Tag Archives: Japanese proverbs


Main piece: Original text: 夏が終わった Translated text: The summer ends. The informant told me that in Japanese, words sometimes have more meanings than they seem to have. For example, “summer” is not only a season. It represented the best time of love. “Summer” is when you are fervently love someone but haven’t decided to tell… Continue Reading »

The Story Behind Japanese Saying: 情けは人の為ならず (One Good Turn Deserves Another)

Main Piece: “There is a common saying in Japan, in Japanese it’s: 情けは人の為ならず. Original script: 情けは人の為ならず Phonetic (Roman) script: Nasake wa hito no tame narazu Transliteration: the good you do for others is good you do yourself. Full translation: One good turn deserves another.  It means when you do things for someone, it’s not for them,… Continue Reading »

Japanese Proverb for Perseverance

Background This informant is Mexican-American, but took a great interest in learning the language and culture of Japan when she began high school. Since then, she has visited Japan and founded a college club where she meets with and helps support Japanese exchange students studying in America. Context The informant described to me the first… Continue Reading »

binbo yusuri – The Poor’s Leg Shake

The informant, KK, is Japanese-American and does not speak Japanese, but can understand it to a degree. KK: One thing my parents told me a lot was that shaking your legs while sitting leads to you getting poor. It either attracts some figure, or ghostie that lives in your house and sucks up all your… Continue Reading »