SF was born in Tokyo, Japan, and lived there for 10 years. She is a student at USC majoring in Business Administration. SF is in my Introduction to Music Technology class and she had a ton of Japanese folklore to share with me.
Pronunciation: i no naka no kawaze taikai wo shirazu
Literal Translation: A frog inside the well will not know the big ocean.
Meaning: This means that if you never go out of your comfort zone and stay in a restricting or small environment, you’ll never get to know about the outside world and will have a narrow world view.
My informant learned this proverb in her Japanese class.
In my own Chinese class in middle school, I learned a similar proverb (shares many of the same Kanji characters) which tells about a frog who can only see his world from the bottom of the well, and when a turtle passes over the mouth of the well and chats with the frog, the frog claims that he knows all about the world because all he can see is a circular sky. Both versions of this proverb emphasize the importance of knowledge and learning about the world.
For another version of this proverb, see http://www.mamalisa.com/blog/the-frog-in-the-well-a-chinese-idiom-story-and-bilingual-book/