December 31, 2011

Keiseino Soranamida

Care not for the tears of a whore or the bravadoes of a ruffian.

December 30, 2011

Keikoutonarumo Gyuugotonarunakare

Better be the head of a lizard than the tail of a lion.

December 29, 2011

Keigunno Ikkaku

Triton among the minnows.

December 28, 2011

Kunnshiha Hyouhensu

A wise man changes his mind, a fool never.

December 27, 2011

Kunshiayaukini Chikayorazu

Discretion is the better part of valor.

December 26, 2011

Kumonosude Ishiwotsuru

It hangs by a thread.

December 25, 2011

Kurushii tokino Kami danomi

The danger past and God forgotten.

December 24, 2011

Ku ha Raku no Tane

Every cloud has a silver lining.

December 23, 2011

Kuchibiru horobite Ha samushi

The day of France's ruin is the eve of the ruin of England.

December 22, 2011

Kuchi mo Hattyo Te mo Hattyo

He has long arms and a long tongue as well.

December 21, 2011

Kuchi ha Wazawai no mon

Out of the mouth comes evil.

December 20, 2011

Kuchi no Tora ha mi wo Yaburu

Better the feet slip than the tongue.

December 19, 2011

Kuchi ni Mitsuari Hra ni Ken ari

He has honey in his mouth and the razor at his girdle.

December 18, 2011

Kuchisakino Kamishimo

He speaks as if he would creep into one's mouth.

December 17, 2011

Kurarizakani Koshiwo osu

If ever I get his cart whelming I 'll give it a put.

December 16, 2011

Kusuriyori Youjou

All immoderations are enemies to health.

December 15, 2011

December 14, 2011

Kusattemo Tai

A good horse becomes never a jade.

December 13, 2011

Kusaimononi Futa

To hush up a scandal.

December 12, 2011

Gukouyama wo utsusu

Rome was not built in a day.

December 11, 2011

Gu no Ne mo Denai

He can neither say buff nor baff.

December 10, 2011

Kinko Ichiban

Pluck up your heart.

December 09, 2011

December 08, 2011

Gi wo mite sezaruha Yu nakinari

Neither seek nor shun the fight.

Gi wo mite sezaruha Yu nakinari

Neither seek nor shun the fight.

December 07, 2011

Kikimo Oiteha Dobani Otoru

Even hares pull a lion by the beard when he is dead.

December 06, 2011

Kiryou yori Kimae

Beauty without bounty avails nought.

December 05, 2011

Giri to Fundoshi ha Kakasarenu

Asses scratch one another.

December 04, 2011


Two dogs fight for a bone and the third runs away with it.

December 03, 2011

Iwa Kiwo Utsusu

Change of pasture makes fat calves.

December 02, 2011

Kyosyuuni Mayou

He knows not which way to turn him.

December 01, 2011

Gyokuseki Konkou

Some fish some frogs.

November 30, 2011


An academic flatterer.

November 29, 2011


Good workmen are seldom rich.

November 28, 2011

Kyodai wa Tanin no hajimari

Through they are brothers, their pockets are not sisters.

November 27, 2011

Kyubyou ni Akunichi Nashi

Necessity has no holiday.

November 26, 2011

November 25, 2011

Kyuso Neko wo Kamu

Despair makes cowards courageous.

November 24, 2011

Kyusureba Tuuzu

When things are at the worst they will mend.

November 23, 2011

Kyushi ni Issyo wo Uru

To have a narrow escape.

November 22, 2011

Kyugyu no O wo Hiku

He would bind bears.

November 21, 2011

Kyugyu no Ichimo

A drop in the busket.

November 20, 2011

Kyuuakuwo Omowazu

Do not rake up old grievance.

November 19, 2011


What if the sky fall?

November 18, 2011

Kibini fusu

Good example brought me good fruits.

November 17, 2011

November 16, 2011

Kinou no tomowa Kyo no teki

Kind today cross tomorrow.

November 15, 2011

Kiwomite Moriwomizu

Not to be able to see the wood for the trees.

November 14, 2011

KIniyorite Uowomotomu

Look not for musk in a dog's kennel.

November 13, 2011

Ki ni Take wo Tsugu

To mix water with fire.

November 12, 2011

Kitakiri Suzume

All his wardrobe is on his back.

November 11, 2011

Gishin, Anki wo Shozu

To fight with one's own shadow.

November 10, 2011

Kiji mo Nakazuba Utaremai

Quietness is best, as the fox said when he bit the cook's head off.

November 09, 2011


Kythe in your own colours, that folk may ken you.

November 08, 2011

Kiko no Ikioi

He that is out at sea, must either sail or sink.

