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Japanese Proverbs for Tattoo

       January 1, 2012    12054


Japanese proverbs are well-suited for a tattoo design, as they communicate people's values and wisdom effectively with a relatively short sentence. They are usually written in both Kanji and Hiragana. In order for a Japanese proverb to be considered for a tattoo marterial, it should be a word or phrases that express your thoughts, ideas, or values. Please note that some of the Japanese proverbs are not idiomatic but merely a noun which doesn't seem to be suited for a tattoo design. So it would be necessary for you to pick a Japanese proverb that is close to what you wish to express yourself.


List of Japanese proverbs for a tattoo

Below is a carefully selected list of some of the Japanese proverbs that can be used for a kanji tattoo.

- 明日は明日の風が吹く Tomorrow will be another day.
- 男は度胸、女は愛嬌 Men should have courage, and women charm.
- 明日の百より今日の五十 Fifty today is better than one hundred tomorrow.
- 有るは無いに勝る To have something is better than nothing.
- 流れ腐らず A stream will never be rotten.
- 衣食足りて礼節を知る A man will know manners after he can afford clothes and food.
- 急がば回れ If you hurry, take a long but steady road.
- 一期一会 Treasure every encounter, for it will never recur.
- 一を聞いて十を知る To hear one word and understand ten.
- 一石二鳥 To kill two birds with one stone.
- 一挙両得 Two profit with one action.
- 一刻千金 Every moment is precious.
- 一寸の虫にも五分の魂 Even a smallest worm has its life.
- 多く見、多く聞き、而して少し語れ See much, hear much, but speak a little.
- おごるものは心常に貧しい A man with extreme pride have poor mind.
- 己の欲せざるところ、人に施す勿れ Don't do anything what you don't want to be done.
- 己を責めて人を責むるな Don't blame others but yourself.
- 今日出来ることを明日に延ばすな Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.
- 思い立ったが吉日 The best day to start something is the very day you make up your mind to do it.
- 終わり良ければすべて良しEverything that ends well is all right.
- 栄える家に人集まる People gather round a prosperous home.
- 先んずれば人を制す Take the initiative and you will win.
- 笑いは百薬の長 Laughter is the best medicine.
- 親しき仲にも礼儀あり There should be courtesy even between close friends.
- 失敗は成功のもと Failure is base of success.
- 小運は大知に勝る A little luck is better than a big wisdom.
- 正直の頭に神宿る God dwells in an honest man's head.
- 小事を軽んずるなかれ Don't make light of small things.
- 勝敗は武器よりも人に有り Victory doesn't depend on guns but the men who use them.
- 将を射んとせば馬を射よ To shoot the general, shoot his horse first.
- 心配は身の毒 Worry is poisonous.
- 千里の道も一歩から A journey of one thousand miles begins with a single step.
- 備えあれば憂いなし Be prepared and have no regrets.
- 七転び八起き Seven falls and eight rises.
- 生兵法は大けがのもと Crude tactics are the source of grave injury.
- 習うより慣れろ Don't learn something, but get accustomed to it.
- 二兎を追うものは一兎をも得ず He that hunts two hares at once will catch neither.
- 蒔かぬ種は生えぬ No plants come from no seeds sown.
- 待てば海路の日和あり The sun will shine on a voyager who waits.
- 実る稲穂は頭を垂れる The ear that bear most rice hang lowest. (modesty)
- 良薬口に苦し Good medicine tastes bitter.
- 類は友を呼ぶ Like attracts like.
- 論より証拠 Proof is stronger than reason.
- 学問に王道なしThere is no royal road to learning.
- かわいい子には旅をさせよ Let your pretty child travel alone.
- 勤勉は成功の基 Diligence is a base of success.
- 苦あれば楽あり After a hard time comes a good time.
- 鶏口となるも牛後となるなかれ Better be a head of a chicken than the tail of a bull.
- 好機逃すべからず Never miss a good chance.
- 光陰矢の如し Time flies like an arrow.
- 虎穴に入らずんば虎児(こじ)を得ず You cannot catch a tiger's cub unless you enter the den.
- 転ばぬ先の杖 It's better to carry a cane than it is to fall.
- 大器晩成 Great talent mature late.
- 盾の両面を見よ Look at the both sides of the shield.
- 玉磨かざれば光なし No gemstones shine without polishing.
- 短気は損気 Short temper is disadvantageous.
- ちりも積もれば山となる Many a little makes a mickle.
- 始めよければ終わりよし Well begun is well done.
- 不言実行 Action without words.
- 分別は才知に勝る Discretion is better than wits.
- 病は気から Sickness depends on mind.
- よく学びよく遊べ Learn much and play much.
- 笑う門に福来たる Fortune enters at the merry door --- Laugh and grow fat.

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