Nou aru Taka wa Tsume wo Kakusu (能ある鷹は爪を隠す – He who Knows most Speaks least)

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    Nou aru Taka wa Tsume wo Kakusu


    Today I would like to introduce you to the popular Japanese proverb, nou aru taka wa tsume wo kakusu (能ある鷹は爪を隠す).

    Nou aru (能ある) means “capable,” taka (鷹) means “hawk,” tsume (爪) means “nail/claw,” and kakusu (隠す) means “to hide something.”
    「能ある」は “capable,” 「鷹」は “hawk,” 「爪」は “nail/claw,” 「隠す」は “to hide something” を意味します。

    That is to say, the literal meaning of this proverb is “A capable hawk hides its claws.”
    すなわち、このことわざの文字通りの意味は “A capable hawk hides the claws” です。

    In fact, a capable hawk hides its sharp claws so that prey doesn’t understand the situation.

    In other words, a capable person doesn’t brag or brandish the ability lightly.

    This proverb is a kind of compliment, which likens such a capable person to a capable hawk.

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