November 07, 2011

Ki ha Kokoro

Little fish are sweet.

November 06, 2011

Kichigaini Hamono

Ill putting a naked sword in a madman's hand.

November 05, 2011

November 04, 2011

Kiou wa Togamezu

Let bygones be bygones.

November 03, 2011

November 02, 2011

Kiite Gokuraku Mite Jigoku

Imagination goes a long way.

November 01, 2011

Kan wo Ooite Kotosadamaru

Praise no man till he is dead.

October 31, 2011

Kanri Tentou

I will not set at my heart what I should set at my heel.

October 30, 2011

Kanmou Aisukuu

Hard wiht hard never made good wall.

October 29, 2011

Kanban ni Ituswari Nashi

Names and natures do often agree.

October 28, 2011

Kanpatsu wo Irezu

Without a moment's delay.

October 27, 2011

Kannin Bukuro no Oga Kireru

Patience provoked turns to fury.

October 26, 2011

October 25, 2011

Kannann Nannji wo Tamanisu

Adversity makes men wise.

October 24, 2011

Kanten no Jiu

After drought comes rain.

October 23, 2011

October 22, 2011

Kanjou atte Zeni tarazu

A fool often finds himself short of his reckoning.

October 21, 2011

Kankodoriga naku

To have little business.

October 20, 2011

Gankou shihai ni tessu

To read between the lines.

October 19, 2011

Gankini Yasuri

To make a spindle of a spar.

October 18, 2011

Kawaisa Amatte Nikusaga Hyakubai

The greatest hate proceeds from the greatest love.

October 17, 2011

Kawaiikoniwa Tabiwo saseyo

Spare the rod and spoil the child.

October 16, 2011

October 15, 2011

Karemo Hitonari Waremo Hitonari

Whatever man has done man may do.

October 14, 2011

Karekimo Yamano Nigiwai

A bad bush is better than the open field.

October 13, 2011

Kariru Hachigo Nasu Issyo

He that will borrow must pay.

October 12, 2011

Karirutokino Jizogao, Nasutokino Emmagao

A borrowed loan should come laughing home.

October 11, 2011

Garyo Tensei

You do not give the finishing touch.

October 10, 2011

Karitekita Neko

As coy as a croker's mare.

October 09, 2011

Karigi yori Araigi

Borrowed garments never fit well.

October 08, 2011

Karyudo wana ni kakaru

He falls into the pit he digs for another.

October 07, 2011

Kayui Tokorohe Tega todoku

To scratch people where thay itch

October 06, 2011

Kame no Koh yori Toshi no Koh

Age and experience teach wisdom.

October 05, 2011

Kahou wa Nete mate

Everything comes to him who waits.

October 04, 2011

Kabe ni Mimi Ari

Walls have ears.

October 03, 2011

Kabuto wo Nugu

To admit oneself beaten.

October 02, 2011

Kafukuha Azanaeru Nawano Gotoshi

Sandness and gladness succeed each other.

October 01, 2011

Kanemochi no Nakigoto

Some complain to prevent complaint.

September 30, 2011

September 29, 2011

Kanemochi Kenkasezu

Agree, for the law is costly.

September 28, 2011

September 27, 2011

Kaneha Tenka no Mawarimochi

Money is a great traveller in the world.

September 26, 2011

Kaneno Kiremega Enno Kireme

When poverty comes in at doors, love leaps out at windouws.

September 25, 2011

Kane de Tsurawo Haru

fling the dog a bone.

September 24, 2011

September 23, 2011

Kane ga Kataki

Money makes friends enemies.

September 22, 2011

Kane ga areba Bakamo Dannna

Jack would be a gentleman if he had money.

September 21, 2011

Kaniwa Koura ni Nisete Ana wo horu

Everyone streches his legs according to his coverlet.

September 20, 2011

Kanino Nenbutsu

To say prayers backword.

September 19, 2011

Kanatani Yokereba Konatano Urami

No man can have every man's good word.

September 18, 2011

Gaden Insui

Every miller draws water to his own mill.

September 17, 2011

September 16, 2011

Kappa ni Suiren

Teach your grandame to spin.

September 15, 2011

Kappa no Kawa Nagare

The best horse stumbles.

September 14, 2011

Katte Kabutono O wo Shimeyo

Not to halloo until one is out of the wood.

September 13, 2011

Katsushitemo Tousen no Mizu wo Nomazu

Better to be beaten than be in bad company.

September 12, 2011

Kakka Souyou

Having an itch that one cannot scratch.

September 11, 2011

Katyuu no Kuri wo Hirou

To run risks for others.

September 10, 2011

Katai Ki wa Oreru

Seldom sick sore sick.

