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ことわざ Kotowaza – Japanese proverbs


What is Kotowaza? ことわざ Kotowaza means Japanese proverbs.  I introduce 4 popular Japanese proverbs. 

4 popular Japanese proverbs

(1) 猫に小判 (neko ni koban)

猫に小判 neko ni koban
猫に小判 neko ni koban

「ねこ に こばん」

Meaning:

Giving a gift to someone who can’t appreciate it.

ねこ = cat , こばん = gold coin

(2) 犬も歩けばぼうにあたる (inu mo arukeba bou ni ataru)

犬も歩けば棒にあたる inu mo arukeba bou ni ataru

「いぬもあるけばぼうにあたる」

Meaning:

  • Nothing will change if you do nothing.
  • A flying crow always catches something.

犬 = dog,  歩く= walk,  棒 =  stick

(3) 立つ鳥あとをにごさず (tatsu tori ato wo nigosazu)

「立つ鳥あとをにごさず。」
tatsu tori at wo nigosazu

Meaning:

It’s an ill bird that fouls its own nest.

立つ鳥 = a bird just flying off

(4) 石の上にも三年 (ishi no uenimo san nen)

いしのうえにもさんねん

Meaning:

A rolling stone gathers no moss.

石 = stone, 三年 = three years

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