Japanese Quotes

Quotes tagged as "japanese" Showing 1-30 of 262
“Those who hurt others will also hurt themselves.”
Natsuki Takaya

Haruki Murakami
“Not that we were incompatible: we just had nothing to talk about.”
Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

Dave Barry
“I like the relaxed way in which the Japanese approach religion. I think of myself as basically a moral person, but I'm definitely not religious, and I'm very tired of the preachiness and obsession with other people's behavior characteristic of many religious people in the United States. As far as I could tell, there's nothing preachy about Buddhism. I was in a lot of temples, and I still don't know what Buddhists believe, except that at one point Kunio said 'If you do bad things, you will be reborn as an ox.'

This makes as much sense to me as anything I ever heard from, for example, the Reverend Pat Robertson.”
Dave Barry, Dave Barry Does Japan

“I'll make you so in love with me, that everytime our lips touch, you'll die a little death.”
Ai Yazawa

“In this world, not everything will be won by justice. If you want to win, you have to learn how to cheat. (Nana)”
Ai Yazawa

Banana Yoshimoto
“I realized that the world did not exist for my benefit. It followed that the ratio of pleasant and unpleasant things around me would not change. It wasn't up to me. It was clear that the best thing to do was to adopt a sort of muddled cheerfulness.”
Banana Yoshimoto, Kitchen

Ryōkan
“Too lazy to be ambitious,
I let the world take care of itself.
Ten days' worth of rice in my bag;
a bundle of twigs by the fireplace.
Why chatter about delusion and enlightenment?
Listening to the night rain on my roof,
I sit comfortably, with both legs stretched out.”
Ryokan

Osamu Dazai
“Last year nothing happened
The year before nothing happened
And the year before that nothing
happened.”
Osamu Dazai, The Setting Sun

Anne Morrow Lindbergh
“For Sayonara, literally translated, 'Since it must be so,' of all the good-bys I have heard is the most beautiful. Unlike the Auf Wiedershens and Au revoirs, it does not try to cheat itself by any bravado 'Till we meet again,' any sedative to postpone the pain of separation. It does not evade the issue like the sturdy blinking Farewell. Farewell is a father's good-by. It is - 'Go out in the world and do well, my son.' It is encouragement and admonition. It is hope and faith. But it passes over the significance of the moment; of parting it says nothing. It hides its emotion. It says too little. While Good-by ('God be with you') and Adios say too much. They try to bridge the distance, almost to deny it. Good-by is a prayer, a ringing cry. 'You must not go - I cannot bear to have you go! But you shall not go alone, unwatched. God will be with you. God's hand will over you' and even - underneath, hidden, but it is there, incorrigible - 'I will be with you; I will watch you - always.' It is a mother's good-by. But Sayonara says neither too much nor too little. It is a simple acceptance of fact. All understanding of life lies in its limits. All emotion, smoldering, is banked up behind it. But it says nothing. It is really the unspoken good-by, the pressure of a hand, 'Sayonara.”
Anne Morrow Lindbergh, North to the Orient

Haruki Murakami
“I know I have a pretty good sense for music, but she was better than me. I used to think it was such a waste! I thought, ‘If only she had started out with a good teacher and gotten the proper training, she’d be so much further along!’ But I was wrong about that. She was not the kind of child who could stand proper training. There just happen to be people like that. They’re blessed with this marvelous talent, but they can’t make the effort to systematize it. They end up squandering it in little bits and pieces. I’ve seen my share of people like that. At first you think they’re amazing. Like, they can sight-read some terrifically difficult piece and do a damn good job playing it all the way through. You see them do it, and you’re overwhelmed. you think, ‘I could never do that in a million years.’ But that’s as far as they go. They can’t take it any further. And why not? Because they won’t put in the effort. Because they haven’t had the discipline pounded into them. They’ve been spoiled. They have just enough talent so they’ve been able to play things well without any effort and they’ve had people telling them how great they are from the time they’re little, so hard work looks stupid to them. They’ll take some piece another kid has to work on for three weeks and polish it off in half the time, so the teacher figures they’ve put enough into it and lets them go to the next thing. And they do that in half the time and go on to the next piece. They never find out what it means to be hammered by the teacher; they lose out on a certain element required or character building. It’s a tragedy.”
Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