September 09, 2011

Kaseguni Oitsuku Binbou nashi

Diligence is the mother of good future.

September 08, 2011

Gashin Syoutan

Perseverance under difficulties.

September 07, 2011

Kasei wa Torayorimo Takeshi

The king and the pope, the lion and the wolf.

September 06, 2011

Kazuwo iumai Haorino Himo

Many words many blows.

September 05, 2011

Kashimono Oboeno Karimono Wasure

The creditor has a better memory than the debtor.

September 04, 2011

September 03, 2011

Kagokaki Kagoni Norazu

Bells call others but themselves enter not into the church.

September 02, 2011

September 01, 2011

Kakusuyori Arawaru

There is nothing so secret but it may be discovered.

August 31, 2011

Gakumon ni Chikamichi Nashi

There is no royal road to learning.

August 30, 2011

Gakusha Binbo

The love of money and the love of learning rarely meet.

August 29, 2011

Gakusya no totta Tenka nashi

Many can pack the cards that can not play.

August 28, 2011

Kagyuukakujo no Arasoi

A storm in a teacup.

August 27, 2011

Kagamiwo Mite Monowoie

What your glass tells you will not be told by counsel.

August 26, 2011

Kaeruno Tsurani Mizu

Like water off a duck's back.

August 25, 2011

Kaerunokowa Kaeru

Nits will be lice.

August 24, 2011

Kaitouranma wo Tatsu

To cut the Gordian knot.

August 23, 2011

Gaisyuu Issyoku

To cut by a single hit.

August 22, 2011

Kaiinuni Tewo kamareru

A man may cause his own dog to bite him.

August 21, 2011

On wo Ada de Kaesu

The axe goes to the wood where it borrowed its helve.

August 20, 2011

Onna ha Sangai ni Ienashi

A married woman has nothing of her own but her weddingring and her hair-lace.

August 19, 2011

Onna no Kaminokeniha Taizou mo tsunagaru

One hair of a woman draws more than a hundred yoke of oxen.

August 18, 2011

August 17, 2011

Onna gokoro to Aki no sora

A woman's mind and winter wind change often.

August 16, 2011

Onko chishin

He that would know what shall be must consider what has been.

August 15, 2011

Oyamano Taisho Orehitori

An humblebee in a cowturd thinks himself a king.

August 14, 2011


Every ape thinks his puppy the fairest.

August 13, 2011

Oyano Yokume

The crow thinks her own bird fairest.

August 12, 2011

Oyano hikariwa Nanahikari

Happy is he whose friends were born before him.

August 11, 2011

Oyano kokoro Koshirazu

When the rain rains and the goose winks little wots the gosing what the goose thinks.

August 10, 2011

Oyano Ingaga Konimukuu

The father's sins are visited on the children.

August 09, 2011

Oyano Ikento Hiyazakewa Atodekiku

Write down the advice of him who loves you, through you like it not at present.

August 08, 2011

August 07, 2011

Oyamo Oyanara Komo Ko

Such a fater such a son.

August 06, 2011

Oyani Nimu Koha Oniko

That which comes of a hen will scrape.

August 05, 2011

Oyaga Shindemo Jikiyasumi

It is the pace that kills.

August 04, 2011

Omoi tattaga Kichijitsu

There is no time like the present.

August 03, 2011

Oborerumono ha Warawomo Tsukamu

A drowning man will catch at a straw.

August 02, 2011

Obini Mijikashi Tasukini Nagashi

Too much for one, and not enough for two, like the Walsall man's goose.

August 01, 2011

O wo Furu Inu ha Tatakarezu

A snarling cur has a scurvy coat.

July 31, 2011


He was in bad, distressed circumstances.

July 30, 2011

Onoreno Atamano Hae wo Oe

Mind your own business.

July 29, 2011

Onimo Juuhatibanchamo Debana

Everything is good in its season.

July 28, 2011

Onino Menimo Namida

Tears from the hardest heart.

July 27, 2011

Onino Inumani Sentaku

When the cat's away the mice will play.

July 26, 2011

Onini Kanabou

That makes it double sure.

July 25, 2011

Onino Kakuran

The devil succumbing to sunstroke.

July 24, 2011

Onaji Kama no Meshi wo Kuu

To drink of the same cup.

July 23, 2011

Ochya wo Nigosu

To make shift for the moment.

July 22, 2011

Odate to Motsuko niha Noriyasui

It is an old rat that won't eat cheese.

July 21, 2011

July 20, 2011

Okujyo Oku wo Kasu

To bring sacks to the mill.

July 19, 2011

Okame Hchimoku

Lookers-on see more than players.

July 18, 2011

Okanutana mo Sagase

You must look where it is not, as well as where it is.

