Six Japanese Proverbs for Inspiration and Motivation

Statistics say that only a mere 20% of new year resolutions are kept by February, and less than 8% of people achieve their full new year goals, which everyone can agree is pretty low.

At the kay me atelier in Tokyo today we’ve collected some of our favourite Japanese proverbs (諺 – kotowaza) to keep us motivated this January and well beyond:

proverbs1.jpg

案ずるより産むが易し (anzuru yori umu ga yasushi)

Translation: Giving birth to a baby is easier than worrying about it

Worrying never helped anyone! Don’t put off that big project because you’re worried about, instead dive in and start working – you’ll feel much better.

虎穴に入らずんば虎子を得ず (koketsu ni irazunba koji wo ezu)

Translation: If you don’t enter the tiger’s cave, you can’t catch its cub

He (or she, or they) who dares, wins. If you don’t even try, you’ll never have the chance to succeed…

雨降って地固まる (ame futte jigatamaru)

Translation: After rain falls, the ground hardens

Difficult experiences can toughen us up – sometimes in unexpected ways. We love learning from mistakes, and try our best to treat everything as a learning point.

proverbs2

花より団子 (hana yori dango)

Translation: Dumplings over flowers

Or, substance over style. At kay me we’re so lucky that we can share substance and style with our amazing customers around the world!

七転び八起き (nana korobi ya oki)

Translation: Fall seven times, stand up eight

It’s a classic for a good reason – when our print designs have to be reworked or a pattern isn’t quite right, we get right back on track (sometimes after a soothing green tea or walk around the atelier!).

継続は力なり (keizoku wa chikara nari)

Translation: To continue is power

Similar to the above phrase, it’s possible to find power in perseverance, whether that’s learning a new language, sticking to good habits or even starting your own business just like kay me’s Junko Kemi.

Join us throughout the year as we continue our journey from Japan to the world! 

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