Koushun Takami
“You all have your own distinct personal backgrounds. Of course some of you come from rich families, some from poor families. But circumstances beyond your control like that shouldn’t determine who you are. You must all realize what you’re worth on your own.”
Koushun Takami, Battle Royale

Banana Yoshimoto
“There are many, many difficult times, god knows. If a person wants to stand on her own two feet, I recommend undertaking the care and feeding of something. It could be children, or it could be house plants, you know? By doing that you come to understand your own limitations. That's where it starts.”
Banana Yoshimoto, Kitchen

Matsuo Bashō
“When composing a verse let there not be a hair's breath separating your mind from what you write; composition of a poem must be done in an instant, like a woodcutter felling a huge tree or a swordsman leaping at a dangerous enemy.”
Bashō

Santōka Taneda
“Haiku is not a shriek, a howl, a sigh, or a yawn; rather, it is the deep breath of life.”
Santoka Taneda, Mountain Tasting: Haiku and Journals of Santoka Taneda

Yamamoto Tsunetomo
“Bushido is realized in the presence of death. This means choosing death whenever there is a choice between life and death. There is no other reasoning.”
Yamamoto Tsunetomo, Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai

Murasaki Shikibu
“ To be pleasant, gentle, calm and self-possessed: this is the basis of good taste and charm in a woman. No matter how amorous or passionate you may be, as long as you are straightforward and refrain from causing others embarrassment, no one will mind. But women who are too vain and act pretentiously, to the extent that they make others feel uncomfortable, will themselves become the object of attention; and once that happens, people will find fault with whatever they say or do; whether it be how they enter a room, how they sit down, how they stand up or how they take their leave. Those who end up contradicting themselves and those who disparage their companions are also carefully watched and listened to all the more. As long as you are free from such faults, people will surely refrain from listening to tittle-tattle and will want to show you sympathy, if only for the sake of politeness.
I am of the opinion that when you intentionally cause hurt to another, or indeed if you do ill through mere thoughtless behavior, you fully deserve to be censured in public. Some people are so good-natured that they can still care for those who despise them, but I myself find it very difficult. Did the Buddha himself in all his compassion ever preach that one should simply ignore those who slander the Three Treasures? How in this sullied world of ours can those who are hard done by be expected to reciprocate in kind?”
Murasaki Shikibu, The Diary of Lady Murasaki

Haruki Murakami
“From the girl who sat before me now...surged a fresh and physical life force. She was like a small animal that has popped into the world with the coming of spring. Her eyes moved like an independent organism with joy, laughter, anger, amazement, and despair. I hadn't seen a face so vivid and expressive in ages, and I enjoyed watching it live and move.”
Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

Yasunari Kawabata
“But even more than her diary, Shimamura was surprised at her statement that she had carefully cataloged every novel and short story she had read since she was fifteen or sixteen. The record already filled ten notebooks.
"You write down your criticisms, do you?"
"I could never do anything like that. I just write down the author and the characters and how they are related to each other. That is about all."
"But what good does it do?"
"None at all."
"A waste of effort."
"A complete waste of effort," she answered brightly, as though the admission meant little to her. She gazed solemnly at Shimamura, however.
A complete waste of effort. For some reason Shimamura wanted to stress the point. But, drawn to her at that moment, he felt a quiet like the voice of the rain flow over him. He knew well enough that for her it was in fact no waste of effort, but somehow the final determination that it had the effect of distilling and purifying the woman's existence.”
Yasunari Kawabata, Snow Country

Banana Yoshimoto
“With a cold"--she spoke evenly, lowering her eyes a little--"now is the hardest time. Maybe even harder than dying. But this is probably as bad as it can get. You might come to fear the next time you get a cold; it will be as bad as this, but if you just hold steady, it won't be. For the rest of your life. That's how it works. You could take the negative view and live in fear: Will it happen again? But it won't hurt so much if you just accept it as a part of life." With that she looked up at me, smiling.”
Banana Yoshimoto, Kitchen