July 17, 2011

Ookamini Koromo

When the fox preaches beware the geese.

July 16, 2011

Oonabe no Soko wa Nadetemo Sanbai

The bones of a great estate are worth the picking.

July 15, 2011

Oootoko Soumini Chiega Mawarikane

Seldom is a long man wise or a low man lowly.

July 14, 2011

OUtakowo Sannen sagasu

The butcher looked for his knife when he had it in.

July 13, 2011

Outakoni Oshierarete Asase wo wataru

The weak may stand the strong in stead.

July 12, 2011

Ousetsu ni Itoma Arazu

As fast as one goes another comes.

July 11, 2011

Oitewa Koni Shitagae

When old, obey your children.

July 10, 2011

En ha Ina mono Ajina mono

Marriages are made in heaven.

July 09, 2011

En no shita no Chikaramochi

One catches the hare and another eat it.

July 08, 2011

En to Ukiyoha Sue wo Mate

Marry in haste and repent at leisure.

July 07, 2011

Ensui kinka wo Sukuwazu

Water afar off quenches not fire near.

July 06, 2011

Yenjyaku Izukunzo Koukokuno Kokorozashi wo Shiranya

A wise man's thoughts walk with him, a fool's without him.

July 05, 2011

Ebide Tai wo Tsuru

To give a pea for a bean.

July 04, 2011

Eni Kaita Mochi

The tune the old cow died off.

July 03, 2011

Eteni Ho

Hoist your sail when the wind is fair.

July 02, 2011


Painters and poets have leave to lie.

July 01, 2011


We never meet without a parting.

June 30, 2011

Eiyuuiro wo konomu

Heroes are amorous.

June 29, 2011

Uwasa wo sureba Kage ga sasu

Sooner named sooner come.

June 28, 2011

Uri Futatsu

As like as one egg to another.

June 27, 2011

June 26, 2011

Urikotoba ni Kaikotoba

One ill word asks another.

June 25, 2011

Uriie to Karayou de Kaku Sandaime

The father buys, the son builds, the grandchild sells, and his son begs.

June 24, 2011

Urami Kotsuzuini Tessu

I bear him on my back.

June 23, 2011

Umeboshi to Tomodachi ha Furuihodo Yoi

Old friends and old wine are best.

June 22, 2011

June 21, 2011

Umi sen Yama sen

As cunning as Captain Daake.

June 20, 2011

Umino Oya yori Sodate no Oya

A child is what his parents make.

June 19, 2011

Umarenu saki no Mutsukisadame

Soon enough to cry "Chuck" when it is out of the shell.

June 18, 2011

June 17, 2011

Uma no Mimini Nenbutsu

A nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse.

June 16, 2011

Uma no Hone

To spring of a stone.

June 15, 2011

Umaimono wa Yoi ni kue

That which is in my belly is not in my will.

June 14, 2011

Umaimono Kuwasu hitoni Yudan suna

Great men have their ends when they countenance the poor.

June 13, 2011

Uno manewo suru tori

The jay is unmeet for a fiddle.

June 12, 2011

Udo no Taiboku

Great trees are good for nothing but shade.

June 11, 2011

Utsukushisamo Kawahitoe

Beauty is but skin-deep.

June 10, 2011

Utsukushii Hana ni Yoimi ha naranu

Beauty may have fair leaves yet bitter fruit.

June 09, 2011

Uchimata Goyaku

To won wiht an apple and lost with a nut.

June 08, 2011

Uchibenkei no Sotosumakuri

A lion at home, a mouse abroad.

June 07, 2011

Uchi no mae no Inu

Every dog is a lion at home.

June 06, 2011

Unpu Tenpu

Itis fortune not wisdom,that rules man's life.

June 05, 2011

Uso mo Hoben

A lie does dood how little a while soever it be believed.

June 04, 2011

Uso wa Ittoki

A lie stands on one leg, truth on two.

June 03, 2011

Usotsuki wa Dorobo no Hajimari

He that will lie will steal.

June 02, 2011

Uso kara Deta Mi

Many a true word is spoken in jest.

June 01, 2011

Ushirogami wo Hikareru

To feel as if one's heart were left behind.

May 31, 2011

Ushi ni Hikarete Zenkouji Mairi

Gosling lead the geese to water.

May 30, 2011

Uji yori Sodachi

It is breeding and not birth that makes a man.

May 29, 2011

Ujisujou wa Arasoenu

Good Bood cannot lie.

May 28, 2011


Like a donkey between two bundles of hay.

May 27, 2011

Ugouno syuu

The mob has many heads but no brains.

May 26, 2011

Ukiyo wa Mawaru Mizuguruma

Fortune's wheel is ever turning.

