Tag Archives: Kefukigusa

Can’t squeeze water from a boiling stone

焼け石に水 (Yakeishi ni mizu; “Water on a hot stone”) Definition: A situation where you shouldn’t expect much. A drop in the bucket. A negligible amount of aid or effort, like a little splash of water against a hot stone, which … Continue reading

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The original campsite rule

立つ鳥跡を濁さず (Tatsu tori ato wo nigosazu; “The bird taking flight doesn’t muddy its tracks”) Definition: When you leave a place, don’t leave it a mess – leave it at least as pristine as the condition you found it in. Clean … 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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Life finds a way

炒り豆に花が咲く ((I)rimame ni hana ga saku; “Flowers growing from roasted beans”) Definition: An example of something that had declined, failed, or withered flourishing again beyond all expectations. By extension, an impossible event. Something happening that’s about as likely as roasted … Continue reading

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But what does it all MEAN?

論語読みの論語知らず (Rongo yomi no rongo shirazu; “A reader of Confucius; doesn’t know Confucius”) Definition: Use this when someone technically knows the words of a field of knowledge but doesn’t understand the meaning of the words and is unable to act … Continue reading

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Wise guys’ noses, eyes

Smart enough not to say “Smell you later”? 目から鼻へ抜ける (Me kara hana he nukeru; “[In] from the eyes and out the nose”) Definition: Especially perceptive and shrewd. Able to quickly understand and correctly judge a situation. “Smelling out” a situation as … Continue reading

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An uncracked egg never omelettilates

蒔かぬ種は生えぬ (Makanu tane wa haenu; “Unsown seeds don’t sprout”) Definition: Nothing happens without a reason for it to happen. Nothing comes of nothing. Plants don’t grow without seeds. Alternately, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Nothing comes … Continue reading

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