Tag Archives: Iroha karuta

And now you understand 90% of every samurai movie

武士は食わねど高楊枝 (Bushi wa kuwanedo takayouji; “Even a warrior who hasn’t eaten uses a toothpick”) Definition: A destitute warrior who hasn’t eaten nonetheless acting like they have, in order to avoid revealing weakness to any potential enemies. By extension, putting on … Continue reading

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

Paul Ryan’s next plan for American health care

Nah, it would still cost rich people a bit of money. 二階から目薬 (Nikai kara megusuri; “Eye medicine from the second floor”) Definition: A frustrating situation where things don’t go as you want. Alternately, a roundabout way of doing things that … Continue reading

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

The sunny ant of the high seas

待てば海路の日和あり (Mateba kairo no hiyori ari; “If you wait, there will be ideal weather on the sea-routes”) Definition: Good things come to those who wait. Do your best to endure when things are bad, because they will get better. Even … Continue reading

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

Cheap is dear, but deer don’t cheep

For those counting, this is the 200th kotowaza! To celebrate, we’re… doing nothing special! 安物買いの銭失い (Yasumonogai no zeniushinai; “Losing money by buying cheap”) Definition: Especially cheap things tend to be poorly made; they fail to perform their functions properly, or … Continue reading

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

Hearing is dreaming, seeing is believing?

Speech is silver, experience is lead 聞いて極楽見て地獄 (Kiite gokuraku mite jigoku; “Hearing is heaven, seeing is hell”) Definition: When you only hear about something second-hand it may sound amazing, but experiencing it personally is another matter. Use this saying in … Continue reading

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

Out of mouth, out of mind

喉元過ぎれば熱さを忘れる (Nodomoto sugireba atsusa wo wasureru; “To forget the heat after swallowing”) Definition: No matter how painful a situation was, the pain – or alternately, the debts owed to people who helped out when times were bad – are quickly … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, Kotowaza | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

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