Category Archives: Kotowaza

It’s a new wind, so blow no ill

明日は明日の風が吹く (Ashita wa ashita no kaze ga fuku; “Tomorrow, tomorrow’s wind will blow.”) Definition: Things might be bad today, but tomorrow could well be better, so don’t let it get you in a funk. Alternately: you don’t know what the … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, Kotowaza | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chopped short by the writer’s block

文は遣りたし書く手は持たず(Fumi wa yaritashi kakute wa motazu;“Wanting to send a letter, but lacking the hand to write it”) Definition: This phrase expresses a desire to write a letter to someone (especially a family member, close friend, or lover), accompanied by writer’s … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, Kotowaza | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The attack of Not A Number

Beware lest your calculations be all messed up 一難去ってまた一難 (Ichinan satte mata ichinan; “One trouble goes; another trouble.”) Definition: No sooner have you escaped one danger or difficulty than the next arises. Out of the frying-pan and into the next … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, Kotowaza | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Don’t just tread on it

Make sure your neighborhood is friendly to mongooses 蛇の生殺しは人を噛む (Hebi no namagoroshi wa hito wo kamu; “A half-killed snake bites a person”) Definition: If you take action but don’t finish the job, you only invite harm. A snake wounded but … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, Kotowaza | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An ounce of prevention is worth….

Buy it when prevention is cheap, not when cure is costly 治に居て乱を忘れず (Chi ni ite ran wo wasurezu; “In peace, do not forget strife”) Definition: Even in times of peace and safety, it’s still necessary to plan ahead in case … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, Kotowaza | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Never bring a gun to a stats fight

Seriously; that’d be a crime. 下手な鉄砲も数撃てば当たる (Heta na teppou mo kazu uteba ataru; “Even an inept gun, fired a number of times, will hit.”) Definition: Even if someone is very bad at something, with enough tries they’ll produce strong results … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, Kotowaza | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hefty fluff

重箱の隅を突く (Juubako no sumi wo tsutsuku; “To poke at the corners of a juubako”) Definition: To fuss over trivial details; to nitpick; to carp endlessly about fine points that don’t actually make a difference. The image is of someone who … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, Kotowaza | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Next verse, same as the first

二の舞を演じる (Ni no mai wo enjiru; “to dance the second dance”) Definition: Committing someone else’s previous errors, even with the awareness of what has happened. Seeing someone fail, and then making the same mistakes. Breakdown: This simple phrase begins three … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, Kotowaza | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

As you sow, so shall you reap… the opposite!

楽は苦の種苦は楽の種 (Raku wa ku no tane ku wa raku no tane; “Ease is the seed of hardship; hardship is the seed of ease”) Definition: If you spend all your time taking things easy, you’ll fall on hard times later on … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, Kotowaza | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

If you want good fruit, sleep on it

果報は寝て待て (Kahou wa nete mate; “For good fortune, sleep, wait.”) Definition: Good fortune will come of its own accord, in its own time, so it’s best to prepare and patiently wait for it rather than fretting or trying to force … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, Kotowaza | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment