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Japanese Wisdom

Transcending space and time

wsdmsJapan has a rich past and in the temples today one see the clear influence from ancient India. The Japanese like some other cultures have absorbed Hindu wisdom and made it their own giving it a unique flavour and form of expression.

  1. If a problem can be solved, then it’s not worth worrying about it. If it can’t be solved, then it’s useless to worry about it.
  2. Having taken the time to think, venture to act. Once you’ve done so, stop thinking.
  3. Do not hold back that which is departing; do not chase away that which is arriving.
  4. Fast means going slowly without interruption.
  5. It is better to be the enemy of a good person than the friend of a bad one.
  6. There has never been a great individual who did not have ordinary people at their side.
  7. He who strongly desires to rise up will think of a way to build a ladder.
  8. A husband and wife should be similar to a hand and an eye: when one’s hand hurts, the eyes cry; and when the eyes cry, the hand wipes away one’s tears.
  9. The sun does not know who is right or who is wrong. It shines without purpose and provides warmth to all.
  10. A frog in a well does not know the greatness of the sea.
  11. A long journey always begins with a short one.
  12. He who drinks does not know the dangers of wine; he who doesn’t drink does not know its benefits.
  13. Even if a sword is only required once in a lifetime, it should be worn all the time.
  14. Beautiful flowers do not bear good fruit.
  15. Grief, like a torn dress, should always be left at home.
  16. When one is in love, even the scars left by smallpox are as beautiful as dimples on a person’s cheeks.
  17. No one has ever stumbled whilst lying in bed.
  18. One kind word can keep you warm for three months of winter.
  19. Always make way for fools and madmen.
  20. If you want to paint a branch, you have to hear the breath of the wind.
  21. Check seven times before ever doubting someone.
  22. Do everything that you can and leave the rest to fate.
  23. Excessive honesty often borders on stupidity.
  24. suzuFortune will always come in to a house with laughter.
  25. He who endures for just half an hour longer than his opponent can achieve victory.
  26. As soon as stones can swim, leaves will sink.
  27. Even monkeys can fall from their trees.
  28. Cold tea and cold rice are tolerable; what is intolerable is a cold gaze and harsh words.
  29. If you do not enter the tiger’s cave, you will not catch its cub.
  30. If a woman wants something, she’ll climb a mountain to get it.
  31. Ask a question and you feel shame for a moment. Not asking and not knowing means you will feel shame for your whole life.
  32. A bad craftsman never made a perfect vase.
  33. The earth always hardens after the rain.
  34. The deepest rivers flow in silence.
  35. If you decide to set off on your own journey, you’ll find yourself alone for a thousand kilometres
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1 comment to Japanese Wisdom

  • Neal

    Here’s another:
    悪妻は百年の不作。 (Akusai wa hyaku-nen no fusaku) Literally: A bad wife spells a hundred years of bad harvest.
    Meaning: A bad wife is a ruin of her husband.

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