Now that I know about the 四字熟語 personality test that Brett introduced on 表裏一体, I'm gonna keep this one handy in case anyone ever asks me what's the first yoji that comes to my mind. Yeah, of course that's cheating, but hey, if there was ever a yoji that I would want to represent my ideal (imaginary) self, it's this one.
If you look at 不言 and 実行 as separate words and try to translate directly, you get "Silent execution," where execution means the performance or realization of some task (not killing someone). The literal translation alone had me at "Hello."
1. (doing things in accordance with the philosophy)Actions speak louder than words
2. Not bothering with useless talk, simply acting
3. Shutting up and getting sh*t done
It's really difficult to come up with further translation that doesn't include the word ｢頑張る」 which I have no good English equivalent for.
I imagine that there's power in being a 不言実行する人; your peers recognize it as an admirable quality in you. There are elements of martyrdom, heroism, and reliability all rolled up in there. And I've always thought that there was power in silence as well: He who says, doesn't know; he who knows, doesn't say and all that. All of my favorite movie characters are the quiet ones who get overlooked until there's trouble, and suddenly they're the only ones who have it all together. And they know martial arts.
In real life, I'm too loud and too whiny to pull off 不言実行, but I guess that's something to 頑張る towards. In fact, I could stop talking about how I want to be perceived and just start being.
I guess if I had to say which I was, I'd say I was the strong, silent type.
But that couldn't be further from the truth, huh? Just like "lone wolf," people who have to say those things about themselves are clearly just pretenders.