CultureEssayEtymologyIdiomJapanese traditionProverbUncorrected

Oi no Tenarai (老いの手習い – It’s Never Too Late to Learn)

  • Oi no Tenarai


    Trying new things is very important no matter how old you get.

    The proverb, oi no tenarai (老いの手習い), can describe such a situation.

    Since oi (老い) means “old,” and tenarai (手習い) means “learning a skill,” oi no tenarai literally means “older people learn a skill.”
    「老い」は “old”、「手習い」は “learning a skill” を意味するので、「老いの手習い」は文字どおり “older people learn a skill” という意味になります。

    It is also possible to say rokujū no tenarai (六十の手習い), using rokujū (六十 – meaning “sixty years old)”.
    “Sixty years old” を意味する「六十」を使って、「六十の手習い」と言うこともあります。

    In recent years, with the aging of the population, it is also sometimes said as hachijū no tenarai (八十の手習い), using hatijū (八十 – meaning “eighty years old”).
    さらに近年では高齢化が進んでいるので、”eighty years old” を意味する「八十」を使い「八十の手習い」と言うこともあります。

    In the future, using hyaku (百 – meaning “one hundred years old”), hyaku no tenarai (百の手習い) may also come to be used.

    Original sentence