数字世界へようこそ – Welcome to the World of Numbers
Posted on March 20, 2017 | genkijacs
However, the Japanese “World of Numbers” can be quite fun in the context of Japanese sayings. Counting from 一 to 十, we would like to introduce one interesting phrase for each number. We hope you will find them just as amazing as we do.
“You need only open one page of a book to understand everything.”
This phrase describes a person that understands all the content after learning only small pieces of the whole. It is thus, a wise and clever person.
“To kill two birds with one stone”
The meaning of this saying is exactly the same as in English: Achieving two things at once.
“First power, second money, third manly appearance”
This phrase describes the three most important things that it takes for a man to gain a woman’s heart. According to this saying, the most important thing about a man is his authority, followed by his wealth. However, these two are not sufficient. The man should also be handsome.
“the four knowledges”
In ancient China, some people valued a “four step path” to approach one another. These were known as 「天知る」, “knowing about the heavens” ( equivalent to “talking about the weather”), 「神知る」, “knowing about the gods”, 「我知る」, the “knowing about oneself” and 「子（相手）知る」, “knowing about your partner”.
The phrase 四知 refers to a person that does not understand this path and would reveal deep secrets even to people he barely knows.
“wind on the fifth and rain on the tenth”
This saying is a metaphor for peace and security in the world as the fifth (were there would usually be wind) and tenth (where there would be rain) of a month were believed to be good days for the crops on the fields.
“eight faces, six arms”
This simply means that one can achieve great things when working together with others. Another interpretation is that work gets easier when you share it.
“the parents’ influence is sevenfold”
This saying tries to evaluate a parent’s influence on their child. It thereby reflects on two different points of view: behavior and status.
With this phrase one can express that a child is most likely to assume his parents’ behavior in both good and bad ways. However, it also often used to describe that children hugely benefit from their parents’ fame or position in society.
“The one looking from the outside has many eyes.”
Whenever you find yourself in a serious fight with a good friend and searching for someone with an objective opinion to help you out, this phrase might come in handy.
It simply means that the one who is not involved is able to see the matter in a different, neutral light.
“gain a whole life after nine deaths”
The phrase 「九死」(=nine deaths) refers to situation that you are unlikely to survive. On the contrary, 「九死に一生を得る」is often used after escaping a life threatening situation.
“ten men, ten colors”
This wonderful, very wise saying describes a fact that is known all over the world: everyone is different. Not only by the looks, but also by opinions, tastes etc. no man is 100 % equal to another.