ころも ばかり で おしょう は できぬ
koromo bakari de oshou ha dekinu
Get ready for a link festival!
Today's expression is an old one; you can tell by the way they turn できない into できぬ, an archaic form of negation which only survives today in these kinds of expressions (we covered this when we talked about how Japanese people treat cuckoos).
I found this one when I took another look at the site where I got the picture for 十人十色.
日本のことわざ In English is a great page, and I've added it to the links bar on the left. While its English translations aren't always perfect, the accompanying artwork is engaging, colorful, laugh-out-loud bizarre, and sometimes downright scary. Check the picture for "Well-clothed and fed is well mannered." WTF?
Other than "Ten people, ten colors," you can see their versions of some of our posts, like 猿も木から落ちる、which has a great picture or 七転八起 or 悪事千里 from WAY back when The Daily Yoji was still on it's second post.
Now on to today's expression:
Literal - A robe alone does not a buddhist priest make (A hood does not make a monk).
1. The clothes don't make the man.
2. Appearances can be deceiving.
3. A monkey with rings on his fingers is not necessarily a king (Bulgarian proverb, according to my crazy friend Emo).
4. Sticking feathers up your butt don't make you a chicken.
I purposely left off "Don't judge a book by its cover," because this one seems to be designed more to warn the naive about those who affect an appearance without having the substance or to admonish those types directly.
"Book by its cover" always sounded like it had a more positive connotation to me, where the interior had a chance of being more valuable than the exterior led one to believe. This is not the case here.
When it comes to men, you should remember that appearances can be deceiving. There are lots of men out there who will act like they like you until they get what they want.