10 Japanese proverbs that will change the way you see life!

Shirley Marie Bradby

July 11, 2018

10 Japanese proverbs that will change the way you see life!

Japan is a land of a thousand contradictions. Despite being one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, it has maintained a very strong bond with its traditions.

Divided between Shinto and Buddhism, the Japanese people have cultivated a profound popular wisdom, which is well accorded with the teachings of both religions.

Today we offer you 11 traditional Japanese proverbs that can help us put things into perspective.


Mstyslav Chernov/Wikimedia

1. "When the parents work and their children enjoy life, the grandchildren beg for alms." - It is a generational cycle that ruins the economies of many families. Some family members created and accumulated a certain amount of wealth working all their lives and then there are the family members who have always had everything, do not know the value of money, and end up wasting the family fortune. 

2. "It is better to be the enemy of a good person than the friend of a bad person." - Two good people can find themselves in conflict in life, but the thing to avoid is allowing bad people to be close to you. 

3. "The fish that tries to escape always seems to be the largest" - Every goal that we do not reach seems to us, precisely for that reason, fundamental. 

4. "If you think about it, decide, if you have already decided, do not hesitate" - Japanese wisdom puts lucidity and determination first.

Joi Ito/Wikimedia

5. "Do not say - it's impossible. Say instead - I have not done it yet." - The Japanese have great contempt for laziness and do not value people who give up quickly. They promote a positive attitude towards the challenges of life. 

6. "Time spent laughing is time spent with the gods" - Today, doctors confirm that laughing is good for our health but this was also intuitively known in ancient cultures and traditions. 

7. "Husband and wife must also be friends and lovers" - Marriages do not last long if there is no profound complicity between husband and wife, similar to the one that exists, on one hand between friends and on the other between lovers.


Max Pixel

8. "By studying the past, you learn something new." - Not just mistakes, but all our past experiences deserve to be the object of reflection to understand what happened and what were the consequences. 

9. "Promised wood, does not heat a house." - Promises made are uncertain in the future and useless in the present, especially if we talk about money.