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Exploring proverbs, expressions, sayings, etc., can provide insight into a culture and often looking at these expressions can provide interesting insight into cultural differences.   

Useful Japanese Expressions

Dekinai wake ja arimasen kedo…

“It is not that we cannot do it, but…”

Tsumaranai mono desu ga…

This ‘gift’ is nothing special…

Junbi areba urei nashi

Preparation reduces anxiety

Soron-sansei, kakuron-hantai

Agree in public, disagree in private

Ichi ieba, juu wo shiru

Hear one, understand ten

Omakase shimasu!

Please, you decide for me

Doozo yoroshiku onegaishimasu

A pleasure to meet you / Please take care of me

Ippai yarimasho

Let’s go out for a drink and talk

Japanese Proverbs - "If you want to know a people, know their proverbs".


Deru kugi wa utareru

The nail that sticks up gets hammered down

Ishi no ue ni mo sannen 

Sitting on a stone for as long as three years (patience)

Tanki wa sonki 

Short temper causes loss

Me wa kuchi hodo mono o iu 

The eyes speak as much as the mouth

Ishibashi tataite wataru 

Tap the stone bridge before crossing.

Odawara hyojo

A stalemate; too many people talking

Makeru ga kachi 

To lose is to win



Customer-focused Japanese Expressions

Okyakusama wa Kamisama desu! 

The Customer is like a God!

Gomuri gomottomo!

Unreasonable is reasonable

Soko o nantoka

Can you help us please?

Seishin seii

Sincere heart, sincere mind

Heishin teito

Lower position and bowing


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