May 25, 2011


He thinks that the ground carries him not.

May 22, 2011

Uo no Fuchu ni Asobuga Gotoshi

To sit like a frog on a chopping block.

May 21, 2011

May 20, 2011

Uewo Mireba Kiriga Nai

Compare only with thy compeers.

May 19, 2011

Ueniwa Ue ga Aru

No man so good but another may be as good as he.

May 18, 2011

Uetewa Syoku wo erabazu

Hunger is not dainty.

May 17, 2011

Uke ni Hairu

He expects that larks will fall ready roasted into his mouth.

May 16, 2011

Uitenpen no Yo no Narai

All worldly things are transitory.

May 15, 2011

Intokuareba Kanarazu Yohoari

He that sows good seed shall reap good corn.

May 14, 2011

Indo wo Watasu

To be one's priest.

May 13, 2011

Iwaneba Harafukuru

Changing of words is the lighting of hearts.

May 11, 2011

Iro to Yokutono Futasujimichi

Lechery and covetousness go together.

May 10, 2011

Iroke yori Kuike

To love cake rather than love make.

May 09, 2011

May 08, 2011

Inochi Nagakereba Haji Ooshi

Long life has long misery.

May 07, 2011

Inochi atte no Monodane

There is always life for a living man.

May 06, 2011

May 05, 2011

Inu no Tooboe

Dogs barking aloof bite not at hand.

May 04, 2011

Inonakano Kwazu, Taikai wo Shirazu

He that stays in the valley shall never get over the hill.

May 03, 2011

Ido wo Horunara Mizu no Deru Made

Seek till you find and you'll not lose your labour.

May 01, 2011

Itusmademo Aruto omouna Oya to Kane

Better spare at brim than at bottom.

April 30, 2011

Ippann wo mite Zenpyou wo Bokutosu

The fox is known by his brush.

April 29, 2011

Ippann wo mite Zenpyou wo Bokutosu

The fox is known by his brush.

April 28, 2011

Iccho Ittan

Whose fire smokes not?

April 27, 2011

Isseki Nicho

To kill two birds with one stone.

April 26, 2011

April 25, 2011

Issunn no Koin Karonnzu bekarazu

Nothing is more precious than time.

April 24, 2011

Issun Saki ha Yami

The unexpected always happens.

April 23, 2011

Issui no Yume

Pleasure and joy soon come and soon go.

April 22, 2011

Issui no Yume

Pleasure and joy soon come and soon go.

April 21, 2011

Isshin Iwa wo mo Tosu

Faith can remove mountains.

April 20, 2011

Issho Kounarite Bankotsu Karu

What millions died that Caesar might be great?

April 19, 2011

Issha Senri

At full gallop.

April 18, 2011

Isshi Dojin

I will not make fish of one and flesh of another.

April 16, 2011

Ikkennsyo ni Hoyureba Banken Jitu wo Tutau

Like dogs, when one barks all bark.


He fells two dogs with one stone.

April 15, 2011


A match for thousand.

April 14, 2011


To become wealthy at a single bound.

April 13, 2011

Ichi wo shirite Ni wo shirazu

To look only at one side of the shield.

April 12, 2011

Ichi wo kiite Jyu wo shiru

A word to a wise man is enough.

April 11, 2011

Ichiren Takusyo

To sail in the same boat.

April 10, 2011

Ichiri areba Ichigai ari

Every commodity has its incommodity.

April 09, 2011


The darkest hour is before the dawn.

April 08, 2011

Ichiyo Ochite Tenka no Aki wo Shiru

Straws show which way the wind blows.

April 07, 2011

Ichimon oshimino Hyaku Shirazu

Lose not a hog for a halfpennyworth of tar.

April 06, 2011

Ichimai no Kami nimo Hyori ari

There are two sides to every question.

April 05, 2011

Ichinenn Ten ni Tuuzu

Care and diligence bring lucl.

April 04, 2011

Ichinenn no kei wa Gantann ni ari

New year's day is the key of the year.

April 03, 2011

Ichinan satte mata Ichinan

To take on foot out of the mire and put in the other.

April 02, 2011

April 01, 2011

March 31, 2011

Ichiji ga Banji

False with one can be false with two.

March 30, 2011

Ichigo tokkemo Bushi wa Bushi

Still he fishes that catches one.

March 29, 2011

March 28, 2011

Itachi no Michikiri

A hare has crossed your way.

March 27, 2011

March 26, 2011

Isogaba Maware

Make haste slowly.

March 25, 2011

Inaimono Binbo

The absent party is still faulty.

March 24, 2011

Isourou no Hiyameshi

He that is fed at another's hand may stay long ere he be full.

