Oct 30, 2005

Kotowaza of the day: Building character, again


Kawaii ko ni wa tabi wo saseyo

Meaning of Japanese:
If you love your child, send him/her on a journey

English equivalent:

Spare the rod and spoil the child*
If you love someone, set them free

*Many sources list this as the sole translation of the kotowaza. Perhaps an endorsement of corporal punishment is the closest thing English has, but I'm not willing to make it an "English equivalent." The Japanese is actually closer to the "heavy work" kotowaza on 10/21. The idea, in olden times at least, was that a journey would involve some eye-opening trials and tribulations, and that these experiences would hopefully expand the child's horizon.


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