Tag Archives: Iroha karuta

Paradox!

See also 急がば回れ 負けるが勝ち (Makeru ga kachi; “Losing is winning.”) Definition: No, this isn’t some Orwellian doublespeak. It means that there are times when granting your opponent a win can be advantageous for you in the long run. Avoiding conflict … Continue reading

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You can try it if you’d like, but…

Before you entrust an important job to someone with zero experience, maybe make sure the stakes aren’t too high. 習わぬ経は読めぬ (Narawanu kyou wa yomenu; “You can’t recite a Buddhist sutra you’ve never studied.”) Definition: Complicated tasks are impossible to perform … Continue reading

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The fruit of corruption

As opposed to 湯から出た錆? 身から出た錆 (Mi kara deta sabi; “Tarnished from within.”) Definition: Suffering due to one’s own misdeeds, especially the bad things one has done to others. Paying for one’s mistakes; getting one’s just deserts. The image here is … 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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You’ve got to really “stick” it in?

連木で腹を切る (Rengi de hara wo kiru; “To cut one’s belly with a wooden pestle”) Definition: An impossible event or task. By extension, attempting to achieve the impossible. Attempting a task that is as daunting as slicing one’s belly open with … Continue reading

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Never trust anything strawberry-flavored

In fact, when in doubt, just go with the most masochistic option available. 良薬は口に苦し (Ryouyaku wa kuchi ni nigashi; “Good medicine is bitter in the mouth”) Definition: Good advice is hard to listen to. The advice that we most desperately … Continue reading

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They’ll let you have next Tuesday, though

来年の事を言えば鬼が笑う (Rainen no koto wo ieba oni ga warau; “Oni laugh when you talk about next year”) Definition: Nobody can accurately predict the future, so there’s no use in trying to say what’s going to be happening next year. People … Continue reading

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