CultureEssayIdiomJapanese traditionProverbUncorrected

Ishibashi wo Tataite Wataru

  • Today, I will talk about the Japanese proverb “ishibashi wo tataite wataru.”


    The literal meanings is “to cross a stone bridge after beating it,” and it expresses “to do something cautiously and carefully.”

    This comes from that although stone bridges look firm, very careful people beat them for confirming safe conditions.

    This proverb is often used to mean “someone is very careful,” while it sometimes used to mean “someone is too cowardice” with irony.

    Also, we sometimes say “ishibashi wo tataite kowasu” (to break a stone bridge by beating it too many times) for people who fail due to their carefulness, and say “ishibashi wo tataite wataranai” (not to cross a stone bridge after beating it) for people who don’t act.

    By the way, there is an English proverb “Hear twice before you speak once,” which has the similar meaning.

    Original sentence