I just saw that Bruce posted about a new set of vignettes by Izzo (whose New Year’s creations I posted about earlier this month). Quoth Bruce: “Hopefully Dunechaser will be able to shed some enlightenment via his Pan-Pacific Bricks blog.” Well sir, I shall give it my best shot.
Here’s what I’ll do. The vignettes won’t make sense unless you understand exactly what the Japanese proverbs say, but you still might not get what the proverbs actually mean, so I’ll try to find a corresponding English proverb or provide a brief explanation.
Japanese: By hiding your head you expose your butt.
English: Burying your head in the sand.
Japanese: Even a one-sun bug has a five-bu soul.
(Sun and bu are units of length that are no longer used in Japan, where the Metric system is used instead. There are ten sun in one bu, so this proverb is saying that even a little bug has a big soul.)
English: Tread on a worm and it will turn.
Japanese: If you gossip about someone, their shadow will appear.
English: Speak of the devil (and he’s sure to appear).
Japanese/English: A drowning man will clutch at a straw.
Japanese: To gain one of your nine lives back.
English: To have a narrow escape from death.
Japanese: The son of a frog will be a frog.
English: Like father like son.
Japanese: Prayers to God in difficult times.
English: Danger past, God forgotten.
Japanese/English: Art is long, life is short.
Latin*: Ars longa, vita brevis. *Bonus language!!!
Japanese: Unless you enter the tiger’s den, you can’t steal her cubs.
English: Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Note: I used Izzo’s site to determine which proverbs go with the vignettes in his Brickshelf gallery, but I couldn’t find this one, so I’m not sure what the proverb is. Sorry folks!