Giving birth is easier than worrying about it.
Fear is often greater than the danger.
Heaven helps those who helps themselves.
Sleeping grounds of eels.
Long/thin building or room.
All roads lead to Rome.
The thing that does not see is the flower.
1. Reality can't compete with imagination.
2. Prospect is often better than possession.
Water in the ears when one is asleep
Unexpected and shocking
Sum of the year is at New Year’s.
The whole year's plans should be made on New Year's.
If a fish has the mind of being one with the water, the water also has the mind of being one with the fish
If you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours.
Hear one and know ten.
To understand it all from only one part.
A koban to a cat.
1. Cast pearls before swine.
2. Give valuable to someone who doesn't value it.
3. Caviar to the general.
4. Really big waste of resources.
Cultural Note: A koban is an oval coin used in currency in Japan made either of gold or silver.
A fisherman's profit
Profiting while others fight
To use poison against poison.
To fight fire with fire.
A held jewel rotting
A dragonfly with its ass cut off
Seven falls and stand up on eight.
1. Keep trying when life knocks you down.
2. Always rise after repeated failures.
The pen is mightier than the sword.
Comparing the height of acorns.
To have no outstanding characteristics.
The thing that does not speak is the flower.
Silence is golden.
A double-edged sword
Smoke doesn't rise from a place that doesn't have fire.
Where there is smoke, there is fire.
Poke through a bush and a snake will come out.
1. To stir up trouble for oneself.
2. Let sleeping dogs lie.
A pearl to a pig.
Cast pearls before swine.
A crane's voice
A powerful voice decides an argument
A paper lantern in a moonlit night
The frog in the well doesn't know of the great ocean.
A person who is ignorant of the world.
A sutra in a horse's ear.
A nod is as good as a wink to a blind man.
A strong person underneath the veranda.
Someone of great assistance in the background.
Rome wasn't built in a day.
The mouth is the source of disaster.
Good medicines tastes bitter in the mouth.
Good advice is hard to swallow.
A borrowed cat.
Being quiet and meek.
If residing, the capital.
Wherever you live, you come to love it.
The more, the better.
Even an excellent swimmer can get carried down a river.
Even Homer sometimes nods.
Everyone makes mistakes.
A flee couple
A couple in which the woman is taller than the man
There is a top on the top.
There's always someone better than you.
On top of a stone for three years.
One who endures wins through perseverance.
A fallen blossom doesn't go home to its branch.
What's done is done.
If the current sinks, it will rise again.
Life has its twists and turns.
If you do, it will happen.
You can do anything you have your mind set on doing.
If you beg for three days, you won't be able to quit.
Once a good-for-nothing, always a good-for-nothing.
If hurried, go around.
Slow and steady wins the race.
When in a hurry it is faster to take a roundabout.
Shadows if you gossip
Speak of the Devil
A tiger at the front gate and a wolf at the back gate.
Out of the frying pan, into the fire.
Koubou doesn't choose the brush.
An expert doesn't blame his tools.
A bad workman always blames his tools.
Waking up early gets you three mon.
The early bird catches the worm.
An old person's cold water.
Old people acting reckless.
Demons laugh if you talk of next year.
No one knows what tomorrow brings.
Time is like an arrow.
A sun inward is darkness.
The future is unpredictable.
Rust from the blade
What goes around comes around.
Don't count the tanuki skins that you haven't caught yet.
Don't count your chickens before they're hatched.
Note: A tanuki is an indigenous animal in Japan that looks like a raccoon.
Doing too much is the same as doing naught.
Doing too little and too much are equally bad.
A rolling stone gathers no moss.
1. Those who are active make progress.
2. Those who frequently change jobs can't be successful in life.
When even dust piles up, it becomes a mountain.
1. Little things add up.
2. Little and often fills the purse.
3. Many a little makes a nickle.
Take a loss, then take a gain.
One step back, two steps forward.
The third's honesty
Third time's a charm.
Teaching Buddhism to Buddha
An idiot trying to teach a know-it-all
A hawk with talent hides its claws.
1. Still water runs deep.
2. A wise man keeps some of his talents hidden.
3. The one who knows most often says the least.
Hiding one's face but not one's ass.
Don't expose your weak spot when protecting yourself.
If three gather, Manjusri wisdom.
Two heads are better than one.
Buddhism Note: Manjusri is the bodhisattva of Wisdom.
A drowning person will even grasp straw.
Even the face of Buddha three times.
To try a saint's patience.
There are limits to one's patience.
A bad wife is the bad harvest of sixty years.
A bad wife is the ruin of her husband.
An undisturbed god doesn't wreak havoc.
Let sleeping dogs lie.
Running from a wicked deed 1000 ri.
1. Ill news runs apace.
2. Bad news travels fast.
Dead trees are also a mountain's liveliness
Dead trees are better than no trees.
Even cats and bamboo ladle.
Get rid of the humiliation of travel.
Once over the border you can do anything.
The will of a blue sky.
Separation between clouds and mud.
A vast difference.
We mustn't forget our beginner's spirit.
To produce a market outside a gate.
To have a constant stream of visitors.
To eat another's person's feed.
To experience the hardships of the world everyday.
Kindness is not for others.
Compassion is not for other people's benefit.
As for mochi, a mochi store.
Leave things to the experts.
To not have the money to pass the evening.
To spend one's money as quickly as one earns it.
Prime years don't return.
You're only young once.
Even if it rots, (it's still a) sea bream
If something has value, it doesn't matter what shape it's in.
Three years on top of a rock
Persistence leads to success.
A melon field below a plum tree.
Leave no room for scandal.
The spirit of a three year old until 100
As the twig is bent, so grows the tree.
Make pretty kids take trips.
Have kids experience challenges of life.
A sparrow's tear
A very small amount
Don't burn your hand even when you're making yakimochi.
Don't be susceptible to folly because of jealousy.
Not correcting a crown below a plum tree.
To avoid the appearance of evil.
You don't need a doctor if your stomach is only 8/10ths full.
It's best to eat in moderation.
The stake that sticks out will get hammered.
The nail that sticks out gets hammered down.
The one who does not know is Buddha.
Ignorance is bliss.
Good fortune comes in the laughing gate.
Good fortune and happiness will come to the home of those who smile.
Even monkeys fall from trees.
1. Everyone makes mistakes.
2. Pride comes before a fall.
Catching a thief and tying him up.
Hastening to do something after an incident.
Don't judge people by their looks.
Dumplings than flowers.
1. To prefer substance over style.
2. People are more interested in the practical over the aesthetic.
A frog in a well doesn't know of the big ocean.
1. To know nothing of the world.
2. Used to encourage someone to get a wider perspective.
Loud cats don't catch mice.
Empty vessels make the most sound.
The dry end of an umbrella.
Better safe than sorry.
Even Koubou made mistakes with the brush.
Anyone makes mistakes.
Even experts have their shortfalls.
Note: Koubou, posthumous name, was a Buddhist priest famous for his calligraphy.
Look for a big tree for shade.
An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.
A kappa swept away by the river.
Even experts screw up.
Hitting a stone bridge and crossing.
Safety on top of safety.
It is common courtesy to clean after yourself.
Even knot-weed eating insects have various tastes.
There is no accounting for taste.
If it passes the throat, you forget the heat.
Danger past and God forgotten.
Time is money.
Watch other's actions, and fix one's own.
One man's fault is another's lesson.
Crude tactics is the source of great blunders.
A little learning is a dangerous thing.
The next door lawn is green.
The grass is always greener on the other side.
The flowers next door are red.
Grass is always greener on the other side.
When entering a village, obey it.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
Water on burning rocks.
Something bound to fail due to inadequacies.
A man's heart and the autumn sky.
Both a man's heart and the autumn sky are fickle.
A flaw on a gem
Eye drops from the second floor
Something that can't be done no matter what.
Nothing to lose
The buddha's face thrice
To try the patience of a saint.
Pockmarks and dimples
Love is blind.
To throw the space.
To throw in the towel.
A duck comes back with a leek on its back.
A stroke of luck.
Can't wave without a sleeve.
A man can't give what he doesn't have.
To make someone wear wet clothes.
To make someone innocent look guilty.
Spilled water doesn't go back to the tray.
It's no use crying over spilled milk.
All's well that ends well.
A bee to a crying face.
1. One misfortune comes after another.
2. Misfortunes never come alone.
3. When it rains, it pours.
If you strike it, dust will come out.
Everything has flaws.
To hide your head but not your ass.
To fail to cover up all your bad deeds.
Neither catching the horsefly nor the bee.
To accomplish nothing.
The relationship between dogs and monkeys.
Arbitration is time's god.
Arbitration is a gift from the gods.
A journey of a thousand miles starts with one step
There are scars and dimples even when falling in love.
She who loves an ugly man thinks him handsome.
Love is blind.
For the string of a tolerance bag to snap.
To be out of patience.
Mugwort inside hemp
People become like those around them.
If you mix something with red, it too will become red.
People become like those around them.
Rice cake drawn in a picture.
A pie in the sky.
A novice before a gate reading an untaught sutra.
1. To learn something without being taught it.
2. You learn, without realizing it, from what is around you.
3. A young monk outside the gate can read sutra he has never studied.
Not forgetting the past is the teacher of the future.
Do not feed autumn eggplant to your wife.
Autumn eggplants will reduce fertility and give a woman the chills.
If you're prepared, there need to be no worry.
Sleeves waving together is even karma from a past life.
Even a chance acquaintance is preordained.
To put a bell on a cat's neck.
Don't talk about doing the impossible.
A nail in rice bran.
All is lost that is given to a fool.
Rice cake at a rice cake store.
Every man to his trade.
Two pairs of sandals.
Having two different jobs.
Take away the plate rather than chase the cat.
Attack the root of a problem.
Small people in free time do vice.
An idle brain is the devil's shop.
He who chases two rabbits won't catch one.
Do what you can accomplish rather than wasting your energy at trying to do the impossible.