Mateba kairo no hiyori ari
If you wait, there will be fair weather

There are often times when we feel that something is too difficult and we feel like giving up. When times are hard, it is hard to remember the good times or think that things can get better. The Japanese have some words of wisdom for times like these.

There is a Japanese saying, Mateba kairo no hiyori ari. This means, “If you wait, there will be fair weather for your ocean voyage.” The weather is always changing. There are sunny days and rainy days. Even if the weather is bad now, if you wait it will clear up. If you are impatient and try to sail in the bad weather, your boat may sink. If you see the bad weather and give up, you will never leave shore. However, if you wait a while, the weather will clear up and you can have a safe journey.

Life is the same way. There are good times and there are bad times. There are times when conditions are favorable for what you want to do and times when conditions are not favorable. If you jump into something at the wrong time, you will likely fail. If you think that it is impossible and never even start, you will never do it. However, if you wait a while, conditions will improve and you can succeed at your undertaking.

You can say this to yourself or to someone else as words of encouragement. So, the next time someone you know is feeling down in the dumps about something just say, “Mateba kairo no hiyori ari desu ne.”

Usage note: Most Japanese sayings can be turned into complete sentences just by adding “desu” to the end. To add emphasis, add “desu yo”. To ask for agreements (think, “yeah,” “right,” “you know”), add “desu ne”.


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