Proverb – Japan



English Pronunciation/Romaji:


Literal translation:

You’ll go around if you’re in a hurry


Don’t take short cuts because it ends up being longer

The informant heard this proverb from his grandfather when he was a child. Born in Kanagawa, Japan and a resident of Hawaii, the informant is still very much attached to his Japanese roots. The informant told me that most Japanese proverbs are taught when people are young and when the kids grow up, they stop abiding by these proverbs simply because some are considered ‘untrue’ or outright old-fashioned. For example, though the informant grew up listening to this proverb and believed it was true when he was a kid, he no longer believes in it now because he “take(s) short cuts all the time”.

I find this proverbs practice similar to what we would do with fables. We tend to educate children while they’re young with life lessons in hopes of instilling a sense of morality so that when they grow up, they know right from wrong and can be a honorable member of society.  In this sense, folklore has a huge impact on what we perceive as a good ‘childhood’. One filled with fairytales and fables.