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Japanese Proverbs





The Japanese language is filled with proverbs of all sorts, many from classical references from ancient Chinese to modern versions of English proverbs, all used in every aspect of the language. Whether you are traveling to Japan for fun or on business, or are living there, you'll find proverbs indispensible to understanding and using the daily language. Browse below to find the ones you want or simply explore the many possible ways to express yourself in Japanese.



燃える油紙のように喋る
[もえるあぶらがみのようにしゃべる, moeru aburagami no you ni shaberu] talk like a house on fire, to (lit.: talk like burning oil paper)

餅は餅屋
[もちはもちや, mochi wa mochiya] every man to his trade (lit.: for rice cakes, go to the rice cake dealer)

基樹に勝る裏木なし
[もときにまさるうらきなし, motoki ni masaru uraki nashi] no branch surpasses the trunk; no fountain can rise higher than its source

ものにはほどがある
[ものにはほどがある, mono niwa hodo ga aru] there is a limit to everything

ものははずみ
[ものははずみ, mono wa hazumi] you cannot be certain (lit.: things are by chance)

桃栗三年柿八年
[ももくりさんねんかきはちねん, momo kuri san-nen, kaki hachi-nen] each thing at its own pace; every thing at its own time (lit.: peaches and chestnuts, three years; persimmon, eight years; i.e.: the fruit takes a different number of years to grow)


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