To me, beautiful Japanese sayings read like poetry. In Japan, though, they’re cliches. Tired. Lost of meaning. It’s all too easy to get over beauty.
1. Kachou Fuugetsu: Flower, Bird, Wind, Moon
Experience the beauty of nature, learn about yourself.
2. Kaden Rika: Melon field under a plum tree
Stepping into a melon field, standing under a plum tree: such behavior causes misunderstanding that you want to steal those fruits, implying that you must avoid actions which could be taken on a bad faith.
3. I no naka no kawazu taikai wo shirazu: A frog in a well does not know the great sea
People are satisfied to judge things by their own narrow experience, never knowing of the wide world outside.
4. Mon zen no kozō narawanu kyō wo yomu: An apprentice near a temple will recite the scriptures untaught
The environment makes our characters.
5. mikka bōzu: A monk for only three days
Giving up at the first sign of difficulty.
6. ryuutou dabi: Dragon, head, snake, tail
Anticlimax: the beginning is like a dragon’s head, great and majestic and the ending is like a snake’s tail, tiny and pathetic.
7. seiko udoku: Clear sky, cultivate, rainy, reading
Farm when it’s sunny, read when it rains.