CultureEssayIdiomJapanese traditionProverbUncorrected

Kabe ni Mimi Ari Shoji ni Me Ari

  • Today, I will talk about the Japanese proverb “kabe ni mimi ari shoji ni me ari.”


    This proverb expresses that secret things or gossips are prone to leak.

    The literal meaning of “kabe ni mimi ari” is “there are ears on walls,” and it indicates that someone might listen to anytime while placing his/her ear against a wall.

    The literal meaning of “shoji ni me ari” is “there are eyes on shoji (Japanese paper sliding doors),” and it indicates that someone might peep inside through the door.

    That is to say, this proverb says that you have no idea when and who listen/see your talks and acts, so you have to be careful whatever you do.

    By the way, I heard that there is almost the same proverb in English “Walls have ears.”

    Original sentence