Yakeishi ni Mizu (焼け石に水 - An Effort that's Bound to Fail)

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Nov 29, 2018 19:38 English essay
Yakeishi ni Mizu

Slight efforts or supports could be not useful.

The Japanese proverb ‘Yakeishi ni mizu’ (焼け石に水) expresses that.

‘Yake’ (焼け) means “burnt,” ‘ishi’ (石) means “stone,” and ‘mizu’ (水) means “water,” so the literal meaning of ‘yakeishi ni mizu’ means “(put) water on a burnt stone.”

As you can guess, even if you put a small amount of water on a burnt stone, the water evaporates soon, and there is little change in the temperature of the stone.

Because of this, ‘yakeishi ni mizu’ has come to mean that a small amount of efforts or supports has almost no effects.



「焼け」は “burnt”、石は “stone”、水は “water” を意味するので、このことわざの文字通りの意味は “water to a burnt stone” となります。