Category Archives: Kotowaza

Why oh why ask why?

Because it’s good for you! 聞くは一時の恥聞かぬは一生の恥 (Kiku wa ittoki no haji kikanu wa isshou no haji; “To ask is a moment’s shame; to not ask is a lifetime’s shame.”) Definition: It’s embarrassing to have to ask a question and reveal … Continue reading

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All the king’s horses shouldn’t cry over spilled milk

覆水盆に返らず (Fukusui bon ni kaerazu; “You can’t put spilled water back in the saucer”) Definition: You can’t undo what’s been done. You can’t redo what’s been undone. You can’t uncrack an egg. As much as you may sometimes want to … Continue reading

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Like falling off a bike, but very different

案ずるより産むが易し (Anzuru yori umu ga yasushi; “Birthing is easier than planning”) Definition: The deed is often less terrible than anticipation-nerves would have it. Before starting a course of action people tend to worry about this and that, but find the … Continue reading

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Like taking candy

Not from a baby, you monster お茶の子さいさい (Ocha no ko saisai; “Alright; tea candy!”) Definition: Something super simple and easy; just a little thing. Words of encouragement. Something as effortless as picking up and eating a bit of some snack-food. … Continue reading

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Don’t try to be a profit prophet

捕らぬ狸の皮算用 (Toranu tanuki no kawa zan’you; “Calculating the pelt of an uncaught tanuki”) Definition: Making over-optimistic calculations. Building unreliable assumptions into your plans for the future. Making a budget that includes estimated profit from the sale of the fur of … Continue reading

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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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