If It’s Worth Doing, It’s Worth Doing Promptly

zen wa isoge

12 1/4″ W x 43″ H Japanese Scroll
by Master Japanese Calligrapher Eri Takase


If It’s Worth Doing, It’s Worth Doing Promptly in Japanese is 善は急げ which is read zen wa isoge

The Japanese expression zen wa isoge means “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing prompty; If it is a good thing, hurry and do it” and is composed of the kanji (read zen) meaning “good, goodness, right, virtue”, the grammatical element (read wa) which indicates the previous word is the subject, and 急げ (read isoge) which is the imperative form of the verb 急ぐ (read isogu) meaning “to hurry, to rush, to hasten, to make something happen sooner”.

Notice that the dictionary lists this as “zen ha isoge” and not “zen wa isoge“. The grammatical particle (read wa) is written with the hiragana ha but it is always read wa. We give how it is read while the dictionary gives how it is written. Interesting, yes?

In Even Monkeys Fall from Trees: The Wit and Wisdom of Japanese Proverbs (Vol 1) style= by David Galef , the author translates the saying as “Do Quickly What Is Good” and equates this with the saying “Strike While The Iron Is Hot”.

Translations You Can Trust: We want you to be as happy with the Japanese translation as you are with Master Takase’s beautiful art. So we have made it easy to confirm the translation for yourself by simply clicking on If It’s Worth Doing, It’s Worth Doing Promptly (zen wa isoge) which links to the independent Jeffrey’s Japanese English Dictionary.

About The Art: This beautiful hand brushed scroll by Master Takase is personally created at the time of your order and proudly bears her seal and signature. We exclusively import this high-quality scroll with brown silk borders and fine Japanese paper from one of the finest scroll makers in Nara Japan. This is not a print but is hand brushed to match the sample as closely as possible. This is a personal work of art that is designed to last generations.

Delivery: The scroll is completed and shipped within 1-3 business days and arrives ready to display.