Haruki Murakami
“Listening to the music while stretching her body close to its limit, she was able to attain a mysterious calm. She was simultaneously the torturer and the tortured, the forcer and the forced. This sense of inner-directed self-sufficiency was what she wanted most of all. It gave her deep solace.”
Haruki Murakami, 1Q84

Haruki Murakami
“My point is: in this whole wide world the only person you can depend on is you.”
Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

Santōka Taneda
“Real haiku is the soul of poetry. Anything that is not actually present in one's heart is not haiku. The moon glows, flowers bloom, insects cry, water flows. There is no place we cannot find flowers or think of the moon. This is the essence of haiku. Go beyond the restrictions of your era, forget about purpose or meaning, separate yourself from historical limitations—there you will find the essence of true art, religion, and science.”
Santoka Taneda, Mountain Tasting: Haiku and Journals of Santoka Taneda

Haruki Murakami
“No, I don't want your money. The world moves less by money than by what you owe people and what they owe you. I don't like to owe anybody anything, so I keep to myself as much on the lending side as I can.”
Haruki Murakami, 1Q84

Murasaki Shikibu
“The bond between husband and wife is a strong one. Suppose the man had hunted her out and brought her back. The memory of her acts would still be there, and inevitably, sooner or later, it would be cause for rancor. When there are crises, incidents, a woman should try to overlook them, for better or for worse, and make the bond into something durable. The wounds will remain, with the woman and with the man, when there are crises such as I have described. It is very foolish for a woman to let a little dalliance upset her so much that she shows her resentment openly. He has his adventures--but if he has fond memories of their early days together, his and hers, she may be sure that she matters. A commotion means the end of everything. She should be quiet and generous, and when something comes up that quite properly arouses her resentment she should make it known by delicate hints. The man will feel guilty and with tactful guidance he will mend his ways. Too much lenience can make a woman seem charmingly docile and trusting, but it can also make her seem somewhat wanting in substance. We have had instances enough of boats abandoned to the winds and waves.
It may be difficult when someone you are especially fond of, someone beautiful and charming, has been guilty of an indiscretion, but magnanimity produces wonders. They may not always work, but generosity and reasonableness and patience do on the whole seem best.”
Murasaki Shikibu, The Tale of Genji

Natsume Sōseki
“From then on, my thesis hung over me like a curse, and with bloodshot eyes, I worked like a madman.”
Natsume Sōseki, Kokoro

Banana Yoshimoto
“Chilled-looking people walking along the riverside, the snow beginning, faintly, to pile up on the roofs of cars, the bare trees shaking their heads left and right, dry leaves tossing in the wind. The silver of the metal window sash sparkling coldly.
Soon after, I heard sensei call, "Mikage! Are you awake? It's snowing, look! It's snowing!"
"I'm coming!" I called out, standing up. I got dressed to begin another day. Over and over, we begin again.”
Banana Yoshimoto, Kitchen

“If love goes too far, it turns into cruelty.”
Haruo Shirane, Early Modern Japanese Literature: An Anthology, 1600-1900

Yōko Kamio
“Ichigo Ichie
--Nishikado Soujiroh”
Yoko Kamio, Boys Over Flowers: Hana Yori Dango, Vol. 1

Haruki Murakami
“And, well, mine are kind of on the heavy side anyway. The first day or two, I don't want to do ANYTHING. Make sure you keep away from me then.'
I'd like to, but how can I tell?' I asked.
O.K., I'll wear a hat for a couple of days after my period starts. A red one. That should work,' she said with a laugh. 'If you see me on the street and I'm wearing a red hat, don't talk to me, just run away.”
Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

Natsuo Kirino
“And then there was her face: her white skin, her brown eyes, and her expression, so soft and beautiful; she looked as though she were constantly getting ready to ask a question. Even an immaculately crafted doll could not have been as lovely.”
Natsuo Kirino, Grotesque

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