A Dictionary of Japanese Proverbs


by William de Lange

Proverbs are the heart of any language, offering profound insight into the character of a people, its experiences, and the beliefs and values it holds dear. This new dictionary offers the most comprehensive compilation and English translation of those proverbs that so enrich the Japanese language but fail to find their way into conventional dictionaries. A companion volume to the author’s comprehensive Dictionary of Japanese Idioms, it presents more than 1000 entries, including many hundreds of proverbs that have never been presented and explained in English before. Explanations are given in succinct and lucid prose, and English equivalents are given whenever applicable. Each entry furthermore contains a literal translation to help bring out the nuances of the Japanese original, and where necessary, explanatory notes on grammar and historical background help deepen the reader’s understanding of a proverb’s meaning and context. Extensive cross-referencing allows the user to immediately find synonyms and antonyms, as well as related proverbs, while furigana allows even beginners to read and use the proverbs immediately. A thumb index makes entries exceptionally easy to access.

William de Lange studied Japanese language and culture at the University of Leiden and at Waseda University in Japan. For the last ten years he has been active as a translator and interpreter in a variety of capacities in the Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom and Japan.

240 pp, 6 x 9, Hard
1000 entries, with thumb index
Japanese language & culture
ISBN: 978-1-891640-51-3