What does a native Japanese speaker mean by expressions like "the leftover piece is lucky" or "a red lacquer dish needs no decoration"? How do Japanese speakers relate to English maxims like "talk is cheap" and "you get what you pay for"? Proverbs hold many keys to a language and culture.
Japanese Proverbs: Wit and Wisdom is filled with universal truths ("Fall down seven times, get up eight") as well as uniquely Japanese sayings and folk wisdom ("Even a one-inch insect has a half-inch soul") which may seem cryptic and difficult to understand until you know the entire proverb that it refers to. This book will delight students of Japanese language and culture and will provide you with the key to speaking and understanding Japanese more fluently. All the proverbs are presented in Japanese script and Romanized form, along with direct English translations.
Witty illustrations illuminate the proverbs and expression, and equivalent proverbs in English are given to demonstrate how, in so many ways, human nature is the same the world over. This selection of ageless wisdom from Japan's cities and villages is a gentle guide to the enduring values and traditions which drive Japan today every bit as much as in the past.