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[Review] Japanese Proverbs Wit and Wisdom

Proverbs! So much wisdom encapsulated in such few words.

It’s fascinating how some proverbs seem to have quite the same literal translation in different languages but yet some proverbs are very much unique to a language. Or that there are proverbs with similar meanings across languages, but the way they portray it is very different.


Proverbs are hard to pick up in a foreign language because they are not that commonly found in novels / articles and textbooks don’t really introduce many too. I had a good resource for learning Korean proverbs and I was finding high and low for a good one in Japanese too!

Thanks to Tuttle, I finally have a great book on Japanese proverbs!! And how awesome it is that it’s a proverbs book! <3


At first I was worried that it would like be listing all the proverbs like a phrasebook. But it turns out to be such a fun read (:


Each page is dedicated to a single proverb and if you see the photo above, it’s self explanatory!

I love the level of details in the explanation part and was happy that they included the nearest English equivalent. Like I mentioned, I love looking at proverbs across languages so I found it interesting to see how the same meaning can be conveyed by two totally different phrases / scenarios.


The illustrations are a real bonus too! I simply loved the calligraphy and the pictures help you to remember the proverbs too!

I’m not a fan of learning out of context but proverbs are an exception! The pictures do help though (:


Overall, this makes for a good bedtime reading (: All I wished is that they have sample sentences to show us how to use them in a proper sentence! In Korean, proverbs are usually introduced in a certain way using certain grammar structures so I’m curious how it would be like in Japanese.

If there is anyone who knows, feel free to leave a comment!!

What I loved:

  • Neat, structured content (1 page = 1 proverb)
  • Ample explanations
  • Easy to read and digest
  • Illustrations

What can be better:

  • Include example sentences

Overall, a great book and I would definitely recommend it to all Japanese learners (:

Thanks Tuttle for the great book!!

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    19 March, 2016 at 11:16 PM

    What book do you like to use to learn korean proverbs? 🙂

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