Category Archives: Kotowaza

GIGO

A potty mouth is a force multiplier 病は口より入り禍は口より出ず (Yamai wa kuchi yori iri wazawai wa kuchi yori izu; “Disease enters from the mouth and disaster exits from the mouth”) Definition: Disease enters the body through your mouth when you eat … Continue reading

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Not applicable to salamanders

飛んで火に入る夏の虫 (Tonde hi ni iru natsu no mushi; “A summer bug that flies into a flame”) Definition: Continuing forward even though doing so means rushing, or at least preceding, headlong into danger. Recklessly inviting danger. “Like a moth to a … Continue reading

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Nosce te ipsum

彼を知り己を知れば百戦殆うからず (Kare wo shiri onore wo shireba hyakusen ayaukarazu; “When you know your opponent and yourself, you need not fear a hundred battles.”) Definition: If you know the strengths, weaknesses, and situation of yourself, your allies, and your foes, then … Continue reading

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Please be true please be true please be true

天知る地知る我知る人知る (Ten shiru chi shiru ware shiru hito shiru; “Heaven knows; earth knows; oneself knows; people know”) Definition: Secrets and crimes will eventually come to light. Even if you think something is completely hidden, the gods of the heavens and … Continue reading

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Tidal waves just sneaking right up on ya there

天災は忘れた頃にやってくる (Tensai wa wasureta koro ni yatte kuru; “Disaster comes when it has been forgotten”) Definition: Don’t let your guard down, because disasters always seem to strike exactly when you’re doing just that. The last catastrophe has faded from memory, … Continue reading

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Gird your loins, or your chin

勝って兜の緒を締めよ (Katte kabuto no o wo shimeyo; “When you win, tighten your helmet-strap”) Definition: A warning to not let down one’s guard even when things seem to be going well or when one seems to have won a fight. Always … Continue reading

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The original campsite rule

立つ鳥跡を濁さず (Tatsu tori ato wo nigosazu; “The bird taking flight doesn’t muddy its tracks”) Definition: When you leave a place, don’t leave it a mess – leave it at least as pristine as the condition you found it in. Clean … Continue reading

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