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Drain the Pond Get the Fish in Chinese / Japanese...

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Drain the pond to get all the fish

Kill the goose that lays the golden eggs
China jié zé ér yú
Drain the pond to get all the fish Vertical Wall Scroll

In 632 BC, Duke Wen of the Kingdom of Jin was about to lead an army against the forces of the Kingdom of Chu.
The Duke asked one of his advisers, Jiu Fan, how they could possibly win the impending battle, as they were drastically outnumbered.
Jiu Fan said, "All is fair in war," and went on to suggest a plan of dishonorable tactics (cheating).
The Duke was not sure of this advice, so he asked another adviser, Yong Ji, who replied, "If you catch fish by draining the pond, you can certainly get all the fish. But there will be no fish the following year. You can cheat this one time in battle but such tactics can only be used once, as the enemy will be wise in future encounters."

The Duke heard the words of his wiser adviser but cheated to gain victory in the battle. However, he rewarded Yong Ji more than Jiu Fan at the victory celebration, stating that while Jiu Fan's advice gained one victory, the wise words of Yong Ji would last forever.

This Chinese idiom/proverb is still used, over 2600 years later to remind people not to burn bridges, cheat, or dishonor oneself in exchange for a short term gain, while sacrificing the future.

竭澤而漁 is very similar to the meaning of the English phrase, "Kill the goose that lays the golden eggs."


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Characters

If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese

Pronunciation
Romanization
Simple Dictionary Definition

竭澤而漁

see styles
Mandarin jié zé ér yú / jie2 ze2 er2 yu2
Taiwan chieh tse erh yü
Chinese lit. to drain the pond to get at the fish (idiom); fig. to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs

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The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...

Title CharactersVarious forms of Romanized Chinese
Drain the pond to get all the fish竭澤而漁
竭泽而渔
jié zé ér yú
jie2 ze2 er2 yu2
jie ze er yu
jiezeeryu
chieh tse erh yü
chiehtseerhyü
In some entries above you will see that characters have different versions above and below a line.
In these cases, the characters above the line are Traditional Chinese, while the ones below are Simplified Chinese.



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