Dec 7, 2004

Kotowaza of the day: Encouraging conformity


Deru kui wa utareru

Meaning of Japanese:
Too tall a post (stake, pile) will be pounded down

English equivalents:
The highest brach is not the safest roost
Great winds blow on high hills

Another version - actually the one I've heard most often - is 出る釘は打たれる (deru kugi wa utareru), which translates to "the nail that protrudes will be hammered down." This kotowaza is used to teach Japanese children that conformity and modesty are the keys to getting along in the world.

In sharp contrast is the saying I heard regularly as a youngun - "the squeaky wheel gets the grease."


Post a Comment

<< Home