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(We cannot make an eggplant out of a gourd’s vine)
An onion will not produce a rose
We can feel the difference in the culture by the choice of plants there. In the past, Japanese people did not eat garlic because it was said to be unclean since people thought it causes anger and luxuria.

(Become whatever field or mountain afterwards)
After us the deluge
The word “flood” is also seen in the Noah’s ark from the bible, and “flood” also has the meaning of “something that destroys the world”. This shows that European people are devout Christians.

(A ship climbing a mountain with too many captains)
Too many cooks spoil te broth
”Captain” and “Cook” are both someone that lead others, but the word choice of “Captain” expresses that Japan is an island.

(Just get rolled up by long things)
No striving against the stream
People in any country think it is surely better to be stuck with strong people. It is one of the ancient wisdoms!

(White hakama(Japanese skirt) at the dyer)
Shoemaker's children go barefooted
In Japan, there are some proverbs with the words like “dyer” and “shoes shop” that has the same meaning as this, but dying hakama at the dyer expresses Japanese culture.

(Beautiful people have short lives )
Whom Gods love, die young
Both countries have the thought of people born with luck would get a bad luck by dying young. Being loved by God is a expression showing European people are devout Christians.

(Ears on the wall, eyes on the shoji(paper sliding door)
Fields have eyes, and woods have ears

(Money flows)
Money is round, and rolls away
Both proverbs show that money flows within the society, but it is quite unique that Eurooean proverb said money flows due to its round shape. In Japan, paper money was used more in the past, so this kind of expression was not used in Japanese proverb.

(immolating the back to protect the stomach)
Necessity knows no law
Importance of protecting stomach probably shows the Japanese culture of Harakiri (self-disembowel). The word “law” shows the fact that constitutional states were made from Europe.

毒をもって毒を制す Diamond cut diamond
Both proverbs have same meaning that the way to go against the things beyond control is to use something with similar characteristics. However, diamond is very rare in Japan which is the reason why Japanese proverb used the word “poison” instead.

(When a person curses, there will be two holes)
Whoever digs a pit will fall into it
Both proverb show that if a person did bad things to the others, they would come back to the person. However, in Japanese proverb, the word “hole” means the grave, but in English one, it means a pit. Japanese people probably thought it was really able to kill people by magic, as they believed in magics.

Barking dog does not bite.
Barking dogs do not bite
Dogs like the ones that usually bark cannot bite in the case of emergency. People are just like that. Dog is one of the closest animals to the people all over the world. So the proverbs that are almost same are made in different countries.

(Rust coming from the body)
Who seeds wind, shall harvest storm
Storms often happen in both countries, but in Japan, people do not think stroms are caused by doing bad things. There are other Japanese proverbs like “Jigou Jitoku” and “Inga Ouhou” that have the same meaning.

(Fortune comes to the place with laugh)
Laugh and grow fat
It is thought that fortune comes from laugh in many countries. Being fat was actually the symbol for the wealth, so it was thought it was fortunate to be fat.

(To be outnumbered)
Not even Hercules could contend against two
Japanese proverb makes people imagine the scene of Samurai (soldier) fighting, but in English, Hercules, the hero of Greek mythology is written instead.

(Moss does not grow on the rolling stone)
A rolling stone gathers no moss
These proverbs are almost same, and the name of famous English rock band “Rolling Stones” comes from this proverb. In yhe United States, where changing the job is thought to be a good thing, this proverb is used positively by the meaning of someone who keeps being active does not get old and keeps his or her skill at the same level.

(Even a tiny worm will turn)
The fly has her spleen and the ant has her gull
English proverb gives the specific words like “spleen” and “gull” which shows that medical science was well developed in Europe at that time. Around that time, people thought spleen was the place where it controls energy and displeasure. They also thought courage and anger come from gull.

(Dress for a pack horse driver)
Apparel makes the man
In any country, he impression of the people depends on what they wear!

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