Midi Onodera


Proverb of July: 出る杭は打たれる
Google Translation: The stakes that come out are struck

According to Kotobank.jp this proverb is a metaphor that those who show their talent will be envied and hindered, or more generally, that excessive behaviours will be hated.
This expression practically allows people who express their talent and assert themselves to be beaten up. It can be thought to derive from the traditional values of a closed Japanese society that avoids being conspicuous by following others.
It is undeniable that such a tendency remains deep-rooted today. However, these values have been questioned partly as the result of globalization. In fact, the proverb has often been criticized negatively, and we even hear “let the stakes that come out grow higher” or “be the stake that sticks out” as counter expressions to the original.

Posted July 1, 2022