覆水盆に返らず

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Japanese[edit]

Kanji in this term
Grade: S Grade: 1 Grade: S Grade: 3

Etymology[edit]

Literally "spilt water does not return to the basin"

Based on an old Chinese story, where a wife leaves her husband (Jiang Ziya by one account) because he spent all his time reading books and didn't work. When the man eventually achieved success, the woman came to ask for remarriage. The man replied by spilling the water from a basin on the floor and saying: "If you can put this water back in the basin, I will consider your request."

Proverb[edit]

覆水盆に返らず (hiragana ふくすいぼんにかえらず, romaji fukusui bon ni kaerazu)

  1. Once a married couple divorce, they cannot reconcile.
  2. don't cry over spilt milk.