Nihongo no Benkyou

By Alexis Franks

Today’s Topic: Japanese proverb
Japanese: 日本の諺
Kana:  にほんのことわざ

Japanese: 三人寄れば文殊の知恵。
Romaji: Sannin yoreba Monju no chie.
Literal meaning: If three people gather, it`s Monju`s wisdom.
Closest English equivalent: Two heads are better than one.

VOCABULARY BUILDER

Japanese: 三人
Kana: さんにん
English: three people

Japanese: 寄る
Kana: よる
English: to gather

Japanese: 文殊
Kana: もんじゅ
English: Monju (Buddhist bodhisattva)

Japanese: 知恵
Kana: ちえ
English: wisdom

GRAMMAR BUILDER

  • N.1 + の + N.2  =  N.1’s N.2
  • V + え + ば =  if V

CULTURE BUILDER

Mahayana Buddhism’s Monju Bosatsu is also called the Guardian of Buddhist Law. He is considered to be the wisest of the bodhisattva. In Japan, Monju is often depicted riding a shishi (mythical lion). In his left hand he holds the Sutra of Wisdom and in his right he holds a sword that he uses to cut through illusion. Many Japanese students ask Monju’s help in passing their school examinations.