March 23, 2011

Ishin Denshin

That which comes from the heart will go to the heart.

March 22, 2011

March 21, 2011

Isha no Fuyoujo

Physician, heal yourself.

March 20, 2011

Ishibe kinkichi.

He is steel to the back.

March 19, 2011

Ishi no uenimo sannen.

A rolling stone gathers no moss.

March 18, 2011

March 17, 2011

Ikiuma no me o nuku.

Water sleeps, the enemy wakes.

March 16, 2011

Ikada nagashite koppa o hirou.

He has sold Bristol and bought Bedminster.

March 15, 2011

Ieno midare ha onna kara.

House goes mad when women gad.

March 14, 2011

Iegara yori Imogara.

You are come of a blood and so is a pudding.

March 13, 2011

Iuha Yasuku Okonauha Gatashi

There is a great difference between word and deed.

March 12, 2011

Anzuruyori Umuga Yasushi

An attempt is sometimes easier than expected.

March 11, 2011

March 10, 2011

Awateru Kojikiha Moraiga Sukunai

He goes a-gleaning before the cart has carried.

March 09, 2011

Aruha Naini Masaru

Something is better than nothing.

March 08, 2011

Ari no Amakini Tsukuga Gotoshi

Like a bear to a honeypot.

March 07, 2011

Ari no Ana kara Tsutusmimo Kuzureru

A little leak will sink a great ship

March 06, 2011

Ayamachite Aratamezaru Kore wo Ayamachi to iu

He is doubly wet that shrouds himself under trees.

March 05, 2011

March 04, 2011

Ame Futte Ji Katamaru

After rain comes fair weather.

March 03, 2011

March 02, 2011


No envy like a monk's.

March 01, 2011

Abu Hachi Torazu

He that hunts two hares loses both.

February 28, 2011

Abata mo Ekubo

Love covers many infirmities.

February 27, 2011

February 26, 2011

Ato no matsuri.

You come a day after the fair.

February 25, 2011

Ato no kari ga saki ni naru.

Many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.

February 24, 2011

Atsumono ni korite namasu o fuku.

A scalded cat fears cold water.

February 23, 2011

Attemo kurou nakutemo kurou.

To have money is a fear, not to have it a grief.

February 22, 2011

Achira tatereba kochira ga tatanu.

It is hard to please all parties.

February 21, 2011

Atama kakushite shiri kakusazu.

The foolish ostrich buries his head in the sand and thinks he is not seen.

February 20, 2011

Ategoto ha mukoukara Hazureru

All that a man thinks comes not to pass.

February 19, 2011

Attate Kudakeyo

Take your venture, as many a good ship has done.

February 18, 2011

Ashi wo Arau

To wash one's hands of a thing.

February 17, 2011

Ashimoto kara Tori ga Tastu

Many things happen unlooked for.

February 16, 2011

Ashita ha Ashita no Kaze ga Fuku

Let the morn come and the meat with it.

February 15, 2011

Asuno Hyakuyori Kyo no Gojyu

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

February 14, 2011

Asuarito Omou Kokoro no Adazakura

It is good to take the day before you.

February 13, 2011

Asadaimoku ni Yoinenbutu

His evening song and morning song are not both alike.

February 12, 2011

Asa no Naka no Yomogi

Keep good men company and you shall be of the number.

February 11, 2011

Akete Kuyashiki Tamatebako

Prospect is often better than possession.

February 10, 2011

Akusen Mini Tsukazu

Soon gotten soon spent.

February 09, 2011

Akuji Senri wo Hashiru

Ill news comes too soon.

February 08, 2011

Akusai wa Hyakunen no Fusaku

An ill marriage is a spring of ill fortune.

February 07, 2011

Akinai Sannen

Keep your shop and your shop will keep you.

February 06, 2011

Aka no tanin.

Meaning: As much akin as Lenson Hill to Pilsen Pen.

February 05, 2011

Ao wa ai yori idete ai yori aoshi.

Meaning: The scholar may waur the master.

February 04, 2011

Auno wa wakare no hajime.

Meaning: The best of friends must part.

February 03, 2011

Aite no nai kenka wa dekinu.

Meaning: It takes two to make a quarrel.

February 02, 2011

Yuushuu no Bi o Kazaru "to decorate the ending with beauty"

Equivalent to the positive tone of "ending on a high note," this expression refers to getting a well-deserved bump of recognition immediately before ending one's career.

February 01, 2011

Taikoban o Osu "to stamp a drum-size seal"

On official documents in Japan, a name-stamp is used rather than a signature. Seals vary in size and shape, but generally the bigger the seal, the greater the status. The seal for a university, for example, will be larger and more impressive-looking than the seal for an individual. Metaphorically, a "drum-size seal" is an enthusiastic endorsement, often used as a strong recommendation.

