, you won't catch a tiger cub.

- Where you've been laid, bloom.


- The child does not understand the heart of the parents.

- When there is a problem, do not look for the culprit, but look for the solution.

- Those who are about to drown also grab a straw.

- The wife and the tatami are better when they are new.

- The branch too hard in the wind breaks; the too flexible one will never stand.

- The heart of women is as changeable as the autumn sky.


- Failure is the origin of success.

- Not all married women are wives.

- Anyone who wakes up early earns 3 yen.

- Do not ask yourself how long the field is, in doubt start running.

- The mouth is the door to misfortune.

- People love to be praised, so do it as much as you can.

- You get tired in the chores and expect the divine verdict.

- Make tea on the navel.

- Deep rivers flow slowly.

- After winning, strengthen your armor.

- Your smile is the accessory of your heart. What kind of smile will you wear today?

- Spilled water can no longer return to the tray.


Japanese sayings

- A kind sentence can warm up three months of winter.

- When a man's character seems indecipherable to you, look at his friends.

- Having been bitten by a snake one is also afraid of a rotten rope.

- Who knows how to listen well, can also speak well.

- Those who confess their ignorance show it once. Whoever hides it, shows it several times.

- We can never see the sun rise until we look west.

- An affectionate cat is the best remedy for depression.

- What is the room in which to meditate? Your own heart.

- Everyone makes mistakes. This is why there is an eraser for each pencil.

- Even the dust when it accumulates becomes a mountain.

- If you smile you can change yourself, others and the future.

- Fall seven times, get up eight.


- The frog inside the well doesn't know the ocean.

- Asking is the shame of a moment, not asking is the shame of all life.

- At the door of those who laugh, luck comes.

- Friendship and love do not ask themselves like water, but offer themselves like tea.

- Tomorrow the wind of tomorrow will blow.

- Do not pull the tail of the cat, you may find the teeth of a tiger.

- The body of the dragonfly is slender, but goes through dancing the storm.

- Only death cures a fool.

- Husband and wife must be like hands and eyes: when hands hurt the eyes cry, when the eyes cry hands dry the tears.

- Ten people, ten colors.

- A smile is like a toothbrush. You have to use it often to keep your teeth clean.

- If you love children, let them travel.


- Sometimes you win. All other learn.

- You can also adore the head of a sardine, just believe it.

- Time spent laughing is time spent with the gods.

- Only the pillow knows our tears.

- Never say: it's impossible, you can only say: I haven't done it yet.

- The absent goes further every day.

- You can stand still in a flowing river, but not in the world of men.

- In the face of boldness, God also avoids.

- The protruding nail must be pushed down.

Japanese proverbs

- The man who can see small things has a clear vision and a peaceful heart.

- Crazy who at least once in his life does not climb Mount Fuji, but whoever climbs more than once on Mount Fuji is crazy.

- A road can be long or short but if you don't take the first step it will be very long.


- As the warrior is a man among men, the cherry blossom is a flower among the flowers.

- When your teacher corrects you, thank him twice: the first because he is passing on his knowledge to you, the second because he believes you are capable of learning it.

- Money has no ears but listens, has no legs but runs.

- The smile on a person's mouth is like a lantern on the door of a house: it indicates that there is a soul inside.

- The fog doesn't blow away with a fan.

- Tomorrow the wind of tomorrow will blow.

- If you only tolerate what is tolerable, do not give a real test of tolerance.

- Do whatever is in your power, leave the rest to fate.

- Everything in nature, even the little fish, deserves our respect.

- The disorder of clothes is disorder of the soul.

- It is necessary for a yen to come out for ten yen to enter.

- Whoever is about to drown also grabs a straw.

- A poem is a painting with a voice. A painting is a voiceless poem.

- A thing seen is worth a hundred hears.

- A day without working is a day without eating.

- Search the past if you want to know the future.

- Don't count on your memory, take note.

- There is a door through which luck can enter, but you have the key.

- In peacetime the letters go to the right and the weapons to the left and that in wartime the weapons go to the right and the letters to the left.

- A day spent with a good teacher is worth more than a thousand days spent studying.

- The misfortune of others is sweet as honey.

- You learn little from victory, but much from defeat.

- A meal without rice is not a meal.

- Cherry blossoms are not made for hurricane.

- A rosy face in the morning, white bones in the evening.

- Life lasts a generation, a good name forever.

- A decision must be made in the space of seven breaths.

- Every time you eat something you add a day to your life.

- Eating is as important as medicine.

- Victory belongs to the one who knows how to suffer a quarter of an hour more than another.

- The worst offense that can be done to an author is to praise his penultimate book.

- None of us are as intelligent as all of us put together.

- Better than arriving, is to leave full of hope.

- The words that have not been said are the flowers of silence.

Do You Know the Most Common Japanese Proverbs? | Learn Basic Japanese (March 2021)


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