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No Man Knows What He Owes to His Parents Till He Comes to Have Children of His Own in Chinese / Japanese...

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No man knows what he owes to his parents
till he comes to have children of his own

Japan ko wo motte shiru oya no on
No man knows what he owes to his parents / till he comes to have children of his own

This literally translates as: Only after you have a baby, you would appreciate your parents (feel the way they do, etc).

This is a bit like the "walk a mile in another man's shoes" saying. Basically, it's about you cannot fully understand the plight of others until you experience it yourself. It also shows appreciation for the plight of parents.

This Japanese proverb can also be translated a few more ways:

No man knows what he owes to his parents till he comes to have children of his own.

One knows not what one owes to one's parents till one comes to have children of one's own.

Only after you have a baby, you will appreciate your parents or feel the way they do.

Only after becoming a parent yourself do you realize how much you owe [how indebted you are] to your own parents.


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

Search for No Man Knows What He Owes to His Parents Till He Comes to Have Children of His Own in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary




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

Title CharactersRomaji(Romanized Japanese)
No man knows what he owes to his parents
till he comes to have children of his own
子を持って知る親の恩ko wo motte shiru oya no on
kowomotteshiruoyanoon



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A nice Chinese calligraphy wall scroll

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A professional Chinese Calligrapher

Professional calligraphers are getting to be hard to find these days.
Instead of drawing characters by hand, the new generation in China merely type roman letters into their computer keyboards and pick the character that they want from a list that pops up.

There is some fear that true Chinese calligraphy may become a lost art in the coming years. Many art institutes in China are now promoting calligraphy programs in hopes of keeping this unique form of art alive.

Trying to learn Chinese calligrapher - a futile effort

Even with the teachings of a top-ranked calligrapher in China, my calligraphy will never be good enough to sell. I will leave that to the experts.

A high-ranked Chinese master calligrapher that I met in Zhongwei

The same calligrapher who gave me those lessons also attracted a crowd of thousands and a TV crew as he created characters over 6-feet high. He happens to be ranked as one of the top 100 calligraphers in all of China. He is also one of very few that would actually attempt such a feat.


Check out my lists of Japanese Kanji Calligraphy Wall Scrolls and Old Korean Hanja Calligraphy Wall Scrolls.

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