January 31, 2011

Suna o Kamu Yoo "like chewing sand"

Most often used to describe a dull, uninteresting life. It's hard to imagine a more tasteless experience than having to eat(or chew) sand day in and day out. The phrase connotes a dull, bad-tasting, and unhappy life.

January 30, 2011

Sode no Shita " under one's sleeve"

The large sleeve of the Japanese kimono makes for an ideal place to hide or to hand-off money. Today kimonos are seldom worn by Japanese men (and almost never when transacting business), but the phrase sode no shita is still very much in use. It has come to mean primarily some form of bribe.

January 29, 2011

Sashimi no Tsuma " garnish for raw fish"

However attractive, the garnish that accompanies a serving of sashimi is of no significance. Some people may not even notice its presence. Such is the degree of dismissal sashimi no tsuma carries when used in discounting the importance of a person's attendance at a meeting or gathering.

January 28, 2011

Saji o Nageru " to throw away the spoon"

In ancient times the Japanese doctor or pharmacist was expected to concoct a special formula that would cure the patient. The pressure to find the correct mixture of ingredients was so great that many a doctor would hurl the measuring spoon into the air in despair.
Metaphorically, saji o nageru means to give up out of Frustration. Often the phrase is used as an admonishment not to give up.

January 27, 2011

Onaji Kama no Meshi o Kutta " having eaten rice from the same pot"

Eating rice from the same pot is the Japanese equivalent of "breaking bread together." Communal eating establishes a sense of friendship and loyalty among those who literally eat out of the same pot. Most often used in reaffirming a special relationship developed through shared experiences.

January 26, 2011

Noren ni Udeoshi " to push against the entry curtain"

When the noren(curtain with the store name printed on it)is hanging in the doorway of a noodles shop, Japanese restaurant, tea house, or other classically Japanese establishment, the place is "open for business." Since the noren is a hanging cloth, nothing is achieved by pushing one's arm against it. Such is the feeling one experiences when taking an action (through words or deeds) which elicits no response whatsoever.

January 25, 2011

Madogiwa Zoku "the window tribe"

The deeply entrenched seniority system of Japanese companies makes it difficult to rise to a top managerial position except after many years of service. Those who fail to attain a top position never enjoy the luxury of a private office, but they may be given a token reward of a desk next to the window in the large, open space where their juniors are also seated. The term "window tribe" refers to people who have been thus rewarded for their years of service but are out of the day-to-day running of the company.

January 24, 2011

Kusai Mono ni wa Futa o Suru "to cover foul-smelling things"

Offenses to the nose are likely to command immediate attention. But simply to put a lid over the smell is not to make the source of the problem go away. Thus the meaning of a stop-gap or temporary fix.

January 23, 2011

Koshikake " a temporary sitting place"

It's an accepted custom that Japanese women office workers looking for husbands willingly accept menial jobs in corporations. Their position is seen as temporary. Koshikake means a chair, a bench, or a stool; an object upon which one rests briefly. It's easy to see how the phrase would come to mean a stepping stone to the next stage of life(most frequently wife and homemaker).

January 22, 2011

Kooin Ya no GOtoshi " Light and darkness fly like an arrow ".

Koo means " light "; in means, " shadow" or darkness (day and night)- in other words, time. The sentiment behind the phrase is close to " Life is short ".

January 21, 2011

Kataboo o Katsugu " to shoulder one's endof the pole "

In feudal times, palanquin and coffin carriers worked in pairs. The responsibility for lifting and transporting was equally divided. To shoulder one's end of the pole means to hold up one's end of the operation, taking full responsibility for being an equal partner.

January 20, 2011

Juubako no Sumi o [Yooji de ] Tsutsuku " To pick at the corners of a food-serving box [with a toothpick]"

Juubako is a box-shaped container for serving food. After the meal, one or two small pieces of food may remain stuck in the corners. Only an obsessive person would try to remove the left-over particles with a toothpick.

January 19, 2011

Hakoiri Musume " a girl that is kept in a box "

A pre-war palor game featured little wooden figures that were moved around(as in a board game). The figures represented members of a typical family and were kept stored in a box. The idealized musume(daughter) came to symbolize the shy, shltered character of a girl who has never left home(the box). Hakoiri musume refers to an unworldly daughter from a good family.

January 18, 2011

Deru kui wa Utaleru

Commentary offered in explanation for why a gifted individual who may be head and shoulders above the norm is brought down to size by the members of his or her group. Quite literally, the stake that sticks out above the other stakes in a row is brought into line by being pouded down.

