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Japanese Proverbs

After lunch last Sunday, our guests entertained us with more proverbs from the Far East. (See the fifteen Chinese proverbs in a previous post.) Here are the insightful Japanese proverbs they shared.

Even monkeys fall from trees.

Unless you go inside the cave, you can’t catch the tiger.Tiger

Time, like light and shadow, flies like an arrow.

A nail that stands up will be pounded down.

Hardship will tell you who your true friend is.

[Sharing good ideas with the unappreciative is] like putting a gold coin in front of a cat.

We like rice cakes better than cherry blossoms [especially when hungry].

[An unexpected blessing is] like a rice cake that falls down from a shelf.

[When we understand], scales fall from our eyes.

Our two friends from Japan also explained a series of sentences used to illustrate how to develop a theme:

Osaka main town

Daughters of a textile shop. The older daughter is seventeen. The younger is fifteen. [Added details]

A daimyo’s samurai kills by a bow. [New information that isn’t obviously connected.]

The daughters kill men by their eyes. [The wrap-up that brings the disparate parts together.]

To describe a lady, you may want to say that when she stands or sits, she is as lovely as a peony, and when she walks, she is as lovely as a lily.

Perhaps you know a Japanese proverb you’d like to share.                          Lilies

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