101 Japanese Idioms: 1-25

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The first 25 idioms from the book '101 Japanese Idioms' (http://www.amazon.com/Listen-Learn-101-Japanese-Idioms/dp/0844284963)

Covering all the bases, informally securing prior approval, checking with everyone who counts before formal presentation

根回し

Maturity brings humility and respect for others

実る程頭の下がる稲穂かな

Perseverence pays off, patience is a virtue

転がる石に苔むさず

A drop in the ocean, completely ineffective

焼け石に水

Choose secure & solid protection

寄らば大樹の陰

Small but powerful, a mighty mite

山椒は小粒でも(ぴりりと)辛い

Adversity builds character, the more challenges met, the stronger one or a relationship becomes

雨降って地固まる

Honest, frank, decisive, a straight-shooter

竹を割ったよう

Groundless, unsubstantiated

根も葉もない

So quiet you could hear a pin drop, dead silence

水の打ったよう

A rumour, a story without source

風の便り

Wishful thinking, impossible dream

雲をつかむよう

Ingratiating oneself, overtly flattering, sucking up to one's superiors

ごますり

Some things are better left unsaid, silence is golden

言わぬが花

All for nothing, efforts in vain

水の泡

The practical is preferred over the aesthetic

花より団子

To forgive and forget, to let bygones be bygones

水に流す

No matter what, under any circumstances

雨が降ろうと槍が降ろうと

Entertainment business, a chancy trade

水商売

So crowded you can hardly turn, jam-packed with people (water related scenes)

芋(の子)を洗うよう

Unrealizable desire, an unobtainable object, something out of one's reach

高嶺の花

A shrill, a plant, someone hired to laugh at plays etc

さくら

Life often brings misfortunes at the time of great happiness

花に嵐

An unexpected departure, a surprise, a sudden happening

足もとから鳥が立つ

Two peas in a pod, Tweedledum & Tweedledee

瓜二つ

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