Talk:Japanese proverbs

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Proverbs (Unverified)Edit

  • 落花枝にかえらず
    • Rakka eda ni kaerazu.
    • The fallen blossom returns not to the bough

possible copyright violationEdit

I believe this may be a copyright violation. See [1]. -- 10:05, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

You are wrong. -- 05:07, 26 May 2005 (UTC)
Note at the bottom of the page it says "Article text is from Wikipedia and licensed under terms of the GFDL." -- 13:01, 6 Jan 2005 (UTC)

求めよさらば与えられん (Motomeyo sareba ataeraren) -- (lit. Ask, and it shall be given you) from the New Testament

This proverb displays incorrect Japanese Characters or an in correct pronunciation.

求 め よ さ ば 与 え ら れ ん

moto me yo sa ra ba ata e ra re n --Armstheykill 22:55, 14 Dec 2004

You are correct. Why you aren't editing the article and posting on the talk page instead is beyond me.-- 05:07, 26 May 2005 (UTC)

As any Japanese speaking person would know, though many of these proverbs are commonly known, they are seldom used in daily conversation. To suggest that cell phone messaging's popularity has something to do with this supposed "heavy employment" is simply a misguided speculation. Furthermore, to my admittedly limited knowledge of Japanese anime and manga, the vocabulary and style used are often simpler than, say, a novel. Though they may certainly contain proverbs, one would be hard pressed to find evidence of Japanese' compactness due to the proverbs. In fact, I would go so so far as to argue that there is no such thing as "heavy employment" of Japanese proverbs in modern life -- other than specific literary contexts. It's not unusual for a common news article to have a proverb or two, but over usage of proverbs often come across as excessive and arrogant. --Uly 19:39, 13 Feb 2005

There's no longer mention of "heavy employment" or "cell phone" in the article so your comment is no longer relevant. -- 05:07, 26 May 2005 (UTC)

The nail that sticks up...Edit

Could someone that knows the kanji and etymology of the well-known (among Western Japanophiles at least) saying deru kugi ga utareru出る釘は打たれる (lit. "the nail that sticks up gets hammered down") please write an entry to the article page. Are my transliteration and translation correct? Does the original use ga (grammatical subject) or wa (topic marker) or does it matter? jni 12:27, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC) --Jni 12:27, 10 Apr 2005

Done. "Wa" is correct. -- 05:07, 26 May 2005 (UTC)

In fact the correct term is not "kugi" (nail) but "kui" (stake). Many japanese and foreigners get this wrong, due to the fact that there is one syllabic difference in between these two words. They are often confused when people use this proverb. The reason why it is stake and not nail is that the proverb came into being during the "middle ages" of Japan if you will. Nails did not come to Japn until much later after the foreign intervention in Japan.—This unsigned comment is by (talkcontribs) .

It should be "kui" (stake), yes. Therefore the requested entry should be removed. --Aphaia 08:03, 3 December 2007 (UTC)


Why is this article divided into two sections of quotes — one unnamed (and unheaded) and one titled "Others"? This implies that the top section's theme is obvious, which it isn't to me. Thanks for any clarification. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 04:33, 11 August 2005 (UTC)


I noticed that the style of romanization is not consistent. Also, most of it does not conform with the wikipedia standard for romanized Japanese. Is there a convention that should be followed here, and should it be the same as the wikipedia convention? --ToothingLummox 04:58, 7 September 2005 (UTC)

Whenever there's a lack of clear policy, we should usually adopt the wp ones. Go ahead and change all the romanization to conform to wp style :) ~ MosheZadka (Talk) 05:06, 7 September 2005 (UTC)

Cleanup tagEdit

I've added a cleanup tag to this article because it is inexplicably divided into two sections, whose only apparent difference is that the latter section, "Others", is a formatting mess. This is not a logical organization. Would the folks who maintain this page please come up with an organizing principle and clean up the structure and quotes? Thank you. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 09:11, 11 September 2005 (UTC)

Someone (username is an IP address) 'fixed' the problem on 28 Nov 2005 by simply removing the entire 'Others' section, without any comments to the edit. The list was originally moved here from the wikipedia page wikipedia:Japanese_proverbs around 8 Dec 2004. Unless someone has a better suggestion, I'd like to restore the list and start to split it up into sections as per the Japanese wikipedia page "日本のことわざ" [2], where the proverbs are grouped by category - proverbs concerning women, proverbs against adversity etc. - User:Frentos 20:20 19 Dec 2005 (GMT+10)
That sounds reasonable. Go for it! ~ Jeff Q (talk) 20:34, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Split? and other questionsEdit

I gave a look to this article yesterday and found there are too small numbers of entries on this article. Each section can be expanded much more. This fact however brought me some questions:

  • Sayings and idiomatic phrases - are they really in this category?
  • Four letter words - I admit as a native speaker those phrases are frequently used and I agree on that many of them were plausibly coined in Japan so it should be considered "Japanese proverbs". On the other hand, other many of them were just taken from Chinese literature and haven't been suffered any changes, while they are also frequently used. So a question: the latter should be included here to this article? Or is it okay/better to belong to Chinese proverbs or even to the original sources?
  • One thing: since this article currently lacks many of frequently used and known phrases, it should be growing much more - so is it wise for us to consider to divide this article, even is it a very far future?

Your feedback will be welcome! --Aphaia 08:33, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

Sit by the riverEdit

"If you sit by the river long enough, you will see the body of your enemy float by"? 00:16, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

"Vision without action"Edit

I commented out only one source-cited one, which is as below

  • Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.
    • Japanese proverb, as quoted in Civilization's Quotations : Life's Ideal (2002) by Richard Alan Krieger, p. 280

I am a born-Japanese and high educated there to some extent (M.A. in Humanities). I don't argue "I know it" but would like to point out these things, as follows:

  • there is no original Japanese saying provided, as some other our collections. While I don't expect we find it, I'm happy to see someone find. Until then, it would be better to comment out as dubious one.
  • On ja:日本の諺 the Japanese Wikipedia counterpart article, I miss any equivalent of this saying, even if I don't expect the JaWQ counterpart collect all proverbs.
  • Or it was truly originated from Japanese proverb but just loosely translated. Then I think it is not very fine to include it into our collection, unless this saying is widely received in English speaking world as Japanese originated. Then we could add some note for readers which would be a loose translation.

--Aphaia (talk) 18:57, 29 April 2012 (UTC)

Please see Talk:Vision.

Misterattribution (talk) 19:44, 8 January 2019 (UTC)

目は口ほどに物を言う The eyes and the mouthEdit

This proverb, * 目は口ほどに物を言う, is variously translated as "the eyes say as much as the mouth" or "the eyes say more than the mouth". I want to add this proverb and I wonder which meaning is correct, or is the Japanese ambiguous and both meanings are possible? IOHANNVSVERVS (talk) 19:20, 31 May 2017 (UTC)

I added the proverb to the main page along with a source and an English equivalent. Only add a translation if it comes from a professional translator. Spannerjam (talk) 17:36, 25 July 2018 (UTC)

Regarding "Putting the cart before the horse"Edit

What I wanted to say with the explanation for the proverb was this: "Intolerance usually stems from people being unsatisfied with something about themselves which they are not aware of." Spannerjam (talk) 17:56, 25 July 2018 (UTC)

Return to "Japanese proverbs" page.