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Shiku Hakku (四苦八苦 – Struggling to Do)

  • Shiku Hakku


    Struggling to do something or floundering is called 四苦八苦 (shiku hakku) in Japanese.

    四 means “four,” 苦 means “suffering,” and 八 means “eight,” so the literal meaning of “shiku hakku” is “four sufferings, eight sufferings.”
    「四」は “four,” 「苦」は “suffering,” 「八」は “eight” を意味するので、この言葉の文字どおりの意味は “four sufferings, eight sufferings” となります。

    Originally, this term meant every suffering in Buddhism.

    “Shiku” represents four sufferings caused by — “live,” “old,” “disease,” and “death.”

    “Hakku” represents four additional sufferings caused by — “separating from your loved one,” “meeting with a hateful person,” “things that you can’t obtain,” and “a fact that you can’t control your body and spirit as you think.”

    For example, you can say 四苦八苦する (shiku hakku suru) to mean that you struggle to do something.

    Original sentence