Japanese proverbs to think about

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Louise Hay
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Japanese proverbs to think about

Last update: January 28, 2018

Japanese proverbs are known all over the world. In Japan they are real guiding principles in everyday life and from there, they have crossed borders. Maybe you know them too, but you didn't know anything about their origins.

Most Japanese proverbs find their origin in rural areas. Many, in fact, refer to the beauties of nature. They invite you to reflect on what you learn from the sun, water, river and even stones. All proverbs have a wonderful poetic nuance. In fact, they have also been taken up in the philosophical and religious fields.



Japanese proverbs are very enigmatic. Since Eastern cultures are very discreet, most proverbs are made up of a few words and leave a lot of room for the imagination. Today we want to share with you 10 fantastic pearls of oriental wisdom.

Even the longest journey begins with the first step.

Chinese proverb

We also advise you to read: The rules of life according to a Buddhist teacher

Japanese proverbs about action

Various Japanese proverbs focus on acting. For Orientals, activity is neither impulsiveness nor obsession. Thought and action go hand in hand, one completes the other. Here's what the Japanese say: “If you think, decide. If you have decided, don't think ".

The Japanese concept of speed emerges perfectly from these words: "Fast means slow, but without pauses". We clearly see that for this culture speed has more to do with effectiveness than with hasty action.

Many mistakenly think that Eastern cultures are passive. This is absolutely not the case. They see action from a different perspective. It is not strange, therefore, that Japanese proverbs invite action, but that at the same time they establish a limit to the action itself. Here is an example: "Do everything you can, leave the rest to fate".



Kindness towards others

The Japanese have a deep sense of the group, almost as if it were a sacred place. Many Eastern traditions preserve respect and consideration for others. This is why they deeply value expressions such as: "A kind word can warm three months of winter".

Respect for others emerges in many proverbs. "Check seven times before accusing a person": we must avoid firing hasty judgments on others.

The calm attitude of the Orientals is often confused with a lack of passion. It is not so. In fact, the Japanese are very passionate and cheerful individuals. This proverb, for example, gives great value to happiness: “Happiness knocks on the door of those who laugh”. Laughter brings harmony and harmony brings happiness.

Japanese proverbs about personal growth paths

The sense of community and cooperation of the Japanese is perfectly captured by this proverb: “The sun does not know the good, the sun does not know the bad. The sun illuminates and heats everyone equally. Whoever finds himself is like the sun ... ": a solid identity is reflected in the acceptance of others and the world.

We also advise you to read: Inclusion and friendship: a short film to teach these values ​​to children

Another Japanese proverb says: “If you ask questions, you will be ashamed for a minute; if you don't, you will feel shame all your life ”. How much wisdom in these words! Japanese society is very reserved, but, as this saying goes, there is a limit to discretion.


The slowness and the waiting

Japan has a millennial past behind it. The Eastern community has learned to understand and value the passage of time, it knows that the most important and genuine things in life need time. "Deep rivers flow slowly", in other words everything that has a depth, gradually manifests itself.


The Japanese know that patience is a determining virtue. They have personally experienced that success or failure largely depends on patience and they affirm that "victory belongs to those who wait half an hour longer than their opponent". This means that success comes to those who know how to be patient.


Here is a small collection of some of the best known Japanese proverbs. There are hundreds of them that deserve to be mentioned. We have a lot to learn from this culture that has distinguished itself numerous times throughout its history, demonstrating that one can rise from one's ashes when reality requires it.

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