Tag Archives: classical Japanese grammar

Pay it forward…

…until it comes back? 情けは人の為ならず (Nasake wa hito no tame narazu; “Compassion isn’t just for the sake of others”) Definition: Showing pity, mercy, or compassion for others isn’t just a favor you do to them; it’s for your own sake … Continue reading

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As we journey through this world…

…Let’s wear our hearts on sleeves unfurled (I should have written a post in advance, but yesterday was taken up largely by my sister getting married. Today’s kotowaza is in honor of that long-awaited joyous event as well as a … Continue reading

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A lost art?

和して同ぜず (Washite douzezu; “harmonize but not agree”) Definition: Cooperating, but only within reason. Making a point of getting along with others – but not when doing so would be at the cost of reason, truth, one’s individuality, or other important … Continue reading

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If you don’t study grammar, you won’t be able to confuse yourself with it

This one gets a bit technical, folks, so buckle up. 蒔かぬ種は生えぬ (Makanu tane wa haenu; “Unsown seeds do not grow”) Definition: “Nothing comes of nothing.” Things don’t happen without causes. You can’t expect to profit without doing any work. Breakdown: … Continue reading

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