Japanese Sayings/Phrases/Proverb・ – Kotowaza [ことわざ] – Inochi atte no monodane

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

Today’s kotowaza

井の中の蛙大海を知らず I no naka no kawazu taikai o shirazu

I – ito / a well

kawazu – an old way of saying for a frog

Taikai – wide sea

Photo by Frans Van Heerden on Pexels.com
Photo by Lexo Salazar on Pexels.com

A frog in a well does not know the vast ocean/A frog in a well know nothing of the sea.

The origin

A frog in a small well does not know that there is wide sea outside

Its meaning

One knows only things around oneself, but know nothing about the world. (as green as grass, naive) Meaning that one should be aware of the limitations of one’s own experience.

How to use it

お姉さんは校内の絵画コンクールで賞状をもらった。「将来は画家よ」とすっかりその気だ。 井の中の蛙大海を知らずだと思うよ。。

One san wa kounai no kaiga konkuru de shoujyou wo moratta. [Shorai wa gaka yo] to sukkari sonoki da.

My old sister received an honorable certificate in a drawing contest at her school. 「I’m gonna be an artist」she is in the mood for it. A frog in a well know nothing of the sea.

My thought

We think we know everything but in fact we do not anything at all. There are always much more to learn about. Learning continues until the end of our life, endless. Everyday I learn new things. So I should not over confident myself.


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 Language, Japanese Sayings/Phrases, JAPANESE SOCIETY, TODAY'S NEW WORD and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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