Jan 8, 2005

Kotowaza of the day: Just ask the sadomasochist

楽は苦の種 苦は楽の種

Raku wa ku no tane, ku wa raku no tane

Meaning of Japanese:
Pleasure is the seed of suffering, and suffering the seed of pleasure
Pain is born of pleasure; pleasure is born of pain

English equivalents:
No pleasure without pain
No pain no gain
Sweet is pleasure after pain
No rose without a thorn


At 1/09/2005 2:31 PM, Blogger Dave Rowland said...

Just wanted to mention that I've really been enjoying this feature. Keep it up.

At 1/10/2005 12:04 AM, Blogger Safety Neal said...

I concur with Dave. This is a cool feature. This kotowaza is interesting to me b/c of its contrast with Epicurus' steady-state hedonism. Epicurus thought the goal of life was to avoid intense pleasure and intense pain, that pleasure is defined as the absence of pain. This kotowaza (and its English equivalents) seem to take the opposite view. I'm not sure Epicurus is correct, but I think his view is not considered very often, at least not in an open and explicit manner.

At 1/10/2005 2:13 AM, Blogger eBohn said...

Cool. I'm glad people are digging the kotowaza. I guess it wasn't just for my benefit after all.

Safety.Neal, was Epicurus a Buddhist?


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