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Japanese Proverbs

gakusha binbOO

"The scholar is poor."

Is it true that material success is incompatible with a love of learning and scholarship? Perhaps the answer depends on how you look at it. Bill Gates was certainly a scholar during his early years; but he later dropped out of Harvard in order to become rich as the co-founder of Microsoft.


Mi no hodo o shire

"Know your own status."

Understand your own strengths and weaknesses. Don't try to place yourself in an environment or in a job that will exceed your limitations…Cut your coat according to your own cloth..Do what suits you best.

senri no michi mo ippo kara

"A thousand-ri jouney begins with a single step."

A ri is a traditional unit for measuring land in Japan. A thousand-ri journey would be very long indeed, and it might seem daunting at the outset. As the above proverb states, however, such a journey begins by taking a single step. When you face a difficult challenge, don’t allow yourself to be overwhelmed by the entirety of it. Instead, break it down into manageable pieces, and tackle it one step at a time.

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