Potholes are another story

(Mekura hebi ni ojizu; “The blind do not fear snakes”)


The ignorant have no way to judge the true danger of a situation, and so take risks that more knowledgeable people would avoid. “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.”


We begin with the noun 盲 (mekura), “blind (person).” This is followed, with particles elided, by the noun 蛇 (hebi), “snake.” And at the end we have the verb 怖づ (odzu), “to be afraid,” in imperfective form (although note the orthographic shift from ぢ to じ in expressing the pronunciation ji), followed by negative suffix ず (zu) in sentence-final form. In between the final noun and the verb, directional particle に (ni) marks the snake as the thing not being feared.


This saying can be referenced with just 盲蛇 (mekurahebi), but be careful – this is also the name of the Brahminy blind snake.

Example sentence:


(“Muri ni chousen suru to hidoi me ni au zo, to donna ni keikai sarete mo, yappai yatte mitai. Mekura hebi ni ojizu to iu joukyou ka na.”)

[“They all warn me that it’s too hard, and going for it will only get me in trouble. But no matter how much they say it, I still want to try. Perhaps I’m like the blind man unafraid of the serpent.”]

About Confanity

I love the written word more than anything else I've had the chance to work with. I'm back in the States from Japan for grad school, but still studying Japanese with the hope of becoming a translator -- or writer, or even teacher -- as long as it's something language-related.
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