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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.



類は友を呼ぶ
[るいはともをよぶ, rui wa tomo o yobu] like attracks like

類をもって集まる
[るいをもってあつまる, rui o motte atsumaru] birds of a feather flock together (lit.: like kinds gather together)

留守見舞いは間同異にせよ
[るすみまいはまどういにせよ, rusu mimai wa madoui ni seyo] make calls at irregular intervals when the master is away (i.e.: to protect the chastity of the wife)

瑠璃はもろし
[るりはもろし, ruri ha moroshi] emeralds are easily broken (i.e.: precious things, including our relations with others, require care)

瑠璃も針も照らせば光る
[るりもはりもてらせばひかる, ruri mo hari mo teraseba hikaru] emeralds and needles will shine when given light (i.e.: education can make a person wise whether the person is smart or dumb at the outset)


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