January 17, 2011

Chan Pon " Ching - boom"

Chan is the sound of a chime, pon the sound of a hand drum. When played simultaneously the result is a dissonant, jarring sound. Chan-pon is used to mean a result of mixing things together that syould not be mixed, often with unfortunate consequences-whiskey and beer, spaghetti and Japanese miso soup.

January 16, 2011

Baka wa Shinanakya Naoranai "Only death can cure a fool."

A derogatory term used in reference to someone who consistently demonstrates incompetence or poor judgement. Said in moments of exasperation, the phrase suggests an attitude of "I give up; there's no hope for you."

January 15, 2011

Asameshi Mae "before the morning meal"

Meshi literally means cooked rice. The morning's cooked rice(breakfast) is the first source of energy for the day. A task that can be completed even before one's first meal is something requiring almost no effort.

January 14, 2011

Watari ni Fune "a boat to cross on"

Poetically, "when you need to cross the river, luckily you find a boat to take you." The phrase means to "luck out." Used when something fortunate occurs when you need it most. A timely stroke of luck.

January 13, 2011

Sumeba Miyako "Where one lives is the capital city."

Miyako means "the capital," but carries the connotation of the best place, the center of everything, the place to be. This short expression is similar in sentiment to "there's no place like home."

January 12, 2011

Onobori-san "One who journeys to the capital"

San in this phrase is the obligatory honorific that translates simply as "Mr." or "Ms." Nobori refers to heading toward the capital of Japan. With the addition of the honorific prefix o-, the phrase becomes a satirical reference to the stereotypical lack of sophistication of someone who has come from the "sticks".

January 11, 2011

Kusawake "parting the grass"

The phrase conjures up a man parting the tall grass with his hands. Metaphorically it means leading the way, going where no one has gone before, pioneering.

January 10, 2011

Ishibashi o Tataite Wataru "to tap a stone bridge before crossing it"

Even a bridge made of stone(which on the face of it is sturdier than a wooden bridge) needs to be tested before crossing. The English near-equivalent is "look before you leap."

January 09, 2011

Ana ga Attara Hairitai "If there were a hole, I'd want to crawl into it."

Sometimes your embarrassment is so acute you want to disappear completely from the scene. Unfortunately, in most cases you're stuck with braving it out. Yet were there a hole, you'd crawl into it.

January 08, 2011

Sushizume "packed like sushi"

This expression is similar in meaning to "packed like sardines." Sushi,the combination of raw fish with vinegared rice, is popular in Japan and increasingly so in the United States and Europe. Take-out sushi is often bought in little boxes called sushi-ori, in which the sushi pieces are packed tightly.

January 07, 2011

Sannin Yoreba Monju no Chie " Three people together have the wisdom of a Buddha."

Monju is Saint of Wisdom in the Buddhist faith. Similar to "two heads are better than one," the Japanese proverb suggests that even average people, when working in a group, can come up with a great idea.

January 06, 2011

Onna Sannin Yoreba Kashimashii " Where three women gather, there is noisy clamor."

The Chinese character for kashimashii ("clamorous")is made up of three small characters "woman." In Japan it is understood that when two women get together, they tend to talk a lot. When three get together, it becomes really noisy.

January 05, 2011

Ni no Ashi o Fumu "to step twice in the same spot"

To step twice in the same place is not to advance forward. Thus the meaning of hesitation before continuing on a presumed or planned course of action.

January 04, 2011

Nimaijita o Tsukau "to use two tongues"

This expression refers to the practice of "speaking out of both sides of the mouth" -shading the meaning of one's words to appeal to a particular person or group, while as elsewhere, this practice(though common)is considered duplicitous and hypocritical.

January 03, 2011

Juunin Toiro "ten people, ten colors"

Even though there is a large measure of truth to the widespread belief that japanese conform to the group, this often-heard phrase attests to their awareness of the differences in individual tastes.

January 02, 2011

Ishi no Ue ni mo Sannen " sitting on a stone for three years "

Japanese consider it a virtue to out-sit the competition. The common practice of making an investment, even at a loss, with the belief that at return will come in the long run comes from this simple, down-to-earth philosophy. Sitting on a rock for three years requires ontrageous tenacity,but the longer you sit, the more secure you are in your position. And more to the point, you become the master of the situation because you have stuck with it. In fact, the cold "stone" may even seem warm and comfortable after three long years.

January 01, 2011

Hitori Zumoo o Toru " to wrestle a one-man sumo "

Obviously it takes two wrestlers to participate in a sumo match. However enthusiastically one may wrestle with oneself, the actions itself will be incomplete. Therein lies the off-an-one's-own (on a tangent ) meaning of hitori zumoo.