Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Japanese Proverbs


"Continuance (also) is power/strength."

"Count the skins of badgers which haven't been caught."

"Cover the ears and steal the bell."

"Cover your head, and not cover your bottom (Don't cover your head but expose your bottom, ie: you have to be careful not to expose your weak point while attempting to protect yourself)."

"Curses come back to yourself."

"Death is lighter than a feather."

"Deceive the rich and powerful if you will, but don't insult them."

"Darkness reigns at the foot of the lighthouse."

"Disappear without a trace."

"Difficulties make you a jewel."

"Defeat is clear; Situation is desperate beyond hope."

"Deceiving a deceiver is no knavery."

"Do you need proof of God? Does one light a torch to see the sun?"

"Doing/speaking about things in a way to benefit yourself."

"Don't bear a grudge against the dead."

"Don't bear a grudge and don't record it."

"Don't estimate the value of a badger skin before catching the badger."

"Don't let yourself be taken advantage of."

"Don't make waves. Apply your effort where it will do the most good."

"Don't look a gift horse in the mouth."

"Don't let your daughter-in-law eat your autumn eggplants."

"Don't give an order after listening only to one side."

"Don't say there's a tomorrow."

"Don't speak ill off yourself and the groups you belong to."

"Due to the presence of fools wise people stand out."

"Don't stay long when the husband is not at home."

"Dumplings over flowers."

"Dumplings are better than flowers."

"Duty knows no family."

"Eggs and vows are easily broken."

"Entering the village, obey the village. (When in Rome, do as the Romans do)"

"Easily promised, quickly forgotten."

"Egg-plants do not grow upon melon-vines."

"Emma Dai-“"

"Even [the experience of] a single shadow or a single flowing of water, is [made by] the karma-relations of a former life."

"Even a Buddha's face,--only three times."

"Even a devil [is pretty] at eighteen."

"Even a common man by obtaining knowledge becomes a Buddha."

"Even a devil, when you become accustomed to the sight of him, may prove a pleasant acquaintance."

"Even a one-inch insect has a half-inch soul."

"Even a fool has one talent (Even a fool may be good at something)."

"Even a fool has one talent."

"Even a superb hawk will not catch game unless it is loosed."

"Even a hunter is sometimes caught in a trap."

"Even a sheet of paper has two sides."

"Even a worm an inch long has a soul half-an-inch long."

"Even a packhorse driver looks well in fine clothes."

"Even among intimate friends there should be courtesy."

"Even a thief takes ten years to learn his trade."

"Even an untruth may serve as a device."