Japan has idioms, proverbs, and four-character phrases related to tea.

I once told a foreign friend, “In Japan, there is a four-character phrase or proverb about communicating without using words, and everyone learns it at school,” and he replied, “That’s interesting! That’s why Japanese people don’t assert themselves so much.

*By the way, I also introduced such phrases as “heart-to-heart communication” and “Speech is silver, silence is golden”.

Now, in such words, there are several idioms and proverbs related to “tea” that are also indispensable in the tea ceremony.

Let me introduce a few of them to you!


1: Words using tea itself

・余り茶に福あり
Like the saying “there is fortune in leftovers,” it means that the tea left over after others have taken it is better than expected, and is a metaphor for the fact that good fortune comes to those who are sincere and do not help in disputes.

・余り茶を飲めば年が寄る
Since it is despicable to take the extra tea, it means don’t do anything nasty.

・うどんで茶を食う
It represents a person who has become accustomed to a luxurious lifestyle and is pleased to dare to try something eccentric that others would never do, such as “eating tea with udon noodles”.

・お茶の子さいさい
To be able to do things easily. To be very easy.

・お茶を濁す
It means “to muddle the situation with lax words or actions.” This expression came into use when people who were not familiar with the tea ceremony mended the situation by mixing tea in a lax manner.

2:Words using tea utensils



・茶碗と茶碗
Tea cups and teacups make noises and chip each other with the slightest touch. This is an analogy for the fact that people who are not on good terms with each other or who are too similar in character are apt to hurt each other.

・茶碗の中の針を磁石で回すよう
An analogy for the appearance of being grabbed by something other than yourself and going around.

・茶碗を投げば綿で抱えよ
It means that if an angry opponent throws a teacup at you, you should catch it with a soft cotton ball, and when the other side comes on strong, it is wise to pass it lightly.

・茶碗を箸で叩くと貧乏神が来る
It is a reminder that tapping the bowl with chopsticks is bad manners.

3:Words related to teahouse



・酒は酒屋に、茶は茶屋に
The liquor in a liquor shop the tea in a teahouse

4:Words about the Teachings of the Tea Ceremony



・茶の花香より気の花香
Than fragrance of a flower of the tea fragrance of a flower of the mind

・茶の湯は貧の真似(ひんのまね)
As for the tea ceremony, it is imitated the poverty

5:Four Chinese idioms with Kanji for tea



・日常茶飯 (にちじょうさはん)everyday occurrence

・茶番狂言 (ちゃばんきょうげん)farce; burlesque; low comedy

・無茶苦茶 (むちゃくちゃ)unreasonable、excessive、inordinate、undue、ridiculous、derisory、laughable、ludicrous、absurd、preposterous

・家常茶飯 (かじょうさはん)everyday occurrence; commonplace of life; nothing out of the ordinary

・目茶目茶 (めちゃめちゃ)unreasonable、excessive、inordinate、undue、great、ridiculous、derisory、laughable、ludicrous、absurd

・滅茶滅茶 (めちゃめちゃ)unreasonable、excessive、inordinate、undue、extreme、extreme、confused、broken、disordered、upset

This is why “tea” is so familiar to Japanese people and has a long history

The “language” passed down from generation to generation is, after all, so familiar to us.

It would be difficult to imagine that this is something that is not familiar to us at all today.

But because it is something that everyone knows and is familiar, everyone uses it.

This is why “tea” is so familiar to Japanese people and has a long history.

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