Japanese Sayings/Phrases – Kotowaza [ことわざ]

It is just like English sayings and phrases, there are Japanese sayings and phrases as well. It is called [kotowaza ことわざ].

What is the KOTOWAZA?

Kotowaza is the Japanese saying/phrases which expresses people’s wisdom and it has been told by many people from long time ago. And it is an example of something and a teachings of the life.

Today’s kotowaza


The Origin

The spider tried to catch a horsefly and a bee that were stuck at a spiderweb, ended up loosing the both.

Its meaning

Attempting two tasks at the same time, accomplishing neither. Trying to get two at the same time, losing both.

 Fall between two stools/chase two hares and catch neither

How to use it


Yokubatte iruto abu hachi torazu ni owatte shimau zo

If you are too greedy, you’ll end up with nothing at all.

The opposite phrase

一石二鳥(いっせきにちょう/isseki ni chou). 一挙両得 (いっきょりょうとく/ikkyoryoto)ーKill two birds with one stone


About mkchatinjapanese

I am a native Japanese who teaches Japanese to non-Japanese speaker as a private tutor. Teach from a beginner to Intermediate level. location in London.
This entry was posted in A Japanese Slang, Japanese custom, Japanese Language, JAPANESE LIFE, Japanese Sayings/Phrases, JAPANESE SOCIETY, TODAY'S NEW WORD and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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