Introducing Japanese Proverbs, Kotowaza vol.2

ishi no ue nimo sannen

Minasan konnichiwa!
saikin kyuu ni samuku narimashita. mō aki desu ne.

Suddenly it’s getting cold lately. It seems already autumn here.

Kinou, “awaji hana sajiki” to iu ohanabatake e ikimashita yo. kosumosu ga totemo kiree deshita yo.

I went to a flower field called Awaji hana sajiki. Cosmos flowers were so beautiful.

Ok, let’s learn Japanese Proverbs, Kotowaza!  I’ll show you these five. All are very popular for us Japanese. 😉

Introducing 5 Japanese proverbs, vol.2 Video


るいは ともを よぶ

rui wa tomo o yobu

Romaji: Rui wa tomo o yobu

Direct translation: Same kinds call friends

Equivalent English Proverb: Like attracts like.  Birds of a feather flock together.

Meaning: Similar people attract each other and become friends.

Example: They are always together as they have the same hobby. “Rui wa tomo o yobu” dane.


うそつきは どろぼうの はじまり

usotsuki wa dorobo no hajimari


Romaji: Usotsuki wa dorobō no hajimari

Direct translation: Lying is the start of thievery

Equivalent English Proverb: Lying and stealing live next door to each other.

Example: Don’t tell a lie. If you get used to telling lies, you’ll become a thief in the end. “Usotsuki wa dorobō no hajimari” dayo.


ななころび やおき

nanakorobi yaoki

Romaji: Nanakorobi yaoki

Direct translation: Fall seven times, stand up eight. →Always rising after a fall

Equivalent English Proverb: He that falls today may rise tomorrow.  A man’s walking is a succession of falls.

Example: Are you giving up already? You just tried only seven times. Come on! “Nanakorobi yaoki”!  Never give up!


いちを きいて じゅうを しる

ichi o kiite juu o shiru

Romaji: Ichi o kiite, jū o shiru

Direct translation: Listen to one and know ten

Equivalent English Proverb: One word is enough to the wise.  Be quick to grasp

Example: Be perceptive! You have such great experiences and you’ll know the whole picture by just one hint, right? desho? (isn’t it?)



Romaji: Ishi no ue nimo san-nen

Direct translation: Three years on a stone

Equivalent English expression: Perseverance pays dividends.  Slow and steady wins the race.

Example: Be patient. Continue to work on what you believe in. Perseverance and patience will bring good results. “Ishi no ue nimo san-nen” dayo.


How was it? Dō deshita ka?
Do you have your favorite Kotowaza?
Hope you enjoyed to learn the 5 Japanese proverbs introduced this time!


* If you wonder what are “dane”, “dayo”, desu yo” – ending particles, you way want to watch these two videos 🙂

casual ending particles

all about particles

Find out the 10 most famous Japanese